Building a plug??

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by Delmer, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Delmer

    Delmer I Love microskiff.com!

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    I just bought my first microskiff and am planning some changes. The first is I want to remove both bench seats and build a small center console with a grab rail and a storage area / seat on the front. I am new to the world of fiberglass work but have woodworking experience. Once I build what I want out of wood how do I make it so that I can pull a console from it? Pictures will come soon of the boat and during the rebuild.
     
  2. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Most important part...mold/plug has to be tapered
    wide at the bottom, narrow at the top, otherwise
    the fiberglass layup won't come off...

                       seen that happen a couple times... :D

    How fancy are you going to make the console?
    Gloss finish or workboat finish?

    http://www.fgci.com/howto/ht003fiberglass_mold.html
     

  3. Delmer

    Delmer I Love microskiff.com!

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    I really like the gloss finish but like I said no fiberglass experience. So which ever is easier. I still need to do some research maybe read a book or 2 and seek out some videos. I am thinking something simple like the one Mel uses on his Native skiffs only a little taller.
     
  4. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    I built a console mold for a 17 whaler using half inch plywood,
    pine 1x2's and formica. Came out pretty smooth.
    The formica was glued inside the plywood shape
    so the fiberglass layup matched the finish of the formica.
     
  5. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Just make it out of wood and glass it, it will be easier and once painted you won't know that it was hand built out of ply.
     
  6. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Mahogany veneer plywood and spar varnish....purrrrty... ;)
     
  7. jasonrl23

    jasonrl23 Plays with Glass...

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    PVC board is a cheap waterproof option

    http://www.bertram31.com/proj/tips/pvc.htm
     
  8. twitch

    twitch Well-Known Member

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    For a one off mold, the best thing I have found to use is melamine covered MDF. The same stuff cheap cabinets are made with, Home Depot usually keeps it in stock. Don't forget to radius the corners inside the mold, for a small radius modeling clay works pretty good. You will also need mold release wax or PVA in order to get the piece out of the mold.
    Classic Mako and Classic Sea Craft sites both have pretty good builds that show mold making for one off parts, and if you have time it might be worth a look......
     
  9. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

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    A great way to have the piece to release from the mold is plastic. I use the slightly stretchable stuff that you put on the floor when you are moving to protect the carpet. It has a light glueing on the back to hold it in place and you can stretch it to make a real smooth surface. The stuff comes on a roll from the box stores for about $12. Also use the plastic packaging tape to secure any of the edges that may need attention.
     
  10. jasonrl23

    jasonrl23 Plays with Glass...

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    This is how we did a lot of our plugs at the prototyping shop I worked at.

    However, melamine is CRAPPY for anything under vacuum.  I ruined a 3'x3' epoxy divinycell layup by pulling air through the MDF.  Lesson learned I guess.