Introduction: Dash Mount for GPS
I recently bought my wife a Garmin Nuvi 360 GPS for her Honda van. It came with this snazzy suction cup mount. However, the van has a curved dash board with a faux leather texture. This made it next to impossible to securely mount it in a convenient location. Here's how I solved the problem...
Step 1: Here's the Mount
Here's the snazzy bracket, but as you can clearly see it needed to be mounted on a flat surface. Some people mount this to their windshield. However, I'd heard that this is illegal in CA. We wouldn't want to break the law.
Step 2: Figure Out Where We Want to Mount It...
I picked the spot on the dash where I wanted to mount the GPS and covered the area in packing tape. This was to protect the dashboard.
Step 3: Building the Mold...
Next, I built up a mold to the rough shape of the mount. I just used cardboard and lots of packing tape. Tape is cheap and I needed to make it water tight (otherwise it would have been a mess when I filled the mold with resin).
Step 4: Mixing Up the Resin...
Now I busted out my supply of Polyurethane Resin. I really like Smoothcast 325. You can buy it here. I mixed a little black pigment in there for good measure. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions.
Step 5: Pour the Resin...
I covered the surrounding area with towels and newspaper. It would be a major problem if I spilled resin on my wife's van. I kept a roll of paper towels around just in case. Next, I poured the resin into the mold.
Step 6: Remove the New Mount...
I waited until the resin cured and yanked it off the dash. It didn't take too much force as the resin doesn't stick to the packing tape too well. At this point, I had an ugly blob of plastic.
Step 7: Start Sanding...
For this step, I used a table top belt sander. I just sanded right through the cardboard as it was well stuck to the resin. After that, I shaped the hunk of resin into its final form. To match the rest of the dash, I went for a smooth rounded look. I was careful not to sand the bottom of the mount to ensure that it would fit perfectly with the original shape of the dash (that's why I casted it in place).
Step 8: Hit It With a Little Paint
After sanding, the resin has a dull look to it. To give it a nice glossy finish, I used some black spray paint (I prefer Rustoleum for Plastic).
Step 9: Cleaning and Mounting
For mounting, I used 3M heavy duty double sided tape. They claim it can hold 5lbs per sq inch. The trick to getting a good bond is making sure everything is clean. To do this, I rubbed everything down with isopropyl alcohol. Then I cut a few pieces of tape and positioned them on the mount.
Step 10: Final Mounting
I pressed the mount onto the dash and was ready to mount the GPS bracket. It uses a suction cup that sticks nicely to the flat surface I created. Voila!
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