Bending Fiberglass

  1. #1
    drache's Avatar
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    Bending Fiberglass

    Picked up some nice used armor plates - unfotunately, the back plate is a bit too wide for me (I guess that p90x is paying off). It's fiberglass - is there anyway to bend the "sides" in a bit with heat? Or will it crack or just burn my house down. Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    It depend on the thickness and quality of it..

  3. #3

    Member Since
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    I have done minor corrections to FG on a lid
    have to heat up the resin enough for it to get soft

    but it is a hit and miss thing, and u may very well end up cracking the armour

  4. #4
    Boomer Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    Heatshock said: View Post
    I have done minor corrections to FG on a lid
    have to heat up the resin enough for it to get soft

    but it is a hit and miss thing, and u may very well end up cracking the armour
    I totally agree. When I reform mannequins for the "fett" look I use heat sparingly. Plus fiberglass always tends to get airborn during any shaping so PLEASE wear appropriate protective equipment brother. Well ventilated area as well

  5. #5
    I helped at SDCC '08 GCNgamer128's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    If you have a heat gun, use that.

  6. #6
    drache's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    Thanks for the advice. I'll have to test it a bit, see how it goes. Will do on the ventilation/gear!

  7. #7
    Dougie Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    I have reshaped back armour before but it was trial and error, someone suggested dunking it in cold water when reshaped which was a stupid idea. The gelcoat cracked because it cooled down too quickly.

  8. #8
    BOBA PHAT's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    Use the heat gun, but go slowly and wear thick work gloves too. The FG will get hot! Heat the area you want to bend from both sides till the FG bends the way you want it. Then dip it or run it under cold water to help it keep its shape. You might have to do this process several times before the FG starts to take its new shape.

    Good luck and be CAREFUL!

    -Ryan

  9. #9
    drache's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    Got the heat gun. It's cold enough to get this to cool down at a moderate rate if I let it sit outside my garage rather than the dumping. I can actually bend it to the range I'm looking for right now, so I'll try to clamp it to hold the bend I need and heat it so it maintains the bend. I'm only expecting to get a little movement, so hopefully no cracking. Going to be fun.

  10. #10

    Member Since
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    btw - if it does crack; it aint the end of the world!

    might evne be blessing in disguish ;P

  11. #11
    drache's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    Why, you selling somethin'?

  12. #12
    Dougie Fett's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    Heatshock said: View Post
    btw - if it does crack; it aint the end of the world!

    might evne be blessing in disguish ;P
    Unfortunately I didn't have the correct paint to retouch although it is hidden by the jet pack.

  13. #13
    mrgr8ness's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    I reshaped a fiberglass bucket. Used a kerosene space heater with the cage around it. Set the bucket right on top of the cage for awhile until it was nice and soft, then reshaped and stuck in the freezer for a couple minutes. I did end up with a crack, but it was easily repairable. Happened mostly because I wasn't being patient.

  14. #14

    Member Since
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    Yeah, as has been said, doing something like that takes time and is tough to do.

    If you heat it too much it could melt and get bubbly and messy.

    But if you hit the nail on the head heating it should work nicely.

  15. #15
    tk0000's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    Arise thread, arise! How were your results? I'm having a similar issue.

  16. #16
    boba trooper's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    Ive worked with fiberglass alot, best way is like Boba Phat said heat it slowly with the heat gun doing it on both sides of where you want to bend it, once you get it to the stage where it is movable, set it to where you want it and dont dunk it or run it under water as this cools the glassfiber down to quick and it will crack, if you can hold it at the place you want it by wearing gloves or something so not to burn yourself, and give it a few mins without heat it should cool down itself without any problems once it get cool if you want to dunk it in some lukewarm water not cold water and you should be alright. Hope this helps.

  17. #17
    ChrisTheArtist's Avatar
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    Re: Bending Fiberglass

    In theory then could I apply a heat gun to acrylics like Persex or Plexiglass and mould the armour plates?

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