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I'm looking for information on laying my own 'glass parts. I am thinking of making a sub enclosure and some dash pieces. Can you please post any good links or other sources of info.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks cmdrstask.

I am looking mostly for general information to know what I am getting myself into and what tools I will need. I also want to know how to create different shapes for dash panels and such. I haven't tried it before.

The only specific question I have now is how thick will the walls of a sub enclosure have to be? I'll probably use a 12" sub. I am hoping it will be lighter than an MDF box for the same performance. I may have to strengthen it with something like rebar in concrete. Just a thought though.
 

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Well, I don't have any links, but I can give you the info that I know from what I've done...this is gonna be sorta long:

First of all, don't expect to create a wonderful, perfect result the first time you try. Be prepared to take your time, or you could ruin all the work you put in.

General supplies:
Fiberglass resin and hardener ( I like the Bondo stuff)
Fiberglass cloth and fiberglass mat (or you can use fleece..will explain below)
Mixing bowls (do NOT use wax-coated bowls, the 'glass will melt them)
latex gloves (get a big box of disposable ones)
cheap brushes (again, a big box of the cheapest you can get is fine, but don't use those foam ones)
masking/duct tape
Mold release (or you can even use cooking spray, ie: Pam)
Possibly a respirator

The process is fairly simple, you just need to be careful and take your time. Let's say you wanted to make a sub enclosure in the spare tire well. First, you would lay down a layer or two of the masking or duct tape in the well, and then up around the "lip" of the well also. Make sure to cover all the metal well, or the glass will stick to it, and you won't be able to get the mold out very easily. Next, spray a little bit of the mold release all over the tape, but don't go crazy with it.

Next, start getting the fiberglass cloth ready, by cutting it so that it will lay flat in the area you want to mold. We are trying to avoid air bubbles, but you might try to keep the pieces as big as you can (at least, that's what works for me).

Now you want to mix a batch of 'glass. Pour some resin into the bowl, and a few drops of hardener, as per the instructions given with the resin. More hardener will cause the mixture to cure faster (called a "hot" batch), but it will obviously give you less time to work with it. If you don't get all the resin laid down in time, it will begin to "gel" in the bowl, and become unuseable, and will eventually harden in the bowl.

Start laying the resin down on the cloth, saturating it thoroughly, but don't overdo it. When the cloth becomes translucent, it's got enough resin. Do one layer, and let it cure completely. Then, using the cloth still, build up a few more layers until the mold is strong enough to be removed from the vehicle. You can then work with it outside of the car, and avoid smelling up the interior so bad (this stuff stinks).

This is when I would start using the fleece or the mat ( I prefer fleece, as it isn't as messy) to build up layers until you have the desired thickness. You work with the fleece/mat the same as you did with the cloth, although it will take a little more resin per layer, as these soak up more, and thus build up layers faster. During this process, you could lay lengths of rope into the layers and glass over them if you want to add additional strength.

When you finally have the piece up to the thickness you need, you need to decide how you want to finish the parts that are visible. I will leave that for another post. ;)

Safety stuff:
Don't smoke when doing this stuff
Don't spill/drip the resin/hardener mixture on your skin, as it definitely can burn you while it cures.
Try to do this in a well-ventilated area, as the fumes can be noxious, and like I said before, they just stink.
If you don't have an open area, the respirator is a very good thing.

As for your question about the sub box. If I remember correctly, a typical sub box should be about 1/4" thick, and keep in mind that fiberglass gets its strength from its curves. It's not very strong when it's in big flat panels.

As for forming different shapes, you can either make a mold of the object, and then build up off of that and make it how you like it, or you can build a framework of wood, and then you get the shape by strecthing the cloth around the frame.


Hope all that helps...
 

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one added point

AS TO WHAT JOKER WYLDE SAID USE THE HARDER AS PER INSTRUCTION ON THE RESIN A FEW EXTRA DROPS WILL MAKE IT SET QUICKER BUT YOU ARE ALSO RISKING A FIRE STARTING IN THE MIXING BOWL . SO THE BEST THING TO DO IF YOU HAVE A LITTLE EXTRA LEFT OVER IS TO PUT WATER IT
 

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There is good info in this thread, but you are not going to learn how to do everything by reading(which I'm sure you already know). Get some of the materials, and do a few small projects if you haven't already.

Carsound.com = Corner Carvers

Termpro.com = corral

That comparison is a good one, and by using the search feature on their forums you can learn all you need to know. You can e-mail me if you want any specific answers...I know too much about fiberglass...and am not in this forum much.
 

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LOOOKING FOR INFO ON MAKING FIBERGLASS PARTS

I FORGOT IN MY LAST POST TO JUST LIKE BKMAN4 SAID TRY SMALL PROJECTS FIRST BECAUSE MY FIRST ATTEMP TO MAKE SOME DOOR SPEAKER POD DID NOT COME OUT LIKE I WANTED THEM TO SO I'M TRYING IT AGAIN. LIKE THE FISHMAN SAID IN IN CAR SOUND FORM IS THAT YOU GOT TO PICTURE IN YOUR MIND WHAT THE FINISH PART IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE AND HAVE APLAN BEFORE YOU START MAKE THING EASIER.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
JokerWylde said:
...and keep in mind that fiberglass gets its strength from its curves. It's not very strong when it's in big flat panels.
...Hope all that helps...
Good point and yes it does. Thanks for typing it all. If you get a chance, please post how to finish the outside. I only need to know how to get a smooth finish which would be ready to paint or lay fabric.

This is all good info. Thanks guys. I'll check the other sites too.

I figured it will take some practice. I didn't expect a piece of art the first time. But, thats part of the fun.
 

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LOOK AT IT LIKE I DO IT MIGHT NOT BE A PEICE OF ART TO OTHER BUT IT SHOULD BE TO YOU. I ENJOY HAVING PRIDE IN THING I BUILD JUST TO SAY I TRY BUT AT THE FACTION OF THE COST. TO SMOOTH IT OUT NEED BONDO AND LOT OF ELBOW GREASE
 

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Yeah, to finish out the surface, you need to do some filler work in the lowest spots/cracks or whatever, then sand, sand, sand. The amount of work you're going to do depends on how you want to cover the piece. If you're going to cover it in carpet, you can get away with some roughness and whatnot, as the carpet tends to hide some of that stuff. However, if you want to use vinyl, you're going to want a surface that is much smooter, as vinyl really likes to show imperfections when it's pulled tight. And as you can probably guess, if you're going to paint, the piece needs to be sanded just about perfectly.

Like anthony said, if you're going to put the work in, make it look good, y'know?

Oh and anthony, please turn your caps lock off :)
 

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Have You?

Ever done a sand cast of a part and then lay in the fiberglass? if so.. how is it done...? Thanks.:)
 

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anyone ever do the fancy fiberglass work themselves? This stuff you see in magazines that is done by the company?
 

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Re: Have You?

chrome pony said:
Ever done a sand cast of a part and then lay in the fiberglass? if so.. how is it done...? Thanks.:)
PM me sometime and I can explain how to make a mold of almost anything... I'm a sculptor and I cast in Bronze, Aluminum, and Cast Iron... I've heard fiberglass is 100 times EASIER!!

Here is an example of one mold I made.... I took a mold of a figurine I originally cast in Bronze... I made a mold in Silicon because it captures details really really good and also is flexible and I can easily make 1,000 wax figurines without detail dsappearing! We use wax in metal casting because you can invest the figurine in a concrete like material.. then heat the investment up to 2,000* and the wax melts out making a void for the molten metal to get poured into...

 
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