Being generally happy with the mockup version of the instrument panel I transferred the outline onto a sheet of 3mm thick aluminium. Not too surprisingly this is a lot harder to work into shape than the low density fibre board version plus it had to have an even gap around the edge so that at a later date I can place a thin piece of trim around the edge to match the interior of the car.
Shaping the panel took a number of hours and I have no idea how many times I trial fitted it. Eventually I was happy and then worked out where the 5 brass mounting screws would be. I had planned ahead and the bodywork team had welded in thick tabs in perpetration for drilling and tapping. So all I had to do was drill a 3mm hole through the panel and the mounting tab to be sure the hole was in the same place on both parts. Next the tab on the car was drilled out to 4.25mm and tapped to take the 3BA brass bolts. The Instrument panel holes were drilled out to 6mm giving me about 1mm of clearance.
The panel was bolted in with the protective film still in place. That will provide 2 functions: protection from damage whilst I drill sand and finish all the holes for the guages and the old switch etc, plus also it allows me to use it as a surface i can write in to mark out where all those switches and gauges will eventually be placed.
In the picture below you can see the new panel and the accurately placed guage images, the battery on-off switch and the klaxon button. I quite like the layout and think it should look quite nice once the aluminium has been semi polished.
Next task is to cut all those holes out and a cutout for the steering column when it is raised back into position.