Friday, September 7, 2007


I've started to make a new mold for the top of k9's head. I think I should be able to use the rest of the mold I've already made, but getting the top right is key. I've taken some step by step pictures documenting the process.

Step 1: Gelcoat. I've applied gel coat to the top of k9's head where I plan on putting the fiberglass. Note, I've included the sides where I'll have a lip. That'll make it easier for me to have good edge definition once I have the mold complete.

Step 2: Fiberglass application. I've shown two layers of fiberglass here. One layer of fiberglass cloth with a layer of fiberglass mat. For both materials, I use tools that are essentially spatulas to spread the resin into and across the material. I waited a little over an hour between applications.

Step 3: Demold, and touch up. At this point you pull your original out of the mold. If you didn't do a great job with prep this can be challenging. Like it was here. Note all the gel coat that stayed on the model. I didn't have this happen the first time through. >shrug<>

I'll be sanding the mold this weekend and hopefully I'll be able to cast a suitable top piece of the head with what I've got.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fiberglassing :(

Not too much has been happening with K9 lately. I've made a fiberglass mold of the head and started to cast. This is what I've learned about fiberglassing.
  • Its not as easy as it looks on the internet. Shocking, I know.
  • Resin cures really, really fast at temperatures above 100°F. Cure kinetics in action - guess those years of polymer science classes weren't a waste.
  • The above fact makes using resin in Phoenix AZ in August pretty awful.
  • Gel-coat from the local fiberglass shop is expensive.
  • Fiberglass resin gets everywhere. And it smells.

So as you can tell, I'm having a ball. I'm going to try a different approach since the first piece I casted was a disaster. In the mean time, I'm going to work on the ears and other miscellaneous k9 bits. But just to prove I've made a good effort, below is a picture of the mold for the head.