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Will using a dashboard to create a mold ruin the dashboard?

Posted by Ludachris, Jul 27, 2012

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  1. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    I have never done fiberglass work. I really want to make a partial mold of a 2g dash I have laying around for a custom project on the 1g - just trying to get the shape of the upper center console and the driver side curve around the gauge cluster. The problem is, the dash I have is one of the rare black 2g dashes that I don't really want to screw up. Will trying to create a mold/plug end up ruining the dash?
     

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  2. TSITurbo95

    TSITurbo95 Proven Member

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    Yes it will. What about laying plastic over it then mold? Or like a cling wrap? That way it will still form to the shape, yet protect it at the same time.
     
  3. Steve93Talon

    Steve93Talon Proven Member

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    Just cover the whole thing in masking tape.
     

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  4. crash89

    crash89 Proven Member

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    ^^ Both were my ideas upon reading this.. Saran Wrap would be my best advise.. Fast and cheap..

    Or even a large piece of styro foam and just carve it out until it fits just right.. But thats pretty time consuming.
     

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  5. talon2gbuyer

    talon2gbuyer Proven Member

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    Or you could use a wax paper. All of these are good ideas for trying to preserve your dash to re-use. That's kinda a cheap alternative to letting it ruin your dash LOL.
     

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  6. spyderdrifter

    spyderdrifter Freelancer

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    While all of these suggestions are valid to a point, they are not great materials for this. Out of all of them, the Styrofoam idea is probably the best one. I do aircraft composite work all the time, primarily with fiberglass. There's a type of plastic sheet material out there called Peel-Ply. It works pretty well and I've never had a problem with it sticking after the resin has cured. It's not the greatest for being flexible in tight radiuses, however, for a 2G dash, you shouldn't have much of a problem at all. If anything, you could cut a separate section and tape them together to achieve the proper layout. Just use a plastic or metal based tape. Adhesives and resins have a tendency to sock through masking tape as it's paper based. Do not coat your dash in masking tape and lay the fiberglass over it, that's the best way to destroy the dash. If you have more questions, feel free to ask. Good luck.
     

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  7. drxlcarfreak

    drxlcarfreak Proven Member

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    I feel like using a wrap of sorts will reduce the exactness of the mold vs the original. I guess if you are just using the mold to make a partial copy then exactness doesn't matter too much though.

    If you do want something that is exact and has the same surface finish, you could use a good application (multiple coats) of mold release wax and fiberglass right overtop of it. It may be a bit more risky than the sheet solution since you may not apply thick enough of a coat in some areas and it may stick, but it will give you an exact mirror image of the dash.
     
  8. 3kgt2nv

    3kgt2nv Proven Member

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    get heavy duty alum foil to coat it in and tape the seams. works fine for making fiberglass molds for custom sub inclosures.
     
  9. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    Hmmm, maybe it's worth just picking up another dash to use for a mold that I don't care about ruining... makes sense to keep it simple for my first time working with fiberglass.
     

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  10. H@xtGSX

    H@xtGSX Proven Member

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    Spray PVA. That is what is used for tooling molds. I have used it on pillar plastic, sections of the dash, and a bunch of other non-car related stuff. My dash is spotless. Plus, if you spray it on with an HVLP or LVLP and a real fine tip, it retains all the surface detail. It just wipes up with soapy water on a rag when you're done. :thumb:
     

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  11. Gamble97

    Gamble97 Freelancer

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    Painters tape and foil.
     
  12. DsMWookie

    DsMWookie Proven Member

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    You could also plastidip your dash to protect it form the fiberglass and just peal that off.
     

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  13. drxlcarfreak

    drxlcarfreak Proven Member

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    I actually used this to get a mold of a rusted out A-pillar which I then made the actual piece from. As dumb as it sounds, I also coated it in the kitchen spray PAM on the foil so it would release better. Other than the little ridges from the foil it came out perfect and the PAM made the parts release super easy.
     
  14. Black Widow97

    Black Widow97 Proven Member

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    Tape and wax paper would show little lines in the mold. They could probably be sanded out pretty easily. But if you are worried about the dash, I would just find a cheap grey dash and use that for the mold.
     

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  15. Archer Fabrications

    Archer Fabrications Supporting Vendor

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    pam.... LOL thanks joe dirt. if it was me, id prob just do what you said luda, and pick up a new dash. i know i wouldent want to risk effing up my good one experimenting. a new dash for a 1g cant even be that expensive. :) my .02
     

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  16. ricktb

    ricktb Proven Member

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    ok alum foil bad idea for curved surface, it will wrinkle. I've made a fiberglass speaker box to form to the carpet under the back seat in my truck... I used two layers of masking tape, with the second layer perpendicular to the first layer, not a drop of resin leaked through, however once the resin cured the inner layer of tape was stuck to the resin. bu the shape was perfect.
     

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  17. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    :) but it's not a 1g dash, it's a 2g dash... being used for a frankenstein mold for my 1g. We'll see if I go through with it.
     

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  18. 95g-s-x

    95g-s-x Proven Member

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    Trust me on this one, I work with fiberglass a lot. Here are the steps to protect your rare dash:

    1. 2 layers of painters tape (not regular masking tape....its a PITA to get off) with overlapped seams. Go past area where you are working 1 ft in each direction.

    2. Use a thick mil plastic sheet to protect all the other areas you will be working. tape the edges down so it won't move. Also, fully tape the seam (2 layers) between the plastic and the area you are glassing.

    3. Spay glue the back side of heavy duty aluminum foil and let it tack up for a minute. Lay the glue'd side of foil on the tape and smooth out with a fiberglass roller. Be sure to extend the foil over protective plastic.

    4. Start glassing.

    Dont worry about the thickness of tape and foil not giving you a good fit.....it wont be an issue.

    If you follow these steps, you won't hurt your dash.
     
  19. arrowhead

    arrowhead Proven Member

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    Your original dash will not be damaged, about 8 cqats of mold release wax, 1 thin coat pf PVA follow by another thicker coat after first dries wait till 2 coat dries.
     

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  20. 92gvr488

    92gvr488 Proven Member

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    I used painters tape and seran wrap to protect mine and I had no issues with it...
     

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