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Body... Talk & Q&A Top Chop, Channel & General Body Q&A

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  #11  
Old 05-29-2007, 12:41 AM
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You are now ready to begin fiberglassing. First, cut up lots of mat into various lengths and widths. Make some 2 x 4 inches, some 3 x 6 , and some longer and wider. When you are joining the wood to the fiberglass, the process is called tabbing. You are making up "tabs" of mat and wetting them out so they adhere to the fiberglass. You want to put a 2 inch wide piece down first, then when you go back over it, put a 3 inch piece over it. The idea is to not have the tabs all end up at the same spot, or you will get stress points. Progressively go wider and wider with your edges.

Here is a sample of what you will cut up.

Picture two shows the first layer of mat pushed into an L shaped piece with part of it on the wood, and part on the fiberglass sides. You first paint a wet layer of resin down, then push the mat into it with the brush, then dab on more resin until the white mat is translucent in color. You can't brush it, you have to dab it on, as the mat will pull away if you dont.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg t floor fiberglassing 005.jpg (63.2 KB, 211 views)
File Type: jpg t floor fiberglassing 006.jpg (61.5 KB, 243 views)
File Type: jpg t floor fiberglassing 007.jpg (60.7 KB, 225 views)

Last edited by donsrods; 05-29-2007 at 12:44 AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-29-2007, 12:48 AM
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Ok, my dinner is cooked, so I am going to go eat (it's almost 2 am and I just got in from the shop a while ago)

But to give you a little preview of what you will be doing, here are some pictures further along.

I'll continue with this for you tomorrow.

Don


PS: Oh yeah, buy yourself LOTS of clamps, you will be needing them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg t wood stringers 002.jpg (62.0 KB, 213 views)
File Type: jpg t wood stringers 003.jpg (62.3 KB, 265 views)
File Type: jpg t wood stringers 005.jpg (60.9 KB, 226 views)
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  #13  
Old 05-29-2007, 07:21 AM
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Wow Don.

This is turning out to be a regular step-by-step thread....
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  #14  
Old 05-29-2007, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by FlatBroke View Post
Wow Don.

This is turning out to be a regular step-by-step thread....
Turning out to be??? I'd say it's the how to!!!

Thanks Don!!!

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  #15  
Old 05-29-2007, 09:41 AM
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It is sort of like trying to explain how to build a house, you can't do it in one sentence. Sorry to spread it out this way, but between this stupid computer that freezes up with no warning, and the need to post lots of pictures as I go, I could think of no other way.

Ok, I have a little time before I have to go, so let me say a few more words.

One thing you will become very familiar with in fiberglassing is the ITCH. When you grind fiberglass, the little particles of dust imbed in your pores and you will feel like you have little slivers sticking out of you for about 24 hours. One day I came home from work and decided to do some work on my '27. It was a hot day, and as usual, I was wearing only shorts and tennis shoes. I ground away with a body grinder, and was sweating, so all this dust was sticking to my body. That night I slept with no covers or sheets on me, with my arms outstretched. I couldn't stand for anything to touch me until it wore off.

There are some things you can do. Those paper suits they sell for about $ 10 are worth their weight in gold. Blow off with compressed air occasionally during the work. Baby oil used liberally as you shower will coat the dust and float it away from your pores, shower in cool water, and some people say to rub panty hose up and down your body and it grabs the fibers. (There are about 100 jokes here, but I won't touch them )

The best solution though is to do it outside and wear the paper suit, and blow off. I did that on my newest T project, and never got any itch.

Don
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  #16  
Old 05-29-2007, 09:58 AM
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Ok, I got through that without computer freeze.

Last thing we discussed was tabbing in the floor. I might add that you will want to mix up only as much resin as you can use in about 15 minutes. It will start to kick (harden) on you after that, and you will waste whatever is in the pot. You can continue to use the same brush, usually, for several pots.

Precut all of the mat you think you will need to use before you start. It is very hard to cut mat when your fingers are all coated with resin, and they will be coated. Wear throwaway latex gloves.

You can keep laying up layers of mat, one atop each other, for as many layers as you wish, but once you stop, and it cures, you have to grind it to get the wax that has risen to the top off. But as long as you are doing it at the same time, you can just keep going and going. Usually about 3 layers are about right for any corner tabs you do.

Mix the resin according to the can, and stir well. Paint on a heavy coat to wet out the underside of the mat you are about to lay down, then keep dabbing on more until it is translucent. You can keep putting successive layers onto the wet mat, and repeating that process.

For the piece that you want to install on the firewall, cut several pieces of mat the shape of the firewall (slightly bigger so it overlaps the side of the body a little) and paint a layer of resin all over the firewall. Then lay the first piece of mat down and dab enough resin all over it to wet it out, then repeat until you have 3 layers wetted out. What you are doing is creating a sticky base for the plywood to be placed onto.

Put the plywood down into this wet mat, center it, and put heavy weights on top of it to squish it down into the mat, and hold it until it cures. Let it set overnight, if possible, to get a good cure.

Here are some pictures of that.


Picture 1 is the dust I am talking about. This is after grinding the firewall interior.

Picture 2 is the firewall with a coat of resin painted on it

Picture 3 is the first layer of mat laid into the wet resin, but I have not painted a coat of resin on top of the mat yet....it is still dry

Picture 4 shows the heavy weights sitting on top of the finished plywood intall, till it dries.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg firewall work 012.jpg (61.0 KB, 217 views)
File Type: jpg firewall work 013.jpg (62.5 KB, 212 views)
File Type: jpg firewall work 014.jpg (61.0 KB, 219 views)
File Type: jpg firewall work 016.jpg (61.5 KB, 232 views)

Last edited by donsrods; 05-29-2007 at 10:02 AM.
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  #17  
Old 05-29-2007, 10:10 AM
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Once the fiberglass has cured, the plywood is now bonded tightly to the body. But you will want to put at least one layer of mat on the inside of the plywood to further bond it to the body, and to make it water proof.

Here are some shots of mine after that process.

The first picture is simply the firewall after the outside layer of mat is installed

The second picture shows black on there. What I did was paint truck bed liner all over the areas where I would not be glassing. These bodies are thin, and light will show through. My plan is to paint the entire inside with bed liner so that it appears thicker to light. I have seen fiberglass bodies where you could almost see through them even after they were painted, that is why I am doing this step.
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File Type: jpg t firewall fiberglassing too 001.jpg (60.8 KB, 201 views)
File Type: jpg t firewall fiberglassing too 008.jpg (59.5 KB, 206 views)
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  #18  
Old 05-29-2007, 10:23 AM
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Now, on a traditional T body, you would have to do no more to the firewall, but on mine, I decided to run the steering through the firewall, as opposed to through the floor, so I needed a lot more strenght there. Fiberglass has no strenth by itself, you have to put a subframe into it when you intend on putting stress on it. That is why you do the wooding.

For my firewall, I wanted a very strong subframe to support my steering column and my windshield, so I built a steel "roll bar" affair to hold these items. Now, the reason steel will work here is because it is not glassed to the body, it is bolted through it. Steel will not bond well to fiberglass, and even if it did, it would start seperating after a while. That is why my cowl roll bar is bolted in.

Here is how I did that.

Picture 1 is the roll bar I bent up

Picture 2 is the foot I made to bolt it to the frame

Picture 3 is it in place

Picture 4 is after it was finished and painted (had to paint it before I installed it because it will never be able to come out of the body again once the floor is glass in place, it is now part of the body)

Picture 5 shows how all the stress is put onto the roll bar, not the fiberglass body.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg firewall work 004.jpg (61.3 KB, 200 views)
File Type: jpg cowl roll bar 004.jpg (61.6 KB, 195 views)
File Type: jpg cowl roll bar 005.jpg (60.6 KB, 196 views)
File Type: jpg cowl roll bar painted 003.jpg (60.7 KB, 217 views)
File Type: jpg steering and gas pedal 012.jpg (47.1 KB, 210 views)

Last edited by donsrods; 05-29-2007 at 10:25 AM.
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  #19  
Old 05-29-2007, 10:42 AM
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Ok, now that you have the floor and firewall glassed in, the next step is to do the "stringers" or ribs that will go on the sides and back of the body. If you are putting in a door, your framework on the passenger side will be different. I see you have two opening doors, so you will have to build a jam on the inside of the door and also the body. You will want to install some kind of steel plates for the hinges to screw into so they never come loose.

Most fiberglass bodies are wooded the same way on the sides. A top cap of wood is run around the upper edge of the body, and vertical stringers are run from that point down. As I mentioned, I use select pine. Do not use a hard wood like oak. It is too closed grained to let resin soak in, so you do not get a good bond. Pine is cheap and perfect, and select pine is nicer to work with, and not much more money.

I begin by building the entire top cap that lays under the lip, and do it in sections so that it lays nicely against the body contours. These bodies have twists and turns in all directions, so you have to shape the wood to lay flat. I used a bandsaw and belt sander to shape the wood, but a jigsaw and body grinder will work too.

You want the interior side of the wood to present a flat surface so that your upholstery board will lay flat against it, so you shape the backside to accomplish that. As you go, clamp eac piece into place until you have the whole interior cut, then do your glassing all at once.

Here are more of the pictures I posted previously. Like I said, you will need lots of clamps (Harbor Freight).

Picture one shows the contour of one piece after I shaped it. You need to do this to get it to lay tight against the body.

You will notice in the last picture I numbered each piece of wood, so that I would know where it went when I was glassing them in. I drew a chart and hung it up so I had a map to follow.

Time for me to run, but I'll post more later for you.

Don
Attached Images
File Type: jpg t wood stringers 001.jpg (61.8 KB, 136 views)
File Type: jpg t wood stringers 002.jpg (62.0 KB, 133 views)
File Type: jpg t wood stringers 003.jpg (62.3 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg t wood stringers 006.jpg (60.7 KB, 138 views)
File Type: jpg t wooding continued 004.jpg (60.5 KB, 145 views)

Last edited by donsrods; 05-29-2007 at 10:54 AM.
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  #20  
Old 05-29-2007, 06:28 PM
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Once you have the stringers all cut so that they fit well against the body you can start glassing them in place. The way you do that is to cut strips of mat just slightly wider than the wood, and put a couple or three layers of wet mat under each one to act like a cushion. Then you clamp or wedge each stringer into the wet mat, squishing the resin down, until it cures.

You have to do whatever you can to wedge it into place. Here is a picture of how I had to use pieces of wood and clamps to force each one up against the body until it cured.


Don
Attached Images
File Type: jpg t wooding continued 2 001.jpg (60.7 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg t wooding continued 2 002.jpg (61.4 KB, 145 views)
File Type: jpg t wooding continued 2 004.jpg (59.9 KB, 142 views)
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