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Old 11-19-2004, 10:21 AM
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How Do You Make Things With Fiberglass?

Well I've decided to make a custom dashboard for my truck and I was wondering if someone could describe to me how to build something out of fiberglass? I've never used fiberglass and I figured i'd ask before I screwed something up. What are some of the do's and dont's with fiberglass? Is there anything that I need to know about fiberglass before I start to experiment with it to see what I can make?

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Old 11-19-2004, 10:49 AM
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That stuff makes me ITCH.....


I believe that you would get better, more informed responses in the Body section of this forum....so as Moderator I am going to move you there ....

DEUCE

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Old 11-19-2004, 11:51 AM
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alright thanks, i guess
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Old 11-19-2004, 12:16 PM
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Huge question. Review the educational posts at these sites.

http://fiberlay.com/

http://www.fibreglast.com/contentpag...enter-286.html

Also, this book is a wise investment if you are serious about DIY fiberglass.

Important advice; DON'T use hardware store materials. Those resins and cloth are terrible. Mail order the good stuff from the above or http://www.fibergl****upply.com/.
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:54 PM
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Seeing as you are not too far from water....

I learned a lot about fiberglass work hanging out at the boatyard, fiberglass repair is an everyday thing there, and a lot of people don't mind if you watch.....

Did quite a bit of work on my sailboat and helped a couple friends, they all still float and race.
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Old 11-21-2004, 02:23 AM
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check out boat shops , they got this stuff called mold release you put it on whatever shape you want to mold with your glass fabric and when it hardens it pops right off!
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Old 12-30-2005, 11:09 AM
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China products

Manufacturer of fiberglass mesh and tape: http://www.shanquan.com/, manufacturer of Laminate flooring: http://www.china-flooring.com/.
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Old 12-30-2005, 12:03 PM
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I think you are looking for some simple way of forming a dash,, which isn't really good project to start on if you have NO glassing experience,, first of all you need a Plug,, a exact copy of the dash you want to make,, a plug can be made from several different kinds of material,, plaster of paris,, polyester foam, wood, clay, just about anything you can form or carve,, for a dash, I think you could start with either the original one or one from a junk vehicle,, you need to have something that fits the spot where the old dash came out of, or you can start by forming up a big chunk of plaster of paris, and start carving till you get the shape and design you want, smooth as possible, then apply a liberal amount of gel coat, then Mold release. which is a wax product,[ there is also a spray able water based PVA mold release] soak some fiberglass mat in resin [ after mixing with hardener of course] then keep adding layers untill you have a good thickness built up 31/16 " or so, then cut some plywood pieces to reinforce it so it doesn't warp or change shape, and let cure about 8 hrs,, pop it off of the plug and clean up the piece you popped off, it needs to be real smooth, when all this is done,, this is your plug,,apply your mold release,,,then several coats of gel coat,, then you cover that with mat and resin untill it has a good build up, let cure for 8Hrs or so and pop it out,, lots of work,, I would suggess doing what Willys suggested and reading up on the process,, there are books out that explain the process,, but I sure wouldn't start out with trying to make a dash,, I made one for a 33 coupe,, you can see it in my journal,, UGGGGLY but it worked,,, I used P of Paris, and carved it out with wood carving tools, This is just a idea,, there's lots more to it than I have tryed to explain here,, but have fun,, and wear long sleeved shirts,, cause you will be itching like crazy Bill

Last edited by Bill Parten; 12-30-2005 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 12-30-2005, 01:39 PM
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I agree like they said it is going to be a larger task than you may think... But do remember this.... we all broke our cherry on something sometime or another... some were taught and many were self taught... You have allot of info at your fingertips.... Dont rush it, learn first, then play and have fun
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:15 PM
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I made this panel under the rear seat in my 98 f-150 to hide the amps and subwoofer enclosure. Used 1/8" luan plywoood to get the general shape as well as using the end caps from the amps as a mold. Pieced it all together then stretched fiberglass cloth over the gaps. Applied resin and added layers of glass mat to get the strength I needed. sanded and smoothed with filler and painted to match interior.




I made these kick panels by wrapping the originals in plastic sheeting and using them as a mold. Then used 1/2"mdf to shape the pod. Screwed to the new panels in the position I wanted. Used cardboard stapled around the speaker pod to make the lip for the grill to sit flush. Used great stuff spray foam to fill the gaps between the pod and kick panel. Shaped the foam. Applied glass mat over the whole assembly.Sanded. Applied filler. Sanded. Painted to match.

All this was done in 1998 when I first bought the truck. Pics were taken today. Other than a few nicks in the paint from abuse it all still looks fine.
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Old 12-30-2005, 08:30 PM
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Bloverby had a good post i work with fiberglass all day on boats. I have taken a dash board that had cracks in it and filled the cracks with Kitty Hair sanded them smooth then taken cheap mesh fabric that you by from Wal-mart or a fabric store wrapped it around the dash board then coated it with resin then reinforced areas with mat and kitty hair. I then took lite weight filler and skim coat the dash and sanded primed and was ready for paint. I used the fabric just for ease of wrapping around areas that are not easy to make uniform with regular 1.5 mat also as the one I did you have to watch the clearance between the corners that wrap near the doors if you build those areas up to much they will hit the doors when they are shut (just a little hint from experience) fiberglass interior panels aren't that hard to do just take time if your looking to make a nice straight show piece.
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Old 01-01-2006, 08:05 AM
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These are some pods I made for switches. Kinda takes you through the process on a very minor item.
http://www.bumpsides.com/pod/index.html
The only reason to use gelcoat is to have a colored surface that will be used as the finished surface, like a boat hull. It can be sanded and buffed just like paint. If you're going to have to do finishwork and paint then it's a waste.

Larry
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