Originally Posted by bonnevillemac
Hey gang, I am wanting to start doing some fibergalass work. Ain't never done any and I want to start. can anyone point me in the right direction to get started.
Depends on what you plan to make or repair Tim.
If you are repairing an existing part, then you need to figure out what type of resin was used to make the original, then use the same style (Typically a part would have been layed up using either Epoxy resin or Polyester resin) You can find these material at most auto paint supply houses, or a dealer in marine supplies.
The cheapest, polyester resin, is also what gets sold in your local auto parts store/walmart as "bondo"...it usually heavily laden with fillers to thicken it up to the consistancy of puding for use as a body repair filler. I don't really care for the stuff, it has it'* uses but it'* not for use in making structural parts.
For making your own parts from scratch, you can use fiberglass as just a reinforcement to some othe material (such as wood or cardboard) to form a composite part. Or, you can make a part by first making a mold of the original, then making the part in the mold.
In terms of strength, woven cloth with expoy resin is typically the strongest and most accurate layup (best way to make a new part with the least shrinkage)
Polyester resin and chopped glass is the other end of the spectrum..brittle, shrinks a bit when it cures, absorbs moisture. Makes good cosmetic parts on the cheap.
The procedure for doing a layup (making a glass sandwich) are pretty much the same.
1.) Mix a small batch of the resin per the instruction on the can. (polyester resin is catalyzed with a very small amount of MEK, Epoxy resin is typically mixed nearly equal parts A & B components) Once mixed, you need to work quick because the stuff will stay fluid for only a short time (like 20 minutes or so) before the curing process lights off.
2.) Wet out the surface to be glassed with a little of the resin (just paint it on)
3.) Put a layer of cloth on the wet surface and spread out more resin on top.
3.) compact the wet glass and resin to remove any air bubbles and excess resin.
Repeat 2, 3, and 4 until you have enough thickness for the strength you need in the part.
It'* not really a hard processes, it just takes experience to get the wet glass to conform to the shape of the part. (sharp corners are a bear to get right)
So, what is it you have in mind to do?