Making gaskets

texasSlick

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UPDATE: Oct 19, 2013

Thanks to all for the contributions, I have summarized these tips and tricks in a new post below.

Slick

Has anybody found a good way to transfer the hole pattern to gasket paper? For example: a part like the outer transmission cover is easily traced laying it flat over the paper, transfering the inner profile is somewhat of a guesswork, but do-able, but getting the holes is problematic. I have used close-fitting drill bits to lightly tap an impression where center should be, but aligning the punch on center becomes guesswork. I'm thinking there must be a coating one could apply to the part, make the transfer, then wipe off without affecting the gasket. Any help?
 
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Engineer's blue? Ok here's a CRAZY idea! Some photocopiers can handle heavier stock through the manual feed tray! :shock:
 
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If you use an engineers ball pein hammer (thats the one with the half-hemisphere on the back of it), you can tap over the holes - and it will not only mark the holes on the paper for you, if you work carefully it will cut the holes for you. A smaller type of hammer may help here. And if you work carefully around the larger edges, with thicker gasket paper, you can use the plain face of the hammer to cut out the whole gasket - no need to draw it all, just make it !? If you put bolts in the holes as you cut them out, it keeps the whole gasket located so it stays true. Don't be too rough here, or you will mark the sharp edges of the castings, it has to be gentle taps... Hopethishelps.
 

texasSlick

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Adrian1 said:
Engineer's blue? Ok here's a CRAZY idea! Some photocopiers can handle heavier stock through the manual feed tray! :shock:
Not so crazy! I Think you are suggesting to run the gasket paper through the copier, which might work, and if it does, would be as slick as chicken guts on a brass doorknob. I intend to give that a try. Getting the curl out of the gasket paper may be the hardest part.

Keeping it simple, I made a copy of the part, using plain paper. The copier made a faithful 100% copy, which can be laid over the gasket paper, then the holes punched through both papers.

Thanks!
 
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We forgot to ask what you are making gaskets for ?
Most common stuff is available for purchase these days, relatively inexpensively.
 

texasSlick

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Rohan said:
We forgot to ask what you are making gaskets for ?
Most common stuff is available for purchase these days, relatively inexpensively.
very true! sometimes you want a gasket now, not by mail order, and paying $12 shipping for a $1.49 gasket irks me.the real crux of the issue is this....way back in the 60's & 70's, I found USA made gasket paper to be superior to that of the gaskets from my local Norton dealer ( no offense to our British friends out there), and I have been making my own since. I am sure modern synthetics may have superseded my knowledge on this, but who knows what you are getting when you order on-line? I suppose store boughts could be used for a pattern....that would solve my problem of hole location.

thanks for the ball peen hammer tip....I have used that method, but the gasket shifts, try as I might to prevent it, more than I am comfortable with. the next best technique I have found is to place the rough cut gasket profile on the part, then tap the screws to make an impression...these impressions are not as sharp as the ball hammer, and may not be perfectly on center due to the clearances between the screws and part.

Adrian's photocopy trick produced a perfect template, at least on my copier. I can't wait to see if I can print directly on gasket paper, but that will have to wait 5 or 6 weeks, as I am heading out on the road for business.

cheers!
 
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For smaller stuff I've used an ink pad intended for rubber stamps, works well
 

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I use a ball-peen hammer. Just trace the outside and then turn it over and tap or rub the inner line just hard enough to dent it with the hammer. (The hammer is rubbing or tapping on the gasket material.) For the hole position I just press the rounded end of the hammer into the hole so that the casting makes a mark on the paper. You can also punch one hole or two holes first and slide bolts in to help everything else stay lined up while you finish marking. I've had plenty of people tell me that this is a Neanderthal method but I never damage the cover or casting.
 
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I have been making my own gaskets for over 30 years now I use the bearng blue to trace the gasket and what I have used for punching a perfect hole is I use a old dart the ones you use to throw at dart boards with out the top half, with the gasket laying on the case push the dart point throught the centre of the hole, give the dart a few light hits with a hammer and a perfect hole, put a bolt or screw in that hole then go to the next one that needs punching out, I also have hole punches but fine the old dart trick works best, I still use gasket kits but sometimes find some gaskets don't fit or you need to make a gasket, I have a selection of diffrent thickness rolles of gasket paper as well I enjoy making them.

Ashley
 
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Ah yes, the old "throwing dart to make a hole in the gasket paper trick".........(that was my best Get Smart impression )......anyway nice tip ashman. I've made gaskets out cereal box cartons in a pinch,,,,,lasted pretty good...... I used a hole punch from a leather working tool set that I had, but the dart trick seems like a one size fits all kinda deal. Cj
 
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The trick I've used for the last 40 odd years for making holes in gaskets is ball bearings. I have welded several different size balls to 1/4" sq. stock and with the gasket on whatever you are making the gasket for gently tap the ball (larger than the hole dia.) into the hole. After a few taps you will have a nice neat hole exactly the right size.
 
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Works the same as the old dart trick and no need to weld anything, my friend has the ball bearing tools in his collection of tools.

Ashley
 
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When I need to make a gasket, I'll smear grease on the part and transfer the shape to a piece of heavy paper. Once this is properly cut out and checked for fit, I've got a pattern to make a gasket. To punch the holes, I usually tap a small socket through the gasket material (I've got as small as 5/32" and 4mm).

I've used the ball peen hammer trick, but I don't like to subject these old aluminum parts to that kind of shock.
 

texasSlick

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Adrian1 said:
Any update Texas.
Coming soon, Adrian.....just got home from 5 weeks on the road. took one whole day just to go thru the snail mail on my desk!
 
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I use empty Brass from a gun range and a hammer to make round holes in gasket material, works great and the price is right.

Vince
 

texasSlick

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UPDATE: Oct 19, 2013

Thanks to all who made contributions.

I have tried all the methods and tips, and results are summarized here.

As with many things in life, one tool or technique does not "fit all", but these tips and tricks can be kept in your "mental toolbox" and the right one pulled out when needed.

I've addressed these tips in the order they were posted.

Adrian's 'engineer blue'....did not have any available, one tip I did not try.

Adrian's photocopier.....I was able to print directly onto .012 inch gasket paper. My copier had no trouble handling it. I had first verified that my copier made true sized reproductions. I made a copy of the gearbox cover, first on plain paper to verify that I had it placed on the glass in the right place, then on the gasket paper. Make a plain paper copy if the copy machine cannot handle the stock, and use this copy as a template. This is the way to do it if you can get the part on the glass!
Disadvantages: Basically single use for the gasket paper....after cutting out a gasket, re-running the gasket paper thru again is inviting a paper jam. Besides, the copier prints black anywhere the light is not reflected back to the scanning head....the unused gasket, including drop-out, becomes black (or dark). If you want to take the trouble, you could use the part as a template and cut a hole in paper to make a "white mask" to surround the part.

Rohan, Motorson and Biland: Ball peen hammer or ball bearings. Simply pressing a near-sized ball into the gasket paper while placed on the part, gives a very sharp impression. I could not cut the hole as was suggested (did not want to beat too hard), but a good impression was all I asked for.

Bluto's inkpad: I made an impression of the oil inlet block (that mounts to the timing case). Here is an example of why more than one tool in the box is necessary....I did not want to remove all the oil lines to put the block on the copier glass, but could easily spring out the block far enough to get the pad to coat the part. At first, I did not get much ink to transfer, then I re-inked the pad, and got too much ink, blob-ing up the gasket paper so much the hole definitions were blurry. After 3 trys, wasting gasket paper, I took BillT's hint to transfer the image to plain paper.
BillT suggested using grease, but Bluto's ink was cleaner, and after 6 or 8 tries, I got just the right amount of ink to get a sharp definition of the holes and part outline on plain paper, then used it as a template.

Triton Thrasher' s dirty thumb: This is the technique I was trying to improve upon...I know you had your tongue in cheek, TT, when you wrote that.

Ashman's dart: I found the dart to be very helpful for the odd sized hole for which I had no bearing. As with the bearings, I could not get my dart to cut the hole. It does produce a definite impression, but in my case, I had a "shotshell" wad of gasket paper to cut away. The dart wants to shift the paper, so it helps to tape the gasket to the part with painter's tape while making the impressions.

Splatt's maun wad punch. ...do not know what that is....

BillT' grease on paper: discussed above.

Unclviny cartridge brass for punches: ..a poor man's punch set. It works, but case mouth tends to crush after a few holes. I placed a 1/4 inch mat of hard neopreme behind the gasket to back up the punch...this helped to protect the case mouth (good to do this with any punch). Need I warn anybody not to use a case with a hot primer? Avid reloaders, like me, are as reluctant to beat up cartridge brass any more than vintage MC parts.

I have always had trouble getting my punch concentric with my hole. I found a technique to solve that problem. With a draftsmans circle guide, draw a circle around the hole impression large enough to see the line with the proper sized punch in place. Shift the punch until you have concentricity with the drawn line.

Thanks again to all, and I hope this helps.

Slick
 
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