We are delivering to the Bay Area Daily!

100_2082At Fiberglass Coatings, we try to provide the best products at the best price, along with the best knowledge for all your fiberglass and resin projects. Now, we are making it even easier with several spots in the state of Florida having daily deliveries, so it’s even quicker and easier to get the products you need when you need them!

Are you in the Tampa Bay area? What about the Miami area? If you are, you can get our products delivered to you daily! You need to make sure you place your order by 3pm the day before and you will be all set! There is only a $10 handling charge, which makes getting our products cheaper and easier than ever!

If you have any questions or want to find out if you are eligible for daily deliveries, give us a call at 1-800-272-7890 today!

FGCI Fiberglass Clearance Special

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We have some fiberglass we are clearing out and we are cutting prices big time! Now is your chance to save big on select rolls of Fiberglass! Be sure to contact your sales rep for pricing, but do it quick, because these rolls won’t last long!

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XM2415 50″ FGCI +/- 45 – (125665) A great heavy-Duty glass on sale! 

 

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SM1815 – 50″ FGI – (125683) – A Stitchmat glass on sale! 

 

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Woven Roving – 18oz 50″ FGI (125818) – A medium weight Woven Roving On Sale!

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CM1603 50″ FGI Biaxial 0/90 (136752) – A medium weight Biaxial Material on Sale! 

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Triaxle SXTW3400 50″ FGI (137882) – A thick Triaxial material on Sale!

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XM2408 12″ +/-45 (125660) – A 12″ wide roll of 2408 on Sale!

 

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XM1708 12″ Double Bias +/-45 – 12″ Wide (125652) Roll of 1708 on Sale!

 

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CM3610 60″ Biaxial FCI 0/90 (137473) – 1 roll of 3610, 60″ on Sale! 

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TXSW 3408 6″ (125778) Triax material 6″ wide on Sale!

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SX2408 8″ (125778) A Biaxial material 8″ wide on Sale!

sale24oz 51″ OCV FCI 5×2 (139867) – 24 oz Woven Roving – Heavy Duty Fiberglass – On Sale!

 

 

How to Apply Gelcoat – The End-all Guide

Gelcoat PhotoProperly applying gelcoat is the key to a good finish. Many of our customers are hesitant to use it, thinking it’s too complicated or they think they can’t end up with a good finish. So, we are here to provide a step-by-step guide on how to properly apply gelcoat. As with all our products, if you have any questions, we are here to help!

First thing you want to do is look at the surface you want to apply gelcoat to. If the surface is already covered with gelcoat, or if the surface is a fiberglass, or polyester resin, then applying gelcoat will be a snap. If the surface is paint, then the paint would have to be removed before applying the gelcoat.

gelcoat-sandingSo, you’ve decided the surface is gelcoat, so it’s time to begin. You want to sand the surface to create a mechanical bond with the gelcoat. Start by sanding the surface with 150 grit or lower sandpaper. Our technicians recommend using Dyekum Steel Blue to be very thorough. Steel Blue is a dye you wipe on. Once you don’t see the blue dye anymore, you know you have properly sanded everything. You can also use a pencil, but it’s harder to see and won’t guarantee complete coverage.

Next, you want to clean the surface. We recommend using Acetone, as it doesn’t leave a residue and evaporates quickly. Once the surface is clean, you want to get going pretty quickly; if the surface sits for any extended amount of time, you will want to re-clean the surface. Dust and dirt particles are your enemy here, so be thorough on the cleaning.

We are ready to gelcoat! First, decide if you need one or two coats of gelcoat. It will take a minimum of two coats of gelcoat if you are changing colors. If this is going over a patch, we recommend 2 coats at least, to get a nice, uniform surface. Otherwise, one coat will do.

Gelcoat needs to be applied relatively thin. We recommend 18 mils mil-gauge-2thick, to properly cure. 18 mils is approximately the thickness of a matchbook cover. If you aren’t sure how thick, pick up a mil gauge. It’s a quick, easy way to see the thickness of your gelcoat.

Gelcoat requires Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide or MEK-P to activate the hardening process. The amount is very small. We recommend 1-1/4% to 1-1/2% by volume, which means 13-15cc’s per quart. Darker colors require a bit more catalyst for the same reaction, so you can catalyze up to 2%. Refer to the catalyst chart on the side of the can, or you can find one HERE.

Be sure to have a plan of attack for applying your gelcoat. Once you mix it, you have about 15 minutes to apply the gelcoat before it starts to get hard or “gel.” The actual working time depends on your amount of catalyst and how hot your working conditions are. Anything below 60 degrees, and your gelcoat will not cure, but as you get warmer and warmer, your working time decreases rapidly. At 70 degrees, you get your 15 minutes, but at 90 degrees, you only have about 5 minutes. If you need more working time, be sure to sit the can in some cool water, or even some ice to cool it down to 60 degrees give you a bit more time.

Brushable gelFor applying your gelcoat, you can either roll the gelcoat on, like paint, or you can spray it on. We also sell a Brushable Gelcoat that can be applied with a brush. If you decide to roll on the gelcoat, be sure to use a solvent-resistant 1/8” or ¼” nap. Be sure not to use foam rollers, as they tend to leave bubbles. If you brush it on, be sure to use a solvent resistant brush. Your first coat will simply consist of the gelcoat and the MEK-P catalyst. Once applied, you want to wait about an hour and a half, for the gelcoat to set. It won’t be completely cured by then, but it should be hard and tacky.

Your second coat will consist of the same amount of Catalyst, but if you are doing one more coat, your next coat will include Sanding Aid, or ‘wax.’ You will mix in 1 oz per quart to the gelcoat, which will seal the surface from oxygen, causing the gelcoat to dry tack-free. If you roll or brush your seconding coating, be sure to go the opposite direction from the previous coat, allowing a uniform coating.

If you are using our standard Exterior gelcoat, you will be ready to sand and buff your freshly gelcoated surface. If you are using our brushable gelcoat, you will want to let it sit overnight to ensure it’s completely cured. To start sanding, begin with 320 grit sandpaper and sand the surface completely. From then on, start going up to 400, then 600, and finally 800 grit sandpaper.

At this point, you can use an 800 grit compound to compound the gelcoat. You want to use a buffer that turns at 1600-3000 RPM’s. The car polishers will not work, as they spin too slowly, so you want to check the spin speed. It’s best to do a 4’ by 4’ area and go from there. Every 10’ or so, you will want to clean your pad with a spur or with some air to ensure pieces don’t scratch your surface.

If you want a beautiful, glossy shine, use a machine glaze and then two coats of wax, and you will have a beautiful finish that any professional would be envious of.

Tips on How to get Fiberglass out of You

hand washWe have all been there. At one point in our lives; we have touched or ground or moved fiberglass. Maybe it’s your job, maybe it’s a hobby, maybe you just accidentally brushed against it in our showroom. Whatever the case may be, we have all experienced the feeling. First the itching, then the splinter-like feeling and no matter how hard you scratch, it gets worse. That’s right, I’m talking about the dreaded fiberglass feeling. So, we went and asked some of our favorite experts how they get fiberglass out at the end of the day and we are posting some of the top tips. If you have one that’s not on here, please share it. Someone one day will thank you!

Tip #1 Baby Powder

Baby powder is good for many things. This product is great for rubbing on a fiberglassed area of your body and removing the agitation. The even better solution is to cover possibly exposed parts of your body with baby powder before you work. Our experts say it covers your pores and prevents glass from getting in. Given how often they work with raw fiberglass, they have to know what they are talking about.

Tip #2 Duct Tape

I know what you are thinking, and no, my name isn’t MacGyver. Duct Tape is useful for a lot of things. My dad always told me to take Duct Tape and fold it back on itself and gently pat the irritated area. The tape pulls out the fiberglass with each pat. While you may lose a bit of arm hair, you won’t have to deal with that irritation anymore, which is worth it.

Bonus Tip: Some people use a lint roller. In my experience, it doesn’t get the big stuff, but if you think it maybe hasn’t gotten in your skin yet, this may be a great way to get it off of you.

Tip #3 Cold Water

Closing the pores seems to be the key. Washing down with cold water is a popular option. Our experts say not to scrub, just simply wash down the infected area a few times, and the colder the water, the better. Several people have said they add a bit of dish soap, as well, to ensure the fibers slide out.

Tip # 4 Baby Oil 

This is another one where coating your skin with this stuff ahead of time can make all the difference, but even after it’s affected, baby oil can soothe the irritation.

Tip # 5 Epson Salt Hot Bath

I’ve heard good and bad from this one. This, to me, sounds like it would sting a bit from the infected area, but it could be a great way of letting the fiberglass fall out. Now, sitting in the tub with an adult beverage? Now we are talking!

Tip #6 Tweezers

This one is just plain no fun. It is very effective, especially if you have one or two big pieces. Using a flashlight and a magnifying glass will make it even easier, but in the end, you’re still tweezing your skin, which is annoying. I guess having fiberglass in your skin is more annoying.

Tip #7 Prevention is the key

We have mentioned on this blog several times the perks of wearing your PPE’s. Things like paper suits, and dust masks and eye protection can save a good amount of irritation and pain. So, the one step I know will work is covering up ahead of time.

 

So, if you have a solution that you didn’t see on here that you know works, or one of the solutions we listed you use, let us know 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.