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Teaching Fiberglass (part one and two)

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Old 08-22-2005, 09:18 AM   #1
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Teaching Fiberglass (part one and two)

I had to make this a two part How-To cause of the number of picks. See part two after reading this section.



HOW-TO

FIBERGLASSING SCREEN AND GRAPHING IT INTO THE 98+ S10 DASH



This How-To is for those with minimal to above average experience with fiber glassing and or composite or two part chemical mixes and materials. Performing this mod will remove the center ac vents, the oem headunit position moving it to the ac controls position, and the ac controls going into the glove box.



The following How-To was generated by the buzz and interest in doing something of this nature but didn’t know where to begin. You take full responsibility of your own project and factory parts in performing this How-To and hold me not responsible. There are many way to perform this. This is how I did it.



Take good note of the photos, as they will reveal what the step explanation is. You’ll also begin to realize that the mod is an adaptation to other How-To’s found in the Sound forum with regards to fiberglass enclosure design. If you can do those mods, you can do this one.



If after reviewing this you want this done but feel its outside your capabilities or time, PM me and we’ll discuss me doing it for you for a minimal fee or parts trade to cover the material cost and some of the labor involved as it is a time consuming endeavor.



Step One: Where to begin? Purchase the screen you desire and take good measurements of the actual screen itself and not the screen and housing. You are only concentrating on the part of the unit that is visible.



Step Two: Sand the surface of the dash bezel as smooth as possible using 180 grit at first, and then transitioning to 220 and 400 grit. Grits lower than 180 are too rough and gouge the crap out of the plastic creating a greater headache. Scuff the area of the bezel around the center ac vents, controls and original head unit position with 40 grit paper. These areas need to be rough to make a porous surface for the adhesives to be used. Note, if you are doing this mod the ac controls will be mounted into the glove box. The second picture of this step shows the ac controls mounted in the glove box. After sanding as specified, use a dremel tool with router bit to cut the areas out as shown in the picture. Use a dremel tool drum sander to smooth up the edges of the cuts you make. Rough sand the backside of the bezel in this area as well using 40 grit paper.





Step 3: Go to a local Hobby Shop for RC airplanes. There, get the following items:


1/8” x 12” x 12” plywood


2 part 5 minutes epoxy


Micro-balloons (epoxy addative to make it pasty for filling or gusseting)

30” long half round stock (for framing the screen, picture will be further in the How-To)

Small saw blade and plenty of throwaway brushes

½, ¾ & 2oz fiberglass weave (NOT MAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never use mat unless you have a super flat piece you are fiber glassing or you have a boat hull.


Foam Electronic Wrap

1/8” x 1/8” x 20” balsa wood stock



Step 4: Make a template of the holes to be filled in the dash bezel and cut them out on the 1/8” plywood using a band saw or equivalent. Do not use a jigsaw as the blade of this tool will shred the piss out of the wood. Remember the wood is only for filling the hole with minimal structure properties. The fiber glassing will add the strength to the structure.





Step 5: Because there is a slight curve to the dash that a flat piece of plywood will have to conform to, epoxy the edges of the plywood to the plastic starting at the top left and working your way around it in three-inch segments. The plywood will curve to this and this is why a thin plywood is used.



Step 6: From behind the plywood, use a ½ oz fiberglass. ½ oz fiberglass is very thin like silk and will conform to curves extremely well. It can be found at the Hobby Shop. Lay down epoxy and the fiberglass using a stabbing motion to tuck the fiberglass into the nooks and crannies of the junction between the wood and the plastic. Do this all the way around like when gluing the wood in in the first place.



Step 7: Do the same to the front using 2” wide fiberglass tape found at the hobby shop. This now makes the wood very secure to the plastic by having made a fiberglass gusset on both sides of the wood.



Step 8: Epoxy in the cd player’s mounting bracket into the ac controls oem position. If it doesn’t fit, you might need to use a dremel tool drum sander to begin shaving away portions of the plastic cross piece of the dash that separates the oem ac position from the oem radio position.



Step 9: Like before when taping and gusseting the wood to the plastic, do the same with the head unit mount with stabbing motions, tucking the glass into the nooks and crannies of the junction from the front and back. Using micro-balloons to the epoxy mix, mix up a second batch after laying the fiberglass to partially fill in this junction. This will allow the gusset to properly support the weight of the cd player.

Step 10: Using the ½ round stock, make an exact picture frame of just the screen itself. Use the epoxy to join the parts together and micro-balloon mix to fill in gussets.




Step 11: Make an aluminum frame with the opening the exact size of the screen. Fold the flanges to a 90 degree angle. This will perfectly frame the screen and provide clearance on the other side for any buttons or adjusting knobs of the front of the screen that you want hidden. A picture later will demonstrate the clearance provided by this frame. Glue the frame to a hole cut in the plywood that’s the exact size of the frame. Then glue the wood frame made in the last step over the aluminum bracket. The next series of pics will show this. Note, use epoxy for all of this. Resin won’t be touched for a while. The flanges of the aluminum will be ¼” wide which will make roughly a 1/8” protrusion through the plywood.







Using a micro balloon epoxy mix, fill in any portions of the frame not meeting the slightly curved plywood base. This is obviously caused by the slight curve.

This picture demonstrates the aluminum flanges coming through the plywood base making a 1/8” protrusion to provide clearance for the screen’s adjusting knobs.















Last edited by JACKEL; 08-22-2005 at 09:37 AM.
Old 08-22-2005, 09:18 AM   #2
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Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) (Part 2)

Step 12: Using a stretchy fabric slightly thicker than t-shirt material but not as thick as fleece, epoxy just the edge of the material along the curve of the piece of bezel enclosing the gauges. Epoxy along that edge all the way down to the part of the bezel just below the lower left hand side of the new cd player position.



Step 13: Raise and support the bezel off your workbench


Step 14: Now use the Resin. Mix up a decent batch of resin. Remember, 14 drops per every 1 oz of resin. If two ounces made, 28 drop and so on. Tip, keep good track of the number of drops used. Best bet, reduce by several drops. I.e. 3 oz resin should equal 42 drops. But, only put in like 37. Also, do not do this step on a super hot day or humid day. These precautions will spare you from wasting resin and not having what is called ‘cook-off’ which is when the resin hardens really fast from a large batch made. Cook-off also gets extremely, extremely, extremely, hot and can be considered an ignition source. So if it happens, stand back away from it, do not touch it and give it like 30 minutes to cool. It will burn you. If you are uncomfortable with this part, make several small batches in quick succession to lather up the stretchy fabric.

Fold back the material and apply resin to the part. Fold the material over this newly resin’ed area and pull it very tight using thumbtacks to secures it to the bench. Do this quickly while ensuring there are no folds or creases in the fabric. Then resin away on the top of this fabric and really saturate the material.

Then follow this up with three layers of 2 oz fiberglass. You will not need the thumbtacks for this part as the fiberglass doesn’t stretch. Use stabbing motions to ensure penetration and adhesion to the previous layers. If you see that the fiberglass is frosty looking or still white, this means there is not enough resin applied to those areas and keep working them.

Walk away and allow several hours to cure. Do not get antsy and start pulling thumbtacks out.

The following picture shows the stretch fabric and first layer of fiberglass applied. If you haven’t figured it out by now, everything done is similar to that of making a custom fiberglass woofer enclosure with the wood skeleton giving shape to the fabric and providing smooth flowing lines.



Step 15: Using a dremel tool with cut-off wheel, cut the excess fabric away. Do not cut directly along the edge of the plastic. Here, all you are doing are releasing the part from the bench because its tacked down. After cutting excess material off, use the dremel tool drum sander to start shaving the rest of the excess off and get everything smooth along the edge of the original plastic.

Step 16: Using the dremel tool with cut-off wheel, cut the excess material from the cd opening and along the ridge of the screen’s ½ round stock frame. Use the drum sander again to clean up the holes and make them in proportion to the way they need to be.



Step 17: Scuff sand with 80 grit the surfaces of the newly fiber glassed portion of the dash bezel. Do not scuff the side of the bezel that wasn’t fiber glassed. Now test fit your dash bezel in the truck to ensure everything is good to go. Remember, there will not be enough room inside the dash for the cd player at this position. You will need to cut out portions of the dash’s guts to make it fit. Remember, there is a huge bundle of wires behind the silver metal bracket in the dash. Move these out of the way and adopt a surgeon’s mindset when cutting inside the dash. Take your time and do not rush to avoid hacking the crap out of wires. Now the part is ready for Bondo and final shaping, priming and molding the video unit..



Step 18: What to do with the Center AC Ducting? I used a scrap piece of 1/8” plywood and cut it to the size required to block off the duct’s opening. I also slotted this piece to allow a minimal amount of airflow. This will reduce the airflow pressure flowing through the ac vents on the ends of the dash but also allows for some cooling of the electronic components in this area. Electronic hate heat.




Step 19: What about the dash’s guts that need to be removed to fit the cd player? What about the large bundle of wires warned about earlier? Well the next couple of photos will hopefully give you an idea of what parts can be cut out. Reference these pictures to your own ride to see what exactly has been cut out. Notice that the large silver brace inside the dash is still there. That’s right, its been notched. Cut along this piece horizontally but do not cut all of out it out. If you do, you might ruin the structural integrity of the dash itself. There are also a couple of pictures of my hand pointing to the large bundle of wires. You won’t see the wires but you’ll see a black shroud that is just in front of this bundle. Be careful of this shroud, its only there to minimally insulate the bundle and not protect it against power tools, cut off wheels or anything air or electric powered. I used a combination of dremel tool cut off wheel for the curves on the ends and a air powered cut off wheel for the long horizontal cut. Be warned, you WILL need plenty of reinforced cut off wheels for the dremel due to the thick nature of the brace. It eats the shit out of dremel wheels.





Step 20: Make mounting tabs for the monitor by using 3/16” x ½” x 1 to 1.5” and glue four of them around the perimeter of the monitor. There will be two on top and two on bottom. Epoxy them in and then lay ½ oz. Fiberglass over it to secure them. We will come back to these later.

Step 21: Before making a mold of the monitor you’ll want to protect it very well. I wrapped in with several layers of syran wrap and then packing tape. Then get a piece of foam half the thickness of the electronic wrapping foam bought at the hobby shop and wrap the back side only with this. Then tape it all off really well. Using this half thickness foam will provide space for the monitor and the packing foam inside of the mold after its complete. Because its half thickness, the electronics wrapping foam will compress and provide a snug fit inside of the molded piece. Tip: Mark the front and back side of the wrapped monitor to not get the molded side mixed up and mark the position of the screen which can be done by depressing the packing over the monitor to feel the screen’s edges. Also, the half thickness foam I used came from the packing of my air ride which is about 1/8” thick as compared to the ¼” thick electronics wrapping foam.



Step 22: Invert the dash bezel upside down and lay monitor in its position. Use the markings of the screen’s position to help position it in its proper spot. Then tape it to the bezel. After that is complete lay aluminum foil over this entire area of the bezel. Lay several layers down and ensure it is conformed to the bezel well. Then cut 4 pieces of 2 oz. Fiberglass in the same fashion as seen in the pictures. Notch these fiberglass pieces in the corner to create side flaps to conform to the screen. Save these cut out corners. You will re-apply them after to beef up the corners of the mold.



Step 24: Pop the mold out. It should release with ease because of the foil. Then trim any access off. Trim a paremeter around the mold and lay it flat on the table. Then lay several layers of 5oz fiberglass using epoxy to make the mounting tabs.



Step 25: Epoxy a thin strip of wrapping foam around the edge of the screen’s frame as well as lining the inside aspect of the mold created. Place the monitor inside of the mold and lay it down on the dash bezel. Align the screen’s face with the frame in the bezel exactly and tape it all down so it won’t move AT ALL. Using a drill find a bit close to the size of the metric screws used to mount it and drill through the mold into the mounting tab applied in Step 20. Do not be careless. ONLY go roughly ¼” into the mounting tab. Tip: measure a ¼” length of the drill bit and use tape and wrap the bit at the length as a depth guide. Slowly thread the metric screw into the tab and then take it back out. Release the screen from the bezel and mix a small batch of epoxy and put a small dab into the hole. And then quickly thread the screw back in it. DO NOT get any epoxy on the threads or you’re done. Allow it to cure and then using a dremel tool with cut-off wheel, cut the head of the screw off about ½” above the mounting tab. This will effectively leave a threaded mounting stud. Also epoxy in the foam inside of the mold.


Step 26: Test fit your mold and secure it using the appropriate sized nut for the studs. Flip the bezel over and check fitment and placement of the screen. If it not in its desirable location, use a dremel tool router bit to route slots in the holes of the mold to allow adjustment in placement. Once satisfied with the mounting technique, spray paint everything on the back side black if you want to give a slightly more finished look even to the back side. Notice the threaded studs for mounting the screen. These are the screws that were screwed in and epoxied then had the screw's head cut off, effectively making a stud.



Step 27: Remove the screen and lay a thin layer of bondo to the fiberglassed section of the bezel to blend and even the surfaces up anf the transition from fiberglassed bezel to plastic bezel. Sand with 80 – 120 – 220 grit paper and finish it off with 400 grit paper. Use a magnified glass to spot imperfections and use glazing putty and 400 grit paper to correct them. Then prime and ready the surface for paint.

From here you are done besides the paint. I will not explain the painting as everyone seems to have his or her own preferred technique. Below is a picture of mine complete and painted.

Note: if the headunit will not go in deep enough into your mount because of the build up of fiberglass around the mount’s surface, do not fret. Mount the player in a deep as possible and use hot glue and glue a small rivet strip joint from the mount to the player. Don not go crazy with the glue, just make a small tab. This will allow you to cut the tab and release the player easily from the mount.




Again, if you find this to be too difficult and above your technical means but you still want something like this done, PM me and I will do it for you for a small fee or parts trade to cover materials and some of the labor as it is a time consuming event.



Last edited by JACKEL; 08-22-2005 at 09:41 AM.
Old 08-22-2005, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) (Part 2)

looks awesome, i wish i could do stuff like that...
Old 08-22-2005, 11:09 AM   #4
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) (Part 2)

Make sure you read (Part 1) before reading this section or you won't know whats going on.


Thanks
Old 08-22-2005, 12:19 PM   #5
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) (Part 2)

why would u do all that plywood covering stuff if you could of just done the cloth stretch thing in the first place? other then that looks good
Old 08-22-2005, 12:35 PM   #6
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) (Part 2)

Quote: Originally Posted by CLowN
why would u do all that plywood covering stuff if you could of just done the cloth stretch thing in the first place? other then that looks good
You need a base for the frame around the screen to strech over to create that 3-D effect to the screen itself. Also, it was used to creat an extremely solid foundation for the threaded mounting studs. Those nuts are really cranked down with out the slightest notion of something cracking or deforming. It also provides regidity to the dash bezel because the bezel looses alot of strength when cutting that much crap off of it (refer to the first couple of pictures of Part 1). If you were to just strech fabric over it without beefing up the frame itself, it will distort and warp which will leave a warped frame after the epoxy cured on the strtch fabric.
Old 08-22-2005, 02:30 PM   #7
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) (Part 2)

Geese, 59 posts and only 2 replies. The install must not be good enough for you all. Just thought I'd help but no takers. Whats up with that?
Old 08-22-2005, 02:34 PM   #8
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) (Part 2)

it has been on the forum for just over 5 hours. it's in the interior styling forum, which does not get that many views. and, it's been done a bunch of times before, so it's nothing new and amazing, most people could probly figure this out for themselves. it's good looking work, but don't hold your breath waiting for someone to hand out the accolades.
Old 08-22-2005, 02:36 PM   #9
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) (Part 2)

Can we get this as a sticky? It has good pics and there is always someone asking on how to glass.
Old 08-22-2005, 02:41 PM   #10
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) (Part 2)

Quote: Originally Posted by Loop
Can we get this as a sticky? It has good pics and there is always someone asking on how to glass.
Punkorama, You're right but Loop answered it right on the money, "always someone asking about how to glass". I get loads of questions about how to glass. I'm no expert by any means but I thought I'd do the How-To on this even though others have done it just to get some of those questions maybe answered. Thats why I have a crap load of pics and even more standing by for anyone who wants further detail. I appreciate you response though, Thanks
Old 08-22-2005, 05:15 PM   #11
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Awesome How-To, very detailed!
Old 08-22-2005, 05:21 PM   #12
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

nice work
Old 08-22-2005, 06:54 PM   #13
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

it looks nice! good job, thank fot the how-to!
Old 08-22-2005, 07:04 PM   #14
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

i always wondered how that kinda stuff was done, i hate the way the 1st gen dash fronts look so this is a serious project i may think about undertaking
Old 08-26-2005, 01:02 AM   #15
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

this is awsome makes me want to bust out the glass and get back to work. I really like the 2part epoxy idea. I was wondering how i would fix the fabric to the material with out staples or hot glue(heats up, breaks back down and comes a part). Now do you have any advice to make the screen more flush mount.
Old 08-26-2005, 08:08 AM   #16
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Quote: Originally Posted by ThorRacing01
this is awsome makes me want to bust out the glass and get back to work. I really like the 2part epoxy idea. I was wondering how i would fix the fabric to the material with out staples or hot glue(heats up, breaks back down and comes a part). Now do you have any advice to make the screen more flush mount.
Thanks, man. The two part epoxy is crazy strong in comparison to resin fiberglassing. To answer your question about flush mounting it. I asume you still want most of the unit behind the dash and you want to screen to appear more flush mounted. in that case, eliminate steps 10 and 11 and don't make the wood frame surrounding the screen. then, do all other steps necessary to complete the project. This will give a flush appearance to the screen. The reason I made the frame is not only for a 3-D appearance but to help promote nice flowing curves which I like and see very often with people making the fiberglass sub enclosures. Also, it creates shade and blocks indirect sunlight from above and the sides that can at times make the screen not as visible or bright as I like. So there is function also involved. This is my air ride controller. Its a touch screen unit so I won't nothing impeding my ability to see the status of the suspension.

Thanks for looking at it and asking questions. If you need more detail or photos e-mailed, let me know what you're looking for and I'll kip them off to you, no problem.
Old 08-26-2005, 11:08 PM   #17
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

I'm not doggin your work anything. It looks awesome but would there be a way to do this by reinforcing it and keeping the screen mounted flush?
Old 08-28-2005, 12:47 AM   #18
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

great job.. imo... i love it. but why such a gab between the screen and the head unit.
love to see install pics.

Last edited by rbryant4; 08-28-2005 at 12:52 AM.
Old 08-28-2005, 10:35 PM   #19
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Quote: Originally Posted by Milky4204
I'm not doggin your work anything. It looks awesome but would there be a way to do this by reinforcing it and keeping the screen mounted flush?
See post #16 for you answer.
Old 08-28-2005, 10:39 PM   #20
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Quote: Originally Posted by rbryant4
great job.. imo... i love it. but why such a gab between the screen and the head unit.
love to see install pics.
I spread out the Screen and the headunit to fill more of the over-all area of the dash bezels, shaved area. If I were to scoot the screen closer to the headunit, there would be a large amount of area to the top of the screen and left side of the screen between the cluster that I thought it would create too much dead space. I thought that way I positioned them that I would be using more of the area more effectively rather than cluttering them all together.

Thanks for you positive comments though.

I'll post more installed photos tomorrow.
Old 08-29-2005, 07:36 AM   #21
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Sorry for the delay. Here are some more pics of the final piece as well as the bezel mounted in the dash for more of idea of how it looks. Hope these help you all see what the final product can look like.











Old 08-29-2005, 10:12 AM   #22
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Nice!!
Old 08-29-2005, 11:14 AM   #23
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Quote: Originally Posted by dagreenmonster
Nice!!
Thanks, I appreciate. Took a lot of time and sanding effort. I swear I have tendonitis in my hand cause it goes numb now after a few minutes of sanding.
Old 08-29-2005, 02:07 PM   #24
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

wheres ya head? head unit lol.

um.. plus why did you leave such a gap between headunit and screen. shoulve put them closer and cut some small ac vents up top. been cool
Old 08-29-2005, 03:25 PM   #25
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Quote: Originally Posted by rbryant4
wheres ya head? head unit lol.

um.. plus why did you leave such a gap between headunit and screen. shoulve put them closer and cut some small ac vents up top. been cool
Read Post #20, I already answered your question. But moving it down a little to put some ac / vents would have been cool. However, my goal here was to clean up the look as much as possible so shaving the ac vents was my original intention anyway.

As you can tell I have not installed the head unit. T o be honest I haven't installed anything cause I still have an ass load of wiring to do. The screen and bezel were just fitted real quick to get a photo for you guys on what it looks like in the truck.

Thanks
Old 08-29-2005, 03:30 PM   #26
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Quote: Originally Posted by rbryant4
wheres ya head? head unit lol.

um.. plus why did you leave such a gap between headunit and screen. shoulve put them closer and cut some small ac vents up top. been cool
Also referr to the pic in step 26. As you can see there isn't much room at all. With the mold and studs to secure the mold this is about as far down I could make it without running into real headaches. You have to understand, looking at the screen from the front; imagine about an extra 1.5" below the actuall viewable screen and thats the bottom of the over-all tv unit. That extra 1.5" below the screen are where the adjustment knobs and stuff are at on the front of the screen. Remember, this is why I created a 1/8" gap between the face of the TV and the fiberglass to compensate for these knobs.
Old 08-29-2005, 03:46 PM   #27
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Awesome how to, I glassed the airbag switch and the piece that pops out to the left of the vents and I get quite a few questions whenever I post the pic for somebody. I used the same technique you did with the plywood but I used cardboard since I was just looking for a way to create a smoother foundation to keep the glass from sagging when I soaked it. Again nice how to it helps a lot when it comes to glassing to see pics I know all the how tos I read before I made my fiberglass enclosure helped me a lot. It's not as complicated as people think, it just requires time and the strive for perfection to get it looking good.
Old 08-29-2005, 04:04 PM   #28
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Quote: Originally Posted by Grinch78
Awesome how to, I glassed the airbag switch and the piece that pops out to the left of the vents and I get quite a few questions whenever I post the pic for somebody. I used the same technique you did with the plywood but I used cardboard since I was just looking for a way to create a smoother foundation to keep the glass from sagging when I soaked it. Again nice how to it helps a lot when it comes to glassing to see pics I know all the how tos I read before I made my fiberglass enclosure helped me a lot. It's not as complicated as people think, it just requires time and the strive for perfection to get it looking good.
"Strive for perfection", you couldn't have said it better. To be honest, with all the sanding involved and shaping I was tired and happy as hell to be done withit. Then I noticed that there were a few spots that I missed during the surface prep. I know how anal I am but I was tired and was going to see if it could get by without notice. If you look hard in the pics you might see these imperfections. But, anal that I am, I got my wife on it and had her look at it. i thought to myself, if she notices it, then I'm doing it over. Well, she did, so I had her take a marker and mark all the spot she saw, then so did I. After that I went back in there and sanded the paint down, re-glazed the bad spots and fixed them all. Then repainted and clear coated it. basically, my anal-ness and strive for perfection quite literally added an entire day to the process.

But, its completely finished and spotless of errors, only after a total of 63 hours spent making the part from start to finish (I actually kept track of how much time was expended making the dash).

Thanks for the comments, I greatly appreciate them.

Last edited by JACKEL; 08-29-2005 at 04:05 PM.
Old 08-29-2005, 08:40 PM   #29
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Good job dude. That looks sweet.
Old 08-29-2005, 11:27 PM   #30
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

i want mine to perfect i guess. or im just slow.
its been like a month, and its just not into primer stage. i got to still get it completely smooth. ill post pics soon. i gotta find a camera cord for my digital. until then no pics
Old 08-30-2005, 07:30 AM   #31
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Re: Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing)

Quote: Originally Posted by rbryant4
i want mine to perfect i guess. or im just slow.
its been like a month, and its just not into primer stage. i got to still get it completely smooth. ill post pics soon. i gotta find a camera cord for my digital. until then no pics
Funny you say that cause last night I noticed a couple more small spots I missed. Man they hide well and unfortunately sometimes you don't see them till the clear coat is on. Anyway, I went right back in there last night and sanded it again. This time with 1000 grit to get is as level as I can. Then I'll repaint and clear it. This makes the 3rd time painting the part. I'm just extremely anal like that. Its not right till it right, you know? I think after this last painting if it still has microscopic spots like the ones I just sanded out (microscopic = again very anal) then I'm just going to live with it. I'm loosing crazy time on the rest of my interior by sanding this part and painting it over and over again. At this rate it'll be freak'n Feb by the time I'm done with the interior.
Old 10-03-2005, 08:15 AM   #32
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Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

I get lots of questions so hopefully the pics will give the answers. Like I said, I'll lend my career to any of you guys.

The pics are of a sub-enclosure and while the thread probably belongs mostly in the audio forum, there are a lot of you doing fiberglass fabrication in the interior section and a sub enclosure is an interior item. If you have questions, feel free to PM.

Pic 1: Basic skeleton. The concept of the skeleton is primary for fiberglass sub enclosures. Its also a technique that can be used for interior items like the screen install I showed you all or doing other odds and ends like center consoles. This can also be accomplished by using high density foam and carving it to the desired shape and then glassing over it.



Pic 2 & 3: Using a strechy material pulled extremely tight (I emphasize tight) over the skeleton and staple gun it to the work bench and not to the item. You'll cut the access off latter only after all layers of fiberglass are laid. Strechy material is only for form and shoulf not be relied on for ANY structural intergrity to any fiberglassing project. And, should always be followed up with several layers of glass.





Pic 4: Lather the resin onto the strechy material. you may have to work in sections by making several batches of resin. Work in sections to avoid making one large resin batch. Making a large resin batch will likely result in Cook-Off or spontaneous curing of the resin and greatly reduce your work time and ruin good resin. If you know that an area will be removed later and never make contact with a surface below it like in the case of the center woofer rings, don't waste your resin covering those areas.



Pic 5 & 6: Size your sheet of fiberglass to allow over hang. The over hung area will be trimmed off. In this pic you'll see the fiberglass used IS WEAVE OR CLOTH.
Don't get this mistaken. Cloth looks like tweed and matte looks like spagetti mashed together. The knit of the cloth fiberglass is excellent for curves as the threading knit will expand or contract to a degree around curves much better than matte. The lighter the fiberglass, the better the conformity but the more layers required. The fiberglass you see here is from Wicks (See thread labeled: Fiberglass Supply Resource). This glass is a heavy 12 oz glass but its aircraft grade (Yes there is a difference) which makes it really soft and extremely forgiving on curves (Remember, you don't see many square airplanes). The heavy weight glas chosen allows for less layers needed to achieve structural integrity.





Pic 7: Trim access off using a cut off wheel or razor. When using a cut off wheel, be careful of glass or material not hard from resin. It could get spun up in the wheel. Then use a drum sander for a die grinder or dremel and sand up to the edge of the skeleton to give nice crisp lines.



Pic 8: Bondo time. Work the area in bondo in sections. this allows for better handling of the bondo and quick sanding during its cure to eliminate hours of sanding. The purpose here is to fill the valleys and create a smooth and uniform surface.



Pic 9: DONT be afraid to write on your part. Look yopur part over very carefully and circle areas needing attention. Use terms like "Fill" or "Build-Up", or "Sand" if you need it in the area noted. A trick: turn the light off in your work area but leave a source of ambient light to one end of your part. Then look over the part at a shallow angle in the direction of the light source. The ambient light source will quickly reveal shadows which are your areas of "Valley". Then use a marker and mark the appriopriate term for correcting the area by either sanding or building up the area with more bondo.



Pic 10: Using a GREY filler primer (not black), spray your item. this may take several times but, after each coat, notice the pin hole that is characteristic with bondo and fill them with glaze putty. Be sure to sand the primer with 400 grit of better between coats.



Pic 11: Partcle board, fiberglass, bondo, all add weight to the item. Depending on the size of the item the weight and bulkiness of the item maybe unmanageable. Get help to install your item if needed. This pic shows the sub enclosure installed (not permanently). It still needs to be painted and cleared.




These pics should give you a general understanding of the processes involved with fiberglassing. Be mindful of the fact that fiberglassing will require excessive amounts of sanding. For example, this enclosure too both saturday and sunday, 8 hours each day to sand and get level. Surface prep is everything when painting a part. Take your time with the surface prep and get it right so you don't ruin a good paint job.

PM me if you guys have any further questions. I should have it painted next weekend with the gunmetal color like in the screen install and the amp area on top will be lined with grphite formica and a framed cover will be installed over the amps like your home speakers and their fabric covered frame over them.

thanks
Old 10-03-2005, 08:22 AM   #33
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

very nice work man i have yet to take on a sub enclosure, but i'm sure i'll be using some of these pointers when i do
Old 10-03-2005, 08:41 AM   #34
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

what did you use to keep the cloth on there while you laid the resin and what did you brush it on w/?
Old 10-03-2005, 08:43 AM   #35
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Man that is awsome!!! I would like to see the finished final thing. How does that sound???
Old 10-03-2005, 09:36 AM   #36
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Quote: Originally Posted by DruskiSportTruck
Man that is awsome!!! I would like to see the finished final thing. How does that sound???
I had 2 10s in a box before and it thumped pretty good. I'm not an SPL competitor guy so I'm not looking for blowing my ear drums out. But, I'm sure with an extra 10" in this box and a little more air space it should be pretty thumpy.

thanks for the compliments.
Old 10-03-2005, 09:41 AM   #37
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Quote: Originally Posted by BIGGERISBETTER
what did you use to keep the cloth on there while you laid the resin and what did you brush it on w/?
The strechy fabric was pulled really taught and stapled to the work bench and parts of the box itself. Then the resin was brushed on with a simple cheap brush. After it was hard, I then brushed the resin back on it with again a simple brush and then laid the glass. I ran my gloved hand over the glass to squeeze any air out and then used again a simple brush to lather on the resin. Then followed that up with a stipple brush (a brush with 1/2 the hairs cut off) and stabbed at the fiberglass to get good adhesion and the air out. Then, without letting it dry, I laid 2 more consecutive layers on and then let it dry for several hours. Laying while wet or "Primary Bonding" offers the greatest strength.
Old 10-03-2005, 10:09 AM   #38
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

ah.. i learn something new every day
Old 10-03-2005, 10:29 AM   #39
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Quote: Originally Posted by BIGGERISBETTER
ah.. i learn something new every day
If you don't pull the strechy fabric really tight, it will warp as the resin shrinks. This will cause Valleys to become present. If this happens, don't worry. You can use a technique called "Pinching" which is simply driving a screw through the fiberglass and into the wood bellow it to draw the high spots down. When you do this the fiberglass will crack slightly but not give. You will need to go over this spot where the screw was inserted with resin and a micro balloons mix. Because of the complex curves at the top of my box to create the scalops for the woofers, I couldn't get the fabric incredably tight at the top. I had this problem and I think I got a photo laying around with this pinching I used.
Old 10-03-2005, 10:32 AM   #40
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

i think its retarded that they dont sticky your information. We finally get a professional to give professional advice.. and no action is taken to make sure the correct information stays current and viewable.

But yea.. dig that pic up if you find it. im curious to see how ya did that. You used a flat head screw i imagine.. correct?
Old 10-03-2005, 10:38 AM   #41
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Quote: Originally Posted by BIGGERISBETTER
i think its retarded that they dont sticky your information. We finally get a professional to give professional advice.. and no action is taken to make sure the correct information stays current and viewable.

But yea.. dig that pic up if you find it. im curious to see how ya did that. You used a flat head screw i imagine.. correct?
Correct, A flat head screw. The sticky? Thats the moderators' call on that. I can only suggest, not make demands. But I agree with you.
Old 10-03-2005, 10:44 AM   #42
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

i dunno.. its just funny to me, that a truck forum can get a whole section devoted to religion, yet our interior styling section cant get some professional advice and processes added.

Gay.
Old 10-03-2005, 10:49 AM   #43
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Because of the 4 amps it got a little cramped trying to fit everything in. So I made a recessed socket for the cap to fit in. In the pictures, if you look just above the cap at the fiberglassed area, you'll see the warp. I don't have a picture of the Pinch but Right in the middle of this warp I drove a flat head screw into the warp and through the wood underneath it to pinch or draw the warp in. Then, the threads of the screw sticking through the wood were cut and ground off flush with the wood.





The cap will be held in this the upper mounting bracket only. I have a friend machineing up a replica of the plastic version that comes with it out of billet.
Old 10-03-2005, 10:49 AM   #44
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

if you want i can take your post put them in the how-to section...would you like that?

Last edited by orangesonoma; 10-03-2005 at 10:50 AM.
Old 10-03-2005, 10:51 AM   #45
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Quote: Originally Posted by orangesonoma
if you want i can take your part one and part two and combine them and put them in the how-to section...would you like that?
Sounds good. How about the sticky at the top of the Interior Forum also?
Old 10-03-2005, 10:51 AM   #46
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Ok.. cool. I had to do something similer to the box when i made it.. but sort of different circumstances.
Old 10-03-2005, 10:52 AM   #47
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

if this is part two...where is part one?
Old 10-03-2005, 10:55 AM   #48
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Quote: Originally Posted by BIGGERISBETTER
Ok.. cool. I had to do something similer to the box when i made it.. but sort of different circumstances.
Good, you're already on the road to troubleshooting fiberglassing and the circumstances that sometimes unexpectedly pop up.

Remember, if the glassing job doesn't look exactly the way you intended after the fiberglassing portion; techniques like Piching or using the Bondo to even surfaces up will often correct the situation. Fiberglassing is forgiving if you take your time and put thought into how you troubleshoot it.
Old 10-03-2005, 10:56 AM   #49
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

Quote: Originally Posted by orangesonoma
if this is part two...where is part one?
Part 1 is the "Screen Install into Dash (Fiberglassing) How-To" I wrote up a while back.

Do a search got the "quoted" thread title and you'll find it.

Thanks
Old 10-03-2005, 10:57 AM   #50
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Re: Teaching Fiberglass (Part 2)

ehh im lazy you find it for me...lol
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