by Sarah Scott
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Fiberglass can be used to make a copy of an existing car body part, to repair damaged parts, or as a base for custom body panels. Fiberglass is the casting material of choice for many bodywork workers. It can be molded into any variety of complex shapes and can polish its surface as smooth as a commercially manufactured body part. The copy made of fiberglass is known as a mold. The process of making a fiberglass body mold is long, but worth it for those who want to save money on car repairs.
Put on your glasses and gloves. Spray or brush a coat of mold release wax onto the surface of the car part. Do not disturb the part for an hour.
Apply the next coat of release wax in an alternate direction from the first coat. Do not touch the wax covered part for an hour.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 one or three more times.
Spray a thin layer of polyvinyl alcohol release agent on the wax surface of the part. Apply two additional light coats of the parting agent. Apply a thicker coat of release agent. Do not disturb the part until the parting agent has completely dried.
Spray the first layer of fiberglass resin, called gelcoat, onto the surface of the car part. Do not touch until dry. Use a sanding block to buff up any clumps in the gel coat. Use a utility knife to cut the fiberglass hanging from the edge of the piece.
Spray another coat of fiberglass resin over the gel coat. Do not touch until dry. Use a sanding block to smooth out clumps in the gel coat. Use a utility knife to cut the fiberglass hanging from the edge of the piece.
Add a third layer of fiberglass resin to the part using the same process described in Step 6.
Do not apply additional layers of fiberglass until the temperature of the fiberglass has dropped to the same level as the room temperature.
Spray additional layers of fiberglass following the procedure outlined in Step 6.
Spray a final coat of fiberglass resin on the surface of the mold.
Smooth the surface of the fiberglass mold with a roller.
Do not alter the cast or body part until five days have passed. This will allow sufficient time for the fiberglass body mold to cure.
Insert a flat wooden stick into the area between the fiberglass mold and the car part. Take the fiberglass mold out of the car part.
Do not disturb the fiberglass mold until five days have passed. This will allow enough time for the fiberglass mold to cure.
- Be careful when working with flammable materials. Protect your hands by wearing chemical resistant goggles and wearing safety glasses. Keep hazardous materials out of the reach of children. This project should be done in a well ventilated area. Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
Articles will need
- Protective goggles
- Chemical resistant gloves
- Release wax
- Spray gun
- Polyvinyl Alcohol Parting Agent
- Fiberglass resin
- Sanding block
- Wooden flat stick