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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys-
I have a few props I am considering working with Fiberglass Resin on. I've never used it, and know it's fairly expensive. I know the traditional method is to use the fiberglass material, and paint on the resin/hardener mix in layers. HOWEVER- can I just pour the resin/hardener over my prop and let it dry? Putting the cloth/material over the prop will ruin the effect, and no, monster mud won't work. :D

Also- does the resin dry clear? Or does it have a yellowish color to it? Will it fade/tint when exposed to UV sun light over time?

I appreciate any/all help!
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Hi.
Firstly yes, it is rather expensive but it is extremely durable, lightweight and weatherproof.
I don't see any reason why you can't just pour the resin over your prop. once it's mixed with the catalyser, it will set regardless.
In my experience, the resin doesn't set perfectly clear, it has a slight tint to it but that may just be the brand I used. (I managed to get some kits at a good price through a work contact)

The project I used it on was painted, so I don't know if it will discolour over time if exposed to sunlight.

All in all, I'd say if you can put up with the mess and the fumes it's a pretty good material for prop making where lightness and durability are desired.

what are you thinking of using it for?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How many coats do you think it takes for a good solid strength? I know that's a vague question- but in general? Just one thin coat? Or do you need multiple thick coats?
Thanks!
 

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Specter, The resin by itself is NOT that strong. It will crack easily if jarred or even under it's own weight. The cloth is what makes fiberglass so durable. It will yellow in the UV. What if you use one layer of cloth and then pour the next coat of resin over that to give a smooth surface? If your only looking to put a thin coat of resin on say a bust for weatherproofing, that may work. It will also protect it from small bumps and dings, but I would paint it with something that protects from uv exsposure. I think there are clear coats that have uv inhibitors in them. One more thing, this stuff kicks over very rapidly. Maybe 5 minutes. It doesn't take much catalyst to make it kick(crosslink) either. You can try using only half of the recommended amount of catalyst to lengthen the workability time, so consider that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ahhh- wow. I was under the impression that the resin is what's strong- the cloth just adds to the strength and gives it something to bond to. But you're saying otherwise. I trust you ;) Check your PM...
 

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Spectre would be correct...the resin is simply a glue/coating to hold the glass in place...

The fiberglass is what makes the structure strong. Can you give any more details as to what you are working on? The forum may have some other options for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey guys-
Been doing some more reading on this. I'm looking to make some fiberglass statues. Rather- fiberglass over some existing statues. It seems as if there's no way around it- and that using either a cloth, mat, or chopped fiber is the way to go. But which one? And how many layers? I'm not making a vehicle here- just something to cover the statue to protect it, and, add a bunch of strength to last for years and years. Ideas?
 

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Going bump in the night..
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Well, what I did with fiberglass resin was to paint it over foam (my flying skeleton), without the fiber mat as reinforcement.
What I wanted was something to give the foam a bit more durability, without making it into a friggin' battleship (weight-wise, that is).

The result has lasted for a few years now, with little to no damage (a bit here and there...but nothing worth griping about). I fly my skeleton every year for a few weeks to a month at a time, and it's lasting quite well.

If that's what you're looking for, you can probably get by without the fiber mat.
But if your current statue is rather fragile, you may indeed want to use the mat for that added strength.
One layer may do the trick - just how strong do you want these things?
 

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The woven cloth makes the fiberglass very strong, and is used for boats and whatnot where strength is paramount.

The chopped fiber is generally shipped in spools of string, and a gun is used to chop it and spray it along with the resin into a form.

Your best bet is the fiberglass mat, it is easily saturated with the resin and is the thinnest. if you are just covering a statue then one layer is enough, if you are trying to make a prop figure stand on it's own then 3-4 layers are needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah- trying to make a prop stand on it's own. I'd also like to store it outdoors year-round, which means it's gotta hold up to our intense AZ heat and sun!

Now, there's fiberglass COTH, and there's fiberglass MAT. What's the differences? Which is stronger? Which is cheaper? And you think about 3-4 layers will do it?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Let me reiterate here-
I'm not needing the strength of a car or boat body- just enough to let the figure stay standing and withold the elements over time. No one will be playing on it (I HOPE!) and it'll only be moved occasionally. Let me know. I appreciate the help guys! Oh- btw- where's the cheapest place to buy this stuff from? And what's the differences between the different types of resin?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
oh- one more thing-
Instead of using fiberglass cloth/mat- what about using burlap, or cotton sheets- like we do with monster mud? Will that be fairly strong, or not really?
 

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The cloth is woven, well, like course cloth. It is more difficult to saturate with the resin but is stronger then the mat. Cloth is more expensive.

The mat is threads laid down in no particular pattern, then pressed into a sheet, there are large air spaces between the threads that allow it to be saturated with the resin more easily. but it is not as strong as the cloth. mat is less expensive.

3 or 4 layers should do it.

There is also gelcoat that is usually used when casting fiberglass in molds, It is colored the color you want your piece to be, then sprayed in the mold, then the fiberglass is sprayed in on to the still-wet gelcoat so that it all bonds together. The gelcoat gives the fiberglass it's UV protection.

I have patched gelcoat before, but never sprayed a self sculpted project before - not sure it it would work. You might be better off just painting it with exterior grade house paint.
 

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Instead of using fiberglass cloth/mat- what about using burlap, or cotton sheets- like we do with monster mud? Will that be fairly strong, or not really?
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never tried that, I think that the fiberglass is made to be bonded with the resin, and it wouldn't work so well.
 

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BTW - it has probably been ten years since I worked with fiberglass.
FYI - it is very smelly - however it you work with it for a week or so you don't even notice it - and then everybody's saying "how can you stand the smell?" and you are saying "what smell?"
 

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I have picked it up from Lowes in the past - I have never seen HD carry it.

Not sure if Lowes is the cheapest, but they are convenient.
 

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have you checked out the foam factory, they have a few products that can add strength to your statues, altho, it is designed to be used with foam. the product is called... boost... i'm using it on the big boy, in the paint layer but it looks like white glue, but it says it can be used by itself
 

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Discussion Starter #19
huh. How strong is that boost?

I plan on using latex paint over it, so no worries on the gel coat.

I'm confused- are you saying I need 3-4 layers of the MAT, or of the CLOTH?

Any suggestions on local supply houses for all this stuff- other than HD or Lowes?
 

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well from what i am understanding from the web site it is as hard as concrete, that being said i haven't used it yet as i'm not to that point, but it can be mixed into latex paint, and the whole reason i chose to use this product is so i wouldn't have to deal with fiberglass. i'm actually using drywall tape (fiberglass) and mummy cloth, (like cheese cloth but a smaller weave,) and thinned monster mud to keep the weight to a minimum. then over that i'll use the boost in the latex paint.
 
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