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Old 04-10-2013, 10:26   #1
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? foam to make interior compartments

Using foam to make interior compartments

I am redoing some smaller cabinets and an electrical console inside my Westsail 32 and in doing so I am considering using foam as a core or use foam to make molds that I can glass over.

My question is what kind of foam can I use to sculpt and or use as a core for fiber glassing over using west systems epoxy and resin? Expanding foam?

I would like to also figure out how to do this process in white? Can I add color to the epoxy, or use a gelcoat or simply paint afterwards? Advise is appreciated..
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:39   #2
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

Divinycell Plain Sheet


Do you have a Fiberlay account? Which yard are you in?
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:44   #3
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

Some pics of one I did.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:45   #4
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

After glass but before paint.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:47   #5
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

Lots of work fairing and painting, after it gets glassed in to the boat. Very nice though.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:00   #6
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

Looks sweet, no I have no accounts (trying to live without anymore accounts )

That link you provided is way to Gucci for me - any foam products that cost less without all the gimmicks?

Hell I read an article where a man used Levi pants to make a bullet proof material so I am guessing any foam will do unless the epoxy eats it up.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:14   #7
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
Looks sweet, no I have no accounts (trying to live without anymore accounts )

That link you provided is way to Gucci for me - any foam products that cost less without all the gimmicks?

Hell I read an article where a man used Levi pants to make a bullet proof material so I am guessing any foam will do unless the epoxy eats it up.
Epoxy tends to be less reactive than say polyester which has styrene and others solvents, do a test with whaterever you plan on using. Epoxy can be tinted with either powder pigments or use whatever else WEST System sells. Would have to check if you can use universal colorants.

For mold making you can use Melamine coated particle board with will produce a nice smooth surface, just make sure to use a mold release like PVA. Lot's of info about this kind of stuff here in a link to the "Gougeon Brothers On Boat Construction" which is an excellent resource.

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/...k%20061205.pdf

As far as cheap foam like Blue or Pink board, yeah could be maybe. Might consider laminating it with Luan plywood door skins to make a sandwich panel and work from there.

The main thing you want to avoid when identifying a possible foam is Friability - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia which is typical with some ureathane foams like the two part expanding foam or like a expanded polystyrene EPS coffee cup.

Blue foam is an extruded polystyrene XPS that seems a bit tougher. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polystyrene

I believe the Divinycell is a expanded PVC foam. Sign companies use a similar product that is much cheaper. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-cell_PVC_foamboard but unlike the Divinycell it's not very stiff or light and I have never tried it.



Good Luck!
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:29   #8
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

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Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
Looks sweet, no I have no accounts (trying to live without anymore accounts )

That link you provided is way to Gucci for me - any foam products that cost less without all the gimmicks?

Hell I read an article where a man used Levi pants to make a bullet proof material so I am guessing any foam will do unless the epoxy eats it up.


Really? That 4'x8' sheet of 1/4" at $100 is comparable to quality marine ply. If you can't afford actual foam core, you're really going to have a tough time paying out for all the resin, glass, fairing compound, sandpaper, primer, and paint, which will cost much much more than the foam. Why spend a bunch of money on all that stuff and then stick it to cheap crappy foam?
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:41   #9
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

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Lots of work fairing and painting, after it gets glassed in to the boat. Very nice though.
Nice work, BTW.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:45   #10
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

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Nice work, BTW.


Thanks. Looks a lot better glassed in and finished.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:08   #11
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
Using foam to make interior compartments

I am redoing some smaller cabinets and an electrical console inside my Westsail 32 and in doing so I am considering using foam as a core or use foam to make molds that I can glass over.

My question is what kind of foam can I use to sculpt and or use as a core for fiber glassing over using west systems epoxy and resin? Expanding foam?

I would like to also figure out how to do this process in white? Can I add color to the epoxy, or use a gelcoat or simply paint afterwards? Advise is appreciated..
You can use blue insulation foam, it shapes easily, very messy.
But if your idea is to then glass over it and have to fair that glass, this is a very time consuming process I would not recommend it.
MDF is great material to sculpt using a router, as it has no grain, and just paint it when done. Or make female MDF molds and then form the parts in glass, no need for epoxy here. my 02

e.g.
http://www.bertram31.com/proj/tips/box_mold.htm
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:11   #12
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

Isnt it easier in most applications just to make wood cabinets? ......eliminates the whole drippy, smelly, dusty, glassing and fairing phase. I realize some boats want glass....but....
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:27   #13
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

I could continue using wood but I want to venture out and begin making small molds out of foam or scraps. I need to improve my boat too.

In all fairness I want to design sexy curved electronics consoles that are easy to install and remove from the cabin interior with less trouble than my current wood panels. This allows me a few perks:

1. a new skill learned if I attempt to do this.
2. a cool modern part is made with curves and lines that I can easily remove to access chain plates or stanchion bolts etc.
3. get rid of all this epoxy resin I have on-board.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:43   #14
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
I could continue using wood but I want to venture out and begin making small molds out of foam or scraps. I need to improve my boat too.

In all fairness I want to design sexy curved electronics consoles that are easy to install and remove from the cabin interior with less trouble than my current wood panels. This allows me a few perks:

1. a new skill learned if I attempt to do this.
2. a cool modern part is made with curves and lines that I can easily remove to access chain plates or stanchion bolts etc.
3. get rid of all this epoxy resin I have on-board.
Sounds good.
Look at how audio guys make custom speaker enclosures.
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Old 04-10-2013, 13:45   #15
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Re: ? foam to make interior compartments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
I could continue using wood but I want to venture out and begin making small molds out of foam or scraps. I need to improve my boat too.

In all fairness I want to design sexy curved electronics consoles that are easy to install and remove from the cabin interior with less trouble than my current wood panels. This allows me a few perks:

1. a new skill learned if I attempt to do this.
2. a cool modern part is made with curves and lines that I can easily remove to access chain plates or stanchion bolts etc.
3. get rid of all this epoxy resin I have on-board.

An electronics console is not an interior compartment. Whole different bag of feed. If you just need cheap foam for molding complex shapes, you don't use quality core material. Pink foam works fine with epoxy, use it all the time. Then dissolve the foam from the parts center with acetone or MEK. Laminate thick pieces out of 1" sheet with spray adhesive. Fast and easy.
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