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DIY fiberglass

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  • DIY fiberglass

    Has anyone ever worked with making something out of fiberglass? Is it very difficult. I am looking into making something so if anyone has any tips they can share that would be great.

  • #2
    It depends on how complex of a part you are making. Molds can get a little complicated if there are undercuts. The most difficult thing about glass work is all the prep and finish work that you have to go through. There is a lot of messy sanding involved. What were you thinking about making?


    • #3
      I've never worked fiberglass the way that the companies who make prefer you to... instead, I've always used construction-grade epoxy and simply layered in fiberglass or kevlar cloth, with the epoxy doing all the real shaping work (and providing most of the strength).

      BraavaJim, from what I understand, has a good working knowledge of fiberglass... his bike (a pre-98) has a radically modded fairing that's a combination of pre-98 and 98+ that looks like some factory cross-over model which never existed (but the results look factory fresh, not home-built). And I'm sure there are others around who know how to work it well...

      =-= The CyberPoet
      Remember The CyberPoet


      • #4
        I was thinking of trying to make my own undertail.


        • #5
          An undertail can be a relatively simple part to make. If you are only planning to make one part you could make a model then lay up on that. You will want your model to be pretty sturdy. It will need to be painted and sanded until it is smooth. Remember that any imperfections that are in the mold will show up in the part. Ideally you would use a vacuum bag and a pump to squeeze out the extra resin. If you are trying to keep it cheap you can work from an open mold. It just means that the part will be heavier and make have some defects that you will need to repair. I would recommend that you check out this book. It is a great start.


          • #6


            • #7
              funny you should mention this. I just "inherited" 4 big rolls of fiberglass cloth last week when I was cleaning out my grandfathers garage.
              I don't have a short temper. I just have a quick reaction to bullshit.


              • #8
                The only fiberglass work I've done is repairing the nose of my surfboard. 3 times.
                Hey, good luck with the project and keep us informed on how it goes.


                • #9
                  I made canoe, it lasted for a year or so. Lets see some picts?
                  Katana 750 2002


                  • #10
                    Fiberglass is a wonderfull medium to work with. It will take the shape of almost any mold.
                    It is however very messy and sticky.

                    The most important things to keep in mind are.

                    Preperation is the key. Have everything ready and on hand before you mix the resin. You have a very short work time once the hardener is mixed with the resin.

                    If using a mold to lay the glass .....use a male or positive mold. It's much easier to lay over something as compared to laying "in".
                    Also...the finished surface will be smoother.
                    Having said that.....the surface that the glass is to be layed over needs to be perfect. Any imperfections will show up and result in more finishing work.

                    Use a mold release to make removal of the dryed glass easier (possible at that ).
                    Spray on Pam cooking oil works really well.

                    Lay one or two sheets of glass and let dry. Remove from mold once completely dry. The product will have enough flexabilility to allow for easy removal. If you apply the total amount of sheets all at once it is harder to get off the mold.
                    Then place over mold again and apply the remaining sheets of glass and resin.

                    There are different thickness of glass sheets and carbon fiber sheets. The 1st few sheets should be of a thinner gauge if the mold is highly detailed.

                    Hope this helps some.

                    it's my opinion......that's what makes it mine..

                    Toronto Canada that is


                    • #11
                      Good advice Buc...
                      I found some good "how tos:"
                      One was from Hod Rod magazine..
                      The other was from a guy who makes
                      Gundam costumes..

                      Damned If I can remember the links.. (

                      Couple of more suggestions:
                      I had no problem with the "female" mold..
                      Worked reallt well for me.
                      Mixing baking soda with the resin give a
                      surface that sands really well.
                      If you make a mold out of plaster use
                      Vasiline to keep the resin from sticking.

                      Plaster is good for a mold as you can sand it smooth and add a "coat" of plaster to erase mistakes.


                      • #12
                        Yep...I've used that aswell. Much easier than clay or Bondo!

                        I like your baking soda trick.... I have to test that out on my newest project. heeheeheeee..

                        it's my opinion......that's what makes it mine..

                        Toronto Canada that is


                        • #13
                          Buc this is aimed at you given you seeem to know the most in this thread

                          if im making a mold using say hard foam ive shapped.

                          do i spray Pam on the foam then lay the glass cloth?

                          Currently Looking for a pre 98 katana project


                          • #14
                            Hard foam is porous and as a result the resin will seep into every little nook and cranny. Removing the finished product will be impossible.
                            Once the foam is shapped you will have to spread a harder compond over it. You can use plaster,clay,bondo etc.

                            Sand to the desired shape, sand some more......then a little more until baby ass smooth. Then prime,paint and clear.

                            The idea is to have the finished surface of the mold as smooth and perfect as possible. The closer the mold's finish is to a glass like surface the easier the fiberglass will lift off once dry.

                            fire away if you have anymore questions.

                            it's my opinion......that's what makes it mine..

                            Toronto Canada that is


                            • #15
                              ok so foam, then clay over that
                              (then remove foam? or leave foam for stability just make sure none is exposed?)

                              then spray pam on the clay?

                              or just lay the glass sheet on it, resin etc ( know the basics of glassing, just never done molds, only done consoles and speakerboxes)

                              Currently Looking for a pre 98 katana project