Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Building a fiberglass console

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    San Marcos, Tx, USA
    Posts
    78

    Building a fiberglass console

    Does anyone know anyting about working with fiberglass?

    I was thinking about building a center console to house the computer and monitor in my car.

    My intentions where to cut out a template using cardboard or thin plywood and then fiberglass over it. Does this sound feasible?

    Is this stuff hard to work with and is it very expensive?

  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Hammond, NY, USA
    Posts
    26
    Sounds like a good idea, this is something I plan on trying for my car.

    Thin plywood sheeting will probably be the best thing to use for the template.

    Most car part stores offer fiberglass repair kits that are fairly inexpensive if you dont have too large of a project. One drawback is I've heard it can make quite a mess.

    Then after you are done you can get some vinyl, or other fabric to cover it.

    My console will mostly be made of particle board or MDF.

    Particle board is cheap and easy to round off and smooth edges. It might be an alternative to fiberglass if you dont need a really curved surface. Then just cover like everything else.

    Good luck, let us know how it goes and maybe some pics. I really like people who take the time to make their system look good as well as sound good.

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Oakville Ontario Canada
    Posts
    109
    It sounds good in theory, and done right, a fiberglas console would be a wonderful way to make a setp a cut above the rest. That is the keyword(s) though, done right.

    Working with fiberglas mat on a mold is exceedingly hard to do right. I work with the substance myself frequently for motorcycle fairing patching/fabrication, and consider myself fairly good at working with it. The larger the project, it becomes exponentially harder to work with. I have built a console out of 1/8" plywood, covered in vinyl, and think that this was probably the easier and more effective solution to to it neatly. To do a console over a mold, one would be better off to do it the commercial method, of blowing chopped fiberglas mat onto the mold. Needless to say tho, this very expensive to do for one-off projects.

    check out ashleypowers.homepage.com and mp3ford.mp3car.com for two projects that made consoles out of plywood. IMO the better way to do it, if you can handle a jig-saw and a drill.



  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Posts
    323
    Another approach would be to make a positive mold out of clay or other material which is easy to form, and then use pieces of fiberglass mesh mixed with the appropriate chemicals.

    I'm not sure what chemicals are used, but I'm going to find out. I do contract work for an art company that makes giant figures out of various materials. They took fiberglass "mesh" (looks like cloth and is easy to bend and fold) and dipped it in some kind of chemical that made it begin to dissolve. You then lay pieces of this wet mesh over the mold and do several layers of it. When it dries it's basically solid fiberglass held together very tight. After about 10min it's nearly as hard as concrete.


    --Jason
    http://jump.to/m2pc
    Jason Johnson
    Yorba Linda, California
    http://www.m2pc.com

    M˛PC Phase IV - *** PENDING ***

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
    Posts
    5
    My cousin Andy and I are planning to make a pair of mp3 players for are cars and post a highly detailed web site on the finished products. One of our topics will be consoles. By far the easiest way to build a console would be to utilize a fiberglass foam core construction method. A property of deformable bodies is that every time you double the thickness of a panel or tube the stiffness of the panel increased to the third power, and 2 to the third power is eight. What I am trying to say is if you double the thickness of a panel you will increase its stiffness by 8 times. Since most of the stress of a panel is on the outer surface, the inter surface can be a bulk filler, foam.
    This technique is used extensively in one-off car bodies, boat halls, hovercrafts, and airplanes. Closed – cell urethane foam can be cut to size, glued together and be “Cheese Graded” to rough shape and size. Then the foam can be sanded smooth and be laid up with two coats of 6 oz. Fiberglass Cloth on each side. This is when I would glue the vinyl on. But if you want a smooth finish bondo could be applied to the fiberglass and shaped and sanded to smooth out waves and ripples that vinyl would surly hide.

    Look in any “how to build a fiberglass boat” book, to read about this more in detail

    MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT !!!!!!!
    http://www.rqriley.com/frp-foam.html
    The above site will tell you everything you will need to know.
    It shows you how to build one of those 3-wheeled ultra light cars bodies shown in the back of Popular Mechanics magazine.

    Let me know if I have been any help.

    -Jiggy


  6. #6
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Georgetown
    Posts
    1
    Another way to build this type of Console is with PVC. The same plastic that most pipes are made from is also sold in Large flat sheets from 1/8" to 1" thick. Its fairly cheap for the thinner stuff but its more than the plywood or fiberglass! I have an unlimited supply since I work with it all day long at work. Its very easy to cut, drill, or machine. It welds, or glues. And if you get creative, you can bend all you corners and you'll see no ends of plywood! : ) I'll tell you more if your interested.

    Steve Cooke


  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Greensboro NC
    Posts
    233
    Im very interested in using PVC...Id like to redisgin hte entire center console of My LeBaron and using PVC might be the best way for me to go...

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Greensboro NC
    Posts
    233
    So anybody know anything about this PVC stuff?

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    West palm Beach , Fl, USA
    Posts
    291
    What tools do I need to use with plexiglass? Is plexiglass expensive? How do I connect the joints of it. I want to put neon and stuff inside like sealed sub bandpass boxes

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    San Marcos, Tx, USA
    Posts
    78
    this might give you some ideas:
    <a href="http://www.computingpros.com/clearcase1.html">clear case chassis</a>.

    In my experience plexiglass can be faily cheap $5 for a 3' square to as much as $20 or $30 for the thicker stuff. It's pretty easy to cut which is done by "scoring". You can buy a $2 scoring knife that'll make your life a lot easier. You could probably also custom cut it with a vise and a dremel but becareful with the vise.

    I think places like Lowe's, Home Depot, and etc. can cut it for you (might charge you tho *shrug*)....

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •