Tired of rushing through tube glassing? Here is a method for application of epoxy resin to body tubing that beats all others. Utilizing this method you can completely apply a wrap of glass to a 7.5” tube in about 10 minutes, with no excess resin, sags, drips or bubbles.
Using this method, and you will never apply resin any other way ever again.
If you have a Home Depot nearby, check the paint aisle next to the paint brushes for a paint roller blister pack made by “Shur-Line”; they are in a black package with a green stripe. You will find two white 1/8” knap roller inserts and a plastic red handle in the package. The blister pack doubles as your epoxy tray.
I peel the glassine off of my tubes before applying glass cloth; this eliminates time-consuming, dusty sanding and sore arms, and makes for a strong bond with the tube. This technique is especially handy for motor tubes.
It’s easy to peel glassine; just start at the top of the tube with an exacto and peel up the triangular portion of one of the glassine spirals; get just the glassine, no cardboard, and peel away. You can peel a 4” tube in about 2 minutes–no sanding. If the tube looks furry, do not worry, the glass wrap will cover it up just fine. You will take a little cardboard with the glassine, but just enough to slightly obscure the glassine once it has been removed.
Put a piece of PVC pipe through peeled tube and support the pipe horizontally between two saw horses, tables or whatever works best. Place newspapers, flat cardboard boxes, or a drop cloth under the tube to catch any drips, although you may not have any. Use latex surgical gloves available at any drug store when working with resins, and make sure your work area is well ventilated.
Mix your epoxy in a cup following the manufacturer’s directions. Pour it into the roller tray that is actually the blister pack. Load the roller, apply it to the tube like paint; it will soak into the cardboard. If you need to, mix more right away, you should be working with resin with a long cure time so if you mix two batches within 5 minutes of each other it should not be a big deal.
Carefully stretch out the glass cloth over the tube and lay it on top of the tube. It is not necessary to lay the cloth evenly over both sides of the tube to keep it from sliding off, as the tube is already sticky with resin. You can now use the Shur-Line roller to apply resin to the cloth as needed. Work out bubbles and wrinkles with the Shur-Line roller as you turn the tube on the PVC pipe.
When you finish, rotate the tube catching the reflection of the sun or lights in the wet resin. Inspect the entire tune in this manner. You should see the weave of the cloth. If you see shiny spots, roll the roller of a few layers of paper towels, then use it to mop up any excess resin from the tube.
When the glass has cured, sand it with 120 grit and wipe it down with acetone or lacquer thinner and a clean rag. Follow appropriate safety precautions when sanding cured fiberglass and using solvents.
To fill the weave pattern of the cloth so that it is smooth, “Kilz” is a high-solids primer in a spray can that will fill the weave and sands easily. A 4” tube will use about an entire can, so buy enough for your project. Home Deopt carries Kilz in the paint department.
Submitted by: Jon H. Ruehle