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fiberglass molds, parts, suppliers?


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bigjohnny 
Copper - Posts: 293
Copper spacespace
Joined: September 23, 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posted: October 27, 2008 at 5:28 PM / IP Logged  
I'm considering doing a little fiberglass work, or trying to anyway, but Ive come up with a few questions.
If i want to make a new part for something, say my dashboard, doesnt using that part as the mold make the actual replacement either larger or smaller than the actual part itself depending on weather or not you used the outside or inside of the part as the mold?
if i wanted to make a new piece, and add another spot for something, like extra switches or what not, and want to do a nice little recess like t he factory dash, so everything matches, how would i make an exact copy of the recess so i could duplicate it?
where do you purchase fiberglass locally? im not sure what kind of place id be looking for.
ckeeler 
Gold - Posts: 1,461
Gold spacespace
Joined: June 20, 2008
Location: New Mexico, United States
Posted: October 27, 2008 at 5:39 PM / IP Logged  

you wouldnt be using your dash as the "mold" as you say. you will use the dash or whatever part it may be to make the "mold". once the mold is made whatever part you make inside the mold will be the same size and shape as the piece you used to make the mold,(i.e. the dash or whatever piece it may happen to be)

to purchase your materials go to a local automotive paint and body supply store. not a body shop. they will have the matting, resin, gloves, masks, brushes, MEKP, sanding material, body filler, primers, styrene suppressant or anything you might need.

bigjohnny 
Copper - Posts: 293
Copper spacespace
Joined: September 23, 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posted: October 27, 2008 at 6:56 PM / IP Logged  
oh wow, that should have been pretty obvious considering how many episodes of how its made ive seen lol.
So what about doing custom stuff in the mold? adding a recessed switch panel to match factory stuff etc?
There are also mounting issues, factory panels have clips and stuff on them, what does one do to mount a replacement panel?
ckeeler 
Gold - Posts: 1,461
Gold spacespace
Joined: June 20, 2008
Location: New Mexico, United States
Posted: October 28, 2008 at 9:06 AM / IP Logged  

Well........unless im going to make a part a couple of times, i dont always make a mold. if its going to be a onetime made thing the time it takes to make the mold is too much, so i just build the piece i want. if im going to make the part numerous times then a mold is ideal because is takes longer to make the mold, but the time you save building duplicate parts is more than worth the time it took to make a mold. But, if I do make a mold and i want my finished pieces to be differrent from the original part, first you have to change the part your going to use to make the mold. make it the way you want. then make a mold of that. then you'll be able to produce multiple copies that look like the original you used to make the mold.

as far as mounting, thats pretty straight forward. metal brackets and braces can be made how ever you need them and want them to be and you can place them anywhere they need to be on the back side and just fiberglass them to the piece you made. if you rough up metal pretty well with 40 or so grit, you would not believe how well it sticks to fiberglass.

keep in mind that your first projects are not going to be the best, or maybe come out like you even imagine in your head. making things look a certain way, or how they look in pictures takes many good years of practice and developing your own tecniques and becoming comfortable with what you are doing. im not saying you cant do this or be good at it, im just saying be realistic on the first things you make and dont get discouraged. keep trying, practice, practice, and of course most importantly.....HAVE FUNfiberglass molds, parts, suppliers? -- posted image.. Once you become good, only your own imagination can limit you!

bigjohnny 
Copper - Posts: 293
Copper spacespace
Joined: September 23, 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posted: October 29, 2008 at 6:50 AM / IP Logged  
im having a hell of a time trying to find a supplier for this stuff in my city.
searching for auto body supply and similar doesnt turn up many results for my city.
Either that or i just dont know what/where in my city im looking.
also what kind of glass am i looking for? ive noticed that there are TONS of types.
ckeeler 
Gold - Posts: 1,461
Gold spacespace
Joined: June 20, 2008
Location: New Mexico, United States
Posted: October 29, 2008 at 9:01 AM / IP Logged  

all the body shops where you live get their supplies and paint from somewhere. if its like here its a supply store that let them charge on their accounts and even has parts chasher delivery service. just like a parts store only for auto body supplies. go to the paint stores(not a sherwin williams) and one of them is also going to have autobody paint supplies. you can pick up things like resin and body filler from parts stores and home depot. also remember resin doesnt last forever. if it gets old it just doesnt work anymore. usually a shelf life of 90 days or so, maybe longer.

i dont know about some of the other guys, but i always use fiberglass "matting" instead of "cloth" its way stronger. you can get matting in different "weights"(thickness). i always use EVERCOAT resin. i use standard resin and finishing resin. you can buy resin already with styrene suppresant already in it or just buy it seperate and mix it into your resin.

mkzilla 
Member - Posts: 11
Member spacespace
Joined: October 06, 2008
Location: Texas, United States
Posted: October 29, 2008 at 12:57 PM / IP Logged  
I recently finished my first fiberglass project, and I found all my supplies at the local Pep Boys / Checkers / Autozone.... they only carry the Bondo brand over here though, no Evercoat :( But the bondo seemed to work fine for my kick panels though.
Hornshockey 
Silver - Posts: 520
Silver spacespace
Joined: January 31, 2005
Location: Texas, United States
Posted: October 29, 2008 at 2:28 PM / IP Logged  

Check out  http://www.selectproducts.com

If you can't find what you need locally, they'll ship to you.  They have some pretty good stuff, good prices too

Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while; you could miss it.
ckeeler 
Gold - Posts: 1,461
Gold spacespace
Joined: June 20, 2008
Location: New Mexico, United States
Posted: October 29, 2008 at 2:36 PM / IP Logged  
Hornshockey wrote:

Check out  http://www.selectproducts.com

If you can't find what you need locally, they'll ship to you.  They have some pretty good stuff, good prices too

do more research. the prices from select are absolutely ridiculous. they have cool stuff, but nothing ive never been able to get elsewhere for way cheaper. and i do mean nothing.

bigjohnny 
Copper - Posts: 293
Copper spacespace
Joined: September 23, 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posted: October 30, 2008 at 6:53 AM / IP Logged  
wow, i'll say....
SP has fiberglass chop mat for $14.99, 1.5oz 50" x 1yd
just doing another random google search for that material, i found it here http://stores.infinityfrp.com/-strse-FIBERGLASS-cln-Chop-Strand-Mat-cln-1.5-ounce-38%22-wide/Categories.bok for $4.99
$10 more at select products.
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