I am completely new to Caraudio minus the deck replacement here or there but this is my first jump into the mobile audio SQ pool, but not new to the interweb, and I have to say that is by far one of the most detailed, easy to follow tutorials on something I figured would be a hell spawned sucubus to try and tackle... I was thinking about having a shop Build my box for me (I know I am on a DIY forum) because I had a table saw accident and left me partially thumbless on my good hand (of course it had to be my good hand)...But due to your time and great pictures, I think I am gonna try this myself...you might have saved me hundreds of dollars but just cost me hundreds of man hours...Damn you and thanks...LOL...
Last edited by sandman661; 08-14-2008 at 05:45 AM..
Excellent write up!!! I'm another newb to the whole Caraudio thing, but I've been reading up and learning. Didn't want to kill my trunk space either with a big box, so after seeing someone else's DIY I decided to look into doing a fiberglass enclosure. I looked at several DIY's and other tidbits on fiberglassing, and then I happened upon your DIY.
It totally took the guesswork out of what I'd seen before. I've been modifying cars and guitars for years, and I honestly wish that more people spent the time you did to make an excellent step-by-step, well-documented and commented DIY.
Excellent work!!! I've got two cars I need to make enclosures for, and I'm really looking forward to getting started.
Great writeup for beginners. One thing that should be added for a step which would make the both integrate more with the trunk is before you wrap it in carpet.
1.) Place the box in the trunk and align with how it will sit
2.) tape off all the edges where the carpet meets the box
3.) Take some Evercoat Everglass and with a glove/putty knife stare spreading it so it creates a seal to the carpet.
4.) let dry
5.) After sand down the edges so the integrate with the rest of the box and patch up any holes
6.) Carpet the box, and now you won't even notice the seam between the box and the carpet.
Dave, with regards to going active with your CDTs...
I have CDT ES-620s and the 560x-over, but I can go active with my amp's active x-over and have 75 to each driver up front. I have been discouraged by a few folks, including the folks over at CDT when I emailed them, saying that I need to be some kind of expert with serious RTF and other equipment to dial in the active setup.
How did you do it Dave? Can you figure it out with a good ear?
Thanks for the info.
Last edited by lowellbarrett; 07-28-2009 at 11:28 PM..
Going active with your CDT's (or any other set of speakers) does not require any experts or RTA tuning. It does require the ability to listen and make judgments on the sound. When I was tuning my CDT's (seems like eons ago at this point) I started with the crossover point that the passives were set at (happened to be 5k I'm pretty sure) I moved it up and down for the tweeter, and then up and down for the woofer until I hit the point where I thought it sounded best I think I may have had them a little bit underlapped to tame the harshness down low on the tweets. Then I used a little bit of parametric EQ to smooth the sound out to my ear and called it a day. Overall results sounded LIGHT YEARS better than the passives. For the reccord, most Speaker manufacturers that tout their special, incredible, magic, spectacular passive crossovers are probably going to deter you from ditching them Also, there is a metric buttload of information on this site about setting up and tuning active systems.
What a great tutorial for the fiberglass beginners out there! From years of searching for legit info on fiberglassing I have to say this is one of the best write-ups out there. That being said, I'd like to add a few things to attempt to spread some more knowledge on the subject.
I did years of fiberglassing while working in 12v, mostly more extreme fabrications and I thought I was pretty good at it, then I spent 2yrs working for a new OEM boat manufactuer and learned that most of what I thought I knew about fiberglass was wrong, well not entirely wrong but misguided would be a better way to put it. I'm only adding to this thread because I'd like to see the mystery and myth dispursed all over the 'net come to a halt and this tutorial is a fantastic start compared to everything else I've run across. Ok, on to the good stuff:
1. A few more things to add to the supply list:
A metal roller - critical for a good lay-up of ANY type of fiberglass mat
These rollers can be ordered from US Composites, smaller ones are much easier to work with, it will have a plastic handle and the actual roller is about 1/2" thick, about 3" in length. The roller itself is metal and ribbed with deep grooves in it, handle is shaped like a mini house paint roller.
2. A scale for mixing the MEKP with the resin. Catalyst is added to resin according to the weight of the resin, not the volume. In this tutorial US Composites provided the proper ratios to mix this particular resin, I'd still use a scale to be sure. When ordering the resin, ask for a catalyst measuring chart. This is also very important, particularly for longevity of your project. Why? As mentioned, resin is very brittle in it's own nature by itself, too much hardener (MEKP) and you'll have problems either now or a year from now. A hot (too much MEKP) mix will actually give a weaker end result, tend to warp while drying (creates hot-spots on the project which shrink and pull because of the heat generated), be prone to cracking months down the road (which really sucks if you've painted your project, looks great and it cracks from the inside out a year later - been there), shorten your work time for the lay-up, make it more difficult to get to fiberglass fully wetted out.
A chart will give you different percentage mix ratios, generally 2% is what you will use for most conditions - if it's summertime and real hot it's not a bad idea to drop to 1 1/2%. Ambient temperature plays a pretty good role in the initial curing time of the resin. This may all sound confusing but when you look at the chart it becomes plain as day to understand how much MEKP to how much resin. Example; 2lbs of resin mixed at 2% uses 7-8cc of MEKP, 1 1/2% would be 6-7cc of MEKP.
Use the scale (any scale will work that reads pounds and ounces, even a postage scale) to determine how much resin you've poured out to work with, then refer to your chart to add the MEKP. DON'T add a little extra for good measure, more is not better - avoid temptation! Mix the MEKP with the resin really well with a paint stick, again - mix it well.
Now that we've got those details out of the way, what do we use the roller for? When you are brushing the resin onto the mat, don't over do it with the brush. Use the brush to get the resin onto the mat, then it's roller magic time. Start rolling the resin out on the mat to wet it out and get it into the cloth. Just roll quickly back and forth all over it, the roller will actually spread the resin around a bit and get it distributed nice and evenly. It will push the mat down to your work surface and also removes any air bubbles which is vital for strength between your layers of mat. The roller is your best friend while laying mat! Using a roller will significantly reduce the amount of resin you use, roll just enough to where you can see through the mat and there is no white color visible. If you have air pockets or puckers, roll over them in different directions and they will go away. You can roll as fast as you want, add resin with your brush as necessary.
Side note - if it wasn't mentioned you should (read must) have rubber gloves on at this point - really anytime you're breaking out the resin from the point of pouring and mixing on. Handy trick - put on two pairs of gloves, one over the other, when you're in the middle of your layup and you've got sticky hands from the resin and the mat fibers are sticking to your hands (especially if your using chopped mat) - you just pull off the outer layer of glove, toss em' and keep on working.
Why is the roller so important? Resin distribution and more notably eliminating air bubbles, even the little tiny ones. Think about it, if there is an air bubble between one layer of mat and another you no longer have a layer at that spot - which means it's a weak spot and kind of defeats the point of layering the mat to begin with. A roller will eliminate trapped air between the layers and is good for getting the mat conformed the way you want it. After seeing and knowing the difference I'd never consider laying fiberglass without one. Plus it makes a huge difference in resin useage! Rule to resin, use only what you need to wet out the mat - any more is simply wasting resin and adding weight. Most people, including myself for years, use too much.
Used for clean-up, it's pretty much the only thing that will get resin off something, inculding you and your skin. Word to the wise - acetone is really nasty stuff, especially on your skin. You don't want to spill it!
Use one of your mixing containers to pour some acetone in, while doing your lay-up with the mat keep your roller in the acetone bucket when not using it (you don't need a lot in there, pour about 2" in the bucket) This will keep your roller nice and clean while working, don't worry about it having acetone on it and getting it on the resin, just shake it once or twice when you pull it out of the bucket - you're not going to contaminate the work with that little bit that's left on there. When you're done, drop the roller in the bucket and just let it soak while cleaning everything else up.
A few other notes:
Types of mat - the material used is indeed a bi-axial, you don't have to use that particular brand but he's dead on about the strength difference. There is also tri-axial available as well, great for mostly flat areas, hard to contour much around curves or bends. US Composites has a great selection, call them with questions.
In between layers, use a piece of 80-grit and scuff the surface of the resin between layers. Most resin manufactuers add a waxy surfacing agent into the resin that rises to the surface as it cures. You want to scuff this off the top between layers of mat, it hinders the chemical bond between layers of mat/resin. Just scratch it up good and that's it.
Chopped mat - it is noted to tear the edges, not cut with scissors. You want a frayed edge on all sides, this makes a huge difference in getting it to lay down right and not keep lifting up on the edges while trying to wet it out.
Sharpie marker - notice in the pics how the sharpie marker he used to mark the cuts in the biax mat were visible after it was wet out? A sharpie marker will bleed into resin, when taping your area off that's a great time to draw the shape on the tape where you plan on cutting for the edge/outline of your project. The line you draw on the tape will transfer to the glass' giving you a good cut-line to go by when trimming. Helps to eliminate a lot of guess work when you pull the backside mold out of the vehicle and go to trim it.
Stretching material - you can use just about anything that's nice and stretchy, thinner material is often better. Fleece works but I only use that for really big projects, down side to fleece is that it soaks up a ton of resin and isn't really that strong compared to how much resin it soaks in and can create a pretty rough surface depending on what kind of fleece it is. The material gives you your shape, not strength - that's what the fiberglass is for. Stretchy velour works really well for a lot of smaller projects like kick panels, look for materials that stretch well and have a 'medium' bulk to them for bigger stuff. If you are using fleece, try to find some that has a fairly smooth side to it - which you will face outward. When pulling the fabric, CA glue works really well for holding it in place without staples but you have to use a good bit of it - worth doing though, cause' then you come back after it's glued down and trim with a razor right where you glued it for a no-fuss backside to the project. You squeeze the CA onto the fabric right where you would staple it, it soaks in very quickly, spray some accelerator and bingo...
I think I've covered the important stuff, at least what I've learned from being in the marine world for a bit - hope this will help, I sure wish I had known all this a long time ago! Again I'd like to give major kudos for the write-up, an awesome cover of the basics and really impressive first project! Way better than my first go-around from what I remember!
I can not freakin wait to get started on my own project. I have been wanting to do a fiberglass enclosure for a while. Thank god I stumbled onto this website and this forum. Keep up all the good work and thanks for all the advice for all us newbies!
Dan, I emailed you and just want to thank you so much for the AWESOME write-up! This was huge, and now I'm going to get on to designing my box! Thanks a ton, and way to make it easy!
Also, thanks a bunch to jgolomb for the extra tips, they will be very helpful... I just hope that roller isn't $20! jk
How well does the first parts of the mold work when you have to glass up into an area that is free fall. Like a roof corner or something that is not right side up or even 90* any hints and tips for that?
Also.. and this i have been trying to figure out. When you stretch mold fabric for a pillar install. how do you secure it on plastic? Do you glue it, or staple it. and how do you staple it and then still remove the staples in the resin?
very nice, not knowen it was mentioned but aluminum foil can be used, to ensure a clean pull away. i've seen it, idk the lagistics but i believe foil will be my method over the PAM, but it's all the same result i suppose.