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Old 08-07-2008, 01:17 AM   #254 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: seattle
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How to really build a body panel

How to really build a body panel.
Here are the steps. There is a link below with pics of a guy's project.

This panel would be constructed out of foam core panels and fiberglass/epoxy resin.

Build a mold-
consisting of plywood cross sections in the same plane as the plywood end piece that you currently have moving toward the hatch about every foot and ending with the shape that would provide contact to the body. Call them bulkheads.

Attach battens of flexible pine strips from bulkhead to bulkhead to rough out the shape. Gaps and spaces are fine.

This is your mold. It will need to be undersized because the next step is to-

Attach strips of foam to the mold. 1" thick is probably fine. Use a heat gun to bend it. Screw it to the mold if necessary to hold it. Glue / fill the foam to make a continuous form and fair it out with tools. Remove the screws.

Fiberglass the foam form using standard glassing techniques.
Dissemble the wood mold that is inside. Of course you were clever enough to allow for easy disassembly when you built it.

Smooth out the inside and glass the inside after embedding wiring and structural attaching flanges in the foam.

This will be strong light and look as professional as you want.

Here is a link to a guy building a boat using a similar technique but with a vacuum infusion system that takes some work to set up. Vacuum bagging on the other hand is similar and can yield excellent results- google it.

Scroll down to "2002" and check out pics. He used female moulds to form this hull.
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