Tuesday, 2 September 2008

(fibre)glass half full

So, having had the stuff for ages, having spent AGES stripping the roof, quite a while putting it off, and a day stripping off the flashing, it was finally time to try out actually applying the fibreglass to one of the roof panels.

I had been told that fibreglassin' is all in the preparation, so I cut sheets to size and mixed the gloop (to use the technical terminology, try to keep up) with the activator catalyst

before rolling the gloop onto the roof, laying the fibreglass matting on top and then rolling more gloop on top then rolling vigorously with a little stell roller until the fibreglass strands were dissolved by the gloop into a single impermeable sheet.

That was the theory anyway. The first piece went on well but then the gloop in the bucket, and on the roller) started to set and get lumpy (i guess i added too much catalyst, which reduces the setting time) and instead of just ditching it and starting with fresh gloop i panicked and tried to do the remaining two panels both at once and it all went a bit wrong. (It didn't help that i was doing it on Saturday morning and on Saturday afternoon i had to catch a flight to Norway fpr a shoot, so i was feeling pressured and should never have really started)

You can see that the bottom sheet looks nice and smooth, but the ones above that are patchy where i haven't applied enough gloop in time and the fibreglass hasn't dissolved.

However, i refuse to be cowed by a matting of glass fibres, and i think although it didn't work out this time i learnt all the lessons i needed from this failure, to make the next try a success. I also found that the edges were the most difficult part and so have contacted these people to hopefully get some edging strips, which i can attach to the edges of each panel before fibreglassing up to the edge.

I may have lost the battle, but i can still win the war...


rob said...

Resin mixing amounts are about a pea size of hardner to an orange size of resin! Have you thought of forming the bottom angle in a woden "mould" and then glassing it to the main roof, which will give you a nice clean smooth edge with a "drip" if you want one?

steve said...

that's actually a really good idea! I'm looking into some plastic edging solutions, if they don't work out or are two expensive i'll do my own.

Rhen Nicey said...

Sadly, there is no such thing as a free lunch and although "fibre glass boats" have heralded a huge revolution of long lasting boat constructions, time has shown that fibreglass boats are not absolutely maintenance free. With years of use, boat hulls incur much wear and tear in the form of bending, flexing, fatigue, sudden impacts etc.