Adventures in Fibreglass

Owen enrolled in the Newcastle TAFE, Tighes Hill Campus to do a composite/ fibreglass course to increase his knowledge and learn new tips and tricks etc in the art of fibreglassing and composites .

This is because he plans on building the body/ camper for the truck in fibreglass/ composite. The course cost around $1113 and was a 72hr course in 1x4day block per month (Monday to Thursday – 8am to 4:30pm and with the option of doing 2 extra nights during these blocks (Tuesday and Wednesday 5pm to 9pm). Making 2 days 13 hours long <eek>. This course does not seem to be offered anymore, as the numbers doing the course were very limited (in fact Owen was the only one).


Friday, 8th April 2011

Returned home AGAIN.

Re-rapped the fibreglass project and mould and packed it in the car, with our other stuff and the dog etc. Left gateway Hotel at about 10am, stopping at Centurion Fire Rescue Equipment to look at their roller shutters as Owen is thinking of using these as a “barrier” between the camper body and the cab where the pass through is.


Thursday, 7th April 2011

Owen’s last day of his Fibreglass course.

At Lunchtime I took Owen’s filled out forms into Administration and enrolled him for the rest of the Semester, paying the extra $225. At 4pm’ish Owen overhears the head of the Composite section saying to another student that they are changing the course structure and next month it will be only 3 days and not 4. Owen then pulls the “teacher” over when he has finished and says, well are you going to tell me about this, so after fighting to get any information out of the man, Owen finds out that yes it will be 3 days and not 4 and that the nights will also not be run (that Owen can attend anyway) and that technically instead of 4 days Owen can only attend for 1 day a month, because the other days are for the shipwright apprentices and not help in the composites area that Owen uses and that area will be locked. So he decided it was not worth attending, the LONG drive both ways etc for 1 x 8hr day. So then we had to organise to try to get a refund of the money I had paid the day before, and because of the late time, admin was closed so we had to return the next morning to try to fix things, filling out more paper work. I KNOW there is NO WAY that this decision was made at 4pm on Thursday afternoon, it had to have been made days ahead and we were really pissed that they didn’t have the decency to tell us about this before Owen was basically packing up for the day.

If he had of known in advance he could have planned his last block to make sure he covered off the work he wanted to learn and not spend hours sanding things etc (he KNOWS how to sand, he used to rebuild cars etc), but he had planned his projects with having at least another 2 blocks (4 days and 2 nights each block) to get through his desired work.

He had only just laid out a new project and it was wet and could not be removed from the mould etc, and it was still smelly as it was drying and the building was going to be shut on Friday , so Owen had to wrap it up and take it back to the hotel, leaving it in the bathroom with the extraction fan running all night to try to make it tolerable to put in the car for the long drive home the next day.

We were NOT happy about any of this as you can imagine.


Wednesday, 6th April 2011

He had decided to do another couple of months worth (to finish out the semester), he was told on Wednesday 06/04/11 that to do this he would have to pay a further $225 and enrol to do the Certificate II course. He was given the partly filled out and signed enrolment forms and told to fill the out and take them to Administration and they would see him next month. So that night he filled them out.

8am – 12pm, 12:30pm – 4:30pm and 5pm to 9pm (12 hours of actual work + 1 hour of breaks) (Wed).


Monday, 4th to Thursday, 7th April 2011

Owen’s Fibreglass course in Newcastle. Staying at Gateway hotel in Islington.

8am to 12pm and 12:30pm to 4:30pm (8 hours work + ½ hr break) (Mon)

8am – 12pm, 12:30pm – 4:30pm and 5pm to 9pm (12 hours of actual work + 1 hour of breaks) (Tue).


Monday, 7th to Thursday, 10th March 2011

Owen went off to his Fibreglass course.

While Owen was at the TAFE, I took Boo to the Dog Beach at Horseshoe Beach right next to Nobby’s Beach in Newcastle. She had fun, this was only her second or third trip to a beach ever, she didn’t like the salty water and couldn’t work out why the waves kept chasing her .

8am to 12pm and 12:30pm to 4:30pm (8 hours work + ½ hr break)(Mon & Thur)

8am – 12pm, 12:30pm – 4:30pm and 5pm to 9pm (12 hours of actual work + 1 hour of breaks) (Tue & Wed)


Sunday, 6th March 2011

Owen was still working on finishing the carport roof and waterproofing it at about 3pm and had about 5 min’s to get ready before we left to head off to Newcastle for this month’s TAFE block. Luckily for him I had packed all of the stuff needed he just needed to lift the heavy case etc into the car. I drove to Newcastle (my Car is modified so that I can legally drive with only one hand). We arrived at the hotel at about 7:30pm and settled in, then went downstairs to the bistro for dinner, leaving the dog in the room upstairs.


Pre – Sunday, 6th March 2011

This time we decided that we would stay at a hotel closer to the TAFE (we didn’t want to be a burden and outstay our welcome with the family and we wanted to bring our dog with us (Boo is my Disability Assistance Dog and therefore has the same rights as a Guide Dog)), I called around the area trying to find a place but many of the local pubs etc were already booked out in advance with long term residents, most of them being TAFE students, or were too expensive (finances are NOT flush with us), but finally I found a Hotel the Gateway Hotel at 139 Maitland Road Islington, NSW which was only $200 per week, and was only 900m up the road or a 1 minute drive. To make things even better the park almost next door was a dog park making taking the dog for a walk and to the toilet MUCH easier. Our room had a double and single bed in it (as we need to sleep in separate beds due to my medical condition), with shared bathroom (but as we were the only people staying there we didn’t have to share with anyone), there was also a kitchen with fridge, oven, microwave etc and a TV room with couch, chairs and a PRE-digital TV. The bistro down stairs had nice meals that were fairly cheap ($16 for a 200g scotch fillet steak with chips and salad), so we tended to eat their most nights. Upon arriving we found it was a Gay pub but this didn’t bother us in the slightest. The pub was pretty quiet at night closing at about 9-10pm most nights with Friday and Saturday the only noisy nights (and as we were staying there Sunday to Thursday nights, this didn’t bother us, we didn’t hear the road noise or anything either).


Monday, 7th to Friday, 11th February 2011

Owen’s first day at TAFE, We stayed with Owen’s cousins partner in Cardiff South, Newcastle TAFE forgot to tell him that the first day of term begins at 10am and NOT 8am so we were there 2 hours early and there was no use driving back to Cardiff and then back again, so we went and had a drive around the area, and went shopping for a few things we needed.

10am to 12pm and 12:30pm to 4:30pm (6 hours work + ½ hr break)(Mon)

8am – 12pm, 12:30pm – 4:30pm and 5pm to 9pm (12 hours of actual work + 1 hour of breaks) (Tue & Wed)

8am to 12pm and 12:30pm to 4:30pm (8 hours work + ½ hr break) (Thur)


Sunday, 6th February 2011

Left home and travelled to Newcastle for Owen’s Fibreglassing course. Stayed with relatives (Owen’s cousin’s partner)  in Cardiff South (about 20 min’s from the campus) .