Weekend Projects 2006-09-23 - Glass
Well this was a very productive weekend.
After completing all my chores Friday evening and Saturday morning I got to spend several hours will a good buddy of mine, Randy Linderman. His web page is here. He has built many many models and is always willing to lend a hand and teach a new comer the nuances of the hobby..
I am in the process of building a
Powerlines Hobby Yak 54 Extreme.
I have most of it put together and will have a thread on it here shortly... Everything looks real good on it but I have been told that the cowling needs a little strengthening.
Well a few fellow pilots suggested getting a thicker cowling made out of vacuum formed plastic. Well that would entail Randy's help. That can be a lot of work. Mock up a clay duplicate etc. Well, Randy came up with the cool idea of fiberglassing the original cowls. It does not add much weight and I get to learn a new process. Great!. So the date was set and we would glass the cowls.
I arrived at Randy's and he gave me a tour and some instruction on his CBA from West Mountain (that too will be thread shortly..) and proceeded to give some background on glassing as well as show me some of his models that he used it on. He is currently rebuilding a B-25. That is going to be great.
Anyway, he got all his tools and materials out, explained where he gets the items at and explained the different glass materials and when/where to use them. We mixed up the epoxy resin thinned it a bit and he applied the first piece of cloth. He proceeded to show me how he lays the cloth down and applies the resin and can stretch and move the weave anyway he wants. We were using .7 oz/yard weight glass cloth for this application.
He then handed the brush over to me and let me do the rest. I kept thinking up new ideas as to where I could use this technique as well as discussing them with Randy to make sure I was using the glass in the right way. Tape is ok on airplanes for a quick and dirty fix but using glass might sure come in handy and be alot more permanent.
One thing he did mention is glass needs to be applied over a hard surface for it to work well. He did mention how he built up his cowl on one of his airplanes over a foam form and then took some solvent when he was finished and poured it on the foam and the foam disappeared while the fiberglass cowling was left intact ready to be mounted.
I finally got 1 of the cowls done. We added more cloth to the nose of the cowl as well as the trailing edge for the screws to have a better bite into.
Once the first one was done we took a break and then Randy cut some more fabric and I proceeded to do the second cowl by this time Alan showed up and while I was working on finishing up the second cowl Randy and Alan conversed about the CBA as well as Randy's other projects.
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Before trimming the glass off
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Last night, as you can see from the pix, I got all the excess glass off the cowls. I am ready to re-install the original cowl on the Yak once I clean out the screw holes. This additional strengthening of the cowling should help prolong the life of it but just in case I do have a spare and it was very cost effective to modify.
I cannot thank Randy enough for the time and patience the took to teach me the new aspect of the hobby utilizing fiberglass cloth to enhance and strengthen my models. I will definitely be using this new technique in the future.