laying up a fibreglass fin panel ....

okay , I put a description in the “FAQ” section of the resources here at Swaylocks.

To cut a long story short , this panel I made (an hour ago) is …

5 layers clear [ie: 6oz fibreglass laminated with polyester resin]

1 layer 8oz hemp material

10 layers clear

1 layer hemp

10 layers clear

1 layer hemp

5 layers clear

all up , it took me about 40 minutes [but that’s because I was taking gloves off to take photos at each stage …]

So , now , here’s the photos , since I have had quite a few people in the last month ask me. (And , I DEFINATELY prefer 20,000 words worth of PHOTOS , than words !) …

“fin making pack”…

8oz hemp material …


it’s only letting me post two shots inline at a time , sorry crew …

masking off the area …

[not an inlay …just the funky curtain reflecting in the glass]

some of the materials needed …

brush on the thin layer of lam resin …

Add fibreglass cloth . Let resin soak in a bit . Add resin as needed . Roller cloth …

( …it pays to be ambidextrous , when taking photos while ‘rollering’ ! )

5 layers of 6oz down , time for the 1 layer of 8oz hemp now …

…artsy fartsy type photo ( I included this just for you , ‘Oldy’ !)

wetted out hemp …

10 more layers of fibreglass , 1 layer hemp etc etc …I think you get the idea ?

finished laminated panel …

I let it sit an hour or two , then brush on a thin layer of filler [‘sanding / hotcoat’] resin , to let it gel completely…


  1. the medicine cups in these photos are 30ml [?30cc?] size. For bigger panels , use bigger cups. Catalyse each cup just before you are about to use them . Stir well [with a ‘popstick’]

  2. I lay up 5 layers of 6oz at a time , usually [others may do less]

  3. The hemp soaks up more resin than the 6oz fibreglass does [I’ve found the same with cotton , and carbon fibre , too]

  4. The resin will gel on the roller , for me , anyway , if I don’t work fast , with polyester resin . Therefore , always have spare rollers . Or use epoxy resin .

  5. My flat stinks now… Along those lines , wearing a respirator is a good idea !

I can’t think of anything else to add just now , but if anyone can , feel free to add to this , ask questions , whatever !

Well, crew , I hope this has been helpful , and perhaps will encourage some of you to give making your own fibreglass fins a go . (Your board , and surfing , will THANK you for it , I think !)

 cheers !


Thanks for that, Ben.

you’re welcome , Ben.

I’ve layed up so many of them , I thought , "sooner or later I’ll get my act together and document it so hopefully OTHERS can give this a go , too " ! [I’d LOVE to see more people posting up shots of their home made fins , on their home made boards !]

…Now , if I can just get good FOILING sussed one of these days , THAT could be a good ‘making fins , part 2’ thread , eh ?

… I’d really need to do that outdoors , and to have someone else photograph that , though ! ( I don’t trust myself using a grinder one-handed , with a camera in the other hand , just yet !)



…filler coated [yes, we really DO call it “filler resin” , here in Australia !]

  1. The resin will gel on the roller , for me , anyway , if I don’t work fast , with polyester resin . Therefore , always have spare rollers . Or use epoxy resin .

Why don’t you have a can of acetone nearby, Ben? Just let your roller soak in it while you don’t use it.

yep , it’s in one of the photos .

But that is a good point , and worth mentioning mate , thanks for reminding me …

I really wanted to keep moving when I started making this panel . So I was able to do it with the one roller this time.

With a bigger panel , I’d use two rollers . Also , if doing coloured or multi coloured or resin swirl panels …a different roller for each colour is DEFINATELY a good idea.

On this one , I got by with using just the one roller because I got it finished fairly quick [and it’s our winter now , so longer gel times] .

cheers !


With RR Epoxy do you keep going untill all the 36? layers are done in one go or will that burst into flames? If it does get too hot what is a sensible schedule?


Great post Ben!

One comment:

This looks like a perfect application for UV resin. No mixing on the fly, no gelling untill you want.

If you use UV resin you have to catalyze it as well, because the UV light will not penetrate the layers well, particularly if you use pigment or colored cloth.

With RR epoxy, I did mine in small batches. I would take a bunch of paper cups and mark them for the resin and hardener. Then, I would mix one cup, and use it for 5-10 layers. Then on to the next cup, etc, and do all the layers in one sitting in about 30 minutes.

And in between I would roll like a madman…

Thanks Blakestah, learn something every day. :smiley:

So do you wet out all 5 layers, 10 layers whatever of each stage at once? Meaning, on the outer layer right, it’s 5 peices of 6 oz. Do you lay them in the resin all at once or one by one?