I wanted to finally start logging a build here at the risk of making something that dosen’t work so we can all learn together.
One of the hardest things I’ve found about esk8 is sourcing well-fitting enclosures cheaply. One route is ABS or Kydex. However, I don’t have an oven big enough to soften the stuff to form around a mold, plus my lady will kick me out if she finds me using the oven to bake anything other than food again.
I have some decent experience in shaping foam and laminating surfboards, so I thought I’d give it a go. The be clear, this is my 4th attempt at building a fiberglass enclosure, the first 2 didn’t work so well for various reasons, which I’ll touch on here.
The goal was to make this from locally sourced and readily available material. Sometimes the FEVER grips me and I can’t wait for 2 day shipping. I need it NOW. This is the exactly where I found myself this weekend, so I went to the local hardware store to see if I could make this work.
I took some insulating foam and cut it to rough shape with a table saw. You can use whatever you want to cut it, it’s just foam. But I wanted straight and square cuts, plus I wanted a 10 degree releief to get the foam out once the glass sets up, and that’s easy to do with a table saw. A bit of sanding magic, then blow the dust off. Then I cover the foam in tape because foam melts when it contacts resin. Mold release is not enough. The foam gets taped to the deck and the whole workspace is prepared for the mess (waxpaper is key here). Finally, the taped areas are waxed with a generous coating of automotive wax. You can’t put too much here… not enough and your part will be stuck permanently to the mold.
Next, resin. I’ve always ordered the “correct” resin online but this time I wanted to try table top epoxy. The plan is to make it super thick so I hope it won’t matter much that it’s not for laminating.
I didn’t use polyester resin even though it’s cheaper because it’s harder to work with and it stinks to high heaven. I’d recommend staying away from poly unless you’ve done it before and know what your getting into.
I used fiberglass mat for the first layer because it’s easier to work around the corners. You can use the woven cloth but you’ll have to notch all the corners and line everything up or else the glass won’t lay down and you’ll get voids in the corners.
Progras so far… about 1/2 a day’s worth of work… the little package of fiberglass mat is just enough to cover the mold, and the quart kit of resin is enough for at least the initial wet-out of the cloth and one gloss coat after a rough sanding.
I feel like at this point, you could just trim the edges, drill holes and mount the sucker, but I might do some more sanding and gloss coats to make is smooth… we’ll see… It’s not terrible as is…at least it was cheep