My Resin And Fiberglass Tutorial

jaysmith

New Member
I know there is already a tutorial for this here (http://405th.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2287), but BladeSlasher PMed me asking if I could tell him what happens after the Pep stage. I thought I would share it with everyone, since it can be hard to sift through all this info. The only real difference is I only glassed the inside of the helmet, not the outside. (Mods: Don't hate me!)



First things first, make sure you do your measurements quite thoroughly, I have wasted quite a bit of paper by printing things out that were too small or too big. It can be kind of frustrating. Also, take your time when gluing it together! If you rush through cutting and gluing, you will have much bigger problems later on (Edge ID is your friend!). If you want more advice on the pepakura process too, I'd be glad to help.


Once you have your helmet cut and glued the helmet and are happy with it, here's what I did:



Get yourself some Bondo Brand Fiberglass Resin at your local hardware store. Here in Arizona I got it at Home Depot and Ace Hardware. (Not sure what you have where you are, but most home improvement stores should carry it. It looks like this:
bon-401.jpg




Also, get some Fiberglass Mat, by the same brand. Here that is:


Now, there is also stuff called Fiberglass Cloth, which is basically the same as Fiberglass Mat, just less messy. I got the Mat, and haven't used the Cloth, but a lot of guys here say you can use both.



You will also need rubber gloves, not latex or anything, but real sturdy rubber gloves. Fiberglass resin is nasty, sticky, messy stuff, and it will get everywhere! haha



Also get about a dozen cheap, disposable paintbrushes for applying the resin and fiber glass. dont use nice brushes, as once you are done with this, they will defintely be ruined.



MOST IMPORTANT!!! Please get and use a proper respirator! Not one of those white dust filter masks, but a real respirator. The resin is pretty nasty stuff to inhale, and will cause some damage to your lungs. The respirator I use looks kind of like this:
41xCng7k4KL._SL500_AA280_.jpg
There is a whole thread dedicated to respirators on the site here, too.



Once you have all of this stuff, it's time to get dirty!

Make yourself a clean, clear workspace on a surface you dont mind getting resin all over and making a mess (Trust me, you will make a mess!) and get all of your stuff ready and within reach. Here's mine:
455.jpg




The Fiberglass resin needs to be mixed with the hardener, which comes with it. I think the proper mixing ratio is 12 drops of hardener to 1 ounce of resin. Don't mix any more than 1 ounce at a time until you are comfortable with how to use the stuff, because once the hardener is mixed, It will set up and harden in your container pretty quickly. Once the resin becomes thick like jelly, its no good to use. Take a break and mix some more if/when this happens.



When you have your resin mixed and ready, brush it onto the outside of your helmet, starting in the cracks, folds and little nooks and crannies to make sure you get it in there. Then just apply a nice, thick, even coat to the entire outside of the helmet with your paintbrush, and let it dry. I did about 2 good coats all over the outside.



Fiberglassing the inside of the helmet:

Now comes the fun/messy/hard part. You're quite lucky if you have someone helping you, as it will make the fiberglassing process much more friendly. You will want to take your mat and cut it up into strips and pieces of various sizes. The smaller your strips are, the easier they will be to work into the small spaces inside the helmet.
454.jpg
Here are the strips I cut, and I still cut some of those in half for tight spaces. Cut a bunch of them before you start going, but keep in mind, you might have to trim some smaller as you work them, so use some scissors you don't mind ruining too!



Work in sections. I started with the odd angles and curves first just to make sure I got them covered well. Heres how you apply the fiberglass. Remember, you have to act somewhat quickly so the resin doesn't dry up on you, and its always easier to work in small amounts. Take your time!



Mix up some fresh resin and brush it onto the area you are working.

Then, take a strip of fiberglass, and place it onto the wet area. Then dab some more resin onto the fiberglass until it is soaked in the resin, trying to push out all bubbles from underneath it. It will start to look like this:
457.jpg
456.jpg
Then move onto the next section, make sure you overlap the edges of the fiberglass strips, or else it wont be very strong and you will have weak spots. Continue to do this for the entire inside of the helmet, until you are satisfied with it, making sure you didn't miss any spots. Once it feels pretty dry, I added another coat or two of Resin over the entire inside. This will just add more strength, and making sure I got all the little fibers that were sticking out and whatnot. Once the inside is all dry, run your hand over it, feeling for any loose fibers sticking out. These will stab you in the head if you don't cut them out! haha

Heres what mine looked like when I was almost done with this step.
461.jpg




You should already feel a big difference in the hardness of your helmet. It will be very stiff and rigid if you fiberglassed it properly, and at this point you can start your happy dance, because you now have turned something paper into something awesome!



Bondo body filler is the next part, but I didn't take any photos of that part, because it is tricky stuff to work. If you thought the resin dried fast, oh boy! Let me know when you're done with the resin part, and I'll start writing up a tutorial for the Bondo part. (hopefully with pictures!)



Good luck with your helmet! If you have any questions at all, or if I just confused the heck out of you, feel free to let me know or ask me anything! Also, use this site! There is such a wealth of information on here by some really nice and friendly people!



Jay Smith
 

AutoBotRatchet

New Member
Excellent tut! I havent used the matting yet as I have been using the cloth, but I must say, it looks alot cleaner inside your helmet than mine. I cut my cloth into strips and dip my pieces into the resin and then squeeze the excess off the strip so I dont have to worry about brushing some resin first, then lay the cloth and then have to brush again , risking going too slow and wasting resin.(which I still seem to manage) But the way I do it risks warpage more than this way. Keep up the superb work and I cant wait for your Bondo tut.
 

Kirrou

Member
Wow solid tutorial. I have used both fiberglass cloth and mat. And I felt that cloths went on smoother and cleaner, though I heard not as strong, as mat. But you made this look easy. and super clean. I really like your tut. I have only tried it crackhead's method. He has a video tut and is pretty much what AutoBotRatchet said he did. But this came out really clean. So I might give it a try when I resin some of my other pieces.



Thanks a lot of the tut.



Oh and have you worked with fiberglass before? Any other pics of things you have made?
 

jaysmith

New Member
Thanks for the positive feedback, guys!

Kirrou, no, this was actually my first time fiberglassing anything! I was actually pretty surprised how well it came out too! The only thing that was hard was the mess, and when you have resin all over your fingers, and trying to work and cut and shape the fiberglass, its not long before your hands start looking like a wampa!
 

Dirtdives

Division Scheduler and Keeper of Con Lists
Division Staff
Community Staff
Hey jaysmith...great refresher course on fiberglassing one's helmet. You might....in the future.... add the "Rondo" step for the inside of your helmet as well. As far as glassing the outside......that tends to negate any small details you might have. If they are covered w/ fiberglass, you might forget that they are there.
 

he4thbar

Well-Known Member
Hey jaysmith...great refresher course on fiberglassing one's helmet. You might....in the future.... add the "Rondo" step for the inside of your helmet as well. As far as glassing the outside......that tends to negate any small details you might have. If they are covered w/ fiberglass, you might forget that they are there.
So would you typically do 2 layers of fiberglass (cloth/mat) and then rondo for your helmets? Funny I was just looking at this tutorial today too and was wondering about rondo.
 
Top