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Technical Tech Week: Fiberglass Repair or How to Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by guthriesmith, May 4, 2021.

  1. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,665

    Bandit Billy

    Nice tech! I would have bought a new nose. But then again, I hate working fiberglass
    loudbang and guthriesmith like this.
  2. Yes, I basically taper it down to pretty close to a point at the crack to get rid of the the damaged area on both sides.
    Okie Pete, kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  3. Thanks for this, I'm building a glass '32 and unfortunately I see mods in my future.
    loudbang and guthriesmith like this.
  4. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,149


    Very nice save.
    loudbang and guthriesmith like this.
  5. Like it never happened! Great work on the glass and getting the young ones in the shop, regardless of shoe choices!
    loudbang and guthriesmith like this.
  6. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,378


    Itchy Stitchy...nice job
    Didn't know that about cloth verses mat....see someone learned something, even if it only if it is Mr. Dumas
    Thanks for the tech.
    loudbang and guthriesmith like this.
  7. High test 63
    Joined: May 8, 2020
    Posts: 218

    High test 63

    Thank you for the tech!
    loudbang and guthriesmith like this.
  8. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,021

    The 39 guy

    Great tech article! Thanks for sharing the process!
    guthriesmith and loudbang like this.
  9. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 775

    from Sweden

    Woven cloth is indeed stronger than CSM mat, thanks to the cloth having full length fibers woven together, while the mat is made of short bundles of fibers relying on the matrix (usually polyester) to hold them to the next bundle and transfer the load. Also, there's more space between the glass in mat, so while you usually need about the same weight matrix as glass when using woven cloth (i.e. 1kg of polyester to 1kg glass) you need about twice as much matrix as glass when working with mat.

    About "pliable" I don't quite agree. A thin woven cloth can indeed be rather pliable, but thicker ones can be rather stiff. Mat is usually of the thicker kind only, so comparing the kinds you most often come in contact with, sure, the mat can be a bit stiff.
    One good thing about mat is that a few minutes after applying the matrix the binder holding the fiber bundles together has been dissolved, and the mat can stretch/compress. You can put a large mat down, wet it, and then stretch areas as you push it down into recesses, if you put a large cloth there and then push the center down into a recess you'll pull the entire cloth in towards the recess. Can pull earlier layers around and be really annoying.

    Another issue you can have with the cloth is that the weave can show through to the surface. It may be a bigger problem when making new parts in a mold, the matrix shrinks slightly as it hardens and can deform the gelcoat surface slightly so the weave shows. Can be prevented by using mat as a first layer after the gelcoat - you can still get some of that showing through, but nothing like a coarse weave.
  10. Great information! Thanks for adding it!
    loudbang and G-son like this.
  11. A couple final pics since Rusty just posted them on his thread. Painter did a great job making the paint look worn like the rest of the car and most might have never known the front end was in lots of pieces if it wasn’t posted all over the place... :rolleyes:

    B2DB7107-C586-4E3F-AC1C-10FC7A11533E.jpeg B74011FE-7680-4D12-947A-EC561E02F98C.jpeg
  12. Is that a chunk missing from the LF fender lip? Is that a patina recreation?

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    loudbang likes this.
  13. Not sure but was wondering the same thing actually...
    loudbang and Dan Hay like this.
  14. Just thought that was the last pics... :D Looks like the color is off slightly, but pretty sure that is just showing that the rest of the car is oxidized. I buffed what was left of the paint on the front end before it left and it looked like it didn’t match anymore either.

    Anyway, even though fixing this is beyond what even really made sense, maybe it will help someone else decide to tackle some smaller (or bigger) job. The main thing I like about working with fiberglass is that is is pretty forgiving.

    DF0BD179-1401-45D5-B4F6-DBFE66B0ECF0.jpeg 95D04D45-1970-455F-B44D-B7570A5CD313.jpeg E63E69DD-17BD-4F3F-9A8D-3B6EBABD1C22.jpeg
    slim38, G-son, loudbang and 3 others like this.
  15. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,442

    Okie Pete

    Looks great Jeff . You helped save a piece of history .
    I have a pair of Tin Lizzie go cart fenders that need some glassing back together . Could I just drop them off ? LOL Just kidding
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
    loudbang and guthriesmith like this.
  16. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 846

    from boron,ca

    you do a very professional job i must say. i have been doing glass work for 40 years myself. mostly scoops and fender molds and such. got into doing full body molds i.e '27 t, '23 t, '32 bantam as i am more of a drag racer than a street car guy. one thing i see we do differently is the way we put them back together. i like to use aluminum sheet formed to fit and cleco or rivet them together. leaves a little hole which is filled in with the glass work. the only problem with that is it takes a lot of sheets when it is as damaged as this one. i got my experience by buying old damaged bodies/fenders and repairing them. i once took 2 broken '23 t bodies and made a touring body out of them. that's when i found out the distance between the doors is different from the '27 type. i formed and bead rolled a piece of sheet steel to join them together then glassed over it as a mold. tomato, tamoto. or there are two ways to skin a cat. though i never could understand why you would skin a cat. anyway great job.
    Okie Pete, loudbang and guthriesmith like this.

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