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  #1  
Old 04-24-2006, 12:39 PM
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GoocherLee GoocherLee is offline
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Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

Some of you may have already seen my introduction in the Welcome Center, and therefore have an idea of what I am up to, but I will proceed from here on assuming you've never heard of me or my zaney ideas prior to this post.

Hello, I am GoocherLee.
I am interested in creating a custom motorcycle helmet that will have a stylized "mask" on the front of the helmet. Since helmets are already made out of pressurized fiberglass, it was only natural for me to assume that I could cast in that medium as well. From what I've gathered online and in texts, it is certainly possible; its just that I have never worked with fiberglass resin as a casting medium and surely have never mixed it with filler putty [bondo]. As I currently understand it, it takes 60% fiberglass resin and 40% filler putty to create a positive that I will be able to sand, carve, blunt, and ultimately paint.

If anyone out there in Sculptureland has ever worked with this casting medium [or just fiberglass resin], please give me a shout and help me determine if I am proceeding along the correct path. I'm uncertain how the resin/bondo mix will be physically cast. Is it a brush-on fluid mixture or a pour-on gelly or a press-on clay-like substance?

Thanks.


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  #2  
Old 04-25-2006, 05:28 PM
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iowasculptor iowasculptor is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

I have never used the stuff you are talking about but I do have a concern and maybe you have already considered this. If you build or modify a helmet is it still going to function as a helmet or will you have compromised the integrity of the form? If you build it yourself I can't imagine that it will have the strength and proper safety measures that a factory helmet has that has been tested etc. I would also be somewhat concerned about the shape as if you were in an accident would it grab and rip your head to the side or worse? I would just hate to read a story about this crazy sculptor guy who built his own helmet and died in a freak accident that would have been preventable if the helmet was in orginal condition. Maybe this doesn't concern you but its something to research in depth before moving forward.
best of luck
Matt
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2006, 07:57 PM
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GoocherLee GoocherLee is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

Thanks for watching out for me, Matt.

I did factor into my equation how much [or little] the face would effect the helmet's inherent abilty to save my noggin in a crash. In my completely unprofessional opinion, I think the change is negligible, and I will be consciously sculpting the figure to maintain proper helmet function.


But the bottom line is... if I'm crashing my bike, I've already done something wrong. The changes I make to the helmet aren't going to be so significant that the helmet no longer works. It may not be DOT compliant, but I'll take my chances with the local constabulary. Who knows? My changes have just as much chance of saving me as they do hurting me, given the proper crash scenario.

I do my best to stay well armored when riding, the helmet being numero uno on my list of must haves. I also practice defensive riding, have taken handfuls of motorcycle safty riding courses, and maintain my bike to the utmost of my abilities. If I crash someone either took me out, or the bike design was faulty. I never ride beyond my limits, and my the births of my three sons have permanently inserted mental blocks into my pshyche preventing my britches from getting too big. Ego kills.

Come on over to the Welcome Center thread where we've delved deeper into this subject.

And again, thanks for getting my back.
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2006, 05:40 PM
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eyeballjohn eyeballjohn is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

Hi GoocherLee, just joined this site myself, Great place to see what's up in sculptureland, I think I can help you with your question, I work with fiberglass everyday, I work in a Corvette restoration shop, and I have made a hockey goulie mask and a bike helmet the same way you have discribed, I'm not sure if you want to make an original sculpt plug using a mixture of resin and bondo?, they are really two different mediums to work in, I have sculpted all my shifter knobs with bondo, it works Great, but the bondo and resin use two different hardners first off.

It might be easier if I tell you how I made my bike helmet project, I made a 3D skull on top of a skull cap, I started with a skull cap put 2 inch tape over it and started mixing up bondo, building up layers until I got to a point where it started to look close to a skull, then the carving and sanding starts, and when you need to fill in a spot just mix up some more bondo, when I was satisfied with my shape I sprayed a polyester primer on it that is specially made for doing mold work, you can lay it on as thick as you want it then sand with a course grit sand paper and work your way down to 1000 grit fine paper and polish it out like paint, the smoother you get your original plug the smoother all your parts you pull from the mold will be.

When this was done I mixed up RTV silicone rubber with a thickening agent in it ( this is done so the rubber can be brushed on and not run down), and brushed on a few layers until it was about 3/4 inchs thick,after that has cured over night I took fiberglass mat and resin and layed that over the rubber to make a hard shell this way your mold will not lose it's shape, when everything has cured you can peel of the hard fiberglass shell, then peel off the rubber mold and there you have it, you can use fiberglass mat and resin in the rubber mold to make your parts and then glue them on your helmet, Hope this helps you, I am going to try and post some pics of the helmets I made, not sure if it will work, but if you want you can see some of my work at my web site www.eyeballjohn.com, let me know if you need any other info, good luck, John

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  #5  
Old 05-14-2006, 06:46 PM
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GoocherLee GoocherLee is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

That's awesome John! I hadn't thought of creating my sculpture with the bondo. That's probably a lot faster than building up a clay figure.
I'll check your site, and thanks!
Your helmets are wicked cool!
Gooch
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2006, 08:15 AM
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GoocherLee GoocherLee is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

Wow! Your site is chock full of great info about this sort of thing. Now why couldn't I find it sooner?

The reason I mentioned mixing the fiberglass and bondo to make the positive was that one site mentioned that so long as the mixture was 60% fg resin and 40% bondo, then only the resin's catalyst would be needed to harden it. They did mention that it was a quick mix and go method with little room for error.

But your way sounds so much easier. I'm definately going to try that.

I know that you mention using a poly spray to assist in cast removal, but have you ever tried the thinned/warmed petroleum jelly approach of applying slip? Its sounds much the same only is easier to obtain and costs a lot less. Just wondering if you've tried that.

Thanks for the assist. Your stuff looks great!
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  #7  
Old 05-15-2006, 03:38 PM
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eyeballjohn eyeballjohn is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

Hi GoocherLee, Thanks for checkin out my web site, Glad you liked it, as far as the mix of resin and bondo, some people use a mix of resin and bondo together as a thin finish coat on your body work, but to use this as a base to for something I think it would run faster then you could build it up, the poly spray I use is basically sprayed on my finished work to fill in any small imperfections, this can be sanded out down to a very fine wet sand paper like 2000 if you wanted then polished out like as if it were paint, this leaves a mirror shine on your origianl piece, this can be waxed witha release wax ( a few times, let dry and wipe off like waxing a car) if you use RTV silicone to make your mold you don't have to get to crazy with the finish if you don't want, you can always sand and prime after the part is made to clean up your casting, if your going to make a hard mold with fiberglass you can spray on a water based release agent, it is not really exspensive and it washes off with water, Hope this helps you with your project, if you need any info. let me know, Later John
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  #8  
Old 05-15-2006, 06:09 PM
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GoocherLee GoocherLee is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

Many thanks. That clears up a lot. I'll probably take you up on your advice offer when I hit a bump in the road.
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  #9  
Old 06-15-2006, 09:56 AM
LoopyWolf LoopyWolf is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

WOW that is cool.. I gotta try this
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2007, 04:31 PM
ccartist ccartist is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

groovy idea...I am new to the bondo proccess and this forum (hi)...don't they have something called tiger hair that helps with the bonding if using a bodyfiller on fiberglass? I used bondo on my bike tank to sculpt it...it turned out very nice...I have a helmet sitting on my projects desk that I wanted to do something 3D to but didn't know if I could use just bondo on fiberglass...thats how I found this forum...so I joined...Carla
nice helmet Eyeball John...I am going to check out your site... URL=http://artbycarla.com
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2007, 04:54 PM
rberger54 rberger54 is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

Just a thought - but to bring back up the safety issue - you might consider useing an epoxy / carbon fabric composite for the strength.

Also - range of materials for model, plug and mold increases since epoxy does not disolve all plastics like Poleyester resin does.

I just bought some Carbon Fabric & epoxy to play around with - but have not gotten too far on the project yet.

Good Luck
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2007, 09:44 PM
TheEngineerGuy TheEngineerGuy is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

Hey all. I'm new to this forum but I've got some experience in composites. So here's my 2 cents worth.

There's a very extensive test method for motorcycle helmets, so it's probably safer to take an exisiting brain bucket and add to the outside. If you don't cut into the original helmet, you're likely to not be affecting its functionability.

There's 2 kinds of polyester resin and there's 2 kinds of Bondo. There's cheap, and there's good. If you want the good stuff (read that as "the kind that lasts") you'll want to use something along the lines of Ad-Tech's Filler 17 and thin it with the reducer resin.

Carbon fiber is cool, and if you can lay your hands on a carbon-kevlar hybrid, it's even cooler!

If you'd like to learn more about composites without taking a post-doctoral course in engineering, feel free to download "Composites 101" at:

http://www.theengineerguy.com/s.nl/sc.9/.f

Happy Trails!
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2013, 11:28 AM
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vonfrese vonfrese is offline
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Re: Fiberglass Resin & Bondo Idea

I was just working on a monumental size sculpture made of bondo down in central Florida up until March 1, 2013 to get it ready for exhibition. The sculpture titled "Cowboy" had been conceived and fabricated by an internationally known sculptor and friend the late Don E. Seiler, a Miami Florida area artist who worked in either concrete or bondo applied directly over a welded steel armature. Don was a contemporary sculptor who was assistant to Ossip Zadkine in Paris and knew Picasso.

Anyway My job all last week in the tropics was to fill some holes and delete some rust appearing on this sculpture and then sand it and apply a chemical patina to lock out moisture. This sculpture was all bondo. The surface never had been painted or protected from the elements and was in excellent condition except for some rust appearing where the armature or rebar had too thin layer of bondo. Several of his large sculptures have been painted since 1975 and the paint failed but the bondo remained intact. The works resides in a humid Florida climate and has not been exposed to freezing temperatures very often. I'd like to show a photo of at least one of these sculptures here if I can figure out how to do this.

Von
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