How to make a fiberglass mold

Here is an eight part series on the basics of molding and casting in fiberglass. I’ve done a lot of this before, but it’s very good to have a refresher. Casting key FG parts for Project Streetliner is going to be a major part of construction. I’m thinking that perhaps I need to go ahead and shell my bicycle prototype velomobile-style when the time comes. Although, that’s kind of awesome — if I take my time and do that prototype correctly, I’ll actually have two vehicles when this is all done. One for the highway, and another for the bike path. That has me thinking about electric assist…

One thought on “How to make a fiberglass mold”

  1. It seems like the biggest project-killer out there for custom-bodied vehicles is the time required to shape the buck. People have spent a couple years of project time sanding/filling and you still see lumpiness in the finished product – look at Tri-Magnums, tens of thousands of plans sold, less than 20 projects complete, and unfinished projects that died in body-shaping show up on ebay & craigslist at a slow but regular trickle. I plan to borrow a boatbuilding tech to get a smooth surface much faster – the secret is to lay up a single layer of heavy cloth (1708 bi-axial fiberglass specifically, 17oz cloth) on a flat piece of formica for an instantly smooth finished surface. Apparently you have up to 4 days to put 2D bends in it. I plan to design a body of 2D curves in Solidworks, have the station formers machine-cut from aluminum and include a large-format printout of each body panel in the layup. Print, layup, cut, bend, then lots of fiberglass tape to hold it all together. Then I just have to surface the tape lines, otherwise my exterior is done! This method also adds lightness, cause it’s easier to roll out excess resin on the flat surface. Lastly I’ll add foam and a layer of kevlar inside to complete the sandwich.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *