Introduction: DIY Custom "One Off" Fiberglass

Picture of DIY Custom "One Off" Fiberglass

A while ago I had came across a couple of foam cutters on here that got me thinking I'd like to do something with the back deck of my 1990 Miata. Anyone that has owned a Miata knows they are lacking in any real space for a good sound system.  I had one of those typical ugly square gray carpet boxes laying on the back deck that I was never happy with. I always like the "back deck look of the Pontiac Solstice, that fiberglass wind screen look really has caught my attention, I had to try it!


Step 1: Instructables Original Techniques


First off (before I list any materials) let me give credit to instructables members for your creativity and imagination to help me create this one off design. The many different techniques I used to create these came mostly from this site and it's members, Foam cutters, tool tips, fiber glassing, etc. You guys and girls are a cut above the rest, Thanks.

Materials used:
1 4 x 8 sheet of plywood
1 tube silicone sealant caulking
4 fiber glass packages from walmart
1 gallon fiberglass resin from Lowes with activator
1 can Krylon primer
2 cans Krylon gloss White
1 can Krylon gloss blue
Air Brush with createx paints
1 can Krylon Acrylic Clear coat
Numerous amounts of sand paper of varying grits
1 tube of bondo spot putty
1 quart of Bondo body filler
Colored felt and and T shirts
piece of Acrylic (plexi-glass)
1 jar vaseline
hot glue gun and glue sticks
1 can 777 3m spray adhevsive

Additional parts and tools to finish project:
Dremel with cutting kit and engraving bits
Circular saw
Super bright led's
various pcb parts
resistors
soldering iron
solder
heat shrink
heat gun (or lighter)
Speaker wire
Speakers

Protective Equipment used:
Long sleeved shirt
Respirator
Gloves
Face sheild

Now to the credits:
As I stated there were a few things you'll need to build based on some really great instructables:

Foam Cutters:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Adjustable-Hotwire-Foam-Cutter-with-Fence/
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-simple-foam-cutter-from-scrap/

Speaker rings and fiberglass layup:
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Fiberglass-Subwoofer-Box/

LED Circuitry and board design
https://www.instructables.com/id/ThrobbingFading-LED-with-555-Timer/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Sponge-Ferric-Chloride-Method-Etch-Circuit-Bo/


Step 2: The Cutting and Layup

Picture of The Cutting and Layup

This project was a huge undertaking and while the main portion is done and is currently being used I have more plans for the finished product.

For now though:

First is to do all your measurements and do a rough drawing of what you want it to look like include all your sizes positions (this will give you a design to work from so you don't get side tracked)

1. Then transfer those designs  to your plywood and cut them out using your saws, routers, and dremels.
2. Screw the skeleton together and do a test fit to your car
3. Next get some styrofoam and spay glue and glue several sheets together the height of your project skeleton
4. using the edges of your skeleton lay your foam cutter against it and rough cut your design
5. Sand! Sand! Sand! the foam til you get it fairly smooth
6. Use masking tape to cover the foam shape and edges of your skeleton box
6. Hot glue your speaker rings in place
7. Hot glue t-shirt fabric over your rings

The pics show two different style boxes to depict the cut out and fiberglass layup process. Because of the huge time constraint and multiple chemicals I used I was afraid I might damage my phone trying to get pics, So I got what I could and I trust you can get the understanding of the whole process involved

Step 3: Fiberglass and Paint

Picture of Fiberglass and Paint


Vaseline over everything that the fiberglass will touch, and rather than go  through the whole fiber glassing process that is well covered by the many other instructables, I'll just simply say start laying down your fiberglass,

Once you have multiple layers of fiberglass dried Sand like crazy till it's almost smooth then finish with bondo and spot putty
,
1.Unscrew the bottom of your skeleton and start digging out the Styrofoam
2. Once you have removed all of the Styrofoam measure and cut pieces of plywood to place inside the shell for the inner wall compartments and hot glue them in place
3. screw the bottom plate back in
4. Through the speaker holes lay down more fiberglass inside to seal the wall
5. Silicone caulk any holes missed by the glass
6. Prime the whole box outside
7. Base coat the whole box

At this point you'll want to airbrush or paint your graphics or rice paper designs to the box

8. Clear coat the whole box outside

Just a tip but if you decide to felt cover your box you can usually skip the Bondo and paint step and just spay glue or contact cement felt or fabric to your project as a finishing cover

Step 4: Screw in and Wire Up Your Speakers

Picture of Screw in and Wire Up Your Speakers

Now is the time to wire up and screw in your drivers!

Some people like to use nothing in there boxes but I like to use batting in mine to trick the driver to sound better

Place your boxes in the car and amp them out.

Step 5: Time to Gawk at the The Finished Product!

Picture of Time to Gawk at the The Finished Product!
The song was just on the radio I'm not even sure who it was?


 

Step 6: As With Any True Artist...

Picture of As With Any True Artist...


As with any true artist your never happy with your production and you can always find ways to make it better!

I've been working on some 555 timer pulsing LED lit plexi shields to jazz up and protect the curves a little but I guess that's a future project to complete! But I thought I'd throw it in this one to get some return visits.

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Bio: Called a renaissance man more times than I can count, I am the type of person who believes you can do anything you put your ... More »
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