Ply headliner gets real

On to the next stage…

Template testing time is just about over. Having checked and then double-checked with full-size templates to ensure all the shapes, curves and corners fit nicely, it’s time for the real thing. The flexible plywood that the headliner is going to be made from. Ordered enough to do the job, but no room for mistakes!

planning out the headliner design and dimensions
planning out the headliner design and dimensions

Big delivery day

Not often you get a big 1.500 m square 16 Kg package delivered to your doorstep! This is quite possibly the world’s worst/most boring unpacking video ever! lol However, in this instance, it was great to be moving on to the next stage of project headliner, and finally, get the actual material to be used. Any progress is good progress in my eyes!

Setting out the headliner

Now was the moment of truth. Setting out the overall dimensions for the shape of the double curvature ply cab headliner piece. Transferring my accurate digital plans and dimensions the old school way of pencil and ruler to the flexi plywood sheet.

marking out the headliner dimensions on the ply
marking out the headliner dimensions on the ply

The flexi ply for the cab headliner is very thin. 1.5 mm thin to be precise. Probably a bit too thin to cut with a saw without risking damaging it in the process. So decided to carefully and steadily cut it with a heavy-duty Stanley knife. Takes a few passes to get through, but it produces a nice clean edge once through.

headliner cut to shape from the ply
headliner cut to shape from the ply

The first cut is done

Taking my time and working my way around, the first cab headliner piece was done. Not quite a champagne popping moment just yet. This still needed a final in situ check. It’s one thing testing out a template in Proplex plastic sheet fitting nicely. It’s another thing with the actual sheet of flexible ply!

first cab headliner test piece in ply ready for checking
first cab headliner test piece in ply ready for checking

Realistically this was the very final test template unless I’ve got something drastically wrong! Flexible plywood handles and flexes differently to the Proplex plastic sheet, so just wanted to double-check the fit of everything before making the next one. Any excuse to take the bus out for a quick run and do some more headliner testing.

headliner test space location with a view
headliner test space location with a view

Cab ply headliner test fitting

Straight from the initial cutting, the ply headliner piece for the cab area fitted nicely. I was pretty pleased with this. However, I can be a bit of a perfectionist (OCD) when it comes to things like this. There were a couple of tiny areas (that for me at least!), could be improved just a touch. It would annoy me if I didn’t make the changes, as they would be easy to do, so off to make a couple of slight refinements…

first trial fit of the cab area ply headliner
first trial fit of the cab area ply headliner

Bespoke ply headliner fitment

Fortunately, by just altering a couple of dimensions a little and removing small key areas, that should sort things out nicely. Literally removing a few mm can make all the difference between a good and a great fit.

small final refinements to ensure a perfect fit
small final refinements to ensure a perfect fit

I made the small changes incrementally just to be sure. You can always remove more, you can’t stick things back on! A couple of incremental changes later and I think we’re there…

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