Wood and fiberglass M416 lid (1 Viewer)

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Dec 29, 2006
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Six Mile SC
I have been wanting to build a lid (or have one built) for a while now. I kept running into setbacks such as not owning a welder and not knowing how to use a welder if i bought one, gathering the right supplys and having the patients to destroy some metal at my own expense. I really dont have very much extra time or money, so I set out to build my own lid. here it is;

I had a few requirements for my lid; I wanted it to be water resistent, secure and strong enough for a few adults to stand on.

I used building stock 2x3 for the frame, 4x8 3/16th plywood for the surface, I then covered the whole lid with fiberglass resin and fiberglass cloth. I painted it with two coats of exterior white house paint(already had it in the garage) then finished it with ultra flat tan to match the rest of the trailer. The total cost was just under $100.00 I still need to buy some lifting struts. I am pleased with the trailer.

The first pics show the start of the frame, I built the frame on the trailer to insure that it would fit.
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Joined
Dec 29, 2006
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more pics;

These show the cross braces I used decking screws to hold it together and angle braces on the corners., I scabbed two peices together for the center one to minimize waste
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more;

plywood going down, it took two seperate peices, the trailer was just a little too wide for one peice. I traced the outline of the plywood and frame then trimmed the plywood (a 40 year old army trailer is not really square) I used liquid nail, then wood screwed the plywood to the frame with wood screws.
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even more;

The fiberglass going down. First I covererd the entire top with fiberglass resin and let it dry. I then stapled the cloth to the underside then spread out the resin and pressed the cloth into the resin. Make sure that the fiberglass is completly smooth.
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Joined
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Finished. The hinges I bought from lowe's, they are heavy duty commercial grade from Stanley about $6.00ea. A couple of things I would have done differently is that I would have made certain that the fiberglass cloth was smooth as glass going down ,mine has bubbles so the surface is not completly smooth as you can see in the picture, it's not enough to make me want to re-do it, but if I had to do it again I would make sure it was more smooth.

The other thing I would do is to use larger peices of fiberglass cloth, this stuff is hard to work with, it is messy and sticky and you need to work quickly that is why I cut my peices into two foot squares but I think the finished product would look neater with larger peices.
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If you use the wood frame as a mold, cover it with shrink wrap (used to cover windows in the winter), build up multiple layers you can make an entire top that is solid fiberglass. The epoxy won't stick to the shrink wrap and you can then sand it and make it pretty when it cures.
 
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If you use the wood frame as a mold, cover it with shrink wrap (used to cover windows in the winter), build up multiple layers you can make an entire top that is solid fiberglass. The epoxy won't stick to the shrink wrap and you can then sand it and make it pretty when it cures.

yep, and if your REAL cheap, ( like me...:grinpimp:) packing tape and a bit of mold release wax work great too for temp molds.

I did the canvas version of this , just because I spent too much time around styrene when I was young and foolish,and I want to save my liver and kidneys for future alcohol abuse...:cheers:

But I do like the results of fbg, still have molds for making fj40 fenders....it's great stuff.

cheers,
ryan
 
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Mar 9, 2009
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Very cool. I would think using foam sheathing would lighten it up also and give you less to rot. Did you consider changing the top to a lid that hung over the edge to make it more water resistant on the inside?
 
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Mar 15, 2007
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Minneapolis, mn
Great looking lid, nice out of the box thinkin. The bubbles may be from not sanding the resin that you painted onto the bare wood first. If you sand the resin after the drying step the high spots will show themselves real quick then you can lay your glass without the worry of bubbles.

I used to build glass kevlar helmets for a cool company called Shred Ready. Back then they were all hand layups using chip brushes, pretty fun work, but getting glass smooth without a mold=sanding!

The price is right, now you can pull a mold off this and make more if you wanted too!!!
 

e9999

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interesting

one could also put a slight curve to the top sheet with thin spacers on the cross members, for water shedding.
 
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Jun 12, 2008
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I have been considering something similar but using pressure treated plywood and then spraying with Als bed liner, any thoughts?

Cheers Peter
 
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Just a tip for others looking to do something similar . . . look into boat building and kayak building to learn lots about this. Stitch and glue kayaks can offer lessons in bending plywood, glassing with epoxy and painting.

One issue you may run into is the instability of purchased 2 x 4 stock which, although stamped KD for "kiln-dried" is not in fact kiln dried to the same stable moisture content that furniture grade wood is. I would recommend using a quality hardwood plywood for the frame and ribs. Where thicker parts are desired you simply laminate multiple strips together for a perfectly straight and strong framework. Another bonus of laminating layers of plywood is that it won't split when screwed into the way 2 x 4 stock will. You can also laminate thinner strips together to make the top "hump" which helps preserve available space for storage inside. :)

I think glassing is the right way to go for long term durability though I do like the idea of the bedliner coating on top of the glass. I'm not sure what affect the pressure treatment might have on the adhesion of epoxy/glass or bedliner coatings.
 
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Thanks Woodsman, I have sent some requests for info to some of the bed liner companies, Lin-ex claims on their website to completely waterproof wooden structures with their product, so I hope to test this out.
my quick plan is to build a raised cover and side pods from pressure treated plywood and coat inside and out with bed liner. Im comfortable with wood working and like the flexibility wood gives me.
thoughts?

Cheers peter
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
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pressure treated wood and bed liner = lots of weight. you don't need pressure treated if it is covered with liner.
Foam board is a good way of going. you could use some pipe to frame it. Foam board to cover and fiberglass and paint to seal it and pretty it up.
 
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FT. Bragg NC
How about if you sand it down to where it’s smooth, then apply another layer. Some our Kevlar lined vehicles have multi layer of fiberglass. I have had my vehicle hit by IEDs and the fiber glass lined Kevlar held strong.
 

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