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Mister Towed 16th February 2021 16:31

And coated in gelcoat -

Then fibreglass -

Then once cured it seems to fit pretty well -

And with the seat and pedals in place -

I could either use this as it is or use it as a mould to make another floor, the upsides of that being that I could make more in the future.

Kuba 16th February 2021 17:59

That look really good, well done. Have you reinforced fibreglass with something rigid? Regards Kuba

Kuba 16th February 2021 21:10

Just came across something that might be of interests


Mister Towed 17th February 2021 06:29


Originally Posted by Kuba (Post 105938)
That look really good, well done. Have you reinforced fibreglass with something rigid? Regards Kuba

Hi Kuba, I haven't reinforced the floor with anything rigid, if you add enough layers of medium to heavy CSM then fibreglass is rigid and strong enough to work as a floor.

Having said that, I've now had time to go all over the floor banging it with the pointy end of a screwdriver and I've found that there are a few voids where the CSM hadn't bonded to the gelcoat and a couple of soft areas where the CSM wasn't fully wetted with the resin. I'm pretty sure that's down to the resin being too cold when I mixed it, it felt a lot thicker than usual and although it soaked into the first couple of layers of 200gsm mat, I really had to work it into the next couple of layers of 500gsm, which are the layers where it's soft in places.

So, the plan is to bring the resin indoors to warm up for a few hours then stiffen up and repair the voids in what I've done so far before painting, polishing and prepping it to use as a mould for the finished article.

When I use that mould I'll make sure that the resin is warm enough, that the mat is thoroughly wetted through and I'll also be adding in some core mat to make the floor as rigid and strong as possible.

Anyway, I need to get some more resin and catalyst ordered as I'm down to my last few kg's.

Oh, I do like that 'Porsche' steering wheel, btw. I'm not sure what it's from but it has the look of the early Spitfire/Herald/Vitesse wheel, so it could be an old Standard (Triumph) model. I doubt it would fit my steering column, but I do have a classic wood rim wheel with a Porsche crest already.

Kuba 17th February 2021 06:42

Hi. Are you using a metal rollers with you fibreglass? They have many names most common is "bubble baster roller". They would work very well on your floor panel or similar flat large area. Hope this helps

Mitchelkitman 17th February 2021 08:42

Every 'set of instructions' I've ever seen (the excellent guidance notes Glasplies issued in years gone by was especially good) say that any resins, moulds etc need to be at the correct temperature for at least 24 hours before application - that cold gets right through to the bones :shock:

Mister Towed 17th February 2021 09:21

Thanks guys - yes I do use a ridged metal roller, but even the pros get voids sometimes. My cardboard plug probably didn't help matters there, either :(

The temperature thing is a bit of a bugger. My garage is unheated but I'd been using the resin successfully for small jobs like the door hinge pockets when it was colder than it was on Monday afternoon.

It's possible that the large flat area meant that the heat from the exothermic reaction didn't stay in the panel for long enough for it to cure properly as I also noticed that it was still tacky some 20 hours after it was laid up, despite having 5% catalyst mixed in. The small jobs i'd done a week earlier were all rock solid and dry to the touch within 12 hours.

What I do have now, though, is a nice rigid plug that can be used to create a really decent floor, once I've fixed the issues outlined above.

NeilF355 17th February 2021 09:56


Originally Posted by Mister Towed (Post 105945)
the plan is to bring the resin indoors to warm up for a few hours

I just bung the resin in the microwave, in a suitable container of course!
I have found that about 10 seconds per 100g of resin warms it up nicely.

Mister Towed 17th February 2021 10:32


Originally Posted by NeilF355 (Post 105949)
I just bung the resin in the microwave, in a suitable container of course!
I have found that about 10 seconds per 100g of resin warms it up nicely.

That's a fine idea but I have a feeling that would be quite hazardous to my health.

Not from the fumes, but because my wife would kill me :peep:

Paul L 27th February 2021 06:17

Mr T – Sorry, it has been ages since I replied to your thread.

Did ‘The Car Years’ get shown in Feb?

Obviously, I forgot to look for it. :rolleyes:

But at least Iris looked the part. :cool:

Anyway, on to your Speedster…

It is always good to see you tackling the problems you face.

And that knocking something up in fibreglass hold no fears these days.

Shame about the suicide doors and all the extra work required to hinge them at the front.

Good luck, Paul. :)

I am sure you had some ‘rules’ about domestic appliances.
So, as long as the Microwave finds its way into the garage it is fair game.
Just don’t tell your wife it was my idea. ;)

Mister Towed 27th February 2021 10:13

Ha ha, I seem to remember someone posting something about a kitchen being full of useful tools that don't know they're tools and that the flow of tools from kitchen to garage was inevitable and irreversible.

The Car Years programme is, I believe, now due to be shown in April so you haven't missed it.

The sun is shining today so I'm off out into the garage to carry on with the moulds for my floorpans. Should have something to show you by tomorrow...

Mister Towed 28th February 2021 16:35

Having used cardboard to make a plug to take a mould from for my driver's side floor and found it a little too flexible, I've been making something similar for the passenger side in aluminium.

It's still a work in progress but is starting to look okay in its own right. I'm making it slightly smaller in all directions as I'll be using the underneath as a male mould to make the floor from so the gelcoat is on the inside of the car. I'll be waterproofing the underside of the floors with some sort of underseal anyway.

Should have this and the driver's side floorpan mould finished and ready for use later this week if all goes to plan.

Mister Towed 11th July 2021 16:56

No more progress on the Speedster to report, I'm afraid as other hobbies/projects/work/ family stuff have all taken precedence these last few months.

Some good news is that Iris, our MG Midget, will finally be appearing on the telly, helping to sponsor the new series of 'The Car Years'. That's on ITV4, Monday evenings at 8pm starting tomorrow, 12th July.

Enjoy, just ignore the tubby chap in the overalls pretending to remove a hubcap for the cameras...

Mister Towed 10th October 2021 18:06

Time for an update I feel as I have been making progress on my doors.

Just to recap, I wanted something different in the way of doors but my attempt to rear hinge them for the suicide door look failed. I wasn't too worried about that as I didn't feel it was going to give me quite the look I wanted anyway.

I've always thought that the doors on the 356 Speedster are a bit big and a bit of an odd design. Quite a bit of their length protrudes forward way beyond the door opening with the hinges about a foot back towards the rear. When you open the doors a big chunk of them just disappears into a large recess in the front wing, so that part of the door doesn't provide any better access.

I also know from experience with very low cars that having a full height door doesn't really help you get in and out any more gracefully, it just means you're closer to the pavement when you sprawl out of it on your hands and knees.

I did rather like not having any doors at all on my Spyder, heaving yourself up, standing on the seat and stepping over the side was actually very easy and looks pretty cool to boot. On this car, though, I am toying with the idea of making some perspex side-screens to wrap around the cockpit from the front screen to just behind the occupants in 718 RSK style, so some sort of hinge mechanism or door would be necessary to clear them out of the way before you step over the side so you don't end up kicking them off -

I'm also quite a fan of the small 'racing' doors on the 718 and 550 Spyders which start about a third of the way up the body. I think they look really business like and mean you don't have to lift your leg quite so high to climb in, which is good when you're ticking on a bit in years...

So, as I'm taking my Speedster down the 'Concept car built by Wendler (who built the 550's and 718's for Porsche)' route, I thought why not make the doors smaller?

After lots of measuring, pencilling in possible shapes, several pots of tea and not a little head scratching, I settled on a design and went at the doors with my angle grinder, dremel and a hacksaw blade -

I formed some aluminium sheet to create a new sill and door pillar inside the old door with a recess for the (MG Midget) hinges, which was then fibreglassed on the underside so the gelcoat is where I want it -

Once the 'glass had cured it was very easy to pop the aluminium former away leaving a rather nice new door recess -

As you can see, the doors open out to almost 45 degrees which should make access really easy.

Next job is to fit the catches and their slam plates (MG Midget again) then fabricate the front and lower door 'inners' to match the recess.

As I retired for good just over a month ago I now have the time to get on with it, so I should have some more progress soon...

paul_n 10th October 2021 21:07


Originally Posted by Mister Towed (Post 106925)
Time for an update I feel as I have been making progress on my doors.

Nice work as always.


Originally Posted by Mister Towed (Post 106925)
As I retired for good just over a month ago I now have the time to get on with it, so I should have some more progress soon...

You poor deluded boy ....:nono:

Life will just rush in and fill that 40+ hour gap you thought you had in the week :biggrin:


Mick O'Malley 11th October 2021 05:34

Nice work, well explained and illustrated. Looking forward to updates :).

+1 on the 40 hour delusion...

Regards, Mick

Mister Towed 11th October 2021 08:13

Thanks for your positive comments, guys, they're much appreciated :)

I know what you mean about the way time evaporates when you retire as I tried to retire back in 2017.

I found that months went by and nothing got done as I had all the time in the World to do whatever I wanted but seemed to have no motivation to do anything but binge watch crap on Netflix.

After about nine months I worked out that what hobbies are really for is to give you a distraction away from the pressures of work, so I unretired and got a part time job, working three days a week with a four day weekend every week.

That actually worked very well, I got a lot more things done over those four day weekends than I did when I had seven days a week off. We recently paid off our mortgage, though, which meant our finances are a lot healthier and I decided that now is the time to leave the workplace behind and enjoy my retirement, and this time I mean it!

So, my wife and I have been travelling the UK staying in Hotels picked from the 'Secret Escapes' website, visiting National Trust and English Heritage sites such as Stone Henge, Sutton Hoo and multiple Elizabethan manor houses. I'd have liked to have done that by Classic car, but my wife wasn't so keen, so we compromised and bought a 'youngtimer' classic, an R53 Mini Cooper S to undertake such journeys in. I also have a renewed sense of purpose in my hobbies - I'm really enjoying the challenge of creating my Speedster and I'm getting plenty of time in the fields with my metal detectors.

So, if you're thinking of retiring or wondering where your time is going in retirement, I'd recommend easing yourself into it by taking on a part time job for a few years first. I promise you you'll appreciate retirement much more when you do finally hang up the office keys. :)

deni 15th October 2021 13:10

Wise words regarding retirement Mr. T...

Great job on the doors, they look really good. The modification is going to give the car a bit sportier look I think, and hopefully provide a more graceful entrance and exit :smile:. Looking forward to see the end result.

Regards, Deni.

Mister Towed 16th October 2021 08:22

Thanks Deni, yes, I am aiming for the Le Mans race car door look similar to a D Type Jag. I'm hoping that will throw people off the scent of it being a kit-car as it won't look like all the other 356 Speedsters on the road.

Progress continues apace now I've retired - here are some pics of the MG Midget door catches/locks going in -

With a bit of cutting and shaving of the door and body, they fit as if they were designed for the car and the door opens and closes with no drama -

The great thing about the Midget catches is that the slam plate completely encloses the catch on the door on three sides which helps to align the door in its opening. That means that the door can easily be adjusted simply by moving the slam panel a few thou' here and there. The front hinges will also offer similar levels of adjustment so a perfect fit should be achievable.

The passenger door is now at a similar stage - I just reused the same aluminium former to make the sill by bending it completely over to form a mirror image of the driver's side and panel beating it into place the other way up.

Next step is to create the lower half of the door 'innards' which will need to include a weather seal.

More later...

Paul L 18th October 2021 14:09

Mr T - My apologies, it has been too long since I last posted on here.

Congratulations on the full retirement and I look forward to seeing more progress on your car.

I had to look up the 'R53 Mini Cooper S' - nice. :cool:

I guess the real lesson from your Sammio build it that you can cut up fibreglass and put it back together.

I know that by the time you have finished, no one will know what you started with.

Good luck, Paul. :)


Originally Posted by Mister Towed (Post 106037)
The Car Years programme is, I believe, now due to be shown in April so you haven't missed it.

I managed to record an episode of this and got really excited as the 'garages' rolled by at the start.

They the show started with no sign of you, or your car. :(

So I fast forwarded to the first ad break and there you were. Excellent! :cool:

Never got around to watching the programme itself. :rolleyes:

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