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Old 08-11-2012, 03:18 PM
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Default Using other objects for prefabbed shapes

Many people think of fiberglass work as difficult, or think of housing insulation and the feeling of fiberglass in your skin and think it is too difficult to do.

Fraid' it aint true.

Here is one method for using something unrelated to get a uniform shape that can be carved to something useful.

One part of my cars re-design requires a uniform radius along the car over an extended length.
If I tried this by hand it would take forever to get right, and would end up with warps and generally look like crap even if I spent a month trying to "get it right"

So, I first tried a scrap piece of 4" PVC sewer tubing, which made a radius that was too small for this purpose, so I went with an 8" piece of street drain tubing instead.

How this is accomplished is using composite bagging film (like a thick saran wrap that resin wont stick to).

(1) You wrap the item you want to cast with the film. Make sure to get out any wrinkles.

(2) Apply a generous coat of catalyzed resin to the film

(3) lay the glass on the item your casting, and saturate the fiberglass heavily.

(4) once cured untape the film and slide it off the item you casted.

(5) now peel off the film

Here is the 8" tube I casted
Using other objects for prefabbed shapes-dsci0416.jpg

With the bagging film removed
Using other objects for prefabbed shapes-dsci0417.jpg

And now I have a perfect uniform radius I can use to cut into strips length wise. This will create about 8 or 9 feet of a uniform radius strips I can use on the car.
Using other objects for prefabbed shapes-dsci0418.jpg

These strips can be hot glued into position (hot glue doesn't melt with normal outdoor high temps, paint, or resin) Then I can add more fiberglass to the are to tie them in.

This can also be used as a way to ensure a corner on the car is uniform over a large distance. You could use this as a go-no go gauge of sorts to ensure your keeping things perfectly uniform along a corner or edge on the car.
There are many applications.

This is just one way of making parts. Its very simple to do, and takes more waiting for the resin to cure than it does skill.

Additionally, using the bagging film over the top of your repair, or patch will result in a near glass finish, this aids in saving time on those finishing details.

Last edited by ydeardorff; 08-11-2012 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:28 PM
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Location: Portland, TN
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Excellent stuff, Yaughn. Fiberglass is one of those things that seems like a black art to me. I'm not afraid of any metal fabrication (I'm a tool maker by trade), but composites are a different story. I've been reading and trying to learn. I'm just having a little apprehension with pulling the trigger. Maybe best if I start small with some test stuff first. This looks like a pretty good project to start with.
"Never trade what you want for what you want right now."
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:23 PM
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If your using the off the shelf polyester resin that you can nab from wal-mart, Check the directions but it usually is about 14 drops of the MEKP (small, clear liquid in a tube) to an once of resin.
Aside from having a 3 beam scale, the easiest way to measure fluid ounces is save your peanut butter, mayonnaise, and miracle whip containers. They have the container volume printed right on the label.
This makes estimating ounces much simpler. Then just keep your ratio of part A to part B per the directions and stir thoroughly.

From there you will have several minutes to paint on the resin depending on the ambient temperature. Hotter it will cure faster, colder, slower.

Once the resin has soaked into the fiberglass its just a matter of waiting for it to "kick" (harden).

Its a lot like playing with bondo, or other body fillers, only stronger, and more versatile.
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