DIY fiberglass parts

Discussion in 'Spare Parts, Tools & Product Developement' started by machiasmort, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    I wanted to do a little better of a job putting this together but am pressed for time. Thank BlueGoatWoods for picking my mind enough to realize info on this subject is hard to come accross. Please add to it if you know more or have a better technique. Mine comes from experience not hearsay.

    Imagine BGW's rear rack pannier design with mat and resin custome (hardside bags)! See his post!

    As far as mat and resin go, If you ever dealt w/bondo, it's runnier. The mat keeps the resin ridged and hard to break. It re-enforces the mixture. Can be had at HD, if you find it cheaper, please let me know! It's a little pricey but works well! I just searched their web site and came up blank, I'll do some more looking! I've been wanting to turn you guy's loose on the site with some. I can only imagine what will transpire! HEHEHE!
    decent deal? You want to use mat and resin (with a hardener) not the automotive re-enforced body filler but actual fg mat (not the cloth) because it's stonger.
    (gives basic idea)

    I can't believe this but I've been searching for hrs and no good tutorials on this stuff. I can see why nobody here is using it. This WILL revolutionize our hobby!!!

    Make your plug (mold), inorder to speed things up, I use tinfoil to cover the mold, being careful to press the wrinkles out very smoothly. Anywhere not covered on the mold in tin is subject to have this nasty stuff stick to the mold itself. Mix your resin with hardener and coat the tinfoil with the now catalized resin. Lay down your mat ontop of the generous coat of resin and work into resin the mat by putting another good coat of catalized resin on top. Your making a mat sandwich out of the resin. Make sure in appying the CR over the mat that you work out air bubbles and that the mat has absorbed the resin. The stuff can dry pretty quick so work dillegently. Use a 99c paint brush for applying the resin because it will not be used again once it hardens. Accept maybe for a back scratcher?

    Wait for it to dry and pull your molded part from you plug. You can sand any parts that the tinfoil sticks too. Careful, it is fiberglass, wear a mask. You can use just about anything for a plug so long as it's rigid enough to work the glass over. Iv'e used cardboard, sculpted spary foam ect! LOL have fun boy's!!! Iv'e created a monster! There goes the forum!

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Thanks, machiasmort. Between your post and the link to the tutorial, I've at least got some idea of what's involved.

    Something to spend a little time thinking about.........

    ..........maybe some fender skirts and other body parts?
  3. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    You could make whatever you want man! The stuf is awsome but a little pricey. Try a local Auto parts or Marine store. I've got to try and find some cheaper.

    You won't find my tinfoil trick on the web anywhere! LOL! Screw special waxes and clays! I can see this being a real blast. I just read a post where some guy's were talking about making a gas tank.
  4. scottyo

    scottyo Member

    Got a question under this topic: Im planning on making a mold of this old gas tank I got and using it to replicate copies of the tank that will fit around a basic tear drop tank that every kit comes with. It seems like the tutorial describes a straight edged mold/finished product, but my tank has 3 dimensional curves and angles. How do I correctly copy those into a mold?

    I was thinking some sort clay mold of the tank or can I build a box that fits around the tank and just fiberglass a mold and then cure and coat it with a gel coat?
  5. fasteddy

    fasteddy Member

    Scottyo--I worked in the fiberglass industry years ago. I mentioned to Machiasmort yesterday in the theads.Forgotten which one.

    Now if you are going to make a lot of these you will need an industrial mold. This requires special gel coat and a special resin to withstand the repeated heating and cooling of the parts being made. This is called tooling gel coat and resin. Not inexpensive
    to buy. Price a mould at a fiberglass shop. Cheaper in the long run.

    OK. Now you still want to do it your self. Here is what you need in a nut shell.

    Commpressor. At least 2hp/13gal tank. For once bigger is better.

    Make sure the tank is perfect. What the tank is is what your mold is. Sand and paint it if you need too.
    Wax it with mold release wax. Don't use anything else! Wax it at least 6 times.

    Cup gun. This is used to spray the gelcoat on the tank and in the mould. It is a plastic or aluminum handle/face plate. You mix the gelcoat {coloured resin} usually black with the hardner in a large soft drink cup put the face plate on the cup opening and a spring holds it in place. Tip it up and spray a good coat on the tank. Wash out the gun! When it sets up its too late.

    When it has dried you can now put ONE layer of mat on the tank. Get a 1in roller to roll it out.This looks like a bunch of nylon washers side by side with a space in between.
    This is called the skin coat and must be tight against the gelcoat. This is your foundation. Trim the excess with a razor knife when it is leathery. Leave a little extra so you can sand it to size. Make sure you put your roller in solvent when you finish.

    The skin coat is now hard or gone off.Take 60 grit sand paper on a block and sand well. Wear gloves. Any little hairs sticking up will prevent the next layer from sitting down and will have to be sanded before you continue. Really fun when the suface is wet with resin. Blow the sanding dust off really well.

    Figure 8 layers.Repeat the above every time.

    Take 1/8-1/4in rubber tubing {window washer hose} and place it side to side and front to back. Don't put it over itself. Put a layer or two of mat over it, one at a time. This will keep the mold from moving/warping.Mix the resin with a little less hardner so the reinforceing tubing doesn't cause the mold to pull up where the tubing is. Called print through. Work the mat down around the tube with a brush.

    This is done with the tank right side up.
    Pop the mold off and do the same to the under side of the tank if you are going to use it. Plan how you are going to bond the 2 halves.

    When you are making the parts.

    Wax the mold before you use it. Six or eight times will be enough. Wax every 3/4 tanks. Nothing like having the part/mold stick together. There are special waxes for mold release.

    Use white gelcoat when you make the tanks. It shows up against the black so you know you have good coverage. You will need epoxy resin. It is gasoline resistant. Check with your supplier. Tell them what you are making.

    Now you glass the tank in the opposite but 3/4 coats should be enough. Buy lots of cheap brushes 2-3in.

    One last thought is you will have to cut the filler off the tank you are using and fill it in unless the Gods smile on you and they line up.

    If your tank goes staight down on the sides, you are ok. If for some reason the sides tuck in under you may need to make a two part mold.

    PM me if you have questions.

  6. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    For the tank thread! Don't care if you guy's want to discuss it here but the other one is growing pretty good and attracting alot of attention! One thing I learned, although FE might be the absolute best FG worker on this board, it's always good to get different spins! My Grandfather told me the wise man is the quiet one who listens! You could learn from a 5 year old if you take time to listen.

    By the way FE that was a great explanation. If one of you guy's get a chance, put this link over in the other for tanks (for our brothers to see) if not I'll do so when I get time. Got to run, thanks guy's.
  7. fasteddy

    fasteddy Member

    machiasmort-- Thanks. After I typed that out I realized we were in the zone and only the select few would see it.
    Please if it helps put it on the tank threads. I can't add much about the motor parts,but fiberglass I have an old but working knowledge.
    I'm also sure there are people who are on here who have a lot more and current knowledge of the new materials.

    If I can I'll try and get up to our local fiberglass supplier and see what they recommend.
    There are killer new products that I don't know about.
    Everyone has a spin on how they did it and if enough put it in print we should have some killer tanks to show off.

  8. Chris Crew

    Chris Crew Member

    other sources of fg materials

    As the original cheap *******'s cheap *******, I am always looking around for materials. Think about the way technology develops---lots and lots of what have around us in the post industrial age found its way to us from wars, trips to the moon, things like that.

    Think about duck tape. Developed during WWII for closing new fangled plastic sheeting around weapons for amphibious landings---seals up tighter 'n a duck's a##. I first encountered it as a kid under the house my family was restoring. A summer task for me when I was 13 and the first "fuel crisis" was upon us led the old man to acquire a bunch of nasty, scratchy, foil backed insulation for my brother and I to wrap around all of the metal ductwork. We stuck it on with ducT tape. Seems like the stuff was $6-8 bucks a roll back then---now it's cheap and ubiquitous. My daughter used to make wallets out of it and actually sell them.

    Rule 1) anything called "marine" is going to cost you 35% more
    Rule 2) most things were something else before, or will be used for something else afterward--modern R&D is not quite like the days of "I need a widget to make clothes washing easier, what can I make. These days, things I see lead me to believe there is a whole lot of "hey Billy, look what I made . . .what can we market it as?"
    Rule 3) spend some time in a real hardware store with open bins of stuff---feast your eyes, pick things up and turn them over, stick your fingers (careful!) in the holes. It is amazing how many intake manifold extenders, flexible exhaust pipes, headlamps, tail lights, brackets, binders, clips, rods, . . .you can find.

    Back to your basic supply question. You can get your FG supplies at a boat store, you can get some smaller pieces of cloth and matt and various resins at big box stores for a lot less; you can get it from a good auto body supply. Buy it by the gallon, cause it's way cheaper and you'll find so meting to do with it. My personal favorite is the hardware aisle where roofing repair materials are sold---I am currently in possession of about 1000' of 4" wide glass matt tape that I would have paid anywhere from fifty cents to a dollar fifty a foot for depending on where I bought it. I got mine from the local habitat for humanity resale center--it is in 25" rolls packaged as "rain gutter patching material." I've used it successfully on at least three boats with both poly resin and epoxy.
  9. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Hardware stores, I try to avoid them for the same reason. Hours pass like minutes!

    I used mat and resin to repair the main sewer pipe in an old house. Was rusted at the base and leaking. About an 8" diameter pipe. Still holding years latter! I won't want to be arround when it's time to dig it up and replace it!