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Old 08-16-2009, 12:48 AM   #1
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how many layers of cloth?

I'm still working slowly on repairing the black tank the PO chopped up. This is the corner tank on the 63 safari. Unlike most tanks this one sits on top of the floor and the toilet bolts directly to the tank.

The PO drilled holes outside the toilet because the bolts were rusted and took the top of the tank out. The tank itself is about 1/4" thick. The first step I did was to clean and aggressively sand with a grinder the area to be fiberglassed. I built a small form to create a smooth surface and poured in a little epoxy resin, then started putting in layers of cloth to fill the actual hole, once I reached that thickness I started a few layers across the inside of the tank from below gradually getting wider until I've met up with the cross braces inside the tank, a total of about 14" wide. I need to sand the surface to continue since it has cured (I had a couple weeks of business to attend to). Since the toilet sits on top of this, and a person on top of that, I could see easily approaching 350 lbs on top of the tank.

The next layers I want to install will be the entire top area of the tank, then down the sides and onto the bottom of the tank. This should help transfer the load down the sides of the tank and to the bottom, not just to the underside of the lid of the tank.

How many layers should I do to attain this? I started to add some aluminum stock to stiffen the lid from underneith but decided this was likely to fail due to flexing, so I took it out. I'd rather go too much than too little but have no idea what I should even guess with. I don't want to get this all in, be in the thinking position at the camp ground and take a rapid decent down into poo town....



Any suggestions?
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:55 PM   #2
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anyone?
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:20 PM   #3
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I'll try, Scott.

I'd sure be tempted to add some structure, glassed in, on the inside of the tank top. If it's just solid glass now, it will likely continue to flex, no matter how many layers of cloth you add. Like corrugated carboard, that structure added to the outside layers gives it a lot of strength.

If you could glass in a couple of wooden stringers inside the tank top, not necessarily very big, maybe 3/4" or 1" stuff, running across the inside of the tank top pretty close to the flange, that would really stiffen the top a great deal. Two or three plies of cloth over those stringers to seal them and hold them in place.

Then I'd start adding plies on top and over the edge like you were saying. If you're using 6 oz boat cloth or something similar, I'd probably be adding 4 or 5 plies.

I'm not sure if you still have access to the inside of the top to let you do this, but that's the area I'd worry about, that flex on top. I'd think there'd be enough structure on the sides that you wouldn't need a whole lot more buildup on you layup there.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:47 PM   #4
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Thanks Steve, here's a crude drawing of what I was thinking. My thought was if the fiberglass layers were only on the underside of the toilet mounting surface, that mechanical bond could break loose and drop the toilet in the tank. I was hoping that if I ran the cloth (one piece) down the side walls and onto the tank bottom that it would allow me to basically build a tank within a tank. The tank does have existing stiffeners, and tank is very strong, its just hack job they did around the toilet flange that destroyed the structure.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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That makes sense. Can you extend your new layup over and beyond the existing fiberglass bracing to tie it all together? Be good if you could and add four or five layers of cloth and it ought to be pretty strong, I'd think.

cheers,
steve
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:04 PM   #6
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I think I can do it, probably test fit it dry making sure I can have the right flaps etc to go over those braces. Its kinda tough working in there once the resin gets going, but once I start laying those in I want to finish all layers before it cures so I don't have to sand. the big worry is once I start glassing the bottom in I really have to live with what I've done in there.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goransons View Post
the big worry is once I start glassing the bottom in I really have to live with what I've done in there.
Yeah, that is definitely true.

Can't remember from your main thread if you're using epoxy or regular resin and hardener at this point. For sure, if it's epoxy, you could mix up some microballoons or some other filler and round off your existing bracing to make it easier to get your cloth to lie in there well. Sand it all really really good, right down to dull with 36 grit to get a good bond, if you haven't already.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:20 PM   #8
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Never used microballoons before (in fact just got done looking up what the heck they are). I'm using an epoxy resin, but I think I can just overlap the braces and tie them in. I went at the inside (and will need to again before this next step) with a 36 grit sanding disk on my air grinder. Maybe I'll lay it in dry and take a picture before I commit.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:29 PM   #9
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I think you've got a good plan, if it'll lie in there pretty well without any voids it should be just fine. If you tie your layup into those braces it should be plenty strong.

cheers,
steve
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