Fiberglassed center console - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Interior Semi-Tech General discussion of interior for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 02-02-2005
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Fiberglassed center console

Ive read a lot of material on fiberglassing (everything found on this site and more) and i think i wanna try it out. i just have a few questions.

if i lay the fiberglassing over 3/4" particleboard how many layers do you think should be used? how do i get it smooth to the touch before and after painting? should i cut the holes (cb mount) before or after the fiberglassing? what is the best way to keep the factory rounded look of the cup holders and such or should i pretty much keep it squared with rounded edges? thanks in advance and more questions may be coming.
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Old 02-16-2005
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Awesome questions Chris, you read my mind. I am looking to do the same thing in my truck eventually.
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Old 02-16-2005
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well from what i'v done and have found out the hard way... i would drill the holes after i'm doing glassing but b4 paint..and about how to get the rounded edges......well my friend you have to have a very patient person and use eunff fiberglass that u can sand the corner down to get it to looks right..and 2 or 3 coats of glass on anything should be enuff unless ur makeing a speaker box...no getting it factory smooth you have got me... i'v spent hours and hours sanding,wet sanding.....and it never turns out the way i want it but it still looks good and cool none the less
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Old 02-17-2005
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as long as it feels smooth id be alright with it. i dont plan on taking my cup holders out since i think it would be easier to leave them in instead of forming something around my shifter. the factory black doesnt look smooth but i kinda like it like that. If somebody does this before i get to it, post some pics.
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Old 02-17-2005
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If you're planning to keep the particle board as part of the finished console, then your best bet is to cut all of the holes in the wood first, then sand the corners to make them round, and then lay the fabric onto the wood while pulling it tight and stapling it into place. What this does is allows you to form the glass to the wood to give the rounded look for all of the holes. How much fabric you need depends on the type and thickness of fabric you're using. If you plan to use chopped strand then it will require more sanding than using a bi-axial fabric to get it smooth. Chopped strand is cheaper per oz. than biaxial and is probably better suited for this type of project that doesn't require too much strength.

If you use polyester resin, then you can follow up with bondo and sandpaper to get it smooth. If you use epoxy resin, then you can mix a batch of resin with woodflour to thicken it and it will behave much like bondo for sanding. If you're not sure which type of resin you're using (ie the can just says fiberglass resin) then look at the type of hardener. If it comes with a small tube of strong smelling hardener and requires a couple drops per oz of resin, then it's either polyester or vinylester. If the hardener is sold separate from the resin and is mixed in anywhere from 5:1 to 1:1 ratio, then it's more than likely epoxy. Nine times out of ten, if you bought it at the auto parts store, it's polyester.
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Old 02-17-2005
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Careful when mixing it, the wrong porportions can cause a chemical reaction making it really really hot. The best way ive found to learn how to glass is to watch someone do it.
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Old 03-11-2005
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To get it smooth enough to paint, you will have to sand, sand, and then sand some more. What I usually do after I get the glass sanded, is put bondo or gel coat over the sanded glass and that makes it glass smooth. Then you can primer and paint it, but make sure you use filler primer.

It is a long and time consuming process, but in the end it is very worth it.

Just be prepared to sand, wet sand, sand, wet sand, etc.... etc....
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Old 03-11-2005
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So uuhh where is the pics...
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