How hard is it to deal with fiberglass.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jay H, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I'd like to make a 16' sea kayak..

    JUST KIDDING... haha, actually I would but that's a different thread..

    Actually, I'd like to make a sub box for an MKIII MR2 Spyder. I've seen pictures of a guy who has a 8" subwoofer and a custom made sub box out of fiberglass using the plastic panel in the back. So basically, I already have a mold, I just need to get whatever I need for the fiberglass, brushes, resin, the fiberglass stuff itself (Where do I get something like that?), etc. etc.

    Is this an expensive and difficult undertaking? I'm looking to mount a JL Audio 8w32 8" sub in an enclosure using MDF and the fiberglass and put that behind the passenger seat in the cubby hole.

    I asked here rather than in the car audio forum since it's fairly dead in there and fiberglass has other uses (like kayaks and cars and stuff)...

    Jay
     
  2. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    it's cheap and easy actually. The worst part is the smell.

    your local auto store will sell resin and cloth, I'm sure you can find writeups on the web detailing how to do it, but I made a sub box for a subaru I had and it was pretty simple.
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Any brands to look for, avoid, etc?



    Thanks,
    Jay
     
  4. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    I just put 6 coats of epoxy on a rudder.

    Watch your ratios of the two part mixing like a hawk...much more success if you buy the bottles premeasured so that one squirt out of one bottle equals one squirt out of the shorter handled bottle, if you attempt to self mix with measuring devices in the required 4 to 1 ratios or 5 to one (depends on the system you buy) you are more likely to have a mixing mistake, and an incorrect chemical reaction.

    The Marine system "West Systems" expoxies are set up like this...in many of there products One squirt out of resin bottle ...one out of hardner... matched systems...but not inexpensive.

    Have everything ready on the ground around you. Use hospital or hair saloon gloves, While the smell is active so is your risk of fire, take fresh air and extingishing pilot light sources nearby (water heaters etc) seriously.

    Squirt your mix into a plastic Dixie cup of approp size first ,...stir up from bottom with wood stick then pour into the container you will be painting out of...this eleminates poor mixing which can occur because you end up picking up one of the two parts sticking to the side of your container. Always use the "two container' stir method. Picnic dixie cups are cheap...

    I'll ask my husband, (some plastics will melt) but I know he bought the supplies from local Home Depot. 2 dollar minature plastic paint roller pans and minature foam rollers heads on a minature foam roller arm. PERFECT to this task.. Dixie cup brand picnic cups do not melt with expoxy, some other brands of plastic will. Do NOT try to clean the tools between coats, - it's too impossible; buy cheap disposibles and then start fresh on pan/roller with each coat. I had 6 coats - 6 rollers/pans.

    The rollers will literaly start SMOKEING after you lay them down, during their chemical reaction time. When your done with each roller lay it in fresh air on top of a plastic grocery store bag; when they stop smoking and harden and cool, - then you are safe to collect the debris and put it all in a trash bag.
    (do not work around sawdust, wood cuttings etc. on a garage floor...tooo flamable)

    I like the hot coat method...you go with the next coat when the last is just past slump and just so-so tacky. If you miss this moment and get to the rubbery feel of a cure, you HAVE to wait 24 hrs till the next coat.

    Supplies:
    Two Part expoxy
    Gloves
    Disaposible pans - rollers - (foam rollers help reduce air bubbles) Cheap grocery store kids artist watercolor brushes (dollar a pack?) for "drip" smoothing while material is movable.
    Bottle of acetone (acetate? will ask husband which [​IMG] he bought supplies but I mixed and applied them) for hand cleanup.
    If using fiberglass mat you will need a hard plastic tool which is basicly just a flat piece of plastic a few inches wide. You use it to Scrape/force the resin into each layer of mat you apply. Then go back with a roller for a smooth finish across the top once the mat is completely saturated. Have your mat precut to your box shape before you start. Time to prep everything in advance of mixing expoxy is critical in these type projects. If you purchase the expoxy system at a store like West Marine, they will also sell for a couple of bucks a pamplet which details working with expoxy systems. If waiting between layers 24 hours read up on expoxy "blush" and how to prep between coats.

    You will be purchasing slow or fast hardner for your resin depending upon working outdoor temp and the lenght of time you want to be able to work the material. Fast cure is fine for very small projects (you can paint fast on smaller surfaces) but in higher heats of summer will give you less working time with the material, (as in a boat...large surfaces you need slow cure for more workablity of the expoxy) the quicker the cure the more precise you need to be in laying out your paint strokes.
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    A good resource is Taylor & Art Plastics www.tapplastics.com . Too bad they don't have brick & mortar stores near you.
     
  6. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    I did a lot of fiberglas work on boats in the early 90s, and the two things that most people do wrong is put too much methyl ethyl ketone in the resin, causing it to get too hot and set too quickly, and not wearing enough protective clothing when sanding to clean up edges, bumps. MEK is the chemical that causes the resin to start to harden.

    Also make sure you get the fiberglas cloth completely impregnated with resin and get all the little bubbles out that you can....that will keep the little fibery parts from wearing and will make the surface look much better. When you sand it, wear long sleeves and tape the cuffs shut, protective eyewear, and get a good dust mask from Home Depot.

    West System is great, but it is usually pricey and a bit harder to work with than the simpler kit stuff you will find at auto parts places.
     

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