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I am playing with a fiberglass project and the first strip I laid does not seem to want to set-up and harden. It's been 24 hours and it's still very tacky. I thought I used the correct number of drops of hardner; if anything I put in too many. Could that make it fail to harden? It's not real cold here, which I know can cause problems, but I put a heat lamp on it just in case. Any ideas if it still fails to harden. Is there something I can put on it to harden it or will I be stuck scraping it all off and starting over?? Thanks.
 

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PWSchuh said:
I am playing with a fiberglass project and the first strip I laid does not seem to want to set-up and harden. It's been 24 hours and it's still very tacky. I thought I used the correct number of drops of hardner; if anything I put in too many. Could that make it fail to harden? It's not real cold here, which I know can cause problems, but I put a heat lamp on it just in case. Any ideas if it still fails to harden. Is there something I can put on it to harden it or will I be stuck scraping it all off and starting over?? Thanks.
If the heat lamp doesn't help, yes, you will have to start over and if this project of yours needs any structural integrity, you probably want to start over anyway. You should also have all your layups ready to go from the start, proceeding from the first all the way to the end before the whole thing sets up. It saves a lot of time and extra work to do it this way.
Also make absolutely sure that you follow the directions for mixing the resin exactly. Not enough hardener and it will not set up correctly, too much and the strength of the resin may be compromised, besides the fact that your work time is considerably reduced.
Good luck and I hope this gives you some help with your problem.
-Charlie-
 

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B_Body,

Thanks for the advice. By "having all my layups ready to go," do you mean have all of the glass cloth pieces cut and then put them all on at once? I was just assuming that I should put one layer on, let it dry, then the next layer, let it dry, etc. So I should just build up all the layers wet and let the whole thing dry at once?
 

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PWSchuh said:
B_Body,

Thanks for the advice. By "having all my layups ready to go," do you mean have all of the glass cloth pieces cut and then put them all on at once? I was just assuming that I should put one layer on, let it dry, then the next layer, let it dry, etc. So I should just build up all the layers wet and let the whole thing dry at once?
Yep. You want to do all your layups at once. This way you only have to mix your resin once, saturate all your cloth and then proceed. First layer, make sure to squeegee out any air bubbles. Second layer, once again make sure to squeegee out air bubbles. Continue this way to the final layer. This will make the strongest part with the least amount of hassle. If you do one layer then let it dry you WILL have to rough up the surface to give the next layer grip. Let me tell you, you want to keep the sanding of fiberglass to a minimum, it is extremely itchy! Be sure to wear a long sleeved shirt and a very good dust mask, preferably a respirator with replaceable cartridges, when sanding 'glass. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Still, not knowing what you are trying to make, this is real basic advice. Depending on how strong this project is you may also have to bias some of the layers to achieve the most strength with the least amount of material used. I don't know how much you've researched this, but I would advise taking some time, before going any further, and head on down to the local library and read every book you can get your hands on about this subject. Once you have gone that far then by all means dive in.
Oh, just to let you know, my experience comes from being part of a composite layup crew, that built CART race cars, for a local manufacturer.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.
Charlie
 
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