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Thread: Tips for fiberglassing in the cold?

  1. #1
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    Tips for fiberglassing in the cold?

    So I have taken on a big project which is at a stage which needs a lot of fiberglass work. Unfortunately, it's getting colder here in VA, and all I have is a carport. (Due to some odd regulations, I am not legally allowed to enclose the carport.) I bought some epoxy resin to use with some 10oz mat, but the two times I've tried to use it on small patches (it was about 60-65 degrees) and it does not seem to cure fully - I've even used a digital scale to make sure I have the mix exactly right. I'm hoping to use this same resin to bond fiberglass to metal. This is actually the reason I chose this type of resin over poly, as I was told it was best for this application. Any idea what else I could try?

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    Your problem may not be the epoxy, it could be an incompatibility with the mat. From Fibre Glast website-

    Note: All Fiberglass Mat is made to be used with resin to create hard, composite parts. However, it is NOT compatible with epoxy resin. Mat has a light binder that holds it together. During lay-up, it requires styrene to break down that binder and allow for complete resin saturation. Epoxy does not contain styrene and therefore cannot be effectively used with the mat. Use polyester or vinyl ester resin with these applications.

    Also you may need a "fast" hardener. For west-systems their slow hardeners minimum recommended temperature is 60 degrees, you could be right on the line.



  4. #4
    Senior Member murcie-me's Avatar
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    Enclose the carport with temporary plastic sheeting, and get a shop heater. Also, use polyester resin instead of epoxy, it'll stick just fine.
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    Yeah clear plastic sheeting would be enough to keep the heat in

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice!!

    I ordered the resin and mat from fiberglasssite.com and after having problems I emailed them to ask if they had suggestions. They confirmed the mat and resin were compatible. The suggested making sure the mix was exact (which I did) and failing that, to apply heat with a heatgun which I tried but with no luck. I wonder if the resin may be old?? I read that epoxy resin has a short shelf life.

    I may just try using poly resin with a faster hardener and place the torpedo heater right on it for the time I'm working on it. If that doesn't work, I'll get some plastic sheets. The carport is a double with a high center (and the other spot is in use), so getting it enclosed would be tough.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MacGyver's Avatar
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    In my opinion, Polyester resin would be the better resin to use in colder climates. Give it an extra squirt of MEK and put it out in the sun. It will cure just fine.

    Like others have said, The epoxy resin has the option of using different speed of hardeners. Even the fast hardeners will take a considerable amount of time to cure in cold weather.

  8. #8
    Senior Member murcie-me's Avatar
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    Ordering resin online? Just go down to Home Depot and get yourself a gallon of polyester resin and give it a try. You can cure the part easily in under 5 minutes with a heat gun.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by murcie-me View Post
    Ordering resin online? Just go down to Home Depot and get yourself a gallon of polyester resin and give it a try. You can cure the part easily in under 5 minutes with a heat gun.
    Yep I agree. I throw away resin all the time and replace it with new everytime I glass. The only thing I keep is the actual matt.
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