Well... we just got our satellite back. Hughes Net has a little secret that you don't know about until you get into that predicament! A little money-making program to skim another few dollars away from one of the people who is already paying too much for not enough. What kind of world will my sons be living in? Alright... I'm sorry... off my soapbox.
It was unreal hot today. But I think everybody is experiencing that right now. Me'n Clay got a major fiberglass step accomplished. The bi-axial is done, and the bed of his Jeep is rock-solid. It was difficult to work with. My friend Hal said mix 32 oz of resin to 10 ccs of hardener, stir at least 50X, and you'll have ~30 minutes to work it. He said to pour it on the bi-axial because it would use every bit of it. Hal was right-on, and we actually used 64 ounces of resin. The vapor coming off of this stuff was astounding, and my big fan was close by. Everything set up nice. It isn't nearly as professional as I anticipated, but it ain't bad. Glad it is UNDER the Jeep, though! Before we did anything, Clay took the DA and some 80 grit and hit the surfaces lightly to open the pores.
Here are the pics...
Clay first built some frames to give support to the bed while we were working. Remember, if your bed is sagging when you apply glass, and it hardens that way, it will be permanent. So make sure your surface is ready before you apply. This made the surface flat from side-to-side and front-to-back.
Here Clay is adding some strips of ounce and a half mat to the sides of the stringers for added strength. The strips also fill in the grooves in the bed where they had been worn through by the PO. This should have already been done, but...
Notice how the glass just disappears once the resin soaks into the fibers.
Clay's earlier stringer bracing is dry, and we are test-fitting the bi-axial.
Clay is cutting/trimming to make it lay down better around angles/curves. This stuff was difficult to work with. It did not bend, and we had a lot of air when we were done. Take time to make gentle curved edges around your base pieces... nothing too abrupt. My edges were done with a 3/4 round-over bit, and it wasn't really enough for this heavy material.
Here you can see the two layers of strands running at a 90 to each other, hence the name bi-axial.
Here is a pic of the mat sewn to the backside. I think Hal said the mat was 3 ounces, but not sure. The total weight is 18 ounces.
Just showing how much we overlapped at the fender well... 3 or 4 inches.
This is an air roller. The grooves in the roller allow air to escape while pushing resin down into the material. You simply roll it over the wet area before it hardens. In a perfect world, you will "chase" the air out to the edge and the mat will lay down nice and flat, and you will have a better bond. This roller is aluminum. They also come in plastic, but LT or Acetone could dissolve a plastic one when cleaning up. This is an important tool for quality-minded people. If you don't care, then use cheap paint brushes.
Just roll it over the air pocket, pushing toward the side. Easy!
I rolled over this little air bubble 10,000 times. It consumed me! I could determine no reason for it. It shouldn't have been there. It would not go away. I added resin. I rolled it. It looked good. When I looked again it was back! Little bastidge! gLAD THIS IS JU (oops)st a Jeep, and not something r-e-a-l-l-y important!
Here is the bi-axial all done. It is drying. I could not wait to get a shower. The chemical heat coming off of this stuff was surprising. My skin was burning very mildly. There are several places where we have air pockets, but it will not affect the structural integrity of the bed. Once it is painted you will never tell. It set up hard, and Hal was right... this sucker is some kind of strong. Tomorrow, we flip it over, drag it out to the front yard, throw a couple of lounge chairs in it, and wave at people as they drive by! NOT...
Glad this part is done, and many thanks to Hal for getting me the material and the good deal.