Need Help Making Mold

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by AverageJoe, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. AverageJoe
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Missouri

    AverageJoe Junior Member

    I have a part that I need to make a mold out of. I have no experience whatsoever in doing this. It is my goal to find someone to come here and make a mold off an existing plug. If anybody knows anyone who does this or who would be willing to take on this project, please let me know. I would of course compensate this person properly.

    Thanks and have a great day.
     
  2. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    what part? how big of a project?
    welcome to the forum ;)
     
  3. AverageJoe
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    AverageJoe Junior Member

    I have a top for a pontoon boat that I am trying to build. It would take the place of a alum enclosure. The plug is pretty much finished, that much I know how to do, but the mold manuf I have no clue about.
     
  4. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    gel ( tooling gel) the part,,,then lay-up your glass on that,,make it at least 3 times thicker then ya piece,,make sure you have plenty of "framing" around it,,( also glass in a hook or 2 to make it easy to pick up and move around,,,,,remember that the mold is what your money is made from,, so it needs to be built to last.,,after its made,,you'll have to wet sand or fill any "bad" spots,,then its time to think about ya release agent.
    have you used the "search" option for "making molds"?,,, theres gotta be a few hundred threads on it,,hehe ;)
     
  5. AverageJoe
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    AverageJoe Junior Member

    Care to come do it?
     
  6. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    hehe,,,,, you couldnt afford me,,:)
    plus im pretty s-l-o-w ,,hehe ;)
     
  7. AverageJoe
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    AverageJoe Junior Member

    Like you said, the mold is where the money is. I am seriously looking for someone to come build this mold the right way. All I would do is goof it up so there is no use even going down that path. I also understand this won't be a cheap project. I would be very willing to discuss $$$ with anyone with the experience and time to take on this project. I don't know what kind of time frame would be involved, but would make it worth someones while.
     
  8. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    the1much hippie dreams

    according to how bad the plug is,,how readily the glass resin,tooling gel,and lumber are,,,it should only take a little more then a week,,,,it would take me 2 weeks,,maybe a few days more.,, someone that can move round better then me might ( according to their experience) should be a fast job. another thing is tools,,,,,do you have the guns and all for the job,, or do they need to bring their own ( which if traveling by plane SUKS) ,, accommodation's? beer? hehe ;)
    im just trying to get ya the ?'s whoever is interested is gonna ask,,,,( well they should) hehe :D;)
     
  9. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: Massachusetts South Shore.

    tinhorn Senior Member

    There's gotta be a few fiberglass shops not too far away. Be careful about some dude willing to do the work in his off-hours, unless he comes with a good reference from his boss (or his crew). Out of every ten guys who say they can build molds, 9-3/4 are full of crap because they think there's nothing to it.

    You could read a book and learn the steps to follow under ideal conditions (book learnin'), but what separates the men from the boys is knowing all 150 things that can go wrong and how to prevent, sidestep, correct, accommodate, or properly patch them (shop smarts). (You can't really repair a mold - you can only patch it.) Find a shop with a good rep.
     
  10. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    um Tin,,,, i think you messed your numbers up,,,,,,,only 150?
    i musta been doing it wrong,,hehe :D
     
  11. AverageJoe
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    AverageJoe Junior Member

    I have run in to way to many people around here who say they can do it "no problem" but have no type of work to show as an example. That is why I came here, in hopes of finding someone with experience or at least someone who could refer me to that person. If anyone has any ideas,,,,I would greatly appreciate it.

    As far as the status of the plug,,,,it is sanded to 600 at this point.
     
  12. tinhorn
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    tinhorn Senior Member

    Yeah, when you've built or modified as many molds as I have, you can reduce the number of potential screwups to around 150. :)

    I did a Google search on "fiberglass missouri" and on the first page of the search results I saw three shops that appear worthy of interviewing. You'll just have to work the phones a bit and maybe take a trip to check out their work.
     
  13. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    600 grit??,,,thats too many steps,,,im lazy,,hehe,,,should "break down" the bulk with 320,,then 2500 to finish it,,and need to make sure you fold the paper the right way so your not making small scratches with the corners of the paper.
     
  14. tinhorn
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    tinhorn Senior Member

    2500? Man, we're working with gelcoat here, not fancy-schmancy paint. I use 180, 320, 400, and then 600, followed by polishing compound until it looks like a mirror. (Small scratches with sandpaper corners - just 149 potential screwups to go.)
     

  15. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    the better the finish on the plug,, the less more labor intensive work on the female mold. ,,, least thats how i was taught,,,,,once we did all the work for the first time on the mold,,all we did was wash and put release agent on every time,,and could pull out and have almost null for fairing "the boat".
    maybe they just liked "knowing" where i was all the time,,,,hehe :D;)
     
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