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-   -   School me on Fiberglass (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=20501)

Overlander 11-15-2013 03:27 PM

School me on Fiberglass
 
For those of you with fiberglass experience...

I just put on a new winch on my '80 behind the factory bumper - turned out pretty good (if I do say so myself), however, I'd like to make a little cover for it to protect the fairlead, which, cable from the mud, and other road hazards.

I could make it out of the metal, but I thought it would be nice to make it out of fiberglass - though I've never tired it.

I watched some videos on youtube but there is such a dazzling array of applications for fiberglass that I have a hard time picking the right minimal things that I would need.

I would like it to be strong, about 1/4 inch thick and able to take a stone off the road - think it's doable?! Maybe I should combine think metal plate with fiberglass sides that go around the fairlead?! What materials would I need for fiberglass work (mat, resin, hardener) - where do I get it?!

Thx,
James

nattybumppo 11-15-2013 04:50 PM

1/4 inch thick is a lot. For a hand lay-up, you could get the strength you need, and a lot less weight, with a thinner laminate. Generally, fiberglass is stiff but a little brittle, and other fabrics, like kevlar, are much stronger...ie more resistant to inpact. The reason comercially produced products like truck toppers are so thick, is that they are made of sprayed chopped fibers.

For your purpose, hand laid sections of glass and kevlar (or nylon cloth) would work fine. You would have to seam them together to get the box you wanted, and maybe gel coat the outside if you want it to look smooth and finished. A good source of materials would be Plasticrafts (it might have been renamed to Plasticare) but it is about a block west off of South Sante Fe somewhere in the vicinity of Oxford...in one of those commercial strip malls in Englewood. They would have everything you needed, including advice.

Smelly work, but easily enough doable.

Overlander 11-15-2013 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nattybumppo (Post 242122)
1/4 inch thick is a lot. For a hand lay-up, you could get the strength you need, and a lot less weight, with a thinner laminate. Generally, fiberglass is stiff but a little brittle, and other fabrics, like kevlar, are much stronger...ie more resistant to inpact. The reason comercially produced products like truck toppers are so thick, is that they are made of sprayed chopped fibers.

For your purpose, hand laid sections of glass and kevlar (or nylon cloth) would work fine. You would have to seam them together to get the box you wanted, and maybe gel coat the outside if you want it to look smooth and finished. A good source of materials would be Plasticrafts (it might have been renamed to Plasticare) but it is about a block west off of South Sante Fe somewhere in the vicinity of Oxford...in one of those commercial strip malls in Englewood. They would have everything you needed, including advice.

Smelly work, but easily enough doable.

Thanks for the advice: you think something like this kit would work?!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/360694690622

RockRunner 11-15-2013 07:50 PM

The place is called Plasticare and they have it all. You could do layers of thick matt over the top of each other. The biggest problem is shaping it, you could use some bend sheet metal or create a mold of wood or ?????

The place is located across the street of Red and Jerry's at the south end of the strip mall and the west side of the 'SHOPPING" area. They have a great selection was there last Tuesday. Good luck!

nattybumppo 11-15-2013 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Overlander (Post 242124)
Thanks for the advice: you think something like this kit would work?!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/360694690622

No. That is just glass matt. It will crack if you catch a small rock at speed, and would leave a VERY rough finish anyway. Tom suggested you create a mold which would be great but a lot more work than just laying up flat pieces and then seaming them together at the joints...also being inexperienced with fiberglass work, you would have a lot of trouble with bubbles at the corners.
I would really recommend using a nice, very smooth flat surface to lay your pieces up on and then trimming them to the size/shape you need and putting them together for your final shape.

Also a good alternative would be to make your box out of 1/4 inch plywood glued to shape and then putting a layer of fiberglass all around on the outside. Then you wouldn't hyave to worry about getting the pieces to release from the surface you laid them up on.

farnhamstj 11-18-2013 06:32 PM

One of the nice tricks if you are unfamiliar. Let the fabric run past the edge that will be the finished product and cut it with a razor knife when the epoxy is past runny but still not dry. If you have a core and cover it with fiberglass that it the easiest. You can sand it and add layers of fiberglass and epoxy to corners and such. The blue insulating foam makes a good core. Think custom surfboard in the shape you need. Check into local hobby stores for smaller applications.

Sanding and working with fiberglass/ epoxy, especially in a small area use a respirator.

farnhamstj 11-18-2013 06:36 PM

What about using a plastic container, cut it to shape. Think bottom 1/2 of a tackle box, tool box, rubbermaid container, that would be easier and cheeper than fiberglass.

baja1d 11-18-2013 11:04 PM

School me on Fiberglass
 
Fabric stores carry "soft top" material as well. Just a thought for when you've got to use the winch. Fabric folds up nicer than a fiber glassed shell and a little more forgiving when that unexpected rock/boulder shows up outta nowhere!

Overlander 11-19-2013 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by baja1d (Post 242294)
Fabric stores carry "soft top" material as well. Just a thought for when you've got to use the winch. Fabric folds up nicer than a fiber glassed shell and a little more forgiving when that unexpected rock/boulder shows up outta nowhere!

Good idea - I have a cover for that winch that I can probably re-use... forget the fiberglass - you guys told me enough to Know I have to stay away from it... :)


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