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Old 22 January 2014, 08:04   #1
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Many weeks ago I started a 'replace my gauges' thread with ICommand and installed a NMEA2k network, but due to cash flow and wanting to get out on the water as soon as possible ICommand isn't going to happen this season. I toyed with the idea of putting some plastic over the holes and bolting through to the inside like a sandwich, but I have been thinking more and I wont be installing any smaller gauges anymore as everything is shown on my HDS - so I need to fill these holes up. Has anyone got any how tos? An idiots guide to fiberglass and flowcoat? I have done a search on here and I can find stuff about filling drill holes but nothing about 2.5" holes, and if the process is simple I may fill all the holes then re-drill if I get gauges.



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Old 22 January 2014, 08:27   #2
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Steve the only thing I have herd off is to cover the whole of the consul face with either a complete piece of grp or the metal stuff that gives it a match look. Someone on here did that I can't remember
who. Maybe a search would come up with some answers.

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Old 22 January 2014, 08:35   #3
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I was hoping I could keep it looking original. I've seen the Macmillan rib where they have filled an old compass hole - and that's impressive you wouldn't know it was there.

I just need tips on how to complete such a professional looking finish.

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Old 22 January 2014, 09:48   #4
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Jambo is right I did the dash with a carbon panel, I also filled the MacRib hole, you will need to get into your console to fill the hole properly, if you can do that let me know and I'll explain, the matting is done from the inside so you'll need to get a fair way in
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Old 22 January 2014, 09:53   #5
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I can't physically get into it - but I can get my arms in and move around.

I really want a finish that you can't tell the holes where there, if this isn't possible I will have to re think and may end up getting the small gauges.

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Old 22 January 2014, 10:37   #6
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Hi Steve,

I am not the fibreglass expert but all my work I based on youtube You might find there a lot of tips. Check for example this one:
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Old 22 January 2014, 10:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHall View Post
I can't physically get into it - but I can get my arms in and move around.

I really want a finish that you can't tell the holes where there, if this isn't possible I will have to re think and may end up getting the small gauges.

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Steve, if you haven't done something similar before, don't do it. Even the mighty Biff had a console free of wiring that wasn't fixed to the boat and that he could manipulate to any position he wanted.

Buggering about in a tight space at arms length with restricted movement with flocoat is a recipe for a less than 'showroom' finish. By all means practice on a piece that's 'scrap' but not one that's going to annoy you for ever if you don't get it right.

Even Usain Bolt doesn't 'practice' in the final!
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Old 22 January 2014, 10:41   #8
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Hi Steve,

I am not the fibreglass expert but all my work I based on youtube You might find there a lot of tips. Check for example this one:
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Old 22 January 2014, 10:45   #9
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I suggest a rethink, you have to lay wet Matt on from the inside to cover the hole then consolidate it with a roller to get the air out, it's a two handed job and nearly impossible if you can't get both hands to it and see what you are doing, post a pic of the whole dash and I'll see if I can come up with a solution
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Old 22 January 2014, 10:47   #10
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The fiberglass is easy, the finish is difficult. For a beginner fiberglass is easy because you can just sand a lot to make up for the learning curve. Trying to keep a nice looking finish on the exterior is the hard part, well almost impossible. You might be able to refinish the whole front section where you do the repairs. Use the natural corners and edges as a break and it would be a little less noticeable.

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Old 22 January 2014, 11:57   #11
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Steve, like a lot of others on here I'm no fibreglass expert, if we were closer I'd recommend taking it to Biff for him to work his magic, and you may still decide that's the best option for you, but another more local option would be Mike at Whitham Glassfibre, he's near Ormskirk which I guess ain't that far from you, worth a call at least
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Old 22 January 2014, 12:14   #12
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This may not be the proper way but it worked for me


Chamfer the holes to expose the fibreglass, rub back the inside and apply a sheet of glass to the back of the holes, fill holes with layers of glass making sure all air is out and its taken to chamfered edgesthen sand back until flush, I used a skim of flowcoat to fill any imperfection, then flowcoat, sand, polish, pour a dram and admire.

As of yet its still holding.

A couple of pictures.

Sorry they are in no order, uploading and edit function playing up. For some reason it won't let me upload the picture from inside console.
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Old 22 January 2014, 12:28   #13
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Both the above post are right all but one thing. If you can't get in there. How are you two going to do what you say
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Old 22 January 2014, 12:34   #14
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Both the above post are right all but one thing. If you can't get in there. How are you two going to do what you say
I presumed if he could "bolt through" to the inside then access wouldn't be an issue, how do you get access to wire gauges?
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Old 22 January 2014, 12:52   #15
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Here's a thought...


Say your gauge hole is 50mm, could you cut a piece of CSM 48mmx75mm and coat in resin and wait for it to go off, then drill a hole in middle of the glass and thread a piece of string through it, coat glass in resin and feed through gauge hole and pull string to position glass plate in place, tie off string to something then once set snip string off and proceed to fill holes as normal?

Get me?
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Old 22 January 2014, 13:19   #16
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I presumed if he could "bolt through" to the inside then access wouldn't be an issue, how do you get access to wire gauges?
As said in my earlier post, to do the matting you need two hands and your eyes, to wire a gauge isn't that bad, you could bond a GRP disc to the back of the hole and then fill in the face, you won't get a good finish and it will crack around the original hole line
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Old 22 January 2014, 14:26   #17
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If I could build something to support me at the level of the opening to the console then I could quite comfortably lie down for hours



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Old 22 January 2014, 14:29   #18
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Aren't the Icommand gauges the same size as your current ones?

I'd personally have the smaller gauges as well as they're easier to read at speed than a small digital display. Either that or stick something else in there.
Matching white gelcoat isnt' that easy if you don't know which white pigment they used originally, and there's going to be a certain amount of yellowing as well.

It WILL show, however nice a job you do.It just depends how much it shows. You'll know when you look at it, though others might not.
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Old 22 January 2014, 14:33   #19
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A few planks and a joiners trestle?

One end of the planks inside console the other end on the trestle. A pillow for some home comforts and its night night.
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Old 22 January 2014, 14:44   #20
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Right are there holes behind the lowrance units and yes I can see a way out of this, you need to get that sorted first, either the holes behind the units and laying on your back, as said before you need to grind out the back to a taper towards the edge of the holes, you need to glue, clamp, fix a flat bit of anything over the holes on the outside. Next you need to layup on the inside, I would suggest wet out a few layers of Matt and place them onto a bit of polythene, that way you can offer it onto the hole without it falling all over the place, you can consolidate it with the polythene still on it, pull it off when dry, once dry you can remove the plate on the front and do the Gell, this is just a basic intro to GRP layup
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