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Old 01-22-2010, 03:28 PM
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silverbear silverbear is offline
The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: northeastern Minnesota
Posts: 8,131
Default Re: Different Style Tanks?

Originally Posted by perichbrothers View Post
Here's a trick for making a fiberglass tank...

If you make a plug or model of a tank out of styrofoam
(the packing kind in computers or furniture)
Using a hacksaw, "cheesegrater" wood file or even 36/60 grit sandpaper.
make it like 3/16" smaller all around, the fiberglass will bulk it up.

Using epoxy resin and a light fiberglass, 2 layers should do it.
it will be a little rough but it should sand smooth,
later on a little body filler can fill in any bad spots.
Basically you just made a miniature surfboard.

figure out the placement for the inlets and outlets.
This might sound like the tough part but its not too difficult just time consuming.
Use a hole saw/drill bit/file whatever and make the holes.

You can use plastic from a soda bottle and tape a cylinder for the cap,
than fiberglass around it and remove the plastic.
*you can fg inside or outside of the plastic "mold"

The cool thing about epoxy is it will bond to aluminum as well,
so if you have an aluminum cap/inlet/outlet than just fiberglass it on there.
(I guess if you were thinking ahead, it could have been fg'd during the first coating process.)

Anyway a fg outlet is easy too.
Find a bolt that is the same thread as the stock valve,
wax it with some candle wax or car wax,
making sure not to plug threads though, just to slick it up,
and screw it into the hole that you put in your tank.

Mix up a little epoxy and add some chopped fiberglass powder, or flour even,
and make a thicker paste, coat it around the threads.
Than fiberglass a little bit around that to give it some strength.
After it cures,
unscrew the bolt and you will be able to screw in the fuel valve.

Now that you have a tank with an inlet and outlet,
pour acetone into the filler and it will immediately dissolve the styrofoam.
Just repeat that process until its totally empty,
plug up the ends and shake it up to make sure its all out,
if you throw in some marbles, ballbearings or clean rocks it will scour the inside really good.
(make sure to not breathe in the fumes it must be toxic)

After paint,
i'd throw some gas in there and shake it up too,
and inspect the gas for any contaminants.

Anyway that's a kinda easy way to make a one-off fiberglass tank.

Thanks for this post... very good to know! I may try this next summer. If you were going to make up a "block" of Styrofoam to carve out a tank using say 2" thick insulation type Styrofoam, what would you use to glue the layers together without dissolving away the Styrofoam? Would contact cement work? Would the blue foam work as well as the less dense white foam? I was thinking that the blue stuff would give a better surface... less 'crumbly' than the white stuff. This information deserves a kind of 'tutorial' how to with photos to give encouragement to guys who want an in frame tank and have never worked with fiberglass before. Anyone who tries this... please take photos as you go so that the rest of us can learn from the successes and failures. Very cool. Thanks for sharing. By the way, how would you go about anchoring bolt in points for the mounts? Nuts embedded in the surface of the styrofoam... would that work?
Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...
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