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Old 02-08-2005, 07:47 AM
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Willys - Questions Re. Journal Entry

Hey Willys,

Overall, how did you like working with the fleece vs. regular fiberglass matt. Any pros and cons?

Also, in entry #99 (the dash/firewall hump) you once again used matt. Did you think the fleece would not provide enough strength for that particular application?

I'd be very interested in your observations about the relative strength of a fleece made part vs. a matt made part.

Dewey

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Old 02-08-2005, 08:15 AM
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Good question. They each have their place.

The Fleece is super for making complicated shapes that would otherwise require complicated molds. It forms compound curves easily, holds its shape and supports the resin whereas fiberglas mat and cloth require a mold of some sort to hold a shape and must be laid up in multiple layers for adequate thickness. It takes 3 layers of mat to achieve the thickness of the finished fleece part. The fleece absorbs the resin and in one step gives gives you a finished, ~3/16" thick part. It's major drawback is that the only strength is the resin since the matrix is a weave of web of cotton. It generates its thickness from resin saturated cotton fuzz.

Fiberglas mat and cloth layups on the other hand use a much lower resin ratio and gain all of its strength from the glass fibers. In fact, the more excess resin the weaker the part. That fire-wall panel gets bent and stressed a lot while being upholstered so I wanted something a little stronger than the fleece would provide. I was afraid a fleece layup would simply snap in half!
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:32 AM
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Willys-
Curiosity for future projects:

Why not "fleece" the general shape, then back it up with matt? Seems like the best of both worlds.
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:14 AM
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Sure, that would work great. Only problem would be thickness would begin to be large but you could grind the fleece side is that were a problem. I agree with Big Daddy Ed Roth's contention that there is no limit to what you can do with 'glas!

Oops, dern spell checker!!

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Old 02-08-2005, 09:41 AM
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"no limit to what you can do with īgals!"

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Old 02-08-2005, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beenaway2long
Willys-
Curiosity for future projects:

Why not "fleece" the general shape, then back it up with matt? Seems like the best of both worlds.
Or visa-versa in some cases...where you might want to lay down a "strength layer" first and then follow that with the fleece layer to provide a better surface for your final sanding process.

I don't want to get this thread too far off track, but I'm looking ahead on my Rat project to the fabrication of the compound curve which wraps around the top of the rear deck (as on most any late 20's to early 30's roadster/coupe style). I'm doing the side and the top of the deck in steel but I have real concerns about being able to shape that compound curve in steel. My current thought is to use welded wire mesh to shape the curve, weld that in place, and then cover with fiberglass (first layer glass matt and a top layer of fleece).

I know Willys ( and others) have warned about the problems of mixing fiberglass and steel panels on other threads but I'm wondering if my method is at all doable or will I just end up kicking myself and then tearing it all apart.

Dewey
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:24 PM
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Why not just go all the way and make the whole thing out of 'glas then there won't be any compatibility issues? One layer of fleece would sure be a great way to build quick thickness over a base of a couple cloth layers. I would use woven cloth instead of mat since it would give a bunch of strength and with an overlay of fleece, there wouldn't be any print-through problems. Also, after sanding the fleece coat to rough shape (won't be itchy like sanding 'glas!) spray it with a heavy resin gel coat that will finish like K2 primer.
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Old 02-09-2005, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by willys36@aol.com
Why not just go all the way and make the whole thing out of 'glas then there won't be any compatibility issues?
What I'd really like to do is go all the way and make the whole thing out of steel. Plus I already have the steel and the entire skeleton was designed with a steel skin in mind. The problem is I'm on a pretty steep learning curve fabricating and welding up the steel already so I'm just trying to eliminate, at least for THIS car, a couple of the most difficult challenges (it seems I can only take so much learning curve on any given project - otherwise I tend to get frustrated and my interest starts to fade).

I know for certain I'll be doing the grill shell in glass - way way way too many complex curves in that thing for me to tackle in steel with my current skill levels. In addition, the grill shell is totally separate from the steel body so no compatibility issues.

The only other major challenge for me is that compound curve on the rear deck. So I don't want to give up on the concept of a steel car just for that one difficult area...I'd just like to ease the pain as much as I can - yet still come out with a decent result, and one that will hold up over time. That's why I'm considering the fiberglass alternative for that one section.
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Old 02-09-2005, 08:01 AM
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Would be nice to hide the steel/'glas joint @ a body molding so if there is a crack it would look like it belonged!
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Old 02-09-2005, 12:04 PM
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Dewey,
Randy will give me crap for saying this(LOL) , but you can make some incredibly complex shapes by breaking it down into pieces and welding the pieces together.
One car stands out in particular. Last year at the Syracuse Nationals, there was a "Corvette Nomad Wagon". Basically, it was a concept vehicle in 57 or so. Anyways, this guy got the plans , and built it. The lower body of the early Vettes are difficult to reproduce in single sheet. This guys "pizza cut" the pieces and welded them together. Quite incredible looking. http://www.cfca.net/events/ncrs_2004...es/image5.html

Try Metalmeet.com for more specific help. Post a pic or a drawing, and you'll get the nations best trying to help you out.
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Old 02-09-2005, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beenaway2long
...you can make some incredibly complex shapes by breaking it down into pieces and welding the pieces together. [snip]
Try Metalmeet.com for more specific help. Post a pic or a drawing, and you'll get the nations best trying to help you out.
I've spent quite a bit of time on Metalmeet over the past month or so and that's actually one of the reasons I'm shying away from trying to hammer those curves out by hand. I can see the huge amount of experience and skill it takes to do those kinds of curves...not that it can't be learned, I'm just not sure I have the patience to do it on this particular project. I also don't have any of the approriate equipment, like and English Wheel, which would make the job doable.

On the other hand I've been thinking a lot over the past few weeks about your first observation...breaking it down into little pieces and then welding it together. What I've been contemplating is using thin (1/8" or less) steel strap about 2" wide. I'd cut it into the correct lengths to make the circumference of my "side to deck top" curve, bend it around an appropriately sized form, and then weld the first one to my top rib and side rib right behind the rear door jamb. Then I'd just keep working my around the curve, one piece after the other, all the way down to the tail. I'm guessing it would take about 20-25 individual pieces. Then it's a matter of welding all those seams followed by about a week of grinding. It's a lot of work but at least it would all be steel.

Anyhow, you're suggestion dovetailed pretty well with what I had been mulling on.
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