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  #1  
Old 02-02-2021, 08:25 AM
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goatflieg goatflieg is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Clarkston, MI
Posts: 710
Default RV-8 windscreen fiberglass molding layup: one worker or two?

Preparing to lay down the fiberglass around my windscreen. I've had training from Synergy Air and EAA Sportair workshops and built several practice projects, so I feel mentally prepared to do the work. But all my practice pieces have been small, and I plan to make continuous strips of pre-preg glass over four feet long for my installation. I'd like to ask the RV-8 community: how many builders have done this solo, and how many have had help with laying down the strips? I know I could probably use shorter strips overlapped, but I would prefer continuous strips. Access is difficult with the airplane sitting on the gear; it's a tall reach that will require using my work platforms on either side. Feel free to share your stories. I just want to plan this process as carefully as possible in advance so that it goes smoothly... literally and figuratively.
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Martin J Filiatrault
Clarkston, MI
RV-8 #83507 - empennage at hangar; currently working on finishing canopy & wing tips.
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Last edited by goatflieg : 02-02-2021 at 08:29 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2021, 09:05 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Location: Dayton, NV
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Default

I know that I did mine alone, many years ago - I think it would probably be easier to do with a helper, but it is certainly doable as a solo job if you can’t find someone who wants to get into the epoxy with you....

Paul
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2021, 09:39 AM
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Lkitson Lkitson is offline
 
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Location: Harleysville, PA
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Default

I did mine solo. Its small enough that one person can handle it easily. Although mine was not on the gear at the time so it was lower.
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Last edited by Lkitson : 02-02-2021 at 09:50 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2021, 02:35 PM
Allan Stern Allan Stern is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 274
Default Wind screen layup

I did a 6A, an 8A, a 12 and a 14A by myself as I didn't have any help. So it can be done.
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2021, 03:17 PM
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Daida Daida is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
Posts: 155
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I also did it solo.
The more accurate you pre-cut the cloth pieces, the easier it gets (obviously).
Mine already stood on its gear. A stool and a step came in very handy even that i am 6’4”.
Get one on each side, you don’t want to bother moving the step from left to right and back when you have wetted cloth in your hands.

Success!!
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2021, 06:34 PM
sf3543 sf3543 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
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If you want to make it easier to do, try this method.
Lay out a piece of plastic large enough to make your lay up.
Make a template of the piece you want to lay up and trace it onto the plastic.
Cut out all the cloth you want to lay up, say 5 layers.
Mix your epoxy and wet out the first layer on the plastic with the shape drawn on it. Overlap the drawn shape a little for best results.
Repeat for all subsequent layers until they are all stacked and wetted out.
Make sure you get out all the bubbles. I use an old credit or gift card to do the wetting.
Put another piece of plastic over the top, making a sandwich of plastic with your wet cloth layers in between.
Cut the entire thing out along the tracing you made earlier.
Now you have an easy to manage lay up, with all layers already together.
Cary it to your plane and install it like putting on a band aid. Peel off the bottom plastic as you lay it in place.
Once you have that done, you can peel off the top plastic and smooth or manipulate as necessary.
You could use peel ply as the top layer instead of plastic if you want a better finish.
Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2021, 08:57 PM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Location: KMCE
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Martin,

You sound a little nervous over something that shouldn't really make you feel that way. The "big cut" makes the fairing work toddler's play, even solo. Take your time and enjoy the process.

Don't worry too much about using several pieces over the top. If you'd like a little more structure built into the aesthetics, make patterns out of 50/50 carbon fiber/e-glass that stack up incrementally and fair out over the fuselage and F-820 top skin. Dye your epoxy black and place release agents underneath so that you can shape the fairing to your liking before final installation:







Then if you decide to paint the plane yourself, there will be plenty of opportunity to sand, fill, prime, and sand some more anyway, so getting it perfect the first few times isn't important.



I'm certainly no composite guru like Dan H. and others in our community, and if a knucklehead like me can do it solo, anyone can. So have fun with it. You'll do great!
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2021, 09:10 PM
Taltruda Taltruda is offline
 
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Wow Scott, that looks great! Did you make it removable or did you epoxy it in place? If itís removable, where are the fasteners?
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2021, 09:15 PM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taltruda View Post
Wow Scott, that looks great! Did you make it removable or did you epoxy it in place? If itís removable, where are the fasteners?
Tom,

It was removed for final shaping and glued into place with Sikaflex.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2021, 09:38 PM
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Carlos151 Carlos151 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lebanon, TN
Posts: 318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goatflieg View Post
I'd like to ask the RV-8 community: how many builders have done this solo, and how many have had help with laying down the strips? I know I could probably use shorter strips overlapped, but I would prefer continuous strips. Access is difficult with the airplane sitting on the gear; it's a tall reach that will require using my work platforms on either side. Feel free to share your stories. I just want to plan this process as carefully as possible in advance so that it goes smoothly... literally and figuratively.
Did mine solo, staggered strips, 8-10 layers, using Hysol (now owned by Loctite) as advised by my tech counselor. That stuff is indestructible and adheres to aluminum as well as plexi. Made some test samples and literally had to destroy them to try and separate the pieces. After that, sand and fill, and sand and fill, and sand and fill,.......
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