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I'm really new to fiberglass, matter of fact I've never done it before. A friend of mine says its like papermache, I dont know though, I've seen people like caraudio do some crazy stuff with fiberglass though. So to get to the point I guess I'm just wondering if you know of any good websites or books on how to start with doing fiberglass work.

Thanks much

-Ryan
 

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I got a DVD from this website. That is where I got my information from.
 

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Originally posted by mattman3891@Oct 3 2004, 10:58 PM
I'm actually thinking of starting some fiberglass work myself, one good site I found was....

http://web.njit.edu/~cas1383/proj/main/index.htm

This site however actually makes it seem pretty easy, which I bet it isn't, of course I haven't tried it yet though.

-Matt
Actually, it is quite easy. What it is also, though, is messy as well. The resin is sticky and hardens quickly, so you have to work with some speed. The glass matting makes you itch like crazy if you get it in your skin, which is hard to avoid.

The tricks to working with it are mixing the amount of hardener that gives you the maximum curing time but still hardens, working the resin into the mat without shoving it all over the place, and getting air bubbles out from underneath the mat. This would all be very easy if you could spend lots of time on it, but like I stated, the cure time is limited, so you must work with some speed.

I recommend you get a few sizes of soft-bristle brushes (not the busted-end painting type) and try them all out. Have some small wood skewers for breaking through the mat to release air pockets. Medium size paper cups are good for mixing the resin. A good pair of shop scissors will cut the mat easily. Have the mat cut BEFORE you mix the resin. Cut many extra pieces as well. Have the resin-removal liquid of your choice at-hand, and a good rag as well. Have a glass jar filled with said liquid ready to accept your brushes and other tools.

Give yourself a generous work area, and be sure to set something down to prevent resin from adhering to your table or whatever. Properly cured, the resin is stronger than most surfaces other than metals.

I do not wear gloves because they do not stop the fiberglass from getting to your skin. This makes cleaning of your hands possible during the work.
 

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Most of the time I don't even use fiberglass. You can get mixing buckets at Wal-mart for under 50 cents and you can use them over and over (unless you put too much hardener in you mix and it melts the bottom of your cup. Also you should be using a chip brush with the resin because it is stiffer. As far as air bubbles go the have a thing called a fiberglass roller it looks like a metal paint roller, it works great. It is very messy and very stinky too. If you don't have air tools it is very hard to sand also.
 

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i always use disposable tools whevever posible(throw away brushes, mixing cups, stir sticks...), resin is a pain to clean off anything and by the time you are ready to start cleaning anything the resin will already be starting to cure.

gloves are a must i would say, they will stop the fiberglass from getting into your skin(howeve, with most people the skin on your hands is so thick that the fiberglass wont bother you that much), and if you get resin on your skin it will give you a nasty chemical burn.

http://forums.caraudio.com/vb/showthread.php?t=36873 -- there are lots of good links on that page, and lots of helpful tips.

about the best tip anyone can give you though is just to go slow and take your time. do the job right and dont rush through it, if something doesent come out right then you can always cut the part off and re-do it. that is the beauty of fabricating your own parts, you can always do it again :)
 

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Originally posted by hoss@Oct 4 2004, 08:33 AM
about the best tip anyone can give you though is just to go slow and take your time. do the job right and dont rush through it, if something doesent come out right then you can always cut the part off and re-do it. that is the beauty of fabricating your own parts, you can always do it again :)
Yes, go slow. I had to redo my front monitor because it didn't turn out how I wanted. I plan on redoing the entire arm rest sometime soon. I don't like the fit of the monitors when I cut the opening for them my bit wouldn't cut straight like I wanted it to. So, I am going to have wood frames made instead of making molds of the monitor. You will always learn from what you have done. The only problem I have had with fiberglass is getting it between my fingers where the skin is not as hard, and it just itches a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is awsome. What is fiberglass like? Is it a liquid or is it strips like paper mache?

-Ryan
 

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fiberglass itself comes in two main forms, matte and weave. the fiberglass mat is what you commonly see, and it is just shreds of fiberglass all tossed together to form a sheet. the weave is what most people think of when you say fiberglass, and it is a woven sheet of the fiberglass material. the resin is the liquid, and that is what actuallly gives strength and what not. most fiberglass projects dopnt even use fiberglass, they use fleece and resin. the fiberglass material is strong, but not nearly as strong as the resin itself. and the resin smells good too :)
 

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My suggestions are:

1) Buy a respirator - even if you are working in a well ventilated shop or garage. Also wear gloves, long sleeves, and pants. You don't want resin on your skin or in your hair (be it arm hair, leg hair, anything).

2) Take your time, mix small amounts of resin

3) Use disposable items where possible: brushes, mixing sticks, mixing cups, drop cloths, etc. Resin is a PITA to clean up, just throw everything away.

4) Tear up pieces of fiberglass ahead of time and set them apart from one-another, that way if you get resin on your gloves you wont get several pieces of fiberglass stuck to your gloves.
 

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Originally posted by golovko@Oct 4 2004, 11:01 AM
1) Buy a respirator - even if you are working in a well ventilated shop or garage. Also wear gloves, long sleeves, and pants. You don't want resin on your skin or in your hair (be it arm hair, leg hair, anything).
Amen...

I did a lot of work with fiberglass my junior year in HS for a large scale boat project. It's great stuff, but it's nasty working with it. If you have access to a paint booth, I would use that for glassing. The resin smells horrible, and isn't too great to breathe.

When you're working with the wet resin, the chemical reaction between the resin and the hardener will make it feel warm. It's normal, don't worry about it. Wear gloves (I like to wear two sets, that way if the first set gets cut or something, you still have a second layer on underneath). It's not easy to clean up once it dries, so get it while it's wet. Once the resin dries and you're sanding it, you really want to wear a respirator. The particles are very fine and can easily become lodged in your air passages, which irritates the hell out of them. Wear heavy work gloves (leather, if possible) and a heavy shirt. I used to wear a long sleeve shirt with a heavy flannel over top. If the particles get on your skin, which they will, they get into your pores and are one of the most annoying and irritating little pieces of crap you'll ever deal with.

A good thing to have while working with this stuff is a small rubber roller. This will allow you to smooth out the mesh and the resin. You'll want to apply the resin thick, get everything saturated, get all the air bubbles out, then remove any excess, so it doesn't drip or run. Once you get your desired shape, let it sit and dry. You'll then need to sand it so that it's smooth, and paint it.

Good luck!

JR
 
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