Fiberglass Motorcycle saddle bag material

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Miami1324, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Miami1324
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 8
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    Location: Upstate ny

    Miami1324 Junior Member

    This site successfully got me thru a complete boat floor and stringer replacement. Thanks again and it came out beautiful.
    I could have saved a lot of money if I would have planned ahead . Material crushed me around here. I used the west coast epoxy system.
    I would like to make customized motorcycle parts for my HD. From what i have researched, I believe I can use the PR from Lowes. I have only the one boat floor experience in resin. Former auto body repair of a little over a decade.
    My questions are :1- Online stores for best cloth prices ?
    2- How many layers of what ? 1.5 ? + 1.5 + woven ?
    3- release agent ?
    4-Wax for mold ?
    Bags will get an epoxy sealer before getting a polyester base coat, urethane clear coat.
    Not much weight will be going in the bags. Leather coat and a shirt. I would like to make a mold of my original for practice.
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    For this application, you'll save some money with polyester resin, instead of epoxy. You don't need the strength and waterproof advantages of epoxy on some bags.

    If you order enough stuff from many online sites, you can save or get discounted shipping, which makes the prices competitive.

    A laminate schedule (how much of what and in what order) is dependent on how strong you want it, versus how heavy. Most bags I've seen aren't especially strong and usually fairly heavy, for what they are. I've seen them about 1/8" thick mostly which is 2 layers of knitted 1808, plus a 6 ounce finish cloth. Lay the mat against the female mold, then the next layer with the mat down, then the finish cloth. Or you can wait until the first two layers cured, grind down the polyester threads on the knitted stuff, then apply the finish fabric, for a neater look.

    You can use a female mold, which is most common to reproduce these parts, though expect to spend a lot on building reasonable molds, that can take repeated use. You can also use a male mold, though you'll have lots of smoothing and fairing to do, compared to popping them out of a female.

    A release agent is necessary and a PVA style can work as well as simply good old automotive paste wax (several coats).

    You'd be best advised to explore the fabric and resin options, as there's several ways to bang this hog. Make up some test samples and see which gets you the weight, stiffness and strength and go with that.
  3. Miami1324
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 8
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Upstate ny

    Miami1324 Junior Member

    Good info. Was definitely planning female molds. Thanks Par. I'm going to research cloth guide and characteristics. It's interesting to me. Looking forward to a winter project for a change.
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