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Old 04-10-2009, 12:43 PM   #1
Koji
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Default Koji's Quick and Dirty DIY Guide (AKA Tips for the adventerous DIY newbie)

I get a ton of PM's from people who want to try to build something. I almost always answer them, unless the information the person is looking for is well documented if they actually used the "Search" function.

The questions seem to run along similar lines, so I figured it'd be easier for me to just start a thread with some of the questions I've answered, some of the tips I've picked up, and some of my general DIY advice.

I am not Teh Masta' at a lot of this stuff. There are plenty of people on here with more experience than me at a lot of the mods I've done. However, since I am is a crazy dude that is willing to spend money to try stuff out and have a high tolerance for crap failing - you can learn from my trial and error without having to make any mistakes yourself.

This thread will be a work in progress and I'll add to it as new questions come up or I try out new stuff. I've got some Carbon Kevlar parts curing at the moment, so that should add some interesting tidbits once I've experimented a bit more.

Here goes:
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:43 PM   #2
Koji
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Default The Uber Condensed Fiberglass Tutorial

Still working on this one...


Working with Glass: Materials

If you're just getting started with Fiberglass, depending on your project you'll need the following:

Resin and Hardener. You can get this at Lowe's and Home Depot. There's better stuff avaliable but if you're just starting out, this stuff is fine. There's several kinds of resin. The stuff at the hardware store is polyester based. Epoxy resins are also avaliable if you're trying to make something that's really going to get abused. You can get those from the links at the bottom of this post.

Body Filler and Hardener. You will invariable screw up something. That doesn't mean it's the end of the project - it just means it's body filler time. BONDO BRAND BODY FILLER SHOULD BE OUTLAWED. Buy anything from Evercoat. All their products are awesome.

Skim Coat. This is like the last layer you put on over bodyfiller/fiberglass. It's easy to sand and will help you get that professionally finished look. I cannot recommend "Evercoat Easy Sand" enough. Again, the Bondo equivalent should be outlawed.

Fiberglass Cloth and Chop Mat. These will usually be next to each other (and the resin) in the hardware store. There are other options avaliable for cloth if you want to go to a fabric store but for a newb the store stuff should be fine.

Scissors

Spray Glue. I recommend Elmers Craft Bond. It's the only glue I've found that will still hold adhesion once resin is applied. You just have to be careful to not overly wet-out the piece and it'll hold.

Paint brushes. Get the cheapest natural hair brushes you can find. NO FOAM. For anything bigger than your two fists you'll want 2" brushes. Anything smaller and you can use a 1" or 1/2" brush.

Chip Brush. This really could be anything that's got a handle and relatively flat end surface. The point of this is to tap down any air bubbles you find between layers.

Fiberglass Roller. For anything large and flat, this is absolutely required. You can make your own (which is what I did). Just take a beat up small paint roller and alternate large and small washers. I'll post a pic shortly...

Rubber Spreaders. (For the body filler).

Containers. I have various sizes of tupperware disposable containers that I use depending upon how much resin I'm mixing. They work, and they're cheap. This is something to get at the dollar store.

Craft Sticks. (basically a package of popsicle sticks). You can get these at Michaels. Just make sure they're longer than your containers are tall.

Blue painters tape.

Vaseline. I have one in the big industrial prison inmate size.

Exacto Knifes (not required but useful)

LOTS of sandpaper. Depending upon the size of your project. You'll need 40 or 60 Grit, 120, 180, 220, 320, 400, 600. That's what I've got in the aresenal. YMMV. In general you'll need twice as much from the 220 down than you will from the 220 grit up.

A belt sander. This isn't required, but is pretty damn useful.

A palm sander. Again, this isn't required but is pretty damn useful.


Your first mistake is thinking that you can use the glass as the outer layer without anything on top of it. Unless you're using a mold, that's almost impossible. When you see fiberglass parts online or from vendors, they always have "gel-coat" on them.

Basically when you're making a part on a mold, you throw in the gel coat as the first layer and then add the glass behind it. Gel coat is easy to sand and smooth and will lead to a perfect part.

You can/should (and already have ) use body filler to fill in the holes, but since you don't have a mold and gel coat at this point would be useless, you need a good quality skim coat of something to finish the part.

Buy a tube of "Evercoat Easy Sand" from these guys:

http://www.caswellplating.com/aids/evercoat1.html

I've had the best luck when ordering my products from them. You could try somewhere else, but they're the cheapest I've found.

When you get the product, mix up a small batch and use a rubber spreader to cover the entire exterior of the piece. Then use some 400 grit to take off any high spots, then use 600 and 800 grit over the top to smooth it out. Once you've got it smooth, try throwing on a layer of primer. If it looks good - commence with painting. If there are still imperfections, start again with higher grip paper till it looks good.

If you're going to be doing a lot of glass stuff, I'd highly recommend you get one of the rage body filler products. Bondo should be outlawed.




Working with Glass: Basics for Beginners


That depends on if you're using matt, cloth, or t-shirts. I'm no expert at this by any means, but as you can see I like to play around and figure out what works. Here is what I've noticed when building pieces:

1. Fiberglass matt takes two to three times the resin of the cloth, but is at least three times the strenght and therefore good for structural pieces. Basically one layer of the matt is rougly equal strenght wise the two and a half layers made with the cloth.

2. Cloth is better for shaping and smoothing, but I use as more of a middle layer. The cloth takes less resin, is more shapable, but isn't nearly as strong. If I want a mold of something, but need it to bend off of the mold or otherwise remove it, I do a layer with the cloth, then take it off the mold and add some matt.

3. Regular old t-shirts (doesn't matter how dirty, oily, or nasty) are about half the strenght of the cloth, take hardly any resin, and you can actually cut it with a pair of scissors or snips when you're done. If you're making a weird shape, start with the t-shirts and build from the outside in (outer layer first and cut it to shape, then cloth, then matt.

What I've been doing is either two layers of cloth, one of t-shirt, or;
One layer of matt, one or two of cloth, one of t-shirt.

The latter seems to be the best combination of strength, workability, and smoothness. I'll have no qualms about putting pieces made in that way on the outside of my car.


Sanding



Offical Odd-Job of Ninja's



As far as sanding goes, location wise - I do it outside on my driveway. The dust is a killer and you'll be cleaning it off for weeks. My driveway is at an angle (my house is on a sideways hill) so all the rain we get up here just washes everything into a hedge I have.

If you're doing any cutting with a dremel or other rotary tool, I'd also suggest doing that outside as the rotary tool seems to get the bits even further than the sander if you can believe it.

If it's already cold where you live, grab a big ass cardboard box and make an enclosure that's stull big enough for you to work in (kinda like a porta potty) and find a way to secure your shop vac to something and run it as you go.

The nice thing about the belt sander as opposed to the palm sander is that you get about 1/4 to 1/8 of the dust. Even though it's a much stronger tool, because of the way it works it actually traps the vast majority of the material. If you look back through the pictures I posted you can see a little pile of dust on the driveway. That's from me turning the belt sander right side up.

As far as clothing, I go all out:

1. 3M respirator that's rated for auto paint (it also has a nice charcoal filter so you literally can't smell anything.

2. Fleece jacket (this is nice because all of the dust gets stuck to it as opposed to flying everywhere).

3. Glasses that cup the eyes.

4. Face shield. (like what you'd use if you were grinding metal).

5. Long household gloves. The ones that come up 2/3rds of the way up your forearm.

6. Fishing boots. Yes, seriously.

I also keep an eye wash station handy. Don't play around with your ability to see.

Given that setup, you can see why I'd rather just suit up and go to town for a couple of hours rather than take it all off multiple times. One of the reasons I started this project now as opposed to in the summer is that it's cool enough here that I can wear all that and still be comfortable.

I didn't suit up yesterday though and I regret it because I had to flush out my sinuses this morning.


you want to start shaping the body filler like 30 seconds after it starts to harden (this is usually called the green stage) with a low grit (36) or better yet a grater/rasp. The filler will be a be a crumbly consistancy.

asic Materials:
1. Polar fleese ($4 per yard at a fabric store). You'll probably only need a yard for that project.
2. Fiberglass mat. Just buy one at the hardware store - anything else is probably overkill till you're getting better at this.
3. Fiberglass cloth. Same.
4. Dremel or other rotary tool.
5. Polyester resin w/ harder
6. Mixing cups and sticks. For something that small you can just use old beat up tupperware and get some craft sticks at Michaels.
7. Body filler (buy some good stuff. no bondo brand EVER.)
8. Scissors and razors
9. Spray glue
10. Plastic drop cloth
11. Masking tape or painters tape. thinner is probably better.
12. Sharpie
13. 2-3” chip brush
14. Acetone
15. Plastics spreaders
16. Various grits of sand paper. Everything from 35 grit to 400 grit (35, 80, 120, 180, 220, 320, 400 is what I've got in my aresenal)
17. A rasp or grater of some kind.
18. Buy a good 3M respirator if you don't already have one. They're like $25 at the hardware store. Don't play around with your lungs or your eyes.
19. Quality safety goggles that cup the eyes.
20. A couple of boxes of non-latex disposable gloves. I get mine at Costco and they're great.
21. Fiberglass roller (see below)

First off, go sign up at www.fiberglassforums.com. I've seriously learned a ton about what kind of mistakes I was making in only a few hours of surfing. I'm going to be better at this as a result and apply it to the rest of the process. Once you're signed up (you can't view threads there without signing up as near as I can tell because the web master if paranoid about bots) go and read all the stickies in the fabrication forum twice:

http://www.fiberglassforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16

Make your own fiberglass roller:
http://www.fiberglassforums.com/showthread.php?t=7543

I don't need to give you an opinion on construction because this guy already did EXACTLY the process you should follow:
http://www.fiberglassforums.com/show...ight=gauge+pod

You'll need some kind of base that fits into the OEM location. Personally I'd hack up the OEM clock. If you don't want to hack up a perfectly good clock, paypal me $20 to koji_r@hotmail.com and I'll send you mine. Good luck!

Working with Glass: Using Molds


Working with Glass: Other tips and Tricks

For finishing work, I use a combination of a couple of different tools. For really rough work, I use a belt sander clamped into my black and decker work bench with some Gorilla tape over the trigger. This basically gives me the rough equivalent of a grinding stone but not nearly as likely to damage the part. At first a belt sander sounds crazy but it's actually really good for making a long piece perfectly flat. If you're working with fiberglass a medium or fine grit belt is ideal, and it's a good idea to only use the first or second speed (from the slowest) or you'll risk damaging what you spent all that time making. The rest is just using a steady hand and not being an ass hat and trying to take off more in one go than you should.



The other things I use are a rotary tool, a jigsaw, and a palm sander. I always do the final sanding by hand, but these things help me get to the point where I can do that a whole lot quicker.













Other Resources

http://www.fiberglassforums.com/

People ask me where they can go to learn more about glassing'. There you go. Guys have built complete cars on that site and taken pictures of the entire build so you can follow along. You need to sign up for the site to view anything useful. The stickies in the fabrication section are top notch. Read them.

http://www.uscomposites.com/

When you get on to more serious projects or want better materials than what you can get at the hardware store, start here. They've got resin, tons of different kinds of cloth and chop mat, tools, etc.

http://www.tapplastics.com/

If you're on the West Coast you may have one of these in your area. The one up here is great and the staff has been really helpful to me when working through crazy project ideas.

http://www.caswellplating.com/aids/evercoat1.html

This is where I buy my Evercoat body filler from. Had really good luck with them and their service is really good. They actually called me once to make sure I had enough cream hardener with my shippment. WTF? Who does that? So yeah, that's good service.

Last edited by Koji; 04-11-2009 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #3
Koji
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Default Body Work and Painting

Buy your paint from Paintscratch.com. Since you're doing a lip and skirts, you'll probably need two cans at least. You may want to get three just to be safe. They've got a model year and color selector so you don't have to worry about paint name or paint codes, but for reference it's 08V I believe.

Don't bother with their clearcoat. Get an couple of cans of automotive clear coat from your auto parts store.

Anything plastic, you need to use a "flexible primer". It's a primer meant to be used on plastic, and it has some flex to it so it won't crack. Again, get this at your auto parts store.

You will need rubbing compound, and polishing compound and a polisher (DO NOT DO THIS BY HAND) to get the correct final results on the clear coat once it's dried.

Last edited by Koji; 04-11-2009 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
Koji
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Default

saving again
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
Koji
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Default

I am saving
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #6
Koji
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Default

See - this is me saving
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:45 PM   #7
Koji
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oh really. I'm saving
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:45 PM   #8
Koji
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Default

you know what, I'll save some more.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:45 PM   #9
Koji
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Ah what? More? Yes. More.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:45 PM   #10
Koji
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Default

Dude, I want at least 15 spots.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:46 PM   #11
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No seriously. 15.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:46 PM   #12
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Please don't post till I get to 15.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:46 PM   #13
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All work and no play makes Koji a dull boy.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:47 PM   #14
Koji
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Hey, did you hear the one about the guy who stole the robbers car?
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:47 PM   #15
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Oh wait, that really happened...
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:49 PM   #16
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So be good for goodness sake.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koji View Post
Hey, did you hear the one about the guy who stole the robbers car?
LOL, yeah, I heard about that.
Heard it was simultaneously the smartest and dumbest thing he's ever done.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackozone View Post
LOL, yeah, I heard about that.
Heard it was simultaneously the smartest and dumbest thing he's ever done.

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Old 04-10-2009, 01:41 PM   #19
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wow....16 posts
really get that many questions koji?
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:21 PM   #20
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Hey koji, what hair products do you use, and how do you wash your hair?
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:35 PM   #21
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hey koji, what do u use to shave ur pubes
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:35 PM   #22
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:40 PM   #23
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hey koji, what do u use to shave ur pubes
oxy-acetylene torch or a Woodsman's Pal, I bet.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:41 PM   #24
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diy tire mounting?
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #25
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omg thats halarious* lol but yea this should be interesting
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