Fiberglass Hulls: Fleece

Discussion in 'Construction' started by JustinScott, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Courtesy of Krist Kustoms

    Common Fleece, available in any fabric shop is one of the best tricks" for creating fiberglass hulls.
    The fleece can acutually take the place of the fiberglass mat!

    Before you continue, read "Fiberglass Hulls: PAM Mold Release"

    Once you have created the hull's "skeleton" (like you were making a wooden boat); stretch heavy fleece over the hull (using staples). Make it is as tight as you can (you should be able to use your boat as a drum). As you are doing this, it is important to remember to make the fleece look as you intend your hull to finally look!

    Once the fleece is completely stretched over the boat; start painting the fiberglass resin into the fleece. It will take a LOT of resin. After it is dry, remove the staples and pull the hull from the mold. (Did you use PAM?) Now, you can use fiberglass MAT to add extra layers, if desired.
     
  2. Anachronus

    Anachronus Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone tried this? It looks interesting but how well does it work?

    Inquiring minds (well at least one) want(s) to know!

    Pax,
    A.
     
  3. Tugboat

    Tugboat Facilitator RCWC Staff Admiral (Supporter)

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    I'm glad you psted here, as I get ready to build Tirpitz for Battlestations... I think this might be more than a little faster than planking a frame over, then glassing ;) So Justin, what's the biggest object done with this method, and how's it look? (the noise you hear is the sound of my hopes getting up :)
     
  4. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

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    The biggest object I made using this method.....

    That would be the Iowa class battleship I'm building... the New Jersey. I'd say it looks good. FYI: This is the method most car audio installers use to create subboxes & the like... So it is plenty strong enough for you.

    Here are some photos I took last year after the hull was shaped... Sorry the photos are so far away. I will try to post more photos when I get the chance.

    http://www.justinscott.org/JustinScott/MakingIowa.aspx
    http://www.rcnavalcombat.com/rcnavalcombat/warshipregistry/ViewModel.aspx?id=1


    One thing I would have changed is I would have got those "ribs" closer together OR used some sort of filler like expanding foam to fill in the gaps. The hull "sagged" a little over the larger ribs in the middle... This is why I said: "remember to make the fleece look as you intend your hull to finally look!". Because it will look exactly like it does before you glass it.

    If you get into trouble, like a sagging hull.. You can use "fiberglass filler" (I call it "kitty hair") to fill in whats needed. Its like bondo, only made of mushed up fiberglass, therefore strong.
     
  5. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    How did the stretched fleece handle concave curves, like atlantic bows and stern skegs?
     
  6. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

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    It can be done, by streching in "the right direction"... but to tell the truth I'm not quite happy with the atlantic bow on the NJ, it curves a little, but not enough.. I will reshape it next year... Shouldn't be too hard, now that I know to pay special attention.

    The skegs were formed later with the kitty hair, this let me engrain the prop tubes into the 'glass itself.


    [​IMG]


    What you are looking at is unfinished, of course. But it highlights different stages. The "green" is unsanded kitty hair, added when I installed the wing props. The pink is sanded (& bondo'd I think), but as you can see... it could use another coat of the hair. I will add more after I've engrained the watercooling tubes, no reason to until then.

    Unlike wood where if you screw it up, you have to start over; with kitty hair, you can always add more wherever you need it. It is basically a mush that you can shape after it dries and it is supposed to be just as tough as fiberglass.

    For completeness, after I'm finished with the shaping I plan on putting a full coat of fiberglass (cloth & resin) over the whole ship just incase the kitty hair isn't as strong per sq inch as fiberglass. --> I don't want thousands of little BB dents on my hull.

    As far as lifting the boat and swinging it wildly... it doesn't to bend or flex. I've loaded it to 35lbs so far (because that's all the weight I have yet)... but it didn't flex at all.

    It should be noted that none of the methods I use are possible to work as a mold. My methods allow me to take privaleges mold makers can't because I'm only making one.
     
  7. Anachronus

    Anachronus Well-Known Member

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    Did you put the stuffing tubes and shafts in when doing the hull initially or later as you added the skegs? Where does one purchase the "kitty hair" is it at AutoZone or the like?

    I am definately using this method on my 1/96 Strassburg.

    Pax,
    A.
     
  8. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, Didn't see a reply! :)

    I put in the tubes & shafts as I was adding the skegs. They were the "framework". Kitty hair is available from home depot or your local hardware store. I think it is called "fiberglass filler", MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GET BONDO automotive filler! However, bondo glass seems to be OK.
     
  9. Anachronus

    Anachronus Well-Known Member

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    Not to worry.

    Pax,
    A.