Tag Archives: fiberglass resin

Great body! Bondo and sanding

While the chassis was gone on its welding and powdercoating improvement journey, the egg was “up on blocks”, and its time for the body work.

We went out to get our supplies, and learning from the last stage, to do preliminary research on the cost of painting the egg after it was all prepared.  Insert parade of idiots and outrageous quotes here, and cut to a couple beneficent guys standing in stores with us giving us crucial instructions, and one angel of a guy at a body shop who broke down every stage of what we needed to do.

We had to clean it all with a scotchbrite pad and comet.  Giving it this “mechanical scratch” is enough for the paint to bond.  For our repair patches, we had to build up the bondo and sand it down, sanding and refining with a primer/filler, arriving at a grit of 4-600!  That sounded insanely fine to me, coming from woodworking, but for automotive finishes, 400 grit is not fine enough.

The hardeners were different colours. At this stage of the bondo, it was mixing pink. See giant patch almost blending with shell now.

Fiberglass is an unusual animal, and it turns out it’s not very well liked in the automotive world.  Too finicky.  It shrinks and holds paint differently, and it doesn’t bond with bondo (automotive filler) that same way. Over the fiber, there’s a gel coat that ages with exposure and gets dull, like old boats do.  He suggested that we could dispense with painting it and just restore the original surface by buffing out the gel coat.  “To preserve the original colours because they were so nice?” I asked.  No way was I doing all that work for 1970’s orange.

Continue reading Great body! Bondo and sanding

Camper reno: adventures in fiberglass

Before the camper could be insulated, there was some work to be done.

First, it needed to be dug out of the snow.  I almost got my truck stuck in the axle deep mud hiding under the dense old snow. (This was March), the shoulder season of melt water almost flowing underneath heavy snow .  Plus it rained mid-mission, so it was absolutely the worst timing for excavating the camper.

The original  interior surface layer was a sort of textured beige vinyl with a quarter inch of foam backing glued on to the fiberglass surface.  A whole quarter inch of “insulation”, wow!  Either time or the heat or the original glue had that layer so stubbornly adhered to the fiberglass that when I was tearing it off originally, only the vinyl came off like wallpaper, leaving the meat of the foam behind, which is black.

So I had to finish scraping out the vestiges of black foam with a drywall knife.  Sometimes it would come away in satisfying chunks, sometimes only in crumbs (which had a great knack for finding cuffs and collars.  At any rate, it was tedious, slow, and tiring.  A never ending task.  Naturally, the overhead stuff was the most difficult, probably baked on by 40 years of sun.

Mostly done chipping away

Next, the fiberglass repair.  This was my first experience with fiberglass resin, and I have to say it put me over the edge.  I used to think Acoustiseal was bad, and wire fencing worse.  Now, what I wish on my worst enemies is that they will someday have to do overhead fiberglass resin repairs.

Officially, the most diabolical product EVer.  Continue reading Camper reno: adventures in fiberglass