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Old 12-08-2012, 12:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fiberglass over fleece/ wood

I have been thinking about a kammback for my VX for a while now, but only if I can do it to factory quality and relatively factory appearing. This has left me at using fiberglass, which I have never done before, I am going to play around a bit and build some random thing to try my hand at it first, but the plan is to do it myself.

After watching the Trucks show on Powerblock, it gave me some ideas on how to go about starting the kammback. They used a 1/4" wire frame, stretched fleece over it and used resin to solidify the fleece. I have doubts about how tough that would be though, so I am strongly considering fiberglass mat for structure, but still using the fleece to get my shape. My first question is can I add fiberglass to just one side (the underside) for better support.

I am hoping to take the factory small kammback off all together and start from scratch using the factory mounting locations, so it will be completely removable. As a base I was thinking about using wood as a starting point.
This raises a few questions, will I be able to glass over the wood without moisture being an issue? Will the fleece/ fiberglass bond to the wood at all? To avoid moisture issues, would I be better to fully enclose the wood, or leave the bottom exposed?

As far as shape, I should be able to do it "relatively easily", with the fleece or wire rod frame. The steel rod frame would set into grooves in the wood. As for mounting to the car, I am thinking about drilling through the wood, and drop bolts through with the heads countersunk in, and the threads through the bottom to replicate the factory set up. I know I suck at explaining things, but it seems to make sense in my head...

Any problems jumping out at anyone that I missed? Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-08-2012, 09:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Why not start out with something simpler to get your hands dirty?

Maybe something like a pretty grill block?
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes fiberglass sticks to wood. I have done it on my boat tail and its stuck for almost 2 years so far.

start off small with fiberglass. make a foam, wood or some other template first then take your time and do it right.

Look up 3-wheelers tail project. he has a nice write up on fiberglass howto.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Daox: The car already has an almost complete, invisible grill block as it sits right now (painted flat black and mounted behind the grill, + the factory VX grill block). I will be making something small first before I try the kammback itself though. I lobe your grill block on the Prius by the way.

WeatherSpotter: Thanks, that is good to know. The top area above the window and in front of the kammback that hinges with the hatch will be easiest to make from wood, so I'm glad to hear that should work.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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With wood, get dry wood and coat it with resin on all sides. let that dry, lightly sand it and then apply the Fiberglas layer. that will keep the wood from soaking up moisture and expanding.

If you want some strong plastic composite wood that bends nicely I have a few pieces that were free at work PM me and I might be able to get some to you. I made the round part of my nose cone from it.

it bends, is strong, will not rot, will not break, will not decay. its great stuff!
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I might just have to take you up on that offer! I am going to try to make the main extension and rounded corners of the kamm with the steel rod frame, with the wood as a base and attachment. If I can't get the shape I need then material like you used will be my next attempt.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Can you weld at all?

Maybe fab a wire rod subframe, then chickenwire and fleece onto that? With the metal rods and then fiberglass on all sides, I'd think that would be solid enough. As long as it's anchored properly.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, and no. I can tack pieces together and do some functional (read: not pretty) longer beads. Just need more practice. That is the rough idea, the wood I was talking about would be the anchoring using the factory mounting holes. Chicken wire would work too, but I already have wood, various sizes of steel rod, resin and small amounts of fiberglass mat. So I'm thinking between the wire and fleece for the shape, with fiberglass support it will be strong enough.

It might help if I draw this out, I know I'm not the best at describing things.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In my experience, chicken wire is not rigid enough. At Home Depot there are other rolls of screening that are tougher right next to the chicken wire. If I were doing my tail over again, I would get the more rigid mesh. Rounding and re-straightening if unsatisfied with shape can be done easily with simple tools and it will maintain shape while stretching cloth/glass over it better.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks. I have 2 more exams at the end of this week, so it will have to wait until the weekend before I can make things start happening. I'm going to start from what I know, with the wood base and that will give me something consistent to build off of. Right now I'm still leaning to using either the 3/8" or 1/4" rod to build a frame and see where that takes me. If its too hard to keep it even on both sides I'm going to an all wood frame/ mold, but if the rod just isn't rigid enough I'm going to try a wire mesh.

Lets hope the weather cooperates.

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