Saturday, July 21, 2012

Creating Reinforcement Understructure for Eyebolt Anchor Tie Downs

Needing to mount the eyebolts that I purchased securely in the camper for tie down points.  The minimal thickness of the fiberglass skin covered polypropylene honeycomb guts, calls for some reinforcement measures to be taken in these regions where these eyebolts need to be installed.

So i rounded me up a 4" hole-saw and after obtaining the appropriate measurements for the placement of the 1/2" eyebolts, I cut out the marked regions.  I only cut the side of the fiberglass panel where the nut will be installed, leaving the fiberglass skin intact and undisturbed on the opposite side where the 'eye' of the eyebolt will be, which is the exterior of the camper.

After cutting through the fiberglass skin, I simply used a screwdriver to dislodge the cut out section and to pry out the honeycomb.  Basically, just created myself a pot in which the Bondo will be installed.  (note: i used the bondo with fiberglass strands which adds greater strength than ordinary Bondo, which you would not want to use in this capacity.) This will serve as an underlayment reinforcement, underneath a section of angle iron which will also be installed.

I did not want to use the Bondo simply because I would rather make my own 'structural fiberglass peanut butter mixture'.  I do not like the thoughts of utilizing resin products from store shelves whereby most often they have superseded their shelf life and the resins are typically inferior to those purchased from fiberglass only firms.  I buy most all my fiberglass related resins, cloth, etc; from USComposites out of Florida.

These guys sell thousands of gallons of resin daily and are always getting in fresh stock thus their resins are never old.  Plus, their resins are much better than the cheaper stuff one would find at an Auto Zone, Walmart, Lowes, etc;

But, I am really pressed for time in this build and cannot wait until the components arrive in the mail for the composition of my structural peanut butter recipe.  It may be a few more days still, until the most recent order arrives and I need some advancement on the project.

If I was not planning on placing a piece of flat iron in these regions as well, i would have steered clear of this Bondo approach altogether.  I did have some 1/4" chopped strands left which I added to the mixture to beef up the structural element.  Although, I had purchased the Bondo with fiberglass strands, i added even more to beef up the compound.

 So I cleaned out all of the honeycomb and vacuumed the hole thoroughly.  I removed the debris, although not overly concerned with struggling to remove all of the remnants of the polypropylene attached in the bottom of the hole.  It would be ideal if I could achieve a bond to the fiberglass underneath all of that polypropylene in the bottom of the holes but it would take too much work to get it all off.  The bondo will simply serve as a filler plug to prevent crushing of the panels and so it really is not all that critical if it bonds to the bottom of the holes or not.

 You can see the plug is in place, have four areas to do.  I used Bondo mixture for two of the plugs but the quart size can ran out.  I ended up just awaiting the arrival of the necessary ingredients to make my fiberglass structural peanut butter for the remainder of the plugs that had to be poured.   

Got some sleep to grab guys -- see you around!  Chris

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