|04-09-2007, 07:29 AM||#1|
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: the americas
fiberglass fabricating ?'s
i would like to give the fiberglass fabricating skill a try. im very artistic and very good with my hands. does any one know of a good step by step website for such a skill. i dont meen fixing a whole in a fearing,,,,,but i wanna actually create a feiring.
i know where im going, i just dont know how to get there
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|04-09-2007, 07:44 AM||#2|
Joined: Aug 2006
I think you need to make a foam mold of some type to support the fiberglass. Perhaps some of that insulation foam in a can or hi density seat foam, then you could carve it with an electic felet knife.
Just my thoughts as I have never done any glass work, but did tour a fibergalss cap factory once and paid some attention to the molding process. Sounds like a big job your looking at considering having to install the mounting brackets and such.
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|04-09-2007, 09:12 AM||#3|
Old Enough To Know Better
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Merritt Island, FL
I just fashioned a retro Euro style race seat with the bullet taper at the rear. Despite a trusted neighbor assuring me that the spraycans of insulation foam held up under the polyester resin while he was redecking his boat, several spots in my carved foam mold melted and sunk in. Net result was that I had to add lots of lightweight filler in places and use more layers of cloth in places to get it fair and strong and now it weighs about what a modern stock seat weighs.
The moral of the story is if using carved foam as a "plug" to build directly over or to create a mold, either protect it from the resin or make sure to use a foam that isn't affected by it.
Other tips I've learned from working in a boat factory for a few years - always wear a respirator and protect your skin when cutting or grinding glass; always wear eye protection and gloves when working with liquid catalysts like MKE Peroxide(if it burns your skin it will eventually heal but if it hits your eye you will probably lose vision in it); work in a well ventilated space; and watch for fires to break out in containers of catalyzed resin after you throw the excess in the trash.
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|04-09-2007, 09:57 AM||#4|
Joined: Oct 2006
hey, i went to art school... which is usually pretty meaningless... but i'm kind of a moldmaking expert... and my wife happens to work for a company that makes all sorts of rubber and plastic. shoot me an email if you want here:
and i'll give you my phone number and talk you through the process if you want. thanks,
|04-09-2007, 09:25 PM||#5|
Hello? Is this thing on?
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Eastern PA
There is a little overview of the process of making a fairing in this thread on my Dakar http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=197573
I learned in a custom fabrication shop for race cars many years ago and have made odd one-off parts for aircraft and cars as a sideline since. Feel free to PM me with any questions you have.
"Mostly the animals understand their roles, but man, by comparison, seems troubled by a message that he cannot quite remember or has gotten wrong. Bereft of instinct, he must search continually for meanings." Loren Eiseley
|04-09-2007, 09:49 PM||#6|
Joined: May 2005
Location: San Diego, not Mex, but I can smell it from here.
Both System 3 and West system epoxy companies have nice
"how to" manuals. I prefer working with the epoxy resins. Just a tad more expensive but easier to handle in many ways. When done properly, much stronger.
One neat trick... if you need flat sheet material, use a big piece of glass, hit it with a mold release agent and lay up your Cloth/roving on that. I comes out as smooth as.... um... glass!
|04-10-2007, 11:39 AM||#7|
simple by nature
Joined: Jun 2003
Location: a small drinking village with a fishing problem
Ditto on epoxy vs. polyester - epoxy is far less toxic, you usually don't need respirators, etc. - but don't get it on ya or you could develop a nasty allergy - wear good rubber gloves and long sleeves! Epoxy won't eat foam like polyester, so I'd go with a foam substrate and epoxy/glass.
Check out the various release cloths too - they help you get a smooth surface to minimize your sanding - sanding fiberglass is the worst part of the process! Anything you can do to reduce this step is worthwhile.
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|04-10-2007, 11:52 AM||#8|
Joined: Jan 2003
Location: West Vancouver, BC
i'll give a third for epoxy over polyester. for average sized jobs it's not too much more expensive, and if you're vacuum bagging it allows you more time to get things right before it starts a cure.
i use west systems epoxy with all my carbon and kevlar layups with great success.
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|04-11-2007, 11:45 AM||#9|
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Wasilla Alaska
I've done a lot with the Westco epoxy resins over foam plugs- this is a nice way to make a one-off and if you really like it you can pull a mold from the finished product later. I use blue closed cell foam as a base (2" insulation panels) and lay it up in layers using water based contact cement. It is easily carved with a very sharp thin knife (I steal the kitchen knives) and smoothed with sandpaper. The largest drawback to this method is you end up spending a lot of time on the final smoothing and finishing, as you are building up to the outside or "seen" layer. Still, for a single piece, it's pretty easy and not too toxic. In the projects below I left the foam in place.
A plug, roughed out
Silly whale car made using the same process:
|04-20-2007, 04:01 PM||#10|
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: west coast, usa
for doing fairings, you might look at doing two part molds. create one half of the mold, using either wood [soft stuff like pine, balsa], once you've created that half, use a two part pour foam to create the negative half. if you do it properly, this will allow you to setup the cloth and resin, then clamp it all together to create a stronger fuse between cloth and resin. similar to vacuum bagging, but less parts and less costly than a complete bagging setup.
remember, polyester resin *eats* eps, xps, and really any *polystyrene type foam. epoxy can be used on most all foams, urethane, styrene...
if you want to get fancy, gel coat is a great way to go, but start small and then play more with finishing products.
a good sander/polisher will become one of your best friends.
get yourself some flexible hard plastic scrapers, and do lots of test batches. epoxy and polyester resin have different attitudes when laminating with cloth. most epoxy resin will "seep" into the fibers of the cloth, requiring less manual forcing to get the resin to saturate the cloth, whereas polyester needs more forcing.
also depends on which cloth you are using. volan cloth is different than s type which is different than e type cloth's. doing lots of tests [picking up a yard of fabric is cheap and you can buy most resins and hardeners/catalysts in small quantities to try it out, is the best you can do to find what works for you. each time you work with fiberglass you'll find a new trick, such as microwaving epoxy resin and hardeners before mixing, using certain additives to reduce "blushing" in the finished product, why you want to use a laminating resin over a finish resin....
also, i suggest learning to play with cavasil, balloons and other fillers. they will greatly expand your ability to mold and complete projects very fast.
*Always* use a good respirator, not just a dust mask, and every time you don't use eye protection is one greater chance to get your eyes messed up. Feel free to ask me any questions you have, i'll do my best to answer your questions.
|03-28-2008, 10:29 PM||#11|
I'm Mr. Crabtree
Joined: Feb 2006
I'm resurecting an old thread here, but I have a similar project going and would like to run this past those More versed in Fiberglassing techniques than I
I'd like to build myself some luggage like this-
that would bolt to the luggage rack. I Plan to Fiberglass over foam sheet for an easy one-off. Here's all the peices laid out to fit in a 4x8 panel-
Rather than spend hours and hours sanding a polishing I'm also considering getting it coated in bedliner after Im done. Tough AND waterproof .
Sounds like Epoxy resin is the way to go, But the Defender website listed has a bunch of dfferent cloth options. Any suggestions on woven vs mat or what weight I should get?
|03-28-2008, 10:38 PM||#14|
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Not home in Tijuana
start there. some of those are old and i don't guarantee that linky worky.
|03-29-2008, 01:06 AM||#15|
Preshrunk & Cottony
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: The only county in Illinois with no train tracks
With what you have designed, I would build it out of plywood instead of foam and then glass over that, it will be much stronger and lighter in weight.
Don't use mat, use woven and since I suggest doing it over ply it doesn't have to be as thick, which makes it much easier to fill and finish.
There is a company in St Petersburg Florida called Fiberglass Coatings, look them up and request a catalog that should help you figure out what you need.
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