We’ve all been here…

Upon dismantling a component we found the gasket was virtually disintegrated and a replacement was unavailable.  Not an uncommon problem when working with old tractors.

How to make a new one…

Jonathan has written in to describe a method which may be useful.

The problem is getting a good pattern to work from, so he removed the component and put it onto a computer scanner, scanned and printed it.

He cut it out and pasted onto the gasket material, then cut out a perfect gasket.

Another method…

The above method is great if the component will fit onto a scanner, but what if it is a large piece such as a sump gasket?

You can lay the new gasket paper onto the component and then gently hammer with the ball pein end of the hammer around the bolt holes to cut holes, placing bolts in to hold the paper in place.

Next you can go around the inner and outer edges with the ball pein and slowly cut the paper off in the correct place.

This method will depend on the component surface been a sufficiently hard material so as not to damage it.

If you have the old gasket…

Then in this case you can just lay the old gasket on top of the new gasket material and draw around it.

Or another method…

Another way to make a gasket is to smear grease or something similar on the component that needs the gasket, then press the component firmly onto the gasket material.  This will produce the outline shape of the needed gasket, including the bolt hole locations which can then be cut out neatly.

And another…

This information was sent in by Gordon who had to manufacture a head gasket.

It was for an old Yanmar 330D I could not procure a gasket for, I cut two gaskets out of Copper plate.
Firstly I measured the thickness and procured “off cuts” large enough to have sufficient outside wastage to drill a dozen screw holes holding the plates down onto a stout plank with a support screwed under the plank small and stout enough to clamp into the jaws of a mill vise.
Then carefully trace out, from the old laminated gasket, the shape of all holes and triple check the marking.
Using a large hole saw I carefully cut out the cylinder ports to about 4mm shy of the required size. Using a friends mill, and a home made volupter, I trimmed the holes to within 0.5mm of the required size. This cut through both sheets of copper plate at the same time.  Using the cylinder holes, and large washers, the copper plates where again pinned down to the stout support board.
The water circulating holes and pushrod holes were then cut by various hole saws and drill bits
Only once all holes had been confirmed as acceptably placed and sized, did I trim the outside edge.
Most importantly, I heated each of the gaskets to cherry red hot to soften and anneal the copper.
With the cylinder holes marginally smaller than the original and the pistons clearing them nicely the compression was possibly slightly enhanced, good for an old engine…..
After about two years, she still starts promptly. And now I have a spare!