fiberglass mold

Can't afford the rare and extreme car of your dreams? Well just build one.
sandhopper
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:14 pm

fiberglass mold

Post by sandhopper » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:44 pm

I have a new fiberglass body and would like to find a person that can help make a mold from it
I'm in socal so if anyone wants to make a few $ and can do this work would love to hear from you
I will do the grunt work just need the person with the know how to help me to keep on the right track and not waste $
Larry

Stray Catalyst
Posts: 808
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:42 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by Stray Catalyst » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:42 pm

The amount of grunt work involved is incredible, almost incomprehensible, but it's not complicated. First, put 12 to 24 coats of Turtle wax or similar HARD wax onto the body. Follow with a good coat of gelcoat, then several layers of matting and resin. Reinforce with plywood pieces for rigidity - there's no such thing as too rigid for a mold. Expect it to require two or three times as much resin and matt as the body does.

Once you've removed the mold from the body, examine the gelcoat - you're certain to find areas that will have to be ground, refinished, and repolished.

Then - 12 to 24 more coats of wax on the inside of the mold, after the resin and gelcoat have cured completely, and you're ready to start using the mold.

DO NOT skimp on the wax, or the fiberglass you apply will stick to the mold forever, and you can throw away all your hard work.

Don't be surprised if that one area that was a pain to wax, is where your mold gets ruined when the fiberglass adheres to it.

Remember that there's pretty much not a single part of the fiberglass process that isn't hostile to life. The resin will burn you, and sticks like glue. Dust from grinding will ruin your lungs. The matt has slivers that are sharper than a new razor blade. The solvents will poison you, the fumes will poison you, the dust will give you a rash.

You might be able to find a local helper - check the marinas, they have more experience with fiberglass than most body shops. I worked at a sailboat factory for several months and learned what I know about mold making, but I'm on the wrong coast to help you ion person.

Stray

sandhopper
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:14 pm

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by sandhopper » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:59 pm

Thanks , this is the same as what I have been reading
I would like to get the estimate of the materials cost to determine if it is something I would do
I also would like to find someone that has done this to over see the process , don't want to screw up
The body I have is new so that is why all the questions
Larry

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13103
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Just north of Seattle

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:13 pm

This came up a short while ago on an off-road build; this is what I wrote after looking into it some. As far as it going to be cheap... initial outlay is going to be pricy and you will have to make enough changes to your "splash" so that your liability decreases (I shouldn't mention that but-just-in-case.

Page 64 of http://www.shoptalkforums.com/viewtopic ... &start=945
CentralWAbaja wrote:...Really, I would like to see what it would cost to have somebody use it as a plug and make me a mold....seems like it would cost a fortune in materials to try and do it myself. Somebody that has everything needed in bulk would have to be cheaper? Or at least offset some of the cost of having them do it? I will probably do some checking into it.....
Then I figured out that my black buggy had been assembled without the use of a jig I started looking into taking it a part and copying the body (plug) and making some changes to it that I wanted made. The wifie-poo nixed that real quick but I did do some research into it.

On the Muscle Car show from Spike, I think it was in the last couple of years, one of the hosts who is not there now did a very good spot on making a mold and the child of the mold for a hood for their ’64 comet that really should be looked at. One of the things that was pointed out that the part to be the parent/plug had to have a perfect finish to be of any use and theirs was. In the bit below they cover the basics and talk about fixing errors in the mold.

http://pcbheaven.com/wikipages/How_Relays_Work/

This is from England (UK) and it pretty good. I rate it only slightly lower than the Muscle car video but that may be because of my bias because the other one dealt directly with cars and the uniqueness applied to them. The Muscle Cars episodes talked about shortcuts that can be made in creating the plugs which you would not ordinarily do on the real thing. This video does show longer sides on the plug but they miss on not talking about draft, they assume that the watcher already knows about that. The muscle car hood, which is stamped has already the draft needed built in so it wasn’t necessary to talk about it (it probably should have been though – see below).

One thing you have to remember is that if there are two sides to a part you have to allow for some draft into your plug. Draft being the positive angle off vertical. At the worst, the side walls can be no less that straight up and down or you can’t get the finished part out of the mold assuming you get the mold off the plug. We usually allowed for 2° of draft assuming a max allowable tolerance/error of 1°. The longer the sides are 1° gets harder to hold so 3° or 4° of draft might be more reasonable. Remember, that the draft applies to both sides.Page 64http://www.fiberglassmoldmanual.com/

A five set of books on making moulds for $34.97 (USD)

http://www.fibreglast.com/fibreglast_ho ... glass_mold

This is a 5 video discussion taken during the building of a car for the mileage runs (1000 mpg)

There is a lot of information out there and my search was a very short one.

Lee

Stray Catalyst
Posts: 808
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:42 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by Stray Catalyst » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:19 pm

See if you can find a small sailboat manufacturer in your area, they're the ones who will have the experience, and the equipment. It's not impossible to do, but it's a lot of work and materials. If the body you have is from any company that's still in business, there could be legal problems - keep yourself covered.

You might want to try making a fiberglass mold of something simpler first, so you get an idea of what's involved in this. A trash can lid, or an older Bug hood, or similar.

For a SWAG (Scientific Wild Assed Guess) weigh the fiberglass body you want to use, then find out how much it will cost for about twice that much weight in resin, plus enough matting to wrap the body several times over. Aside from that, all you need is a bubblesmasher, gloves, containers for mixing, and lots of elbow grease.

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13103
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Just north of Seattle

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:03 pm

I thought a SWAG was a "stupid wild-assed guess"; I guess that shows you the environment I worked in. :wink: We had WAGs and SWAGs depending on how your input fitted in and could be checked/verified.

A lot of larger molds like a buggy body are mounted on swinging rotisseries, the kind you could make modifying a pair of engine stands. The reason for swinging and being able to lock them in position is so that the person laying up the glass can reach everywhere even if the mold is deep.

One of my buggy bodies is made in three pieces so you really need a jig to assemble the buggy; the person I got mine from didn't use a jib and it has been a lot of work just getting it close to fitting a pan.

There are a lot of things to think if isn't there.

Lee

sandhopper
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:14 pm

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by sandhopper » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:55 pm

Thanks for all the replys
I have been tring to contact a local fiberglass shop , but they are not very responcive
I guess the idea to make some thing small is the best game plan , I have a fender that I could copy or maybe I will try to make a console . Hate to make something that I will not use
I read some where that I can use hair spray as a PVA release spray after several coats of wax
may try that if I can't find the real thing local

letterman7
Posts: 484
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:17 pm

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by letterman7 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:24 pm

So basically, you want to repop another companies new buggy? That is called theft of property - copying to make your own. That's what eventually drove Meyers out of business. There are only a few companies that are making new bodies... and they probably have better lawyers than you.

R

User avatar
SCOTTRODS
Posts: 466
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:15 am
Location: Garland, TX

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by SCOTTRODS » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:21 am

letterman7 wrote:So basically, you want to repop another companies new buggy? That is called theft of property - copying to make your own. That's what eventually drove Meyers out of business. There are only a few companies that are making new bodies... and they probably have better lawyers than you.

R
That's not what he said...... He was just using those examples for some practice stuff. He could have a foam body he wants to take a mold of...... Like this one in the link below.... http://volksrods.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36651
I have found them completely missing more than once. - PILEDRIVER

Some pics of My Powder Coating work
http://s244.photobucket.com/albums/gg6/terrellster/
My Facebook Page for Powder Coating
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001788886297

letterman7
Posts: 484
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:17 pm

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by letterman7 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:04 am

SCOTTRODS wrote: That's not what he said...... He was just using those examples for some practice stuff. He could have a foam body he wants to take a mold of...... Like this one in the link below.... http://volksrods.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36651
Uh, yes it is, in the very first sentence: I have a new fiberglass body and would like to find a person that can help make a mold from it
The OP later states that I guess the idea to make some thing small is the best game plan , I have a fender that I could copy or maybe I will try to make a console which, to me, implies that he's going to practice making f/g parts first before trying a full mold. If the OP wanted to try to make a fender or something, then it should have been stated that way.

User avatar
SCOTTRODS
Posts: 466
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:15 am
Location: Garland, TX

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by SCOTTRODS » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:09 pm

Sorry for the misunderstanding..... and yes.... I know he said it IS new. He made sure to point that out more than once. He just didn't say how it was obtained or anything that incriminated himself.... Maybe it IS new, and he made it himself..... All that "Theft of property" stuff is assumption... :?

Although I tend to believe you're right in your assessment of the situation..... It's just [an observation], that he didn't say enough to make it all "as it seems", and incriminate himself. He's just looking for some answers.... :mrgreen:
I have found them completely missing more than once. - PILEDRIVER

Some pics of My Powder Coating work
http://s244.photobucket.com/albums/gg6/terrellster/
My Facebook Page for Powder Coating
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001788886297

letterman7
Posts: 484
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:17 pm

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by letterman7 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:34 pm

No worries. As mentioned, there isn't enough information to make a complete assessment. I would think that if he had made a new body, then he has the ability to make a mold... but maybe not. Fiberglassing from scratch can be challenging enough.

That's a very cool thread in the Vrods forums. The builder has some deep pockets to pay someone to mill foam with a 5 axis machine!

sandhopper
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:14 pm

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by sandhopper » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:46 pm

sorry I forgot about this post
First off the body was built long ago , I'm sure the MFG is long gone I got this body at the VW clasic last year
Like I said it is new NO HOLES even the head lamp post not drilled the metal flake paint is faded , it would need to be finished sanded
I do not have the hood is what got me started to think about making a mold of the body . I have been looking for someone to get a price , but most are really expensive or never follow through . I have done some glass repair so I have an idea of what it takes just have not retired from my day job yet so time is the problem
If you all think this is not legal I will not do it , there are plenty of buggys that I can work on
Oh I should say I have 4 others and only one of them complete and drivable off road and street
Larry

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13103
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Just north of Seattle

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:36 pm

A lot of used buggies are sold sands hood and I for one don't think that making a new hood/nose piece, especially if it is your own design, counts as infringement of a builder's property rights.

You see a lot of buggies that are probably splashes with mods. If you can find a hood that will fit the lines or almost fit then I would think it would be OK but an entire body w/hood and selling them (the cost would only be worth it if you did) then that could be something else. (advice) If you plan on making something for sale or for someone else and you aren't comfortable then get some professional help; it would/could be cheaper going into something like this knowing what you can do or can't... legally.

Pay attention to how the hood is mounted as some have a hook in front under the hood that locks onto the main body.

Lee

sandhopper
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:14 pm

Re: fiberglass mold

Post by sandhopper » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:03 am

Thanks
The body I have is very differnt in size in the front , I have tried to check the other hoods I have and none fit or even close
From what I can get so far it does not look like I will be doing more bodys from this one as no one has stepped up with wanting to do this
First step has always been to get a hood and dash so it is complete
I have been thinking maybe using a wire to make a frame then covering that with fiberglass or foam to make the buck
So far it has just been a lot of thinking how to make something out of this body
Larry

Post Reply