nkrell11

What I Learned My First Time Doing Fiberglass A Quick Tutorial

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Alright so I've never wrote a tutorial or anything like this before so please bear with me. I'm not a pro by any means this was my first time ever doing anything like this I just wanted to share what I had learned. This post may be a little long winded I apologize in advance. I watched some youtube videos before attempting this but most of them weren't very helpful in my opinion. This is the best one that I watched gave some useful tips especially for mixing resin. There's a 50 minute video but ain't nobody got time for that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMJ0YZmc1Bc

I'll start out with a list of supplies that I used not all are mandatory but they are all certainly helpful. I used bondo fiberglass resin and fiberglass mat just because I wanted something small to get my feet wet. If you plan to go large scale I would suggest US composites (I ordered through them to get the stuff for when I do my doors).

-Fiberglass Resin
-Fiberglass Mat (Seems like 1.5oz mat is popular)
-Ponte Fabric
-Body Filler (I used Rage Gold but I know there are other options)
-2 Inch Chip Paint Brushes
-Disposable 9 oz Dixie Paper Cups
-Stir Sticks
-Disposable Gloves
-Router or a Jigsaw would do
-Dremel definitely not necessary but really helpful
-Sand Paper I used 120,220 and 320 grit
-Dowel
-Hot Glue
-Stapler & Staples
-Spray Adhesive
-Wood
-Whatever you want to cover them with

Alright so first step was making my rings to mount the tweets in, I used a plunge router and a small Jasper jig but you could get by with a jigsaw or a hole saw if you didn't happen to have a router.
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Afterwards it was time to mount the rings to the pillars. I understand that most people use hot glue and dowel to mount them. I just used a couple small wood blocks and a couple wood screws. Make sure you have enough clearance on the back side of the rings to clear your tweeters.
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Next it's time to wrap your work piece in fabric, I used ponte which you can find at the fabric store it's nice and stretch which helps in avoiding wrinkles. Some people use fleece but it takes a lot of resin and doesn't really add strength so it's not your best choice. I used a combination of staples, spray adhesive and hot glue to attach the fabric. I'll have a note about the spray adhesive later though.
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Alright next step is application of your resin. I believe each ounce of resin requires 10 drops of hardener. I mixed small batches to avoid waste and not having to worry about working super fast. Ok here's what I didn't know DO NOT APPLY RESIN TO SPRAY ADHESIVE IT CAUSES IT TO DISBOND!!!! You can see where I had to put staples in the top because I did not know this, I also applied it to the back and it cause things to disbond but I got lucky and didn't have any long term problems. Let resin cure according to manufacture specs.
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Next step apply fiberglass mat. I tore mine into pieces as I didn't have scissors on hand. I painted down a little resin first then set the mat on and then applied resin over top. Try and avoid any air bubbles you can see them underneath usually, they cause weak spots in your project. Afterwards let cure don't worry you can always add more later where you need it. In this picture I had already sanded down some high spots etc.
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Alright after you get all your mat on and your project feels solid it's time for body filler. Tips for this in my experience are don't lay it on to thick you can always add more but its a pain to sand off too much. Don't apply filler if you don't have time to sand it gets harder the longer you wait. After it dries up sand it down you kind of just have to go by feel. Sadly I don't have any pictures of this step but you'll know when you have it right I guess.

Lastly prime and paint or wrap your project. I used duplicolor spray on bedliner. It worked great and was just what I wanted as I didn't want a smooth finish. Here's my finished product. I hope this tutorial has helped anyone that reads it in some way. The biggest key is patience you can't get in a hurry when doing this stuff it will lead to mistakes that are hard to go back and fix.
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Duplicolor spray on bedliner like in a spray paint can?  rattle can or whatever?  They look killer

 

posting to catch up later since I'm at work.  Thanks for doing this.

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13 hours ago, Karkov said:

Duplicolor spray on bedliner like in a spray paint can?  rattle can or whatever?  They look killer

 

posting to catch up later since I'm at work.  Thanks for doing this.

Yes sir spray paint/rattle can. I got it at the local hardware I was looking for the rustoleum brand option but they didn't have any so I went with the duplicolor. I may add to this when I do my doors I'm not certain yet. 

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6 minutes ago, nkrell11 said:

Yes sir spray paint/rattle can. I got it at the local hardware I was looking for the rustoleum brand option but they didn't have any so I went with the duplicolor. I may add to this when I do my doors I'm not certain yet. 

Nice little tutorial. I'm sure it would be appreciated if you add when you do your doors. I know by me anyways.

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Did u have any issues with fiberglass not adhering to the plastic? I hear sometimes the fiberglass will separate because it cant bond to the plastic. They came out awesome looking tho, the transition is SUPER smooth.

i also would appreciate u posting ur doors when u do them.

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On 6/14/2017 at 1:55 AM, 06RTCharger said:

Did u have any issues with fiberglass not adhering to the plastic? I hear sometimes the fiberglass will separate because it cant bond to the plastic. They came out awesome looking tho, the transition is SUPER smooth.

i also would appreciate u posting ur doors when u do them.

No I didn't have any issues like that but I did sand down some of the plastic where I used filler and glass. Thanks for the compliment I'm currently doing some beauty panels but I will share the doors when I get to them.

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Alright I got a little more experience with some fiberglass work, these didn't come out perfect but I'll try and highlight why in this portion of the tutorial. I'm still satisfied with the outcome (probably because they're in the very back where I won't have to see them all the time).

Anyhow first step was constructing my frames, I had to tilt the circles for the fans to get enough clearance:
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After wrapping the frames in fabric it's time for some resin. You can use the factory gasket to hold your fabric in place and get it stretched how you want it. I would suggest adding some layers of painters tape to whatever you don't want resin on. I used the US composites resin I bought on these and you can definitely tell the difference it seems to go farther and it doesn't have such a gooey consistency.
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Ok after your resin cures it's time for the fiberglass mat. Here's where I messed up I didn't put enough resin on to harden my edges enough so when I applied my mat the edges of my passenger side panel kind of warped or sagged. So make sure your edges are thoroughly hardened. Also I did my mat on the back of the panels if you can do this it will save you a large amount of sanding/filler work in the future.
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Ok once your glass is nice and cured it's time for some filler. Can't really describe exactly how best to do it I just go by feel. Another tip is that if you lay your filler out thin on whatever you mix it on it hardens more slowly than if you just leave it in a big glob. To be honest I probably could have done some more sanding on these but I was pretty sick of it to be honest.
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Lastly coat it however you want, for me it's more spray on bedliner but to each their own.
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I was always taught that it's best to do all your glass work on a piece at once, to prevent delaminating down the road. Like, stretch your base layer, wet it, add mat, wet it, then add loose mat where you might need a bit more strength/support. This way as your resin cures it all conglomerates into one solid piece. Otherwise you should really rough up between layers so that you get a strong bond between the cured layer and the next one your building up. 

Edited by 3vil
Fucking typos

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52 minutes ago, 3vil said:

I was always taught that it's best to do all your glass work on a piece at once, to prevent delaminating down the road. Like, stretch your base layer, wet it, add mat, wet it, then add loose mat where you might need a bit more strength/support. This way as your resin cures it all conglomerates into one solid piece. Otherwise you should really rough up between layers so that you get a strong bond between the cured layer and the next one your building up. 

Way to make sure it doesnt de-laminate during layers is to use a rough sand paper and give the new resin something to grab onto. But yea, everytime I have done something, I try to get it all in one shot.

 

 

 

Those turned out sick OP!

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Really great post! thanks for sharing everything you learned i really wanna try fiberglassing and this gave me some motivation!

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