Because Ive had a few IM's asking for consoles I thought I would post a how to on how to make your own for those who would like to try. Also if a mod could post this in the section where it belongs it would be great. Maybe a sticky??
Ok guys first thing Im going to tell you is to get a good mask. You do not want to breath Fiberglass dust. Also it would be a good idea to suite up for this project, a paint suit works well. Also Ive found that baby powder rubbed over the skin before sanding will help a little. Either way there is no way around getting itchy, its just something you'll have to deal with.
Next YOU are ding this at YOUR own risk. If your screw something up understand that YOU are trying this YOURSELF.
1. Fiberglass resin,
This is the big money part of this project. One gallon will cost around 40.00
2. Fiberglass cloth
I like to buy this from WalMart for about 4.00 a yard.
4. Wood Dowels,
I buy these from Home Depot they are pretty cheap.
5. drywall screws, wood screws
7. Masking tape
9. Sand paper
10. Box of latex gloves
11. Paint cups for resin
12. Paint brushes, I like these
Ok lets get into tools,
1. Staple gun
2. Sander/ buffer
3.Wood tools, chop saw, jig saw, drill
Ok lets get started. You will need to cover the area with Foil and masking tape really well before you spread your fiberglass. Lay the foil out over the area and make sure it is flat to the bottom of the area. Then you'll want to use masking tape to cover the seams and outside area. Foil and tape are cheap your Boat is not. With that say go overboard on this step. This will create a barrier between the fiberglass and the boat. It will allow the part to be removed once the fiberglass is removed.
Next up get those gloves on because its time to go to work. I like to cut the fiberglass cloth into 6x6 squares before I do anything else. This way the cloth is ready to go. Do a BUNCH like this. Once thats done mix the fiberglass resin and hardener together, READ the back of the fiberglass resin for mixing instructions. FOLLOW THEM! This is no joke people. Ive seen this stuff catch fire! Too much hardener and it will kick too fast and your working time will be reduced. We want a long work time. So mix the resin up then brush on the resin over the area you want the part made. Once covered started adding the fiberglass cloth, one piece at a time! Once you get one piece down dab more resin on the cloth, your coating it and working the air bubbles out at the same time. Repeat this process making sure to overlap each piece of cloth. Once you get a few layers down over the area its time to let it dry.
Once dry take a sharpie and draw around the area you want the part to be, your drawing on the fiberglass part you just made. Once outlined pull the part away from the boat. Now you'll want to cut the the line you drew. I like to use a cut off wheel but you can also use a jig saw of whatever you have.
Once cut sand the cut area and make sure it smooth. Now place the part back in its spot on the boat. Now you'll want to build a frame out of wood. Cut to size and place the dowels around the edges of the part you made. Now cut out of plywood a spot for your graph and switches. You'll want to use as little of wood as you can. Then attach the wood you cut to the dowels. Once everything is connected remove the part from the boat. Now its time to get your fleece ready. Staple the fleece to the bottom part and stretch it from one side to the other. Make sure its nice and smooth without any wrinkles. Do this until your part is covered.
Now its time to mix your resin and brush on the resin. Cover the fleece until it is soaked with resin.
Get your fiberglass cloth ready by cutting it into squares. Now do like you did with the bottom part. Once covered let the part dry again.
Once dry we need to trim your part. I like to use the polisher sander with this step. Dont go crazy here, just sand enough to clean your part up. This is where you'll see your part come to life and look good. Make sure your part fits the area you want it to in the boat. After you test fit its now time to spread bondo and get everything somewhat smooth. After your done sanding you can now cover with Vinyl and finish up.
There are other options like automotive paint or gel coat. But thats going to take a LOT of work. For now we'll just go this way and see how things go.
Ill try and go through my photos and see if I have progress pics of past work. If you have any question just ask. Ill do my best to help. Have fun guys!!!