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Hey guys, first off I gotta say I just joined DIYMA and I'm lovin' it already! So much information and ideas for my coming projects! Hope I can help some others with what I know about some stuff too... :idea3:

Anyways, this is my first fiberglass box. Actually my second real box I've ever made... The first was a box for my girlfriends truck which you'll see a pic of later. Just kind of a background of what I do and what I know... I've worked on cars for the past 5+ years with my dad in our own personal body shop, mainly doing body and repair work. My dad has 30+ years of experience and has been teaching me how everything is done, especially lately. We have a full paint mixing set up and a large paint booth, so doing a professional paint job on things is cheap and easy (at least kinda cheap :p!). Like I said, this was my first box, so there were definitely some learning curves along the way! I would have done some things differently after it was all said and done, but that's why you learn from mistakes. Just note, pics were taken with my phone, 5 MP, so not the best but not bad either.

*BTW, it took quite a while to figure out the best way to load the pics on here. I ended up making an album on here and adding the url in here. Is there an easy way everyone does this?? Please help!

So starting off, I wanted to make a single 10 inch enclosure that would fit my 10W6v2. I didn't need a box for it, but thought I might as well make something that would fit what I have! And I didn't have to spend a lot on materials. I kinda just did this for fun too. I saw a lot of build logs on different sites and thought I could use the challenge.

So first off, I cut out the main structure on 3/4 inch MDF. They were glued and screwed.






The back had a notch cut out to staple the fleece down, something I would do differently next time.




Next, I cut out the mounting ring for the 10 inch sub and the brackets used to hold it up. Everything was secured with hot glue and then removed later.







 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Next, fleece was stretched over the ring and spray glued (3M glue) to the sides of the box. Took a little time, but i got it stretched out to where there were no wrinkles in the fleece.

First pic look tight enough?? Haha bad joke...









This is where I would have done a few things differently. I talked with a local shop and they gave me some tips, after I already made it... First, if you glue the fleece to the side and fiberglass it, finishing the box and making it smooth is very difficult and there will be a ridge on the sides. Second, the lip on the back side worked a little better, but you sill get the ridge. After gluing the fleece down, I was told that if you staple the it to the front side of the box, it won't create any ridge, and you can fill in the gap to the sides with the fiberglass and some body putty later. Good to know for next time, I'll see how it works out. Here's the pics.





Next, I soaked the fleece with resin and let it dry to give me a good solid base to work on. Probly could have used more resin but it turned out ok.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This stuff is nasty BTW so be sure to do it outside, use some latex gloves, and preferably a respirator.
Next I started laying down the fiberglass. I should have laid all of the layers at the same setting probably, but didn't know I could do this at the time. So I took the long route and laid one layer at a time until 4-5 layers were there. I did this over about a week since I don't live by our shop. Just a layer here and there when I could. I know there were a few bubbles, especially on the back side, but it was plenty strong enough for supporting the 1 sub. I think I might try using a roller next time. For this box, I did the dabbing method with the paint brush for getting the air bubbles out. Also, definitely pre-cut your fiberglass before laying it (or just pull it apart like I did, gives a nice tapered edge instead of a harsh lined edge). I couldn't imagine trying to pull it apart with resin on my hands! Pics...

3-4 inch squares worked out pretty well for the size of the fiberglass. Larger pieces for larger areas...



Here's the progressive layers:













 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After all the layers were added, I used a grinder and a dremel to clean up the edges and to cut out the mounting hole.





After that, I started the finishing process. This is where you cover up all the imperfections of fiberglass. I started off by sanding off a lot of the high spots and gave it just an over sanding with 80 grit paper on a DA sander.



Next, I covered the whole box with lightweight body putty. Just an fyi, for all you DIY's out there, I've heard the Bondo brand you find at Home Depot and Lowe's isn't very good quality and is probably more expensive than it needs to be. We obviously use body putty, being in an auto body shop, and you can get it from most stores that specialize in car repair products. I'm not sure where we got ours, but it's only about $20-$30 a gallon, and I only used maybe 1/12th of the gallon. Doesn't take too much if you know how to spread it smooth. Anyways, this step takes a while to get the desired look you want, which is no dips or raises in the surface of the box. After covering the box, I started out with 80 grit sand paper again on the DA. A DA sander can be used for pretty much everything except for the corners and edges when you get close to the final sand job with 220 or smoother paper. This should be done by hand and with a sanding block.
At first, I was going to either carpet or vinyl the sides and back while painting the front fiberglassed portion. I later decided to just paint the whole thing, so I used the putty to fill in and smooth out the edge on the sides. Pics...









I don't have too many pics of the putty and sanding process, but just apply where needed and sand until smooth with the rest of the surrounding area.

After applying the putty, sanding it all down with 80 grit paper, and getting the desired look with no dips, raises, holes, ect, its time to go over the whole box and sides with about 220 grit paper to get it ready for priming. This is where you get the super smooth look that you want!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After doing so, the box was primed with automotive primer. Had some other things to paint for my girlfriends truck, so everything was done at once to save materials. This is what it looks like after being primed, as well as a Chevy emblem ;)



Now for some painting lessons...
After being primed the first time, it needs to be sanded to smooth out any small imperfections on the surface, such as minor dips/raises. To know where they are as you are sanding, you should first mix a small amount of black paint with some lacquer thinner, mix, and rub it on the surface with a paper towel. This tints the box black until you sand the top layer away, taking the "tinted" paint with it. This will let you know where any dips are because they will stay tinted black until you have sanded the high spots around them down. This makes everything nice and smooth. Also note, this cannot be done by hand except for maybe the edges and corners, but even they can be blocked out. This should all be done with either a DA sander or using a sanding block with about 220 grit paper. In most cases, you'll need to do more than one coat of primer, which was needed in my case. So the box was primed once more. The surface should be pretty smooth at this point after applying the second coat of primer because of the previous sanding. The box will need to be sanded one more time to be prepped to paint. Using the stain again, cover the entire box. I only covered the fiberglassed part and the sides because that is all that will be seen. Next, the box will need to be sanded with very fine paper (usually at least 400 grit) to get the surface very smooth for painting. I used a DA with 500 grit paper for most of the box and then used 600 grit paper with a flexible sanding block for the corners and edges. Usually you wet down whatever your sanding so the dust doesn't clog up the paper. Since the bottom was still just exposed MDF board, I decided against that. Although I did dip the 600 grit paper in water a few times while sanding to make it go a little longer. Just don't soak the box, MDF doesn't like water! Ok, so after sanding everything smooth and getting rid of all the "tint" on the surface, your ready to paint! We use a degreaser to clean the surface of everything before painting. Also, using a tac rag before painting and in between coats of paint (not coats of clear!!) cleans any dust off the surface.

So here's everything sanded and set up for painting



Painting: the quick lesson.
After it is mixed, reduces, and in the paint gun, I used 3 coats of the black paint on everything, letting them dry for about 5 minutes in between coats. May need more coats depending on what color you choose, as they may be more translucent than black. Next, mix and reduce your clear coat. You'll want to spray 2-3 coats of clear. This should be sprayed on fairly heavy, but you don't want to create runs in the clear! It just takes practice. I'd definitely practice before painting something you spent days making... Let dry, preferably over night before touching. If needed, you can sand out dust spots with 1200 grit or greater paper, polish, and glaze finish. Mine turned out very smooth so no sanding was needed.

This was actually my first time painting and clearing anything so I was pretty excited everything turned out great! The clear coat was super clean with barely any dust spots in it! So here is what the finished product looks like. I did the same things to my girlfriends box (not as extensively as mine), which goes in a 2009 Silverado regular cab truck behind the driver's seat. It hold's an older JL Audio W3 and a 240 watt Pioneer amp on the side.




So there's the finished product, in all it's glory! It was a fun project to work on and I learned quite a bit along the way. As far as volume, I haven't measured it yet, but I'd say close to 0.75 cu ft. Pretty proud of it, being my first fiberglass box, not to mention my first time painting! I'll get some pics p soon of my 10W6v2 in it to see what it looks like with a speaker in there.

Please give me and other readers any advise for what could have been done better and let me know what you think! Thanks for viewing, I know it was long, but hopefully worth it.

Kyle
 

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That looks damn good, well done. I would really like to learn to paint properly and get away from using spray paint. Make sure and post pics of the box installed.
 

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nice job..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys

That looks damn good, well done. I would really like to learn to paint properly and get away from using spray paint. Make sure and post pics of the box installed.
Yea painting with a paint gun and professional paints makes things really look nice. If I didn't have the equipment to use, I'd be using spray paints... It's expensive to get into also, I've been really fortunate that my dad has all of this and has taught me to use everything. Good luck with getting into it though! It's nice stuff!
 

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Thanks guys



Yea painting with a paint gun and professional paints makes things really look nice. If I didn't have the equipment to use, I'd be using spray paints... It's expensive to get into also, I've been really fortunate that my dad has all of this and has taught me to use everything. Good luck with getting into it though! It's nice stuff!
Great job on the box that is really good. Your paint came out great for your first go at it. Where in KC are you? I would love to see in person and talk about doing some projects. I am ameture sprayer. But I love to fabricate stuff.
 

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Great job on the box that is really good. Your paint came out great for your first go at it. Where in KC are you? I would love to see in person and talk about doing some projects. I am ameture sprayer. But I love to fabricate stuff.
x2:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great job on the box that is really good. Your paint came out great for your first go at it. Where in KC are you? I would love to see in person and talk about doing some projects. I am ameture sprayer. But I love to fabricate stuff.
Hey our shop is up in Smithville. You should definitely come up sometime if you want, as long as I can get away from work :D What kind of projects you looking at doing? I'm always looking to do some new stuff. It's hard to find the time though, damn my full time job!! Thanks for the compliment btw, it was definitely fun learning to paint.

Just took pics of my W6v2 in it, will post later!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey guys here's the updated pics with a sub actually in the box. I like it, too bad I don't need it for anything... :rolleyes:

A 10W6v2 in it








He's what it looks like in the back of my M coupe



Not a "custom" fit box but still looks nice. Hopefully I can do some more soon, and get to try out an actual custom fiberglass box in the side of a trunk or something like that. Anyone need a box around KC?? ;)
 

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dude seriously where in kc are you lol
 

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The craftmanship is amazing! Especially to be a first fiberglass enclosure. I believe this is going to make me take the plunge and try it...
 
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