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Fiberglass doors

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tanof, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. tanof
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 107

    tanof
    Member
    from New Mexico

    I am interested in copying some doors in my off topic car and making them out of fiberglass. Does anyone know of a video, book, or person that can teach me the process on how to make one? I can do molds and lay down fiberglass. I just have never made a hollow object, nor have I bonded two pieces together in a permanent way. I am not going to have windows, but I will need to have a latch and a hinge mount.
     
  2. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,869

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    I suppose it depends on how the original doors are constructed. Most comprise a tray-like body with generally simply-curved skin; it should not be too hard to pull a mould off each side, if you compensate for the greater thickness of material at the flange where the two pieces join.

    If the doorskin is simple it could be quite easy to make one in aluminium, and fold it over the flange of a grp door body. Another elaboration would be to make up a triangular steel door frame that just picks up the hinges and latch, and then hang your made-up door around it.
     
  3. BadgeZ28
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 999

    BadgeZ28
    Member
    from Oregon

  4. FASI
    Joined: May 11, 2001
    Posts: 1,131

    FASI
    Member

    Go to the website of Fiberglast.com and you can get a video of how to do plus all the materals.
     
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  5. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,849

    Harms Way
    Member

    When you get advice from the master,.. you should take it. "FASI" is the Master. :cool:
     
  6. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king
    Member

    Don't use polyester, don't use polyester, don't use polyester.
     
  7. Willy301
    Joined: Nov 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,426

    Willy301
    Member

    Once you build the inner and the outer, leave a flange to glue in and use these new epoxies that the body shops use, I am using them on metal and I am pretty impressed with them.
     
  8. Why not?

    (I would rather use epoxy but I'm curious why you wouldn't use poly)
     
  9. jipp
    Joined: Jun 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,113

    jipp
    Member

    iv been doing research on glass so i can modify a bucket T to fit my tall ass's and bad leg.. ie.. stretch, and opening suicide doors ( have not bought a body yet ). also do not waste your money on buying the dvd from fiberglast ( I felt like i got ripped off on the dvds.. and the turtle deck he makes using foam, and glass no mold used in it.. cost about 300.00 ( well i have not done much research on buying the materials.. so i should not say it wont be cheap because it maybe cheaper.. im just going by what he said the cost was in the video. ) in materials.. so doors wont be cheap to make..).. just order there catalog if you want to buy anything from them. you can get the same info in the videos on youtube. good luck.
    chris.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  10. n.z.rodder
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 1,016

    n.z.rodder
    Member

    Why not?, I use poly every day for all sorts, hoods, bodykits, campervan parts, fire retardant, UV cure, infusion.......

    It's all in the quality of the materials and your experience level.
    Building molds that stay the shape intended takes a bit of skill, something like doors need to be bonded together in the correct shape or they're in the bin.

    When bonding poly parts I use a single layer of glass to each side of the part, leave it to cure, rough it up with some 36 grit sandpaper, lay a "wet" layer of glass, place together and clamp.

    Scotty.
     
  11. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king
    Member

    Most guys screw up mix rations, demold green and lose dimensional stability, etc. I wouldn't use it for anything, I use only epoxies, but then, I'm an aerospace composites guy that wants his stuff accurate. Not aero accurate mind you, just close to what I tool for. Epoxies are fire retardant too, I'm an NHRA approved supplier of compsite interior panels, I've passed all the SFI testing regime. Even guys at home can buid parts that are a higher quality than most anything commercially available if they take their time and pay attention to detail...
     
  12. AAFD
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 585

    AAFD
    Member
    from US of A

    I almost had a heart attack when I saw the prices of fiberglass doors for an OT project of mine. $2200 for the pair, not including shipping from overseas. I figured I'd maybe learn a bit about 'glassing and try to make a set myself, as well as other pieces of the car. Then I thought maybe I could build the doors out of aluminum since they are pretty basic, but it would require just as much work as the glass for me...

    Then I remembered an article in a Mustang magazine that a 79-93 Ford Mustang Coupe door with glass & power components weighs in at 85lbs complete. Remove the door glass, the power window motor, door lock stuff, regulator, buttons, etc and you've shaved about 15lbs off each door. Then go further and start gutting them by cutting the inner structure away, and you've now got the doors down to about 65lbs each. Then take the inner safety bars out that are about 25lbs each. Your stock doors now weigh around 45lbs each, for free.

    Fiberglass doors for Mustangs cost $700 for the pair and are 25lbs each. I don't know about you, but saving an extra 40lbs isn't worth $700 to me. I'm starting to lean towards gutting the factory steel doors on my OT project (not a Mustang BTW) and see how light I can get them before spending tons of time and money trying to save a few lbs.

    I'm still interested in reading up on fiberglassing though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  13. CharlieLed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2003
    Posts: 2,459

    CharlieLed
    Member

    Take a look at Smooth-On products. I took a number of courses in FRP and have cast a number of molds laying up layer after layer of FG mat. There are quite a few new products on the market now that make casting a mold a lot faster and simpler than the ol skool FG layup method. Once you have your inner and outer door panels layed up it's best to bond the two together using a structural adhesive such as 3M 08115. Never use resin to bond cured FG! Another source that I use for DIY videos is SmartFlix.com, you will find just what you need there along with many other videos related to automotive topics...welding, paint and bodywork, etc.
     
  14. n.z.rodder
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 1,016

    n.z.rodder
    Member

    Storm King - I am in the process of trying to rescue a 17mx4m plug that was made in epoxies, 8 months later it's still soft and it was made by so called experts, people with a little knowledge can screw up what we would consider everyday stuff.
    If you can't add 2% catalyst by weight DON'T START!
    Yes epoxy is lighter and stronger, no doubt, but this guy is looking to make just a couple of things, non structural, and he say's he can already use poly.

    On the hoods I make, I leave the outer panel in the mold, de-mold the inner and use 5mm steel plate, pre-drilled and tapped smaller than what you will use, I then use short bolts to hold them in place then glass over, once that has cured you remove the bolts, re-drill and tap as needed, then join as said before. When I said leave to cure, this is when experience comes into play, knowing when not long enough doesn't become too long so secondary bonding is compromised. Once you've done that leave the outer in the mold for as long as possible (a week is better than a day) to avoid pulling early and getting fibre print through issues.

    Scotty.
     
  15. CharlieLed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2003
    Posts: 2,459

    CharlieLed
    Member

    There is an intermediate product between polyester resin and epoxy...that is vinylester resin. Vinylester is more expensive but it has the same workability properties as polyester but the added benefits of greater durability and lower susceptibility to thermal expansion/shrinkage.

    Scotty, good tip on the joinery and the print through. Most guys don't have a clue about these aspects of FG.
     
  16. tanof
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 107

    tanof
    Member
    from New Mexico

    I love the info here, but I am getting lost and have more questions than answers.
     
  17. CharlieLed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2003
    Posts: 2,459

    CharlieLed
    Member

    If it was easy then everyone would be doing it...
     
  18. jipp
    Joined: Jun 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,113

    jipp
    Member

    like with anything there is a learning curve..
    chris.
     
  19. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king
    Member

    Yeah, Scotty, you do need to be precise with mix ratios. But I still think that's easier to do with epoxy than Poly. That's really how I got in the business.
    In 1968, I built a spoiler for my brother's '65 AWB injected hemi FX'er. Of course, back then I just bought a boat repair kit and went at it. Now, I don't know where that car or spoiler are today, but I'm pretty damned sure it still hasn't properly set up! When Rockwell offered me a job in composite tooling, I took it just so I could figure out what I did wrong! Then I spent the following 30 years in advanced aerospace composites.
     
  20. tanof
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 107

    tanof
    Member
    from New Mexico

    Does anyone know anyone in Albuquerque, NM that may be able to show me some pointers?
     

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