Was just looking at your door project.
You have a challenge.
Based on my experience, I wouldn’t put any more time or money into trying to fix the door. In my opinion, You’ll just be throwing money at it; a lot of time and frustration - work and rework and wind up with a heavy door that still won’t work right.
I’d just build a new door – one of 3 ways.
1) All new wood – stringers and thin bendable plywood;
2) New wood (same as above) and add fiberglass cloth for shaping and strengthening the edges and corners – using only Epoxy resin
Don’t try and go cheap and try to use fiberglass resin on wood. It won’t last and you’ll have
Eventual delamination before you know it. take a look at all the wood boats that people have laid fiberglass cloth over – they all eventually delaminate. The only thing that would work is to use epoxy, but to save money, many choose to use the cheap fiberglass resins instead. You’ll just be wasting your money. (I’ve owned several boats that have had glass over wood and they’ve all been a problem.
One runabout I ended up just cutting up and putting all the pieces in a dumpster.
3) Build a new door from scratch using fiberglass – because you wouldn’t be using any wood, you could build it using the cheaper fiberglass resins.
Since I do mostly repair work and alterations on my fiberglass trailer, I only purchase gallons of Epoxy. If I was to do a larger project using new materials and cloth, I would probably then use the cheaper fiberglass resin.
Epoxies work well for projects
1) Requiring more strength;
2) Working with dissimilar materials;
3) Needing to adhere well when the materials have any moisture in them
(never use fiberglass resins unless the project is completely dry)
You sound like you might be up for the challenge. You could learn how to do all this yourself.
First, I’d buy a book on working with fiberglass boats.
May be take a course with a local experimental college, community college.
Find a local fiberglass store (not a crafts store, but a boat fiberglass supply store)
And ask them about a course. –
Buy good face mask for –
One for grinding (don’t want to breathe the fiberglass dust)
One with filters for the fiberglass resins and/or epoxies
- a light weight
suit – the dust is extremely fine and “itchy!”
- a 4 ½ inch grinder from Harbor Freight ($15 on sale?) I used to pay up to $80 for the
The 4” Makita grinders - the On/Off switches were always plugging up – the
Harbor Freight grinder is a throwaway -
- A small vibrating palm sander with a foam pad and use the roll adhesive
I buy all my roll paper and sanding discs online now
You can do this.
But, you need some practice, a little more basic knowledge and the tools.
Your questions about building up fiberglass on something like glass and will it bend –
Yes and yes.
You can use any flat surface with a “release agent” or paste.
I’ve used what I’ve had if I don’t have any around – wax paper or petroleum jelly have both worked for me.
Working your door, you would find it would be part of the project to lay up the parts of the door on a flat surface first and affix them and shape them into the door.
Fiberglass is easy to work with, but a common mistake is to build up too thick a layer or mix too large a batch of resin.
You’ll find the heat build-up will waste time and material if you try and build up too much too fast – or, the pot life of your resin is diminished if it is hot when you’re working and/or you make too big a batch you can’t all use right away.
Doesn’t have to be glass to be laid up on to be able to work, though.
Enclosed, find pictures of a hole I just patched on my trailer after removing an access door –
(putting in a new exterior AC outlet next to where the access panel door used to be)
My vote would be to don’t waste any more money on trying to rebuild the door (why I had to answer your posting)
Get a good “Repairing a Fiberglass Boat” book – talk to a boat yard fiberglass supply shop about courses you could take – get the basic tools - safety stuff and stay safe with the power tools (just took off some skin on one of my fingers today with the grinder and 50 grit – does it really fast if you’re not careful
Good luck to you.