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Old 02-14-2013, 11:10 PM   #1
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Hoping for help on fiberglass hot tub


I really don't know if anyone here will be able to help on this, but I am having a real hard time finding answers for this. I enjoy building things in my free time and wanted to try a fairly simple hot tub design. I can build the frame and hookup the electrical/plumbing no problem; but I haven't worked a lot with fiberglass before.

Does anyone know what type of cloth is recommended to ensure a good hot tub without complete overkill (I will keep the frame under the hot tub to support the fiberglass but would still like it to be nice and durable), and will the epoxy resin contract as it cures? Also, how much cloth/resin does your standard 6 person hot tub take (I will double that probably haha)? Lastly, is there a specific gel coat you need to use with hot tubs?

I know this is a specific question, but this site is usually pretty good at stuff like that. Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-15-2013, 05:48 AM   #2
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Hoping for help on fiberglass hot tub


We need a boat builder----my personal experience was functional but ugly---lining rusty air conditioner cooling tanks----

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Old 02-15-2013, 06:16 AM   #3
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Hoping for help on fiberglass hot tub


I just can not imagine this being a very cost effective thing to build.
Make sure you stop and get the whole picture of the total cost for the materials, pumps, jets, heater.
Just last year I cut up and hauled away 2, hot tubs that people no longer wanted. May want to look on Craigs list for one someone wants to get rid of or but an ad in the wanted section.
If you google "West System" it will give you some tips on how much is involved.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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Hoping for help on fiberglass hot tub


Ayuh,.... Normally, fiberglass, whether a boat, or a hot tub is laid up in a mold, backwards, workin' from it's outside seen surface, into it's backsides...

While what you propose can be done, I highly doubt you'd be happy with the results...

Another thing, Gelcoat is a polyester resin, 'n it don't stick to epoxy...
If yer doin' a gelcoated build, ya gotta use polyester resins, from start to finish...

The Restoration forum, over at iboats.com forums has a wealth of Info on fiberglassin'...
Feel free to stop by, 'n look 'round...

Last edited by Bondo; 02-15-2013 at 08:51 AM. Reason: 3,000th post
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:32 AM   #5
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Hoping for help on fiberglass hot tub


Thanks for the response guys. I know it is nowhere near cost effective and there are tons of well built ones available (I am actually getting the plumbing and electronics from one I found free on craigslist with a hole in the fiberglass), but I have fun trying my hand at things. I will check out the boat site, thanks again everyone.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:38 AM   #6
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Hoping for help on fiberglass hot tub


Bondo, just wondering if you might have a bit more info while I am here. I heard you needed to use epoxy for hot tubs because of the water and chemicals, then I read pools needed to be gel coated that is why i got confused. Any idea if epoxy would be enough without the coat for the tub? Also, if I build the mold on the frame and fiberglass out without popping it from the mold, could I not just keep it in the mold and sand it down to smooth? How would that be different (other than being more difficult to smooth) than popping it from a mold?
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
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Hoping for help on fiberglass hot tub


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Originally Posted by zgc7009 View Post
Bondo, just wondering if you might have a bit more info while I am here. I heard you needed to use epoxy for hot tubs because of the water and chemicals, then I read pools needed to be gel coated that is why i got confused. Any idea if epoxy would be enough without the coat for the tub? Also, if I build the mold on the frame and fiberglass out without popping it from the mold, could I not just keep it in the mold and sand it down to smooth? How would that be different (other than being more difficult to smooth) than popping it from a mold?
Ayuh,.... Why not Fix the broken tub,..??

it'll be Much easier...

'n, there's No need for Epoxy, as they're originally cast outa Polyester to begin with...

If ya build it as a 1-off, without a mold, the finish surface will be tough to get smooth, 'n you'll need to coat the gelcoat, so's it can harden..
Gelcoat won't fully harden when exposed to air, 'n needs a coverin' to finish it off...

There's Way more talent over at iboats, with Real Pro's stoppin' by daily...
Details of the generalities I've posted will help ya understand...
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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Hoping for help on fiberglass hot tub


Thanks again Bondo, I will run over there and see what they think. I was thinking about repairing the broken tub, but I honestly don't like the design of it at all and everything on it cosmetically is really worn. I am one of those weird people that likes to try to make everything on their own.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by zgc7009 View Post
Thanks again Bondo, I will run over there and see what they think. I was thinking about repairing the broken tub, but I honestly don't like the design of it at all and everything on it cosmetically is really worn. I am one of those weird people that likes to try to make everything on their own.
Ayuh,.... I'm just sayin' you'll save yer self a Ton of work, 'n Expense,...

If ya fix it with poly resins, 'n glass, you can fair out the finish, 'n re-gelcoat it, or even paint it...
Repairs are done on the backside to ease the amount of sandin', 'n fairin' where ya can see it,...

If ya build yer own, which Can be done, fairin' out the finish will take eions of Sandin'...
Polyester is Waaay Cheaper, 'n for either of yer possibilities is the Better choice in my mind...

If ya build or repair with Epoxy, yer stuck paintin' it, cause gelcoat is poly, 'n it hates stickin' to epoxy...
Epoxy also sands out Alot Tougher...

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