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So I've been putzing with a bunch of different ideas for doing work on my car, and one of them has been to extend the center console, possibly turning my car into a 2+2.

Anyhow, I've been thinking of different ways to form up what I'm building out of fiberglass, one thing that's come to mind is to use some foam to build the form I want and lay the fiberglass on that? Is this an approved method, or is there somethign better used for building things like center consoles and such?
 

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Foam is very popular when working with fiberglass. Just make sure the foam and the resin are compatible. Vinal ester resins eat polyurethane foam.

You can do it two ways. You can do moldless where you make basically what you want in foam, and then cover it in fiberglass. Or you can make female molds. Makeing molds is more complicated, but generally makes a better finished product.
 

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I'd just build a frame for it out of MDF and then stretch fleece or grill cloth over it. Then you resin said fabric. If you go with fleece, you won't need any foberglas it'll be plenty strong and all you'll have left to do is sand and cover it. If youuse grill cloth you'll have to add a few layers of 'glass to give it strength and then sand an cover it.


Paul :thumbup:
 

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How about using non expanding spray foam to mold an existing shape? Anyone tried this? I've had the thought in my head for a while, just never tried it...

Rian
 

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Rian_Colorado said:
How about using non expanding spray foam to mold an existing shape? Anyone tried this? I've had the thought in my head for a while, just never tried it...

Rian
You can but it's a pain in the ass to sand since that stuff is hard as a friggin' rock after it dries.


Paul :thumbup:
 

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quality_sound said:
You can but it's a pain in the ass to sand since that stuff is hard as a friggin' rock after it dries.
Paul :thumbup:
I'm pretty much a novice at FG, so this might seem dumb, but why would you need to sand it? All I'd be trying to do is use it as a mold to put the FG on? I'd need to coat it with some kind of antistick ... something, but I don't follow why you'd want to sand it?

Also, maybe we're not talking about the same material? I can cut the foam I'm talking about VERY easily with a box knife. I'd think if I tried to sand it that it would come apart in chunks?

Rian
 

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If you can sand it that easily, the FG resin will melt it.

There is a mold release you can use to keep the FG from sticking to whatever you put it on.

You need to sand it to smooth it out or whatever you cover the FG with will look like ass, especially if it;s vinyl.


Paul :thumbup:
 

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quality_sound said:
If you can sand it that easily, the FG resin will melt it.

There is a mold release you can use to keep the FG from sticking to whatever you put it on.

You need to sand it to smooth it out or whatever you cover the FG with will look like ass, especially if it;s vinyl.
Paul :thumbup:
What if I coverd it in aluminum foil, then used the mold release on the outside of that? I'm not concerned with the appearance as this would be for the backside of the enclosure, up against the fender on the inside of the trunk.
If Foil isn't the right thing to cover it in, do you have any other suggestions?
Rian
 

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Rian_Colorado said:
What if I coverd it in aluminum foil, then used the mold release on the outside of that? I'm not concerned with the appearance as this would be for the backside of the enclosure, up against the fender on the inside of the trunk.
Rian
Are you talking about making a sub enclosure Rian? If so, you can apply duct tape to the entire area and lay fiberglass to take the mold of the area. For my kick panels, I put down duct tape, sprayed my cloth with spray adhesive and stuck it to the tape. This way the clotch stays put for your first layer. When done, trim the mold and use a piece of 3/4" MDF for the speaker baffle board. Use fiberglass and resin to bond the trunk mold to the baffle. :)

Here's some tips that have helped me...
1) Mix small batches of resin at a time, about a pint at a time. A larger batch will cure before you have a chance to get it on the fiberglass mat/cloth.
2) Get a plastic mixing container that has measuring capabilities. Knowing how much resin is in the container really helps when you need to know how much hardener to add. ;) Also, fiberglass resin doesn't stick to plastic, so anything that dries in the container will just pop out when you flex the cup. :)
3) rubber gloves
4) Lots of cheap throw away brushes. Once the resin dries in them, they are toast. about 1.5" bristled. Foam brushes work too.
5) Acetone is handy for clean up and getting any resin off your hands.

Happy glassing!

-Mark
 

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Rather than an extension, I just built a new console out of plywood. Then I covered the Ply in Foam, and covered that with Vinyl. I think for something that is going to be covered, it might be easier to use wood rather than go through the trouble of creating a mold for the glass, and then forming it. Creating curves would probably be easier with glass though. It all depends on what shape you are wanting to create.
 

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mghunt said:
Are you talking about making a sub enclosure Rian? If so, you can apply duct tape to the entire area and lay fiberglass to take the mold of the area. For my kick panels, I put down duct tape, sprayed my cloth with spray adhesive and stuck it to the tape. This way the clotch stays put for your first layer. When done, trim the mold and use a piece of 3/4" MDF for the speaker baffle board. Use fiberglass and resin to bond the trunk mold to the baffle. :)

Here's some tips that have helped me...
1) Mix small batches of resin at a time, about a pint at a time. A larger batch will cure before you have a chance to get it on the fiberglass mat/cloth.
2) Get a plastic mixing container that has measuring capabilities. Knowing how much resin is in the container really helps when you need to know how much hardener to add. ;) Also, fiberglass resin doesn't stick to plastic, so anything that dries in the container will just pop out when you flex the cup. :)
3) rubber gloves
4) Lots of cheap throw away brushes. Once the resin dries in them, they are toast. about 1.5" bristled. Foam brushes work too.
5) Acetone is handy for clean up and getting any resin off your hands.

Happy glassing!

-Mark

Thanks Mark! Good info, I don't feel quite so blind going into it. How Stiff or plyable is the mold after the first coat? Will I have a difficult time getting it out of a tight spot?

All of the pointers are good to. Gloves and disposable brushes were on my list, but I hadn't thought about the containers. Some of the plastic buckets from Sherwin Williams, or maybe eve cheap tupperware might do the trick, once proberly marked for volume..

Once I start tackling this project, I may put your number on speed dial for the 100's of stupid questions I'm sure to have! .... Speaking of projects, what do you know about Programable Integrated Circuits? :) I need good places to get some knoledge and parts!

Thanks for the help all
Rian
 

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If you're not considering making multiple copies of a FG piece then reconsider doing molds. Here's some things to think about...

1. The easiest way to make a female mold is to make a "more than perfect" male prototype to create the female mold around it

2. You will need to do a lot of sanding to get the finish on the male prototype perfect

3. You will want to do a bit of sanding on the female mold before you start making your copies from it

4. You will need to sand you final pieces that come out of the mold since they most likely wont be perfect

And finally...

5. If you don't want to do a lot of sanding (and you aren't planning on making copies) then just make that first perfect prototype your final piece :wink:


I've spent a fair bit of time around a few commercial FG boat building companies and worked in the graphics department of a prominent industrial design firm early in my career so I've seen what it takes to do a good job.
 

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Bonthron said:
If you're not considering making multiple copies of a FG piece then reconsider doing molds. Here's some things to think about...
Perhaps my use of the word "mold" was incorrect. What I meant is lay the glass in the area you want it to eventually fit and use the prototype as the final piece, as you mentioned. :)

The fiberglass will dry hard. After the first couple of layers dry you should be able to remove it and lay more layers in the piece, outside of the car.

Also, I forgot one very important thing. A $25 respirator is a good investment, not only to protect from the resin fumes, but also from the really fine MDF dust. :)

-Mark
 
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