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Thread: Question about fiberglass over a foamcore mold

  1. #1
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    Question about fiberglass over a foamcore mold

    So I sold my maxima (ii needa change my signature) and got a 2007 tacoma and have big plans for the console. I want to build this one right and build plenty of mockup models to be sure i get it just right (tolerances will be to the millimeter on this project). I decided to go back to my model making days from college and use a combination of foamcore (foamboard 1/4" thick) and poster board.

    My question for all of the pro fiberglasses in the house is this:
    Is it safe/ok/not-a-problem to fiberglass directly onto my foamcore model , then remove the model as best as possible? I figure i'll do the typical aluminium foil over the mold, then tape down the alum. foil, then glass over that, but wanted to be sure this is a viable way to transfer my (hopefully perfect) model over to a fiberglass clone.

    I had also thought about busting out my balsa foam (or maybe poplar wood layered into a block) and carving an exact mold to then use for vacuum forming the base shell.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    it might help if you provided a sketch of photo of your big plan.

    I've never enjoyed working with foamcore. Then again I never had a really sharp knife either.

    I'd suggest using blocks of the pink EPS foam that you can get at home depot/lowes spray mounted together to get all your crazy shapes, and then cover it in latex paint before fiberglassing.

    I think you can get better and more stable form from building blocks and masses rather than trying to surface model everything.
    Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

    Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
    Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
    Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate
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    I have never foam molded, but this instructable may help.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/%5bV...king---Part-I/
    Continued Worklog... Upgrades in progress:
    *15.4" WXGA LED backlight touchscreen upgrade
    *Custom fiberglass dash bezel

  4. #4
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    Thanks gents for the suggestions. I went ahead and put together a quick posterboard/foamcore proof of concept this morning just to make sure i like how it looks and works. I'm thinking I may move up to an 8" screen and loose the fancy hump/trim piece. I also read through your worklog Biggy and am so impressed at your fabrication that I think I may try a bit of what you did. Except for I will be doing a fiberglass base to sit down into the cup holders, etc, and then vacuum form the face plate portion that you see in the pics below. The big thing for me is that this whole thing just sits into the cup holder area and will look stock to match the gear shifter's aluminum look.

    On a side note, I along with you and the other readers of your worklog, Biggy, cannot wait to see the final installation pics. *Click the image to view all of the images in the flickr set.


  5. #5
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    I also have a 2007 Tacoma and I've been planning on installing a computer myself. Your plan is a little different than mine and I'm curious about it. What are you planning on putting in the current radio location?

    My plan was to install the computer and screen in the dash where the radio is. I'm going to install the head unit just in front of the cup holders.

    I'm looking forward to seeing all your progress on the Tacoma. Do you have a Double Cab?

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate
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    Thanks replicant, im also looking forward to see this vacuum forming.
    Continued Worklog... Upgrades in progress:
    *15.4" WXGA LED backlight touchscreen upgrade
    *Custom fiberglass dash bezel

  7. #7
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    Lsocoee:
    Well, with this setup, I'm going to stick with stock audio for as long as I can. I figure that with this route I can easily upgrade to an aftermarket headunit if/when the time comes.

    I haven't decided how I want to approach installing a sub or amp yet. I like the idea of having all of the compartments and stuff that are behind and under the back seats. I'll figure something out soon enough and will start fiberglass construction of that when the time comes.

    Originally I had wanted to make the lcd faceplate hinged so i could lift it up to get access to the cup holders or the other large comparment in the back; or better yet leave it unhinged and add a slim slot loading dvdrw drive and a couple usb ports; or taking the idea a bit further and place a mac mini in there, but that would go against my initial thought of "no hardcore cutting of the dash" until i can get to a scrapyard to purchase all of the replacement parts.

    Yeah, it's a double cab. I love this truck -- it's also my first one.. though, i do miss my maxima.

    Biggy:
    Thanks, me too.

    In a twist of fate, I was at my parent's house last night looking for some of my materials from college and came across 2 nearly full sheets of 1/8" ps (poly styrene) plastic!! looks like i'm definitely going to be going the vacuum forming route. i may even try and build my own rig. though i'll prolly take a trip to where i went to college and use their vacuum forming machine (they have one that could fit a midsized car in it!)

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate
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    Yeah ive seen how-tos on creating a small one from some wood and a vacuum cleaner and heating the sheet in the oven lol.
    Continued Worklog... Upgrades in progress:
    *15.4" WXGA LED backlight touchscreen upgrade
    *Custom fiberglass dash bezel

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