TUTORIAL: Finally a fiberglass replacment

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AoBfrost

Well-Known Member
Many people do not like or want to work with fiberglass because it is messy and hard to work with sometimes, even using muslin cloth, it still gets stuck on the brush and makes a mess. Today I thought of a new idea which WILL reinforce your helmet, hot glue.

You will need you still resin the outside of the helmet.

What you need:

1. 2 bags of small hot glue sticks, $3 dollars a bag
2. A portable stove/burner
3. A coffee tin or large tin can
4. A paint brush

First fit the hot glue sticks into the coffee tin.

Next Turn the burner to medium and slowly melt the glue sticks into liquid, make sure it is fully melted and very hot.

get your resin'd helmet ready and put newspaper on the floor/table you are working on.

Put the paint brush into the hot glue and start brushing the liquid hot glue into the inside of the helmet, coat it thin for the first coat.

Hot glue takes 30 seconds to dry so you dont need to let it sit out for hours.

After the first coat is finished, start globbing on hot glue on the inside until you get it to 1/4th of an inch or 1/2 of an inch thick, depending on how much room and glue you want inside

After the second coat is dried, you can now prep the helmet to be painted, add detail here and there, or sand the outside now it's stronger inside.




This method wont give off much fumes since glue doesnt stink like resin, but the resin part of the project will always smell funny for a few days. Remember also, this is hot glue, hot glue is rubbery and strong, not stiff like fiberglass, so it cannot have the strength to be sat on, since it's hot glue, it isnt dangerous at all, besides burning yourself, so you may want to wear some thick gardening gloves.
 

Zaso117

Well-Known Member
I love it frost. So this is that hot glue method you were raving about in the chat ;) perfect for kids whose parents won't allow them to fiberglass, or for those who can't during the winter. two thumbs up
 

d0om

Jr Member
very nice idea. what type of hot glue. low temp or high temp
and could we get some pics?
 

AoBfrost

Well-Known Member
It doesnt matter, it's the same thing when done, But I would use hig htemp since your using a extremely hot burner, I dont have pics, but I know this does work from past similar projects. I just never thought of using it on helmets until now, it will work on other armor pieces as well, but I would padd it on thicker on other pieces of armor. The torso would be treated the same as the helmet, but I'd use 3 packs of hot glue sticks.
 

lizander

Active Member
AoBfrost said:
Many people do not like or want to work with fiberglass because it is messy and hard to work with sometimes, even using muslin cloth, it still gets stuck on the brush and makes a mess. Today I thought of a new idea which WILL reinforce your helmet, hot glue.

You will need you still resin the outside of the helmet.

What you need:

1. 2 bags of small hot glue sticks, $3 dollars a bag
2. A portable stove/burner
3. A coffee tin or large tin can
4. A paint brush

First fit the hot glue sticks into the coffee tin.

Next Turn the burner to medium and slowly melt the glue sticks into liquid, make sure it is fully melted and very hot.

get your resin'd helmet ready and put newspaper on the floor/table you are working on.

Put the paint brush into the hot glue and start brushing the liquid hot glue into the inside of the helmet, coat it thin for the first coat.

Hot glue takes 30 seconds to dry so you dont need to let it sit out for hours.

After the first coat is finished, start globbing on hot glue on the inside until you get it to 1/4th of an inch or 1/2 of an inch thick, depending on how much room and glue you want inside

After the second coat is dried, you can now prep the helmet to be painted, add detail here and there, or sand the outside now it's stronger inside.
This method wont give off much fumes since glue doesnt stink like resin, but the resin part of the project will always smell funny for a few days. Remember also, this is hot glue, hot glue is rubbery and strong, not stiff like fiberglass, so it cannot have the strength to be sat on, since it's hot glue, it isnt dangerous at all, besides burning yourself, so you may want to wear some thick gardening gloves.

for those who don't even want to be outside resining their helmet before using this awsome idea, you could use water based varnish instead of the resin. the varnish doesn't have any harmful fumes, is easy to work with, dries quick (if its a thin coat) and doesn't wreck your brush as long as you soak the brush after. It stiffens the card stock quite well, after about 2 thin coats on the out side, and 2 thins coats on the inside. I'm currently macheing a varnished helmet, and although it lets some water into the paper, it holds it's shape. as long as you don't put on a really thick coat on first, it won't warp alot at all. This way you don't have to freeze your butt off, (if your in canada, like me,) or have to buy a respirator. I don't know how much each can costs, (around 10$ maybe, for a small can???) but I used barely any varnish (not even an eight of a can, infact much less than that,) and it's working out good so far. I don't think the hotglue would warp it at all. I think that aobfrost's idea is a really great one, and I'll try it out on a hand plate soon with the varnish instead of resin.
 
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AoBfrost

Well-Known Member
This could be a crazy idea also, but if you want a nice cloth finish inside the helmet, reheating the inside and making the other layer of hot glue melted, you could apply a elastic/cotton sky mask, because it is very elastic, it would conform to the shape of the helmet/hot glue inside.

I'm not sure about this, but just the way I see hot glue stick to my gardening gloves, It is hard to pull off.

Also it being cold in the winter, i dont reccomend this being done outside, or in a garage, the hot glue would just dry up from the cold air before it has time to set and adhere to the inside of the helmet.
 

flying squirl

Well-Known Member
this sounds like a brilliant idea!(did you recently come into posetion of a crap load of hot glue perchance?) i skimmed over it so im not 100% sure you didnt mention it but why not embed fabric/wire/whatever into the glue as you go. this'll help the strength a hell of a lot!!
 

AoBfrost

Well-Known Member
flying_squirl said:
this sounds like a brilliant idea!(did you recently come into posetion of a crap load of hot glue perchance?) i skimmed over it so im not 100% sure you didnt mention it but why not embed fabric/wire/whatever into the glue as you go. this'll help the strength a hell of a lot!!
Fiberglass the hot glue, that might work. Although the point is to stay away from resin and glass, or atleast the glass part.

Muslin cloth would work.

If you want to make the hot glue stronger, before making a second coat, get your heat gun out and heat up the glue again, place the muslin cloth in strips over the remelted hot glue, then once dried, apply the second layer of hot glue.

This may in the end give it more stiffness like fiberglass. otherwise without it, you get a plastic helmet which takes htis without a huge dent, plus if it broke someone, repairing would be as easy as getting your hot glue gun out, and filling in the gaps.
 
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Skullcandy Girl

Well-Known Member
Oh this is a good idea :D NYC isn't very space friendly when it comes to airing out fumes XP Now I won't kill myself or my neighbors!
 

flying squirl

Well-Known Member
AoBfrost said:
Fiberglass the hot glue, that might work. Although the point is to stay away from resin and glass, or atleast the glass part.

Muslin cloth would work.

If you want to make the hot glue stronger, before making a second coat, get your heat gun out and heat up the glue again, place the muslin cloth in strips over the remelted hot glue, then once dried, apply the second layer of hot glue.

This may in the end give it more stiffness like fiberglass. otherwise without it, you get a plastic helmet which takes htis without a huge dent, plus if it broke someone, repairing would be as easy as getting your hot glue gun out, and filling in the gaps.
yea thats what i ment althoe you might have a hard time getting the hot glue to soak into the muslin unless you use the thinner stuff.
 
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Tiel terall

Jr Member
THANK YOU!! (y)

I just used this technique to fix some small patches and some larger patches, and WOW! Where the card stock felt like paper before now feels stronger than fibreglass! I my try the entire helm next time!

Thanks again :lol:
 

Dark Rogue

Well-Known Member
Nice job, I might actually consider using this when I start working on my other armor.

I wouldn't really call it a 'replacement' though, maybe just an alternative, because like you said, it isn't going to be as strong as fiberglass. But still a great job in thinking this up, this'll help a lot of us with cold temperatures.
 
Sounds like a good idea AOB. The only thing I would be worried about is the hot glue getting mushy. The only thing that needs to be done now is a test.

Take some scrap card stock, coat one side in resin + Bondo like we would for the outer shell. Take the other side coat it with hot glue like you are talking, back it with some cloth. Then put it under a heat lamp with a digital temp gage. I would like to see what would happen in say 90's temps to simulate a hot summer day in the sun.
 

AoBfrost

Well-Known Member
A heat lamp wont be accurate, if your in the hot sun, the sun isnt right next to you, so it wouldnt be as bad as a heat lamp would, but yes, I am afraid it would get soft, the only thing I can think of is resining over the glue, or clear coat it with paint to keep it's shape if it gets soft.

I wouldnt soak it with hot glue, just put on the cloth strips right after you brush glue in, OR heat up the glue after put on and attach the muslin, then hot glue over it and it sandwiches it.

Ti-el_Terall said:
THANK YOU!! (y)

I just used this technique to fix some small patches and some larger patches, and WOW! Where the card stock felt like paper before now feels stronger than fibreglass! I my try the entire helm next time!

Thanks again :lol:
FTW! 1337! etc

See I told you all it would work, but not outside, hot glue is too messy to work with outside, and sanding is impossible, you cant sand rubber/plastic and hope for it to come out smooth, your going to have to either mache or resin the outside.
 
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How about this idea? After a couple coats of varnish add some muslin strips to the next coat, effectivly gluing the strips in place with the varnish. You can use that for overall reinforcement or just spot strengthing or both. Lay the cloth one way then the other so you have something similar to fiberglass but without the smell and the bits of fiberglass leftover from cutting.
 

AoBfrost

Well-Known Member
Varnish in no way will ever be as strong as hot glue, it would take many layers and still be soft to the touch, I would recommend hot glue because it wont take damage and holds up well.
 
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