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I'm interested in trying to fabricate some of my own fiberglass parts. Anybody have any experience and/or tips on this? I think I have the basics down ( I read the directions!)
 

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its great fun limited only by your creativity

i ve posted before but glady again.

here are my tips

dont use bondo brand. too expensive and not as good as others.

shop at a boat supply house. should be relatively easy to find in south carolina. spend the time and talk to the guys.

use a variety of rollers and stiff brushes to ensure absolutely no bubbles.

mix resin in small batches and follow instructions. dont go off thinking you know more than the lab rats. the catylizing action depends greatly on the mix. add too much and you ll build up so much heat you ll burn stuff and crack the work piece. not enough and itll takes weeks if ever to cure.

i bought a cheap GLASS measuring cup from wall mart.

i had right about 7 minutes from mix to time the remaining resin was gelled and junk. so unless your real fast work with a small amount.

cut up your strips ahead of time. if ya got 7 minutes, let all those minutes be actually laying resin, not prep you coulda done earlier.

rubber gloves and old clothes.

a vapor respirator with filter replaced every 8 hours. no dust particulate masks here (this is biggest tip of all)

laquer thinner and keresene and such. nothing will really clean well but this stuffs better than water.

make sure to use some kind of form. finerglass depends on a structural form. it could be panel wood, ply wood, cotton/denim cloth, screen, chicken wire, card board, ect. structural rigidity is key.

use liberal amounts of a good release wax on potential mold pieces.

a good finishing glazing putty can give show quality work if thats what your looking for.

make sure to take pictures and notes.

i absolutely tell you to wear a damn mask. i thought i was he man and coud "hold my breath" bull shiat. my lungs still aint quite the same.

any more questions DI?
 

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those tips helped me too...thanks guys.
 

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OK if you are gonna try and make unique parts, you have a couple of options. You can create a mold, or you can make the part with wood and then seal it in fiberglass.

To make a mold you'll need to mock up the part you want. In the custom body business, a part such as a hood is first carved out of dense foam. When the shape is satisfactory, the mold is made using the mock up foam part. You can make the mold out of fiberglass. So long as the resin doesn't melt the foam mock up part, you can lay on several layers of fiberglass and then peel out the foam mock up part. You clean up the mold and then brush on some wax or other release agent so that any fiberglass you pour into your mold won't stick to the mold. You then lay down several layers of 'glass in the mold, one layer at a time, being careful not to wipe off any of the release agent. You need to work out all the bubbles for the maximum amount of strength. Once you are done, you should be able to remove the finished part. Sand it or prep it, you are done.

You can also just make a rough part out of wood. Then once finished you can cover the wood part in a few layers of 'glass. Sand it to shape, and you are done.

Semper Fi.

Ed
 
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