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Pillar Build Materials

7636 Views 122 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  BobTheBirdTurd
Ok, so those that follow my build log know I have to replace the pillars I had built. I have never done any fiberglass work, so I don't really know what to buy and how much. I've watched a ton of videos and read some old forum posts and came up with this this. The plan is to also build a custom sub enclosures eventually, so their may be some things in here that are not necessary for a pillar build. I'm going to buy from Amazon since I don't have to pay shipping and I can get it in a day or 2.

So, here is my list. If there is a better product or if what I have selected isn't necessary, please speak up. If I need more of something than what I have listed, please tell me. I would rather have to much than not enough. I'm also going to buy the materials for the sub enclosure except the resin as it has a shelf life.

* means I bought it and used it.
** means I bought/was given and found it indispensable, I would not build without it.

**Dremel MM50 Multi-Max with 60 and 80 grit sanding paper (This thing saved so much time knocking down all the high spots and contouring my pillars) (There are other brands, I just happen to already have one)

*3ea Painter's Tape 2"

**Aluminum Foil Tape (Not sure exactly what brand I used as I already had it, but this stuff works great for shaping and keeping surfaces clean)

*MEK bottle

*32oz Mixing cups (12ea)

*2" Chip Brushes (36 pack)

1708 Biaxial Mat (Sub Box Material)

*1Gal Polyester Resin + MEKP Hardner

*True Composites 1.5oz Chopped Mat 50"x15' (5yrds) Will 2 of these be enough for pillars and sub enclosure?

**Evercoat Rage Gold 128Fl Oz for finishing filler Please tell me if 128floz is too much, this crap is expensive.

**Duraglas 128FL Oz for bulk filler

*Clean Sheets 12x12 mixing pad (I was using something else and decided to get this, I don't know why I waited as it was super easy to mix the next batch)

Evercoat Keg Blue Hardener

Rexco Partall Paste #2 Mold Release 12oz (Sub Box Material)

*5" Sanding disks (60 through 320grit)

**Eagle MAXCUT Kovax sanding disks. (Was sent a couple of these by another member, and they are very very good, went through about 10 of the Golds for every one of these)

**Sunmight Ceramic Film (Another item that was sent by a fellow member, and this stuff is very good also)

*7 Mil Nitrile Gloves Large (These kept tearing)

*Bondo Spreaders

**Plastic Cards (better than the Bondo Spreaders, especially on curved surfaces)

*Grill Cloth (for shaping pillars)

**CA Glue (I already have this on hand, but adding to the list)

*Precision Bottle for CA Glue application (Once I started working, I found that I wanted more precision with the glue application)

*Wooden Dowel rods

*Sanding Mouse Mini Detail Sander

*5 inch Sanding Mouse

**Dura-Block Round Sanding Block (This was great in combination with the Sunmight Ceramic for shaping curved surfaces. Mine was cut in half to fix the Sunmight perfectly)

*Dura-block Sanding Block 5.6"x2.6" (Also used with the Sunmight Ceramic Film)

**Jumbo 6 Inch Wooden Multi-Purpose Popsicle Sticks (Multipurpose, but mostly use for mixing resin)

200 Pcs Natural Wooden Food Grade Craft Sticks

*1/4 inch Chopped Fiberglass Strands (Used with Cabosil to make a paste)

*Cabosil - Fumed Silica Thickener (Mix with Resin and chopped glass to make a paste that can be used for build up or milkshake alternative. The paste will add strength when mixed with chopped glass)

Wrapping Materials

*Mellotone Premium Black Speaker Grill Cloth

*3M Hi-Strength 90

Carbon Fiber Material List

Adding this section based on work and instructions from @OCD66 You can find his sub enclosure build here. Spare Subwoofer If you want to join his discussion on "Composites", it can be found here. COMPOSITES

Epoxy Resin "Below 600" Will try and update with a specific resin to use but looks like the 635 should work

Carbon Fiber Twill Mat 2x2 3K

Carbon Fiber Twill Mat 2x2 6K (Holds it's shape a little better. Plus, twice the weight.)

Carbon Fiber Fabrics (US Composits)

36in x 48in! EXTRA LARGE Self-Healing CUTTING MAT

OLFA 9mm Stainless-Steel Utility Knife

OLFA 9282 AB-50S 9mm Stainless Steel Snap-Off Blade, 50-Pack

OLFA 60mm Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

Krylon K07020007 10.25-Ounce Easy Tack Repositionable Adhesive Spray

Anything I am missing? Thanks in advance.

Pillar build log can be found here:

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Thanks, I already have a 3M one from when I was grinding my concrete floor flat.

I did forget sand paper though. Any particular grit that's best. I have a Dewalt Orbital sander that uses 5" disks. I'll update my list.
A ton of tight-fitting latex or nitrile gloves. Also, you do not need fiberglass cloth. Get 1708 Biaxial Mat from US Composites instead for the large flat areas.

Thanks, list updated.
Be sure to get new cartridges that work for organic vapor as well as particulate. Also if you can source a variety of cubitron II or trizact disks they tend to cut much better on composite materials and suffer less gumming than non-engineered particulate abrasives.
Thanks, I'll see what I can find that fits my sander and multi-tool.
or just get bondo spreaders from amazon :)
Any particular ones? Are the 3M worth the premium over the Bondo brand? I don't mind paying more if it makes my life easier.
I have nothing useful except I'm curious and like to know all of this as well 😃 so I'll just follow along like a lost puppy.
That's why I did this post the way I did. I did a lot of searching and couldn't really find what I was looking for. I found one older post where Nick made some recommendations, but nothing with a complete list.
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Added grill cloth, it was in a different Amazon list.
Added hardener for the Rage Gold
Whats the total cost on this so far? I Had no idea Rage by itself was $100+
I just ordered the stuff for the pillars and it was $361.
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View attachment 362163 Highly recommend this sander
I like tools, but I would need a Dewalt version.
Do you have access to air? I recommend this as well:
2" & 3" Random Orbital Air Sander
Yes, I actually thought about hitting up Harbor Freight and getting one of those. However, I prefer either cordless or electric, hate lugging around an air hose and I'm not sure my pancake air compressor would keep up. I rarely use my big compressor any more.
What about popsicle sticks. I've seen ppl use that too.
I've seen that to. I'm fairly certain my local Hobby Lobby or Michael's is going to get a visit or 2.
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And people ask why fiberglass fabrication is so expensive
It's definitely more expensive than I was expecting. The little things add up quick.
Open trash can empty
no lid

think about clean up before you get started
probably why you’re getting the multi packs of the brushes and mixing containers.
nice job!
when your work area is cluttered everything goes smoother
My bench is an absolute disaster, but I wouldn't do this on my bench anyway. I create a workplace when necessary for things like this. I hate cleaning paint brushes and crap like this, I'd rather use it once and chunk it. Plus I figured it wouldn't be able to be cleaned anyway.
Then make a step by step process build log. 😉 just kidding.... maybe...😃
I plan to document the entire process, I like constructive feedback. I hope to get started this weekend, every time I get into my vehicle and see the pillars I had built, I get pissed off. I don't think I will have too many issues with the actual build, I'll probably run into issues wrapping them. Carpeting and wrapping things has never been a strong suit of mine.
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Please go with good epoxy, polyester is crap.
Please enlighten us on why I should use epoxy over polyester. I've heard it's too soft. CORRECTION!

"You don't want to use epoxy resin for this. Yes its stronger, but it's also more flexible and loosens up in heat. " SkiZer
Polyester won't stick to any plastic, it will easly crack and pop out->speaking for pilars. Also its easy to buy **** polyester where cheapest epoxy will be better. Shelf life of epoxy is much longer than polyesters. I use epoxy from marine program (pro stuff). Depends what you buy surface of epoxy can be kind of "soft" but who cares it will be sanded and coated with filler or primer...

EDIT: For sub box polyester would be ok
Thanks for adding to the discussion.
Legit question, why does everyone use Polyester resin for pillars and enclosures if Epoxy is that much better?
Bob I just went through the last few pages of your build log cuz I wasn’t up to speed about what was going on. And that sucks.
had you considered a second set?
when I get into stuff like this I try to consider what things could max out at as far as cost
i just did one search and found explorer trim parts 75-150$ per side I’m guessing.
this would be for a sort of “clean slate” approach versus salvaging the existing pair View attachment 362187
I had originally purchased a second set for them to use and not jack up the factory ones. I'm going to use the factory ones and order a new set to store eventually. I paid like $160 for the set last time which isn't too bad. Cost wise, this build seems to be never ending as I haven't event bought the materials for my sub enclosure and the Zero 3 if necessary. I basically threw away $1300 with the other pillars.
Nobody mentioned Aluminium tape - TESA - to me it is essential "tool"
Acettone for cleaning hands, brushes, when working with Fiberglass or epoxy
polyester resin is of good enough quality wise material for car audio use, epoxy has its pluses, but also downsides,....with epoxy you will need a bit less resin than if working with polyester, mainly because fiberglass or carbon will be faster wet out with less quantity of resin. Epoxy will not stick much better to ABS as polyester resine does, in any case you will need to drill a bounch of holes to make laminations in a style of sandwich.
If you need some guidance on "How-to" look for my buildlogs for pillars - a lot of pics of the process with some useful comments...a few examples:

(1) SKODA SUPERB - A-PILLARS for HAT L3SE + JBL C660 GTI tweeter by LBaudio | Car Stereo Forum
(1) MERCEDES C AMG FOCAL MW 3.5 PILLAR BUILD by LBaudio | Car Stereo Forum
(1) Alfa Romeo GT - SQ build - HELIX/HAT/JBL GTI/BRAX/CROWN by LBaudio | Car Stereo Forum
I've been looking through the pillar thread and you do amazing work. You are a true artist. I'm going to add a section for recommended materials. I assume TESA would be on hand if you are doing an install. However, I am curious about what you use aluminum tape for? I have some already that I used to seal the MLV, but what else would you use it for?

I'll add a few things I like to use. A dremel with a roto zip bit and a few scrap pieces of of different diameter rubber hose.
When bonding to the face of the pillar you want to avoid cracking or separating and it can get bulky. I trace where I want my build out to land on the pillar and cut slots with the dremel. Basically a dotted line with even spacing. Scuff both sides of the pillar very well and clean with Naphtha. Stretch cloth over shape and pull through slots and glue on the rear side. Wet out cloth on both sides, I also prefer epoxy resin. Make sure you like the shape, scuff, naphtha and lay glass on both sides. If you laid out your shape well there shouldn't be much filler needed. Since there are usually curves I like to wrap sandpaper around hose to keep even pressure and avoid creating low spots. 320 grit should be fine for primer or texture. I would sand by hand, they are small parts with complex curves with only about an 1/8" of filler to smooth out.
I'll pick up a roto zip bit for my Dremel, I can see where it would be useful and I like your idea of using slots and pulling the cloth through.

I stopped using poly resins too. Very low odor but still wear a mask. I got tired of my family complaining about that back draft of polyester resin smell getting in the house. I also suffered from sinus issues when using poly.

Epoxy wets out soo much better! It gives way more workability time and seems to stick to everything. Basically since starting to use epoxy, I just have a much better product.

-Epoxy requires woven glass, carbon fiber or this specialty chopped matt.
-Expense***this one is sort of true. While yes, epoxy is more expensive, I found that I use less of it. This goes for poly too. Basically if you use the good resins( fresh and more $$$ usually), they wet out better, give longer working window and end up wasting much less. Remember, glass work should not be shiney when cured. The glass should be saturated JUST ENOUGH that you get a dull finish when cured. Not to little not too much.
So what I am learning is, those that do fiberglass work a lot prefer Epoxy and those that are just hobbyist use Polyester. Every video that I have found on pillars uses Polyester, I would imagine if there were more videos using Epoxy, it would be more common for this type of work. With that said, is there a particular type/brand of Epoxy and fiberglass mat that is recommended. I know US Composites seems to be highly regarded. I will adjust the build list to include options for both Polyester and Epoxy resin.
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