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Ok, some of us Mustang lovers also have other hobbies that we like to advertise. In fact most automotive enthusiast do. One of my other loves (and apparently other individuals too) is firearms. We have all seen spent shell casings used for all types of accents for autos, probably the most common is the valve stem cap. But there are a ton of other places you can use spent shell casings as an accents on you auto. To make high quality accents, you only need a few common tools, some high quality adhesive, some shell casings, and an imagination!
Now you can buy a lot of shell casing accents, but if you have access to the before mentioned items you can do it yourself for less, make higher quality items, make many that are not offered on the market, and customize them to fit your own theme. Here is a list of just a few ideas I had to use spent shell casings as accents:
• Tire valve stem covers
• Door lock knobs
• Automatic transmission buttons
• Cigarette lighter knob
• Turn signal indicator (endcap)
• Climate control knobs
• Glove box latch
• Power seat controls
• Manual seat knob
• Lug nut covers
• Hazard light switch knob
• Bolt head covers (license plate cover bolts)
I have constructed a few of these shell casing accents for my 1969 Mustang Coupe and thought I would share with the group. I will address a few things that you might need and then walk you through one of my projects.
Materials and Tools
Now let’s start with the spent shell cases themselves. First, I suggest only using brass or nickel plated brass only. Steel and aluminum can be used, but I don’t care for either of these two. Second, clean the brass inside and out! You can leave the spent primers in if you want, or replace them with new ones (don’t worry, with a little shot of oil you can render the primer inert). Third, polish the cases to a nice shine.
Which size of case to use depends on what you plan to make from them. All I can say about this is get yourself a large selection of cases to choose from and play around until you find one that will fit your project idea. I have found that smaller pistol cases (9mm, .380 auto, etc.) work well for valve stem covers, and a .32 auto works well for a slim and trim door lock pull. So get yourself a selection to work with; event shotgun shell bases have uses!
Another question is where to find a variety of different sized cases. Some of us re-load, and have family that re-load, and friends that re-load, and coworkers that re-load; re-loaders pick up brass. So I have a large selection to choose from. If you don’t re-load, you probably know someone who does; so ask them to help you. You could also just go to the range and pick up spent casings. At a popular range you can find a large variety of different sized cases to work with. If you are really desperate, you can buy them, but this will increase the cost of your project(s).
Here is a selection of various sizes of spent shell casings. Ok, the shotgun shells are not spent, but I will change that in the near future!
Now that we have a variety of clean and polished cases, we are ready to make some projects. As I mentioned earlier, you will need a few common tools and a good adhesive.
For the adhesive, I utilize a two part epoxy. JB Weld is my favorite for these and many other projects. It comes in a variety of versions, you mix only what you need, it cures quickly, and holds well.
The tools I have utilized for the few projects so far are as follows:
Last edited by hydrantwrench (4/23/2017 2:32 PM)
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