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Topic: Building A Fiberglass Base
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Jun 4, 2006 12:50AM)
I plan to build a fiberglass base for my doll house. What is the best way to start with making this type of base. Do I make it out of sheet metal then coat the inner parts with fiberglass or do I make it out of wood then coat the inner parts with fiberglass? Any tips?
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (Jun 4, 2006 05:47AM)
Lou, I have never done this myself; however, I saw my dad build his Doll House when I was younger...

If I remember correctly, he used a fine sheet of metal fastened it to the bottom of the base with screws about an inch and three-quareters apart (all the way around the base). Next, he spread a fine layer of fiberglass resin across the metal sheet and placed the fiberglass cloth across it... be sure to roll out the air bubbles so you don't have any warped spots... Then, he used a paint brush and painted the cloth with the hardner and let it cure... I think he repeated the fiberglass process once more before sanding it and applying velvet/ felt to the bottom of the base...

The outcome was beautiful and it looked extremely professional...

I hope this helps you a little bit!

Bryan Gilles
Message: Posted by: leapinglizards (Jun 4, 2006 06:37AM)
Only making one: you can make it out of cardboard, styrofoam, plastic, thin wood, or metal. THen coat with layers of cloth, and resin. If you make it from styrofoam, either coat the foam with wax as a release agent, or use acetine to dissolve it away afterward.

If you want to make more than one, you can make a mold and then cast them one after the other.
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Jun 15, 2006 07:40PM)
Thanks Bryan and leapinglizards, I finally made my first fiberglass base. I formed it out of sheet metal. It took about 4 layers of fibermat and 5 coatings of resin. Boy, is it heavy like glass. But it is only less than 1/4 inch thick and very strong. Indeed, much better than a wooden base.
Message: Posted by: leapinglizards (Jun 16, 2006 08:01AM)
Just a future note for those new to fiberglass. Resin ads WEIGHT not strength. So, for every ounce of fiberglass cloth, you should use only an ounce or so of resin. The resin needs to be JUST enough to wet the mat through, and woven cloth is preferable to the "fiber clot" mats. Also, if you do creative reinforcement with a strip of anuminim here and there, you would be surprised at just how thin and how light you can make it!

To me, the BEST thing about fiberglass bases, from a manufacturing stand point, is that you can pull a mold from them and make more. Also, you can make something that looks like a real table, (Ie wood) or almost anything else you like and have much less dead space. Solid areas can be filled with foam for lighter weight.

Now, as I am also "Mister Safety" Please be sure you work in a well ventilated area and actualy investigate and invest in proper respirators! This is NASTY stuff! Also, be sure to air own bases made with resins before expecting an assistant to spend any time inside of it.
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Jun 16, 2006 12:39PM)
Lou, can you post a picture? I'd love to see how it turned out.

Message: Posted by: BRodgers (Aug 20, 2006 09:04PM)
Lou - Any pictures yet? I'd really like to see the finished product. I am interested in building with fiberglass.