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cjorgensenmd

Molding Skirt And Fender Together?

8 posts in this topic

Has anyone tried making a fiberglass mold of the skirt already attached to the fender? I think it would be very large, but ultimately would result in less fiberglass being used if you intend to combine the two later anyway.

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I foresee a few problems with this approach:

 

  • The mold itself would be a much more complex shape, making it much harder to remove cleanly, and likely requiring you to make the mold out of a greater number of pieces in order for it to wor
  • Doors. As it is, a Dalek (or at the very least, an NSD. I dont have personal experience with any other models.) wont fit through a standard doorway in its assembled form. You have to the skirt off the fender and carry the fender in sideways to get it to fir through the door, and most times you also have to remove the bottom couple rows of Hemis from the wide side panels in order for the skirt to fit.
  • Strength. If the mold was all one piece, and thus the final skirt/fender combo was one piece, I would be very concerned about the structural integrity of the point where the skirt would normally meet the fender. If its all one piece, then the entire weight of the dalek is sitting on that 'corner' where the fiberglass goes from the vertical skirt panels to the horizontal top of the fender. That part would have to be SERIOUSLY reinforced all the way around the circumference of the skirt.
  • Transport. Even if you have doors big enough to fit the fender and skirt through, without disassembling, how are you going to transport the Dalek? Many cars, minivans and hatchbacks will fit an entire dalek inside when its broken down into its different parts, but if the fender and skirt were one piece, youd need much more space inside your vehicle to fit it. So unless you have a pickup truck or a large SUV or some such, transporting it would be an issue.

All in all, I feel like the amount of fiberglass saved would be negligible. I mean youre basically avoiding having to make, what, a few inches worth of fender, and the bottom flat surface of the skirt? Thatd be only a few square feet. And for all the added difficulty a joined skirt and fender would give you, I honestly dont think its worth it.

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Thank you for the insight.

 

I figured the mold itself wouldn't bee too much more complicated than say a shoulder mold, but multiple pieces would probably be better.

 

With regards to doors, My Dalek currently cannot fit through single doors anyway and everywhere I want to take it tends to have double-doors so I'm not too concerned about that.

The same issue applies to transportation. I already use a trailer to move my Dalek around, so this isn't too much of a concern.

 

You raise a good point about strength though, but I suppose I could have a flat metal support, similar in size to the horizontal flat part of the fender, to help take the weight and transfer it to the wheelchair.

 

Speaking of strength though, have other members found their fiberglass fenders to be strong enough on their own to withstand the occasional bump or children stepping on them? If not, what would you recommend reinforcing it with.?

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Others may have better suggestions, but as far as I know, the best/easiest thing to reinforce fiberglass with is simply more layers of fiberglass. Keep in mind that entire boats are made of fiberglass, and they stand up to people walking running and jumping all over them. Fiberglass can be very sturdy when built up enough.

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Thanks for that article! So it can definitely be done. I will simply reinforce the critical sections like crazy. I'll document my progress in my build log once I get around to purchasing the fiberglass supplies.

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I had a very nice Dalek (Genesis-style) where the skirt and fender were one piece. Doorways were impossible, and unless the whole thing rests on (for instance) a hidden removeable plywood base with the casters and seat attached, you had to pick the whole lot up in one go.

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6 hours ago, cjorgensenmd said:

With regards to doors, My Dalek currently cannot fit through single doors anyway

 

Most dalek skirts, (except the NDPs) should fit through a standard doorway if turned at 90 degrees. This would not be possible with an integral fender fitted.

 

You also have to consider transportation. Breaking the dalek down into smaller sections means that it is likely to fit into a wider range of vehicles. Also consider that the fender will inevitably need a frame, to hold the wheels. Will this also be integral or would it be removable? It it's removable, then it kind of negates the point of having the fender integral to the skirt. You may as well keep the frame and fender together and leave the skirt as-is.

 

It is possible to do what you're proposing, but I really do suspect that at some point, down the line, you will regret it. My advice is to construct the sections separately and then just make them integral by permanently bolting them together. That way, if you ever do need to split them, the bolts will be easy to deal with. You will also save yourself a lot of masking off if you ever come to re-paint the skirt.

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