Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by Clark, Dec 17, 2017.
I used to cover with paper and wood glue (PVA), then foam doesn’t melt.
I think the potential issue will be the type of foam, being used. Search for high density foam used for home built aircraft. You can glass strait to it and it'. Very easy to shape/hot knife. I think I might have a spare EAA composites handbook/work book from a course I took several years ago. Its full of very helpful tips, processes and materiel ideas, that you may find useful. Aircraft Spruce and many other aviation/home built aircraft, websites will be an invaluable resource, for you, moving forward with projects of this nature. The proper materials and procedures will really take the results of your creativity, to the next level! PM me your address and I'l try to mail it out, today.
Epoxy resin can be used with polystyrene foam which could assist with the structural need. More expensive I believe but this isn’t a huge job. It is easy to work with you just need to isolate yourself physically more from the material (contact and vapor) as its effects are cumulative.
Alternatively, now that you know what you want to do, you could now model it up using urethane foam which works fine with polyester resin.
Additionally regardless of which foam you use, you can glass the show face side and then working from the back, carve out additional material down to the glass layer to create ribs and then glass that side.
Another thing you could consider, Great Stuff is urethane foam. If you were to apply a veneer of Great Stuff, sand it to the surface you want creating a continuous surface of urethane foam you could then glass that face. Then after the one face is cured, you could apply polyester resin to the back polystyrene foam and it would melt to the back of the urethane foam and surface.
If you decide to go the urethane foam route, you should be able to get it cut in 1” slabs. Use the 2lb per cubic foot material, it is strong enough to hold the surfaces you want but light enough and soft enought to work easily. You can use Great Stuff to “glue” the layers together so you don’t add another material that has different properties/strength to the mix. You might be able to buy one of the urethane foam insulation boards at a lumber yard and remove the plastic/aluminum face to get the material you want since you only need a sheet 4’x8’to do this project.
If you go too deep while sanding, you can use one of the Great Stuff versions to add material back on without having to use adhesives or other materials (like spackle/joint compound). Once you get the front glassed you can then go on the back side and remove most of the foam as well as create ribs, embed fasteners and so on to make the entire assembly work for you.
Urethane foam is a thermoset material, when you sand it you are sanding through the rigid edges of bubbles. The dust isn’t good for you (its an irritant, not deadly like asbestos) and gets everywhere so wear a mask and wear a long sleeve shirt. It also gets a static charge as you sand it (something I am sure you are
I assume you are going to sew a skin of leather or vinyl to cover all of this or were you thinking Rhino liner or another material as the finish?
The course mentioned by Eastep: https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/aviation.../composite/building-composite-aircraft-part-1
Thanks so much for the information Karl and offer of book Eastep (I'm really not much of a reader though - but that is such an amazing thing to offer so freely. You guys are great!). The Clark Griswold comment may not be far off
I am not keen on working with epoxy resin in the closed garage with -18 C outside to be honest. The smell of polyester resin alone is bad enough. Given that I will be finishing the dash with a skin of vinyl anyway the finish needs to be smooth and regular but not overly perfect. I was planning on covering the foam with a barrier surface before fiberglass resin. I have used masking tape and even garbage bags previously without issue over polystyrene but I was intrigued by Karl's suggestion of latex paint. I did a bit of searching and found that to be a fairly common solution that I was looking forward to try out. Perhaps the next project I will give the high density foam used for home built aircraft a try but for this one I think I'm just going to go with what I have.
I have used West Systems Epoxy for quite a while, low odor and easy to use. In fact, I don't find it has much of a smell at all. Best part is it uses equal parts for mixing, so messing it up. One pump of Resin and on pump of hardner. Another option for the surface is to take your Vinyl and cover it with a lot of wax and release agent and turn it upside down on the resign, basically putting the design into the resign on the dash. However, thinking about this as I type, it might make it look to "modern car" looking. Maybe some nice leather with stitching? If you look at the instrument bezel, it does have stitching around it like the Alfa 164.
I tend to agree about the epoxy use. It appears that both fiberglass and epoxy emit some fumes that can cause irritation. But epoxy does not require messing around with MEKP or acetone or wax and doesn't stink and doesn't melt styrofoam. My experience was that it was easy and straightforward to use and clean up after. The West Systems also make it easy to measure ratios.
You have a lot of excellent input already offered already here. I'll just add my limited experience on this. I've tried to do exactly what you propose, using different "coatings" over styrofoam to keep it from dissolving when fiber-glassing it; including latex paint, wax, tape, etc., but in every case there were areas where the resin would get through and melt the foam (leaving pockets). However I also found the fiberglass "shell" was strong enough that for most projects the underlying foam was not needed, the glassed layer was quite strong/rigid by itself. So after it cured I would purposely melt away the remaining foam. For your dashboard I would think the fiberglass alone will be sufficient, especially if you follow Karl's ideas of adding a little 3-D structure by closing the face, etc.
Also I've read (but never tried) that the green foam blocks used for plastic flower arrangements will not dissolve with regular fiberglass resins. This is the stuff they put in the bottom of a vase to stab the stems of the fake flowers into. It is really cheap at hobby/craft shops, very easy to shape, can be glued together to form complex shapes, comes in a large variety of sizes, and is very light weight.
Been working on the lower areas of the dash over the past few days. Not quite sure what to do with the center section yet where the stereo and air vents normally go. It will need to connect with the center console so the bracing can go back in.... Going straight down from the top of the dash just looked stupid so the current approach is similar to the 308 in that it steps forward the lower it gets. This may work. I'm currently working on the armrests.... more to follow.
Hard to tell from the pic - is there a cut/chamfer from pillar inward on the 'dash' surface or is that flat all the way to the windshield? What is the orange foam material?
EDIT - Not that I need more projects, however I'm thinking now this version might work for me. The overall instrumentation layout is mor to my tastes than the taller binnacle.
The orange foam is the professional great stuff. There is not a chamfer yet - but there will be.
Ordered a (six) set of 124 gauges, with the 140mph speedo, so I guess I'm committing to following in your footsteps. Never done this type of foam work before, so I will follow your lead closely - so don't hold back on the niggling details needed to get it right
I've never been happy with the stock dash, so I'm going to enjoy this. Of course, I need to paint mine before I move on to this..
Awesome Hussein... Now I want to slow down so I can get your ideas too
The 124 gauges are perfect... I really like the look of them!
Or if you want to make your own Fiat "Dino" ;-) https://www.ebay.com/itm/Veglia-Bor...ash=item2a9a1abdac:g:SUIAAOSwj99aOoT3&vxp=mtr
A little expensive for my taste...
I have to agree, the X's dash design seems a bit 'off' to me as well (actually both the early and late versions). Although I like odd-ball designs (Citroen comes to mind) and I'm kind of stuck in the 70's, so the weird designs of early "super cars" and "exotics" (Lambo's for example) have always appealed to me. Therefore you'd think I would like the X dash as it kind of falls into that style. But somehow the execution missed the mark, it looks cheap (in my opinion). But I have way too many other projects to deal with already so making a new dash from scratch isn't going to happen. However I might eventually look into doing a little customization of the stock one to improve things. So I'll be following you guys here.
You will find the view points to the instruments are a bit less than desireable.
Can you clarify? You mean too low/cut off by wheel based on seating position? I'd need to alter the height offset? Unlikely I will ever sit in one to gauge for myself. Have you? I like the 'nestled' feel with the angled side panels.
I'll need to gut the speedo innards & replace them with the electronic speedo, that will be fun I'm sure. This will have to percolate. If I'm lucky, painting will happen this coming spring, so dash work will have to be after that.
This past summer I had to rebuild my deck, this fall I spent doing serious rennovations to a house up the street for my Mum to move into, and now I've gutted and am in the process of rennovating my upstairs bathroom. House is from the 1890's, so everything plumbing, heating & electrical is a nightmare.
Oh wow!!!! They say that 20% of the people do 80% of the work..... I just finished a new 500 sq ft deck out back this fall and now finishing 1400 sq ft of my basement (everything from scratch). LOL At least we're not spending all of our time playing video games I can't imagine life without at least 3 things to do at once.
Pardon the digression from the main topic...
Indeed! Sounds like you have plenty to keep you occupied. I think that basement is not much smaller than my whole house My house had no basement, it was a shallow crawlspace built on a brick course laid over fieldstone. I needed to do some foundation work as a result of flooding issues we used to encounter, so I started digging from the back, and went to the front, making basement areas as I went. Hand mixed all the concrete for that.
The rest of my spare time I work on fixing old GI Joe figures, outfits & accessories
landing gear on this one..
Separate names with a comma.