View original topic: Fiberglassing rail with stretch wrap??
ORANGECRUSHer Mon Feb 27, 2023 5:29 pm

I need you fiberglass experts to put my curiosity to rest, please.

I have a tube framed buggy I want to make body panels for. I would start with hood, sides and a roof. Since every buggy is different I want to make my own. It seems like in the past I've seen where you can wrap something in stretch wrap, the stuff they use in shipping departments to wrap skids of product, and then lay the fiberglas over the top.

I've done very small fiberglass projects in the past and this seems like a fun challenge. Maybe you can give me the ins and outs of fiberglassing without a mold on stretch wrap.

viiking Mon Feb 27, 2023 8:31 pm

I'm not a fibreglass expert but would you be using stretch wrap or shrink wrap?

These are both used in logistics for pallet wrapping and are two different animals.

Stretch wrap is as it says 'stretched' over an item. It elongates in any direction. Downside is that it can crease which can cause issues obviously with appearance on a "buck".

Shrink wrap on the other hand is laid loosely over an item and then is heated and it assumes the shape of the item. Methinks this would be the appropriate stuff to use if you are trying to cover a body part rather than stretch wrap.

I have in the past just used normal plastic sheet just to prevent the stickiness between layers of fibreglass and it is not a problem and is not affected by the resin.

ORANGECRUSHer Mon Feb 27, 2023 10:26 pm

I was just envisioning carefully wrapping around where I needed to work. Maybe creating more structure to hold up the glass or using padding to create some distance around objects. I figure the backside won't be pretty but who cares, the problem would be making flat looking panels and I wonder how well it would hold up. Fiberglass is expensive and time-consuming so I'm not even sure if it's a better option over aluminum. The only real benefit is easy repair and it wont dent.

Nacho_74 Tue Feb 28, 2023 7:45 am

I would think that the plastic wrap and or stretch wrap would expand & sag during the initial curing of the epoxy because of the heat it generates.

Back in my teenage years we used flannel material to shape custom subwoofer enclosures and then overlay the fiberglass with epoxy resin. There's videos on the University of YouTube on this method.

ORANGECRUSHer Tue Feb 28, 2023 11:43 am

Yeah, I didn't think about the heat. The plastic would not be enough to support it. I think trying to do something on the cheap and fast like this probably isn't gonna cut it and lead to more work in the end.

viiking Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:23 pm

There’s plenty of people on

the internet making free form articles out of fibreglass or epoxy. They use plastic sheet, packaging tape and also wax paper. If you’re making large structures then you’ll need support.

Sheets of polyurethane foam perhaps?

Normally you’d make a “buck” first as a female mould, then glass that to pop out the part.

ORANGECRUSHer Tue Feb 28, 2023 2:47 pm

Yes, I've watched a ton of really good videos but it seems like people who make videos about this stuff don't have jobs and can spend their lives making molds for entire vehicles and sanding them till their elbows fall off. I really like fiberglass stuff but I really should just stick with metal. I think I just needed to get it off my chest and be done with it. :lol:

simon varley Tue Feb 28, 2023 4:29 pm

acrylic or polycarb sheet. mould to shape with a heat gun. then either use directly, or use as your fibreglass mould.

ORANGECRUSHer Tue Feb 28, 2023 5:11 pm

Hey i like that idea, but have you priced a sheet of lexan lately? It's not light either.

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