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Hagerty Employee

Different ways to make your own gasket from scratch | DIY | Hagerty Media

There are multiple levels of garage DIYer, and the first level-up for many enthusiasts is fabrication. Once someone graduates from the game of simply buying and installing parts to making their own, a whole world opens. Fabrication seems like magic-and at times it comes close-but a great entry point is cutting gaskets.

I've made tons of gaskets, carburetor gaskets, you name it, All it takes is a set of punches for holes, also to create a place to start a cutout, you punch on a piece of pine wood, END grain only, this works by far the best.
I never 'hammer' out gaskets, I trace outlines with a sharp pencil, cut exterior with a sharp scissors, cut inside cuts with a sharp circle shear, I cut intricate exterior of gaskets with the circle shear where needed,
Hammering parts to cut gaskets can damage parts' edges, I just don't do it, I hate sloppy ragged edge gaskets. I want them neat and clean cut, done right they can rival any you might buy.
It pays to keep 1/64th, 1/32nd and even thicker material on hand, also rubberized cork and natural cork, can really save time and trouble when a surprise rears it's ugly head ... and I hate surprises. Cut well guys, just do it.
Intermediate Driver

I once purchased a set of hard to find NOS foam rubber tail light lens gaskets for an old British car.  They were decades old, and absolutely worthless because the foam had deteriorated to the point of crumbling into fragments just by handling them.  I tried duplicating them using a modern urethane foam (and the techniques described in the article), and that sort of worked, but in the end they were just a poor design with significant shortcomings.  Then I was struck with an aha moment:  what about 3D printing?  I have printed many custom plastic car parts in recent years, so why not gaskets?  I designed an improved configuration with a raised lip around the edge to keep it positioned correctly on the lens (an advantage of a 3D gasket as opposed to a flat one), and printed it in a soft rubberlike urethane material.  The result looked and performed far better that the original.

For making flat gaskets, another option is one of those cutting machines like a Cricut Maker.  Looks sort of like an inkjet printer, and cuts thin sheet materials with great speed and precision using a computer generated pattern.  You can also cut vinyl graphics with it.

Computers and their associated peripherals have become a fundamental part of many hobbies in recent years, and the old car hobby should be no exception!