How to Cut Your Own Gaskets

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Stanton
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How to Cut Your Own Gaskets

Postby Stanton » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:26 am

I've suggested cutting your own gaskets on here many times. It's really simply and fast. There are still plenty of people here who tap out their gaskets, which is fine, but the draftsman in me seems to like drawing/tracing them out first, then cutting them. So, for the large number of people who run into a wall (so to speak), stopping you from proceeding on an install because you think you need to order a gasket and wait on it 'til it arrives, this is for you.

You'll need:
  • Gasket material. Either gray fiber or cork. Buy at any auto parts store; comes in a roll; usually 1/16" thick.
  • Hole punches. Found mine at Harbor Freight.
  • Hammer.
  • X-Acto knife. Walmart or any craft store.
  • Fine, black pen.
  • Straight edge.

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Here's a couple items that typically need gaskets. Oil pan and valve cover.

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I'm using cork gasket material.

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Line up the pan over the cork and trace the outline and bolt holes.

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Measure the width of the pan lip and mark that on the cork, drawing a line around what will be the inside edge of the gasket.

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In this case, mine is about 13/16" wide.

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You can see the outline of the pan on the cork. Next comes the hole punching. The bolts are 5/16" so that's the hole punch size to use.

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Do you know how hard it is to hold this position and take a pic at the same time?

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After the holes are punched, cut it out with an X-Acto and straight edge. Notice that I used a hole punch to put a radius (curved) inside corner on all the corners.

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The scrap piece from the oil pan is big enough to get a valve cover gasket.

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Same procedure. Trace. Punch. Cut.

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Finished.


In less than 15 minutes, I now have new gaskets with some cork left over for future gaskets and can proceed on my project without waiting on overpriced gaskets to arrive.
Stanton
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Clemsonfor
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Re: How to Cut Your Own Gaskets

Postby Clemsonfor » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:34 am

Good work. I ordered some punches and gasket material to make some as well. Just need to pull parts and make time to get them made.

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Dale Finch
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Re: How to Cut Your Own Gaskets

Postby Dale Finch » Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:06 am

Good HOW TO...hope this gets filed away!

When I was doing my first restoration, and needed some gaskets, I had some of those cheap, thin flexible cutting boards that I cut like you just showed, and made an entire set of patterns...oil pans, finals, distributor, etc. Now when I need a gasket, I can just pull out the correct pattern and make it.

One thing you did I would like to emphasize...when the gasket has bolt holes, do those BEFORE you cut out the gasket!!! I learned that the hard way when the spindly narrow gasket kept curling up and I need a 3rd hand to hold it down!! :lol:

Another tip, a leftover piece of that cutting board material on top of the board when punching those holes, makes a quicker, easier, cleaner cut than only using wood.

Finally, I was smacking my forehead :headbang after you suggested using the punch for the inside corners...DUH!! So obvious when pointed out! Thanks!
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Clemsonfor
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Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:14 pm
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Yanmar YM186 (non running)
1952 Farmall Cub
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Location: Greenwood County SC

Re: How to Cut Your Own Gaskets

Postby Clemsonfor » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:00 pm

Another suggestion that someone had in a thread earlier this summer was to use spent brass from bullets for free punches. Find a few common ones for common sizes. That's a great idea.


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