Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

  1. #1
    jarodpenn's Avatar
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    Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    Hey guys, been a while.
    I'm getting ready to start on my armor. I've done a lot of reading around and you all have some AWESOME ideas. I'm going with aluminum flashing and fiberglassing the back to give it some strength. Any tips for someone who hasn't used f/g before? Thanks.

  2. #2
    jarodpenn's Avatar
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    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    Anyone?

  3. #3
    drokkul's Avatar
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    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    • Wear safety glasses.
    • Wear a respirator (or at least a facemask rated for fiberglass usage)
    • Wear rubber gloves
    • Wear old clothes that you don't care about anymore
    • Work in a well ventilated area--prefferably outside
    • Don't rub your eyes with fiberglass resin and fibers stuck to your finger
    • Be prepared to get sticky

  4. #4
    Halo_1's Avatar
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    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    To add on...

    - Pre Cut your fiberglass sheets if they aren't already.
    - Pre Cut em for various sizes and shapes [specific to your armor]
    - Make sure the fg sheet pieces overlap each other for 'strength'
    - Don't worry about excess fg stickin out from under the alum, it can be trimmed off
    - Press hard to get rid of the air bubbles and unnecessary extra work after
    - Wear a respirator [Can't emphasize this enough!]
    - Double on your rubber latex gloves

    And most of all, have fun.

    Stay safe,

    Tim.

  5. #5

    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    also dont sand in a t shirt, i learnt that one the 1st time i used the stuff

  6. #6
    jarodpenn's Avatar
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    More questions-

    Just thought of something-
    Do I want to shape the armor first and fiberglass; or can I f/g the flat flashing THEN shape? I'm having a real hard time getting the flashing to hold the contours without making real severe bends.

  7. #7
    Halo_1's Avatar
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    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    Shape the armor first, fiberglass after...it's alot less work.

    Stay safe,

    Tim.

  8. #8
    jarodpenn's Avatar
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    Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    Thanks for the help so far. Wish I had pics to show. Second thought- no I don't.
    Here's the deal: Along from getting tips from all you here, I've also been listening to a mechanic friend of mine and know that he uses the Bondo resin Jelly. Figured it'd work on the armor, right? Wrong. I don't know if I mixed the wrong amount of hardner or what, but the underside of my armor isn't lookin to pretty.
    Suggestions? Do I just scrape/sand it off and get the regular resin?

  9. #9
    I helped at SDCC '08 MandalorFett's Avatar
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    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    You should contact Wickedbeard, he'll have a lot of answers on the subject for you.

  10. #10
    jarodpenn's Avatar
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    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    PM sent. Thanks, man.

  11. #11
    jarodpenn's Avatar
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    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    Okay, guys- more questions!
    I've been practicing with the f/g. Sometimes it hardens all the way, other times it still has a tacky feel to it. What can I do to get rid of that?
    1) Is there anything I can do to harden it once it's as dry as it's gonna get?
    2) Should I f/g over the tacky layer in hopes that it'd reinforce the underneath?
    3) Should I rip it off and start over with more hardener? As it is I'm already using a whole mini-tube per mixture of resin.

  12. #12
    Alcfalath's Avatar
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    Perth, Western Australia
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    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    Go to a reputable/large surfing store... what you are after is q-cell.. its a miraculous white powder that when usiing with fibreglass allows it to set a bit harder, and a lot stronger and lighter than conventional fibreglassing.. you are using polyester resin and catalyst with the fibreglass right...? if so then search for the q-cell....

  13. #13
    jarodpenn's Avatar
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    Re: Starting figerglass armor- any tips?

    As for the q-cell, do I add it into the resin mix or powder it on after the resin in on the projest? This is what I'm using:

    http://www.bondo-online.com/fileshar...es/402NEW2.JPG
    http://www.bondo-online.com/fileshar...es/912NEW2.JPG
    I'm mixing it as per instructions on the can. I don't know if it's that the room I'm doing this in is too cool or what. Maybe I should use a heat lamp like it suggests?
    This is yesterday that I asked the questions. Today the material seems less tacky. Where there's just resin with no matte is still a little gooey. That's right, I said 'gooey'.

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