Edit: Photos of the finished product here!
So, I ride my bicycle. A lot. I also enjoy my music. A couple years ago I decided to build myself a stereo for my bicycle.
I've now gone through 3 different iterations of the stereo, changing it for the better each time, but there is still one issue with it that I want to solve. Here's the current version of the stereo, built into a trunk bag:
This version has 2 main flaws. 1. The bag is fabric and flexible, so it's not as "punchy" as a rigid box would be. 2. The equipment inside weighs about 11 lbs, which isn't a lot, but over time it means the bag takes a beating. Too many bumps and bangs and you end up with the seams coming apart:
I'm currently on my 3rd bag. They only cost $20, so it's not a huge deal, but it's a major hassle cutting them and cramming all the gear inside. As such, I've decided to (hopefully) solve both issues by building a fiberglass box for the stereo.
One problem, I've never worked with fiberglass before.
My current thought is that I'll put together a simple wooden box of the appropriate dimensions and then just cover it with 3 or 4 layers of fiberglass. Once it's all cured and painted, I'll use my dremel to cut out the speaker holes and other bits and call it good.
I've ordered some biaxial fabric and some vinyl ester resin for the fiberglass and I'm thinking that with the strength of the fiberglass, I can just use the lightest wood I can find for the initial box, as it will be acting primarily as a mold, except that I won't be removing it afterwards. I don't see this being very complicated, and I'm pretty handy, so I expect it will all go pretty smoothly, but if anyone has worked with fiberglass before and has any tips on the process, I'd be glad for any input.
I also intend to take a bunch of pics and notes along the way so that I can put together a bit of a how-to doc for some of my friends, and I'll be sure to post those here too.
Some of the things I'm not 100% certain about:
- What type of wood should I use for the inner box. 1/4" MDF? It's kinda flexible, but that won't be a problem once it's covered in fiberglass, right?
- How many layers of fiberglass? I'm thinking 3 or 4 would be plenty with the fabric I've ordered.
- Fiberglass eventually breaks down in sunlight, so I'll want to paint it. What type of paint do I use?
- Do I need to add cross-beams inside to reinforce the fiberglass where the speakers are mounted? Couldn't hurt to add a little more strength, I suppose.
- It needs to be waterproof. I assume the fiberglass will take care of that nicely, and the speakers are waterproof already, so I think I'm good.