Fiberglass Solo seat cowl + Engine cover [WIP]

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Fiberglass Solo seat cowl + Engine cover [WIP]

Postby Janovich » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:26 am

Last year I have purchased the coveted 'unobtanium' fairings from our member Spotthedogg.

Now I've found the time to finally start making molds for these two items. Namely the Solo seat cover and the engine covers fairings.
With the equipment coming in I can finally begin.


For those unfamiliar:

Engine cover fairings and Solo seat cowl
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Don't these look freakin cool?


I wish to share with you guys the progress I'm making on replicating those items.

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To prepare these parts for the mold making process I've removed the stickering and sanded down any chips in the paint. They were in pretty good shape but I want them to be as pristine as possible for the mold. The cushion has been removed and I've drilled out the rear metal clip.
The holes have been covered with painters tape from the inside, leaving an indent so that when the mold is done I can tell where the bolts and holes are supposed to be located.

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Also some parts had cracks and damage that required filling in with polyester composite putty.

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Hard to tell, but I've waxed the part with release agent wax, so that it will come out of the mold.

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Now time to start mixing the Topcoat 100 to 2. For the first layer I'm using transparent topcoat that I've already had laying around.
You need to use Topcoat because it hardens out, normal gelcoat remains sticky (I've learned this lesson before)

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Here I have applied the first layer of Topcoat as its still drying out. Its still winter here so the hardening process takes a longer time because of the lower temperature, which is also why I've added more hardener than normal.
Better to be safe then sorry when it comes to hardener, with too little hardener I would be screwed as it would never dry.

After this I will re-apply another layer of coat to thicken the Coated layer. After that I will start laying the fiberglass for the main volume of the mold.
If you guys are interested in the end result of either of these items, let me know so I can anticipate. I've got both left and right engine covers, which I will start working on after I successfully replicated the solo seat because they are harder to pull off.
Hopefully I can work on this every weekend and give another update.

Materials:

-Plenty Throw away brushes (after one use they become useless)
-Rubber gloves (really hard to get polyester of your hands)
-Release Wax
-Mixings pots and sticks (also become useless very quickly)

-Polyester Topcoat and Blue Gelcoat (already had those laying around)
-Fiberglass mesh
-Resin composite for gluing the fiberglass
-Polyester composite putty (filled the fairing cracks)
-sanding paper
-Painters tape (closing off holes)


Overal a costly process, but the fairings are very rare and I'm very much looking forward
to see them put to good use in the VTR community hopefully. They just finish the retro vtr look for me.


All the best, Jan
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Re: Fiberglass Solo seat cowl + Engine cover [WIP]

Postby squirrelman jerry » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:16 pm

nice work ! ;)

if the fiberglass work involves using MEK, be very, very careful to avoid skin contact or fumes as it's a potent carcinogen.

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Re: Fiberglass Solo seat cowl + Engine cover [WIP]

Postby Murdo1 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:30 am

Many years ago when I was an apprentice doing fiberglass work we used a strong mix of washing detergent (the powered type) and water to wash the brushes in. This got 99% of the glass out and we left them standing in the water until ready to use next day. A rinse in clean hot water, good shake to get the water out and away we go again.
Would like to see your seat cowl when finished.
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Re: Fiberglass Solo seat cowl + Engine cover [WIP]

Postby spotthedogg » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:45 am

Cool! Makes me even happier to have moved them on now that I see this.
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Re: Fiberglass Solo seat cowl + Engine cover [WIP]

Postby Janovich » Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:21 am

spotthedogg wrote:Cool! Makes me even happier to have moved them on now that I see this.


Glad to hear that!


Update:


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Final layer of coat applied.

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Before applying the Fiberglass I cut the pieces approximately to size before my hands got sticky for more convenient workflow.

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Time to mix the resin. For this mold I used a little less than 1 liter which is practically the whole can.

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First layer of fiberglass. I layed about three layers in total.

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After cutting off some excess mold the shape still wouldn't come out. Man that was way more effort than I had anticipated.
I had to precisely cut and sand the mold because it was so stuck. I put wd40 between the mold and fairing to help release also.

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It finally gave way and I sighed with relieve. Really glad I didn't break or damage the fairing too badly. Reason why it was so hard to get out is because the paint was stuck. I think because I had not applied enough Wax and didn't let it cure long enough. The WD40 had helped to dissolve the paint layer.

Learned a lot from this process. I had completely underestimated the effort to get the fairing out. If it wasn't so flexible I would be really screwed (which set me up for a new challenge with the unflexible engine covers) I think I'll be better of using separate parts two parts next time, and also work more carefully with taping off parts where there shouldn't be any coating.

Really looking forward to laying the first mold with fiberglass and replicating the solo seat cover.
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Re: Fiberglass Solo seat cowl + Engine cover [WIP]

Postby Janovich » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:41 am

Small update:

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While refining the mold I accidentally removed a bit too much which I restored with polyester putty.
I'm sanding down the inside to get the mold as pristine as possible and then its going to be time to make the first seat cowl.
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Re: Fiberglass Solo seat cowl + Engine cover [WIP]

Postby Barbie & Skipper » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:44 am

It's looking good! My attempts to work with fiberglass years ago were unsuccessful, and I gave up on the process altogether. It's great to see you making progress.
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Skipper - 90 VTR250 - 39k+, black & white, back on the road 22 years after first parked
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Re: Fiberglass Solo seat cowl + Engine cover [WIP]

Postby Janovich » Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:32 am

Update

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Sanded down all the paint from the seat cowl. Then reapplied wax in more layers than I did the last time.
Applied the last layer now so will start laying the fiberglass into this one soon.

Just to be sure to have a good mold and practice for the much harder engine cover parts I'm redoing the solo seat cover.
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To keep things cleaner this time I've used painting tape and ductape around the edges.
Last mold I had problems removing the original because the Coating had curled around the corners. Hope this will help with the removal process.

I've also started waxing the engine covers so they'll be next soon. I'll make all objects white by default with white polyester pigment.
Also the gasmask came in, thanks for all your concerns and tips!

Cheers all.
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