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Old 02-07-2011, 03:42 AM
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Homemade fiberglass molds?

Years ago JC Whitney used to sell 1940 Ford sedan style replacement hoods for VW Bugs. They looked very cool but they are no longer available, and no one else seems to make them.

I was thinking about trying to make one from fiberglass as I have at least some little experience with using it, but the problem is that there is, of course, no OEM type hood to use as a mold. I understand that some folks have made custom parts by making a mold from wood and chicken wire. I would probably try to build it up on the existing VW hood (as I doubt the part would add much weight), or maybe I could cut out the center once the part is attached.

My main concern is in actually making the mold. And are there any websites about making such custom molds, or has anyone here done something similar? Also, does fiberglass resin stick to bare metal? Any advice at all would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Old 02-07-2011, 04:37 AM
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There are a number of books and such on making glass parts..google is your friend on that..most of the work is in making the plug from which the mold is pulled..if you do a good job you can have a salable part..the plugs i made were done with plywood formers and then planked with strips of wood which was then sanded smooth filled and shot with gel coat. we then laid up the mold on that..

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Old 02-07-2011, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polkat
Years ago JC Whitney used to sell 1940 Ford sedan style replacement hoods for VW Bugs. They looked very cool but they are no longer available, and no one else seems to make them.

I was thinking about trying to make one from fiberglass as I have at least some little experience with using it, but the problem is that there is, of course, no OEM type hood to use as a mold. I understand that some folks have made custom parts by making a mold from wood and chicken wire. I would probably try to build it up on the existing VW hood (as I doubt the part would add much weight), or maybe I could cut out the center once the part is attached.

My main concern is in actually making the mold. And are there any websites about making such custom molds, or has anyone here done something similar? Also, does fiberglass resin stick to bare metal? Any advice at all would be appreciated! Thanks!
Not to get too far off topic, I used to think it would be cool to make front hoods for semi trucks like 40 ford's anf 54-57 chevy's. and now they do.
Look at the new International's, WOW!
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polkat
Years ago JC Whitney used to sell 1940 Ford sedan style replacement hoods for VW Bugs. They looked very cool but they are no longer available, and no one else seems to make them.

I was thinking about trying to make one from fiberglass as I have at least some little experience with using it, but the problem is that there is, of course, no OEM type hood to use as a mold. I understand that some folks have made custom parts by making a mold from wood and chicken wire. I would probably try to build it up on the existing VW hood (as I doubt the part would add much weight), or maybe I could cut out the center once the part is attached.

My main concern is in actually making the mold. And are there any websites about making such custom molds, or has anyone here done something similar? Also, does fiberglass resin stick to bare metal? Any advice at all would be appreciated! Thanks!
You need mold release wax first.There are many ways to do it but I would use foam blocks glued to your hood because it is easy to shape. You then cover it with filler and sand to get a good solid and smooth finish. Then spray a good primer on and wax several coats.Then spray or brush your gel coat on.When this cures you can lay up your mold.When it cures pull it off and repeat process to build part,I.E. wax,gel coat and lay up.Hope this helps but the books suggested might be better depending on your level of knowledge.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:50 AM
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Fiberglass molds can be a lot for work but very rewarding. I have done a few and you learn quickly that it is very much about the details. The mock up part has to have a mirror finish like you could use it on the car. You cannot have pin holes, blemishes, it must have a mirror finish. I paint mine with single stage enamel. Here is one I did for an intake duct:


Basic shape with formers:




Fileld in and shaped with foam; in this case expandable foam. I have also used balsa wood; plywood for vacuum formed molds:




Fiber-glassed, finish glass smooth, painted with automotive paint:



This one laid up in 2-part mold on an old aircraft window. Glass is good too for separation:









This is a great web site for mold building. They not only have supplies but great how to videos and books. Here is an online tutorial. This can be a very time consuming project. It is all about the details!!

http://www.fiberlay.com/

http://www.fiberlay.com/howto/issue1.htm
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