With so much effort that goes into deciding on just the right set of wheels for your project car, the valve stem caps usually don’t get a second thought. To give your wheels some extra attitude, caarntedd and Mrballeng at Instructables shows us how to make your own bullet shell valve stem caps using spent casings and basic items found around the workshop like epoxy glue, files, and cleaners like a scotch brite pad and denatured alcohol.
Here are some highlights and tips for getting the best results.
Measuring & Cutting Your Shell
Depending on the length of your shell, you’ll have to trim some of the top off – .40-.45 caliber cases work best because you shouldn’t have to cut them but other shells of similar diameter will do if you cut the length to fit. When making your measurements be sure to look inside the shell and take into account the thickness of the base. Caarntedd noticed that his bases were thicker than he first anticipated. The easiest way to cut the shell is by using a basic hand-held pipe cutter that you can most likely get for less than $30 at your local hardware store.
Cleaning & Deburring the Shell
This is an important step to get the best fitment and proper adhesion of the cap inside the shell. Use a scotch brite pad to thoroughly clean out the inside of the shell or roll up a piece of sand paper into a tube, put it in the shell and twist it around to clean the inside surface. To wash out all the debris, use a non-residual cleaner like rubbing or denatured alcohol.
Gluing the Cap to the Shell
A great technique that caarntedd used for getting the best bond was to create a small hole in the middle of the head of plastic cap with a drill bit. That way when you press the cap down into the shell, some glue will also seep through the hole onto the inside surface of the cap so it’s bonded on both surfaces.
What better way to accent your wheels? Of course, you can just buy them but you’ve already made it this far, right?
Check out the step-by-step how-to with more photos: Bullet Shell Valve Caps by caarntedd
Photo credit: Mrballeng