You Can Repair Fiberglass - Page 13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-07-2016, 07:46 AM   #169
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I stopped by Advanced Auto parts this weekend and found that they stock a product from Bondo called Bondo Glass and is described as a short strand resin for small holes and includes a tube of hardener. I didn't buy it because I don't believe our temperatures are going to cooperate for patching yet, but I just checked the weather and I may be wrong. Could be on my way back there for a can/jar and get on with the patching.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:16 PM   #170
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Dave,
I have a question...I have done some extensive fiberglass repairs since last summer using your methods in this thread to patch the original 3 way fridge opening and various smaller openings on the body and roof. Also glassed in new plywood floors to the body. I used Bondo resin, mat cloth and bondo filler. The fiberglass part I got down okay, but getting the filler perfectly smooth is where I have problems. I painted last summer but you can see some dips or low areas or high areas in places that I want to go back over to get that "fender smooth" look. I have difficulty getting consistent results with the bondo filler, dries to quickly or too slow depending on temperature even when following directions...sanding gums up sanding discs fast if it doesn't dry properly or is not dry enough even after a day or so, and using too much of a resin layer is more difficult to sand down than the filler. Are there any tricks of the trade to get the right mixture down consistently regardless of temperature? What about the bondo glass, or hair filler products good for this finishing work? I really want as close to museum quality smooth body finish as I can get as a DIYer. Also, last year I used tractor supply gray primer and then tractor supply gloss white, but I thinned the white down 50% with paint thinner to obtain a finer mist in my spray gun in hopes of getting a smoother finish and laydown. Would that much thinner cause a loss of gloss and would a clear coat help this? I want a high gloss finish so I bought a couple quarts of Rustoleum Marine Topside Paint for Wood and Fiberglass to try. Thanks Dave, really enjoy this thread, never would have done all this with out this one...
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:53 PM   #171
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Dave,
I have a question...I have done some extensive fiberglass repairs since last summer using your methods in this thread to patch the original 3 way fridge opening and various smaller openings on the body and roof. Also glassed in new plywood floors to the body. I used Bondo resin, mat cloth and bondo filler. The fiberglass part I got down okay, but getting the filler perfectly smooth is where I have problems. I painted last summer but you can see some dips or low areas or high areas in places that I want to go back over to get that "fender smooth" look. I have difficulty getting consistent results with the bondo filler, dries to quickly or too slow depending on temperature even when following directions...sanding gums up sanding discs fast if it doesn't dry properly or is not dry enough even after a day or so, and using too much of a resin layer is more difficult to sand down than the filler. Are there any tricks of the trade to get the right mixture down consistently regardless of temperature? What about the bondo glass, or hair filler products good for this finishing work? I really want as close to museum quality smooth body finish as I can get as a DIYer. Also, last year I used tractor supply gray primer and then tractor supply gloss white, but I thinned the white down 50% with paint thinner to obtain a finer mist in my spray gun in hopes of getting a smoother finish and laydown. Would that much thinner cause a loss of gloss and would a clear coat help this? I want a high gloss finish so I bought a couple quarts of Rustoleum Marine Topside Paint for Wood and Fiberglass to try. Thanks Dave, really enjoy this thread, never would have done all this with out this one...
Congrats to you for doing your own repairs. That is exactly why I wrote this thread. Now for finishing. If you are having problems with your filler, Bondo brand is the bottom of the barrel. I would recommend you try something from Evercoat like Rage gold and go at it again carefully following the directions. High and low spots come from not using a block to sand with. You must use a block always on every grit from the coarsest shaping grit to the finest smoothing grit or you will have high and low spots. AS YOU BEGIN TO DO THIS OVER, REMEMBER TO REMOVE ALL PAINT. NEVER PUT REPAIR FILLERS OVER PAINT. I commend you for trying to do it better because that is exactly what everyone does. Our motto here is IF YOU AINT HAPPY WITH IT, YOU QUIT TOO SOON. The cool thing with fiberglass is, you can redo it easily and cheaply until you get the result you are looking for. Paint is another ballgame but also easily doable. However, it sounds like you didn't follow the directions on reduction. If you don't follow the directions, you will never get the desired result. I would chalk it up to experience and try it again. Keep at it and you will succeed. You can do it. Then and during all this, get out and camp the heck out of your unit. May the forest be with you.
Fiberglass Dave
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:39 PM   #172
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Help! I think I screwed up!

Hello Dave (and others here ), I've been following your how-to instructions and have been feeling pretty confident in the work I've been doing. I've glassed in nearly every hole in the shell of my '87 16-footer since I'm moving things around and putting interior tabs in place for all the cabinets to mount to. I spent the day stripping the carpet glue from the inside shell using KleanStrip Adhesive remover and scraping like crazy. My son popped his head in when I was just about finished and asked if I had checked to make sure the stripper wouldn't hurt the fiberglass - I hadn't.

The can didn't say anything about fiberglass so I called the manufacturer. They said it WAS NOT ok to use on fiberglass and that I should immediately wash it off with warm soapy water. I asked if there was something I should be using to neutralize it, but they said to just use the soap and water.

Have I really blown it?? Should I paint over the whole interior with some resin or something just in case? I scrubbed it three times with soapy warm water (dish soap).

Help!
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:39 PM   #173
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You learned a valuable lesson here, so call it going to college. Continue on, you should be fine this time, or you would be asking me about what to do with the DAMAGE. Nothing happens without action. Congrats on taking action and trying something new. Fiberglass Dave
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:58 PM   #174
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Thanks Dave! Lesson learned
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:35 PM   #175
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Dave,
I have another issue regarding my door...the door had water leak into it through the window to the point that all the wood inside the 2 layers of fiberglass had turned to mush so there was nothing left to keep its shape...so I got rid of the mush, removed the window and glassed over it, then I made a metal frame for the door. The first was hand bent 1" square tubing using a jig until it matched the shape of the door opening, welded the pieces together, checked fit again, epoxied it to door...it was off corner to corner enough that I was not happy, so I re-did it only this time I used conduit - much easier to work with although not a strong, but once epoxied to the door I was surprised at how strong it is...now my door fits perfectly.

So now my issue is finishing the inside of the door around the conduit, I am filling the void with 1" styrofoam sheet insulation cut to fit. Right now I have a piece of utility plastic panel screwed to the conduit but it doesn't look very good. I thought about wetting out some fiberglass on a flat surface then glass or epoxy that to the conduit frame and wanted to know your thoughts on that. Secondly I wanted to know your thoughts of using any of the following products for finishing around the conduit frame: Bondo Professional Gold Filler, Bondo-Glass (fiberglass reinforced filler), Bondo All Purpose Filler, Bondo Fiberglass Resin Jelly and Bondo Body Filler.

My thought here is 2 parts, one is I want a nice smooth finished and contoured look (original factory look) but also I don't want to add weight unnecessarily to the door and the filler seems to me to add more weight that using resin or am I mistaken?

I don't have any pictures of the door showing the conduit, just the ones shown here before I used the conduit frame...I will try to get some tomorrow if that helps
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:08 AM   #176
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Don't forget to pick up a tube of spot filler putty. It is used for leveling the very small imperfections. Great stuff for achieving that glass smooth surface you are craving.

Before I started stripping I used a fiber stripping wheel in my drill motor to remove as much of the dried flaky contact cement as I could with that mechanical means. One of these guys...http://www.amazon.com/3M-9099DCNA-La.../dp/B00004Z4DV

After that initial step I ended up using acetone, letting it soak in for a while and only working in cool temperatures in the very early morning or late evenings to slow down the evaporation. I also used a very stiff, heavy fibers, plastic bristle brush to help scrub it off the surface. It is likely to be called a "rough surface" brush, you can find them in the hardware store, sometimes near the paint department.

For some people this will be a first time DIY project working with acetone so I am giving this warning since it is a very important one to avoid the potential for an explosion from concentrated fumes when working in a small area.
You probably do realize you should only attempt to clean one small area at a time with all the windows and doors open as a build up of acetone fumes is very dangerous. Take frequent breaks to let the fumes dissipate rather doing longer work sessions.

Since it is frustratingly tedious work doing a small area is about all one wants to handle before taking a break from it and frequent breaks are important so don't feel guilty about not getting enough done at one time. I had to phase that stripping job in with other projects just to be able to get through it with my sanity intact. Just break it up into small segments and feel good about achieving them as a goal. It will eventually get you there.
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:36 AM   #177
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Dave,
I have another issue regarding my door...the door had water leak into it through the window to the point that all the wood inside the 2 layers of fiberglass had turned to mush so there was nothing left to keep its shape...so I got rid of the mush, removed the window and glassed over it, then I made a metal frame for the door. The first was hand bent 1" square tubing using a jig until it matched the shape of the door opening, welded the pieces together, checked fit again, epoxied it to door...it was off corner to corner enough that I was not happy, so I re-did it only this time I used conduit - much easier to work with although not a strong, but once epoxied to the door I was surprised at how strong it is...now my door fits perfectly.

So now my issue is finishing the inside of the door around the conduit, I am filling the void with 1" styrofoam sheet insulation cut to fit. Right now I have a piece of utility plastic panel screwed to the conduit but it doesn't look very good. I thought about wetting out some fiberglass on a flat surface then glass or epoxy that to the conduit frame and wanted to know your thoughts on that. Secondly I wanted to know your thoughts of using any of the following products for finishing around the conduit frame: Bondo Professional Gold Filler, Bondo-Glass (fiberglass reinforced filler), Bondo All Purpose Filler, Bondo Fiberglass Resin Jelly and Bondo Body Filler.

My thought here is 2 parts, one is I want a nice smooth finished and contoured look (original factory look) but also I don't want to add weight unnecessarily to the door and the filler seems to me to add more weight that using resin or am I mistaken?

I don't have any pictures of the door showing the conduit, just the ones shown here before I used the conduit frame...I will try to get some tomorrow if that helps
Wow...I love this...What happened to the old fiberglass? I have never seen fiberglass so mushy that it is unusable...do we want to use the old interior skin and then work it back to perfection? Or are you wanting to build a new interior skin?
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:39 AM   #178
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Wow...I love this...What happened to the old fiberglass? I have never seen fiberglass so mushy that it is unusable...do we want to use the old interior skin and then work it back to perfection? Or are you wanting to build a new interior skin?
Dave,
The wood filler inside the door was what turned to mush, the fiberglass outer and inner layers were okay but the inner layer was very very thin and was difficult to remove. I cut it off in smaller pieces at a time with an angle grinder rather than 1 large piece but it still broke up. The thought did not occur to me to save it to reuse it as I had initially planned to put new wood in the door and re-glass it completely. After the fact, I decided to fill the door with sytrofoam to reduce the weight which I felt would also help to prevent the door from trying to flatten back out along with the use of the metal frame. The conduit makes the rise of the inner door about twice that of what it originally was, so that is why I ran into difficulty on the refinishing work. Here are some pictures I took this morning of the edges around were I epoxied the conduit to the door. After I epoxied it to the door I went over the conduit and door with strips of fiberglass matte to further reinforce it and then put some filler around the outer edge sanded it to smooth it out. I ran out of the standard Bondo filler so I stopped there for the time being. I then painted over it before a camping trip last fall for a temporary fix, but as you can see it is still pretty rough (nothing pretty about it lol)...

So like I said I thought about laying out some matte, wetting it out, let it dry then apply that in place of the plastic currently screwed to the conduit, and glass it in around the sides. If I do that do I need anything in the middle of the void to attach the fiberglass to or will it be fine just glassed to the conduit frame? Then are any of the fillers I mentioned in the previous post better suited for finishing around the conduit edges where it meets the door?
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:06 PM   #179
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Dave,
The wood filler inside the door was what turned to mush, the fiberglass outer and inner layers were okay but the inner layer was very very thin and was difficult to remove. I cut it off in smaller pieces at a time with an angle grinder rather than 1 large piece but it still broke up. The thought did not occur to me to save it to reuse it as I had initially planned to put new wood in the door and re-glass it completely. After the fact, I decided to fill the door with sytrofoam to reduce the weight which I felt would also help to prevent the door from trying to flatten back out along with the use of the metal frame. The conduit makes the rise of the inner door about twice that of what it originally was, so that is why I ran into difficulty on the refinishing work. Here are some pictures I took this morning of the edges around were I epoxied the conduit to the door. After I epoxied it to the door I went over the conduit and door with strips of fiberglass matte to further reinforce it and then put some filler around the outer edge sanded it to smooth it out. I ran out of the standard Bondo filler so I stopped there for the time being. I then painted over it before a camping trip last fall for a temporary fix, but as you can see it is still pretty rough (nothing pretty about it lol)...

So like I said I thought about laying out some matte, wetting it out, let it dry then apply that in place of the plastic currently screwed to the conduit, and glass it in around the sides. If I do that do I need anything in the middle of the void to attach the fiberglass to or will it be fine just glassed to the conduit frame? Then are any of the fillers I mentioned in the previous post better suited for finishing around the conduit edges where it meets the door?
Here's what I would do. I would wax up or tape wax paper or somehow protect the front of the door and lay up 3 layers of glass following all safety and manufacturer's directions. You will then have a perfect bent sheet to affix to the inside ( the back of the newly laid up piece will become the front of the interior side). Easy, professional and you can do it yourself with professional results and it will give you a lot of structural strength along with looking good. May the forest be with you...Fiberglass Dave
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:34 PM   #180
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That is a great idea! Ingeniues that is why I love this forum! One more question. So would you cut it to fit the conduit frame and glass it to the conduit and if so how would you clean up the edges, more glass then filler?
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:05 AM   #181
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That is a great idea! Ingeniues that is why I love this forum! One more question. So would you cut it to fit the conduit frame and glass it to the conduit and if so how would you clean up the edges, more glass then filler?
Rivet it to the frame, glass the edges, remove the rivets and bondo the edges, rivet hole and defects and paint....easy and you can do it Fiberglass Dave
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:15 AM   #182
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Thanks Dave, now that I have a good plan I am going to work on this today, will let you know how it turns out...this thread and your advice given here are indispensable to this forum! If we ever meet up at a rally or campsite somewhere I will gladly buy you a beer!
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