How to Bend Fiberglass

by Steve Smith
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heissluftpistole - heat gun image by Cornelia Pithart from

Fiberglass is a light, solid and strong surface. It has natural flexibility and will bend when pressure is applied. However, once the pressure is released, the fiberglass returns to its original shape. A straight and flat piece of fiberglass must be heated to be bent into a curve permanently. While this is not the best way to create curved fiberglass pieces, it is a temporary solution. As always, take great care when heating any material, and work in a well lit and ventilated area.

Step 1

Set the fiberglass piece into a vise, clamping it securely in place, and leaving exposed the area of the fiberglass you wish to bend.

Step 2

Turn on a heat gun and set it to a medium setting. Let it warm up for several minutes.

Step 3

Clamp a pair of vise grips to the top of the fiberglass piece. Grasp the vise grips and bend the fiberglass slightly.

Step 4

Apply heat to the surface of the fiberglass for about 30 seconds. Hold the heat gun about 3 inches from the fiberglass. Move the heat gun slowly up and down the area you want to bend. Apply more heat or less heat by moving the heat gun closer to, or farther away from, the fiberglass. Some fiberglass pieces will require more or less heat, so you will have to experiment. Stop applying heat if you see or smell the fiberglass burning.

Step 5

Turn off the heat gun. Allow the fiberglass to cool for several minutes. Remove the vise grips and check to see how much the fiberglass has bent. Repeat the heating and bending process until you achieve the bend you desire.

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