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TOM: Making a floor shifter boot

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Our prized tip comes from Lorne Salm, who sent in a way-cool technique for making a realistic shifter boot for a floor shifter.  Small details such as this, go a long way in bringing a model to life. Lorne sent a photo of his results and I have to say his shifter boot looks terrific, and, it’s a relatively easy way to add a nice finishing touch to your interior. Here’s how he did it:

First, mark the location on the floor or console where the shifter will be installed. Next, drill a small pilot
hole in the center of that location.

Determine how much room you want around the shifter and enlarge the pilot hole with a corresponding bit. If you want a square, oval or rectangular opening for the shifter, shape the hole with a small file. Now comes the cool stuff.

Go to your hardware or automotive store and buy ultra-thin latex rubber gloves, which come in an awesome flat black. Cut out a small section of the glove, making sure the piece you cut is larger than the shifter hole. Using a straight pin, make a hole in the center of that piece and carefully pull your shifter handle through the hole. Next, pull the shifter and its handle up through the hole in the model’s floor, going from the bottom up into the passenger compartment, and allow the rubber to fall naturally for that proper wrinkled look. Glue the shifter and the rubber in place from the bottom and trim as necessary. You also can use a photo-etched part or a few pieces of painted styrene to create a hold-down plate around the shifter.

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