Cyclekart progress — fiberglass work has begun
May 27, 2012 — Fiberglass work has begun on the rear end of the cyclekart
Above you see the glass cloth for the first layer laid out. It’s weird stuff. When wet out with epoxy, it kind of disappears and becomes transparent and loses all its stiffness.
I had a bit of a false start, the first piece I tried was a vertical section on the very tip of the tail. I wasn’t sure how to get the piece to stay there while I wet it out, so I duct taped it on by a couple corners. This was a mistake. When I went to remove the duct tape, it scrunched up the whole piece and I had to just take it off and start over.
Once I got going, I kind of got the hang of it and it wasn’t too bad. However, it’s certainly not the prettiest fiberglassing job ever.
Above you see what it looks like after it’s wet out. I put two layers of cloth on. Don’t worry, the white areas are just drywall joint compound undeneath the glass, not unwetted glass.
Some things I wished I’d known before I started: Epoxy drips everywhere — I kind of knew this, hence the tarp, and the aluminum foil protecting bits the axle and bearings, but what I didn’t realize is you get epoxy on the bottom of your shoes. This means you can’t go in the house without taking off your shoes (if you care about not destroying your floors). When you cut the glass cloth, the long strands on the edges want to fall out and ruin your layup. Not sure what to do about it. I did the best I could. It’s a messy job, but the layup wasn’t as messy as I’d feared. I did do one thing right, which was to buy a bunch of cheap paint brushes at Harbor Freight (36 brushes 2 inches wide for $10.) I’d use a brush to paint on a batch of epoxy and when done, just throw it away. No sense attempting to clean anything. Also bought a bunch of Solo disposable plastic cups for mixing. That worked out well.
3 shots each of hardener and resin from the “A” sized West System pumps (about an inch deep or so in a Solo cup) is about enough resin to cover maybe 2 square feet of glass. I didn’t really have a feel for how much epoxy covers how much area before this, but now I know.
I probably made too much of a mess of dripping epoxy down the sides of the car. I’ll probably be kicking myself over that when it comes time to sand that off.
And holy moly it’s hot and humid today.