Customer Spotlight: Beginner making a mold, fender and splitter.

I want to thank Steve at Venom Racing for sending in some photos and a write up of his experience as a first time fabricator of fiberglass parts.  He has been ordering from us since last year and I asked him for some photos of his work.  The write up below is two emails that he sent me.

Email #1

My rear fender flare project was a great learning experience since I started with no composite experience at all. I only did them to prove to myself that I could I do it but I won’t be using these or this design on the car.

I still have much to learn and maybe this winter I’ll take another crack at them. The second project was teaching myself how to do resin infusion because I needed to make a new front splitter. Again, great learning experience but still much to learn.

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This was taken just after de-molding and a rough trim, hence the unevenness and leftover infusion mesh in spots. Far from perfect and I probably should’ve practiced more with vacuum bagging before attempting to make something this large but I ran out of time and I needed to just get it done.

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Mounted to the new front clip of the car.

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Email #2

I will say that fender flare was my 3rd version of it.  My plug failed on my first attempt before I ever got to fiberglassing.  The second version went better but I didn’t like the shape after I took a mold from the plug.  This 3rd version was a last ditch effort that I did just before I had to pack up all my fiberglassing stuff to have access to the rest of the car for different projects that needed to get done.  Once I finished those other projects, the car went off to a fabricator for a while and I started on the front splitter.  The splitter I showed you below was my second attempt.  I started the splitter project knowing I was going to make 2 different versions just in case something happened and I made 4 small flat test panels just to get a feel for how the process worked.  The first version of the splitter was simpler in design for the air-ducts but unfortunately the infusion mesh shifted once the infusion started and the mesh pierced the bag all over the place.  I did the best I could to salvage it during the rest of the infusion process but it was a lost cause and an expensive mistake.  After learning my lesson on the first attempt, the second attempt went better but still not great.  I ended up with a spot on the lower bottom that didn’t get any resin and so I then learned how to make repairs to CF.  I ground out the bad spot and laid in a patch.  Since it was going to be on the bottom of the car having the look of a “patch” didn’t matter.

As a first timer on both of these projects I had to accept that I would make mistakes and that it wouldn’t be perfect.  Once I accepted that and came to grips with taking on such massive first time projects, it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.  When I started 8 months ago, I knew nothing about the different types of resins, types of cloths, weave patterns let alone gelcoats, release agents or how to make a plug.  Now I at least have a basic understanding of them and the confidence to make my own small fiberglass or CF repairs.  And when I get the time, I’ll have another go at these larger projects.

Great job Steve!

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