This page shows my knee armour and while there is not a great deal of the making, it shows more the moulding process. This was made using a cardboard template, bent and cut to shape, then painted in fibreglass resin. This produces a nice strong base, to build up with filler and fibreglass.Some areas need building up more, while other need sanding down, to form the recess that runs along the edges. Using this process you do need to make sure the base is thick enough that you don't go right through, or it needs mending from the back.Next we start to mould this. Being an odd shape with recesses means the only way to get this out the mould is to make it in three parts. You see here the first stage which is adding a lip all round made of super sculpy.
After the sculpy lip has been added a couple of coats of gel coat are painted on. Due to I make lots of things, I tend to colour code sets of moulds for easy recognition and also storing. If they are all the same colour you can spend ages trying to sort them out, when like this red equals biker scout armour.When the gel coat has dried its time to apply a layer of fibreglass matting for strength. There are lots of grade of this about, but in all honesty the better quality ones are much easer to work with. I use heavy matting which is 600 grams per square metre. This means two layers are enough for a really strong mould. If using lighter weight mat, more layers need applying for the same strength.With the first side done and dry, its time to add a lip the other side and repeat the process. when that side is finished, clean off the sculpy, and apply a layer of gel coat to the centre section.You will notice the clamps on either side when working on the middle. This is because if you catch them with your hands when working on the centre section, they might come away. Just a added precaution.
You can see once applied the fibreglass matting is clear, and only goes opaque when dry. You can add colour to the resin, but the red gel coat still shows through so itís a waste of time and resources really.When the centre section is dry, you need to drill the sides so it can be bolted together. This must always be done while still stuck to the master copy so it all lines up perfectly. Take it apart and then try and drill them, and it will never line up as well. Once free of the master, the mould needs a polish. One down side to using filler, is it never comes up really shiny, so the mould is sanded smooth with 2000 grade wet and dry, then, then polished on the buffing wheel till it shines.Last off the finished knee. With the mould super shiny, the cast comes out just as shiny. Then the edges just need finishing off, and for good luck I buff the surface using a high sheen wax which polishes and cleans as well. Leaving an almost mirror shiny section of knee armour.
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