Event – St. Petersburg Boat Show

st-pete-boat-showThe St. Petersburg Power & SailBoat Show is upon us. For 4 days, starting December 1st, some of the best vendors of all things marine converge on St. Petersburg’s Albert Whitted Park to show off boats, coolers, supplies, and so much more! Fiberglass Coatings will be there in Tent 2, booth 442, right near the water with great tips, tricks and even some fantastic giveaways! Be sure to come by and say hello!

We look forward to seeing you!

FGCI Spotlight: Compounds and Waxes

At Fiberglass Coatings, we have a wide variety of products to help with a wide variety of jobs. One of our largest lines is of compounds and waxes. We have quite a few different products with different vendors we offer to the customer. I pulled out a few from our most popular manufacturers to highlight them, but this is by no means all of them.

3m

Perfect-it II – An aggressive compound that removes 1200 grit or higher scratches with a minimal amount of swirl marks. You can use buffing pads or apply it by hand and it will buff to a high-gloss.

Super Duty Compound – A very thick compound that removes 1000 grit or higher scratches, you will see this used a lot with gelcoat, but it’s very aggressive for paint jobs.

3m Finesse It Buffing Compound – This is a paste compound that will remove 800 grit or higher scratches. This is generally meant for highly oxidized gelcoat and does require a good polish over the top.

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Cleaner/Polish – Meguiars one-step process to clean and polish a surface. You can apply this by hand or with a buffer.

Machine Glaze – A great, very high gloss wax that brings back the shine to pretty much anything.

Swirl Remover – Great for removing fine scratches and swirl marks. It can be applied by hand or by a buffer.

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G3 – A high gloss compound that allows one step to remove fine scratches and leave a lasting shine. This product recommends you use a buffer.

Profile 200 – A great heavy-duty compound that removes 800 grit and higher scratches. This is recommended to be used as a two-step process with a polish. This is meant to be used with a buffer.

Profile 700 – A great light-swirl remover. Farecla is water-based so it’s easy to clean up and environmentally friendly to use.

 

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PMC Complete Compound – Removes 600 grit and higher scratches and is water soluble for easy cleanup.

Cutting Crème – Great on small scratches, lite oxidation and weathering. This all-purpose product is very easy to apply and water soluble to it’s easy to cleanup.

Finishing Polish – A great polish for creating a glossy finish.

 

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Aqua Buff 1000 – Great for removing large scratches, heavy oxidation and swirl marks, this aggressive compound is good all purpose aggressive compound, too aggressive for auto work.

Aqua Buff 2000 – This product is a finer compound used for light oxidation and swirl marks; a great companion to the 1000.

 

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Buff Ball – Flitz sells a unique tool that matches with their products called a “Buff Ball.” This ball attaches to a drill and is used instead of a standard buffer to get corners and harder to reach spots. This tool does set Flitz apart, making it a great buy for automotive customers.

Flitz Marine Wax MX-32806 – This spray bottle offers a much easier application, spraying it on and wiping it off.

Flitz UV Protectant MAP-40106 – Another spray bottle that is great for preventing oxidation. Spray it on and wipe it down, it doesn’t get much easier.

 

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TR-311 Compound – Our most aggressive compound, it’s not meant for Automotive paint as much as heavily oxidized gelcoat. The TR-311 does not leave a high shine, but is great for getting high scratches out, so you will want to come behind it with a polish.

TR-315 Course Compound – A slightly less aggressive compound than the Tr-311, this is a great compound for any use.

TR-500 – Cleaner/Sealer finish Wax – This product is great as a finishing product to the heavier compounds.

 

With all of these compounds, you will want to look at the different buffing and polishing pads we carry. We have single and double-sided wool buffing pads which are great for your high-speed buffers/polishers. We also carry Polishing pads, which are foam and are great for waxes. Additionally, we carry microfiber rags and cotton rags and even shop towels for your hand applications. Pick everything up today by going to Amazon.com, Ebay.com, FGCI.com, or by going into one of our two showrooms, either in St. Petersburg or in Ft. Lauderdale. We strive to make it easy for you to get everything you need to make your project look great.

 

Have a favorite product line? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

How-to Guide – Hand Lay-up on Fiberglass Molds

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1. PREPARING THE MOLD

Remove dust and dirt from mold.

a. If mold is of plaster, wood, or new fiberglass, apply soft wax (Wax #2) and buff with soft towel. Then spray or brush with PVA parting compound and allow to dry.

b. If mold material is glass, metal, ceramic, or well-cured fiberglass, apply three coats of hard wax, carnauba type, buffing between each coat.

2. APPLYING THE GELCOAT

a. If gelcoat is to be brushed on, allow the first coat to cure and then apply second coat to make sure there are no light spots.

b. If gelcoat is to be sprayed on with a gelcoat gun, spray up to a thickness of .015” to .020”. When gelcoat has cured long enough that your fingernail cannot easily scrape it free (test at edge of mold where damage will not show on part) then proceed with next step.

3. LAY-UP SKIN COAT

Cut ¾ or 1 oz. mat to cover your part. Brush catalyzed resin over the cured gelcoat and then apply the mat. Work with the roller, adding more resin where necessary until all white areas in the mat fibers have disappeared and all air bubbles have escaped. A mohair roller is ideal for rolling in the resin, and a ribbed plastic or aluminum roller assists greatly in popping any remaining bubbles. Avoid leaving excess resin standing in puddles. Resin-rich areas weaken the part. Where rollers will not reach, brushes must be used. When this step is complete, clean all your tools in acetone. Allow skin coat to cure before next step.

  1. LAYING FIBERGLASS REINFORCEMENT

For a 12 ft. boat, two layers of 1½ oz. or 2 oz. mat and one layer of roving may be adequate, depending upon design. For a 14 ft. boat, an additional layer of mat and roving will add additional strength. Apply each layer as in step 3, but it will not be necessary to wait for curing between these layers. Be sure to shake all acetone out of brushes and rollers before applying resin. Acetone drips can result in uncured spots in the lay-up.

  1. TRIM

On a small lay-up, the fiberglass laminate which hangs over the edge of the mold can be trimmed off easily with a razor knife if you catch the “trim stage,” of the period after the lay-up has gelled but before it has hardened. On a larger lay-up, it can be trimmed with a saw or diamond blade.

  1. CURE

The cure may take from two hours to overnight, depending upon turnover desired, temperature, catalyzation, and nature of the part. If laid up in a female mold, longer cure will affect shrinkage and easier parting. In the case of the male mold, the part comes off more easily before it shrinks appreciably. If the part is subject to warping, a longer cure may be necessary. In any case, when the part is removed, it should be supported in its desired shape until fully cured.

  1. REMOVE PART FROM MOLD

First, examine the trim edge all the way around the mold and make sure there is no resin bridging the line between the mold and the part. Sand this edge where necessary. Then wooden or plastic wedges can be pushed into the edges to start the separation. Continue separation by pulling and flexing. In some cases, it is necessary to drill a small hole in the mold and apply air or water pressure.

  1. FINISH

Trim edges and back of part may need to be sanded and coated with surfacing resin or interior gelcoat.

  1. GELCOAT PROBLEMS

Alligatoring,” or wrinkling of the gelcoat may be due to the following reasons:

  1. Gelcoat is too thin in spots; consequently it does not completely cure.
  2. Insufficient hardener added, or hardener not mixed well enough. In general, it is best to use about twice as much hardener in gelcoat as in lay-up resin at the same room temperature, since the gelcoat goes on thinner than a mat lay-up.
  3. Gelcoat has not cured long enough before mat lay-up.
  4. Acetone from tools drips onto gelcoat or into skin lay-up.