Dashing experiment

Between work, doing tax returns and other annoying interruptions, I have managed to progress. So here is the latest in what I've been up to.

Every type 3 Volkswagen owner knows that the one thing common to all these cars, is a cracked dashboard.
They always tend to crack ether at the dials or at the speaker holes. Either which way, they tend to crack in
a manner that makes it impossible to do a decent repair job on them... Yes! I have tried.

Based on this I decided to do a little experiment. I have a chopped up Fastback in my back yard. When I did
the chopping, I tried to keep as much as I could intact. One of the things I did not chop was this:

Yup, that is the dash. Until recently it was just another peace of scrap metal. Almost over night it turned into
the perfect mold for a type 3 dash, made from fiberglass.

Now, I've never worked with fiberglass before, so I did quite a bit of reading before starting this little
experiment. After getting all the raw materials, I started out cutting some fiberglass sheeting to manageable peaces.

For those of you that don't know, you need a release agent in order to help the fiberglass break away from
the mold. It can be just about any greasy thing, In this case I used petroleum jelly.

It's probably not the best, but that's what I could get my hands on. Keep in mind this was supposed to be an experiment.

Here you see the first few sheets laid down with resin.

And now we cut an incredibly long story very short:

Getting to this point took almost a month, mainly due to lack of time on my part. It does mean that the fiberglass dried properly though.

This was an experiment, that turned into something I'm actually going to use. Never again, will I suffer one
of my Type 3 Volkswagens to live with a cracked dash board. Take a look at the pictures below, I dare say that this dashboard, once complete, will fit and look better than the original.

Yes, it does fit like a glove, and could probably be held in place with a single screw.

There is still a lot of work here though, but I was rather excited to share this.

A work of advice for the un-initiated:
Fiberglass is easy to work with, but do your research, keep safety first and ware gloves because the stuff makes you itch like hell. It's well worth it though and after the success of this experiment, I'm definitely going
to make use of it more often.