Composites Fabrication And Repair Carbon Fiber, Kevlar, Fiberglass and all the newest high tech composites

Fibreglassing over Balsa

Reply
Old 01-25-2011, 12:02 PM
  #1
yellowpiper
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Toronto, ON, CANADA
Posts: 2
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Fibreglassing over Balsa

Question for you
I am building a 1/5th scale DHC Beaver. The entire plane is skinned in 1/16 and 1/8 balsa. I was originally going to cover her with Solartex fabric but have since thought that glassing her using water based Poly Urethane might work well.

Does anyone have any advice on the idea and or point me in a direction or advice on how to fibreglass using water based Poly Urethane.

Any advice or direction would be helpful.

Colin
yellowpiper is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 01:06 PM
  #2
invertmast
 
invertmast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: North Port, Fl
Posts: 7,645
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

Not WBPU, but its quicker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=330Zh7vUc6k
invertmast is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 04:00 PM
  #3
Campy
 
Campy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Baltic, CT
Posts: 3,613
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa


Quote:
ORIGINAL: yellowpiper

Question for you
I am building a 1/5th scale DHC Beaver. The entire plane is skinned in 1/16 and 1/8 balsa. I was originally going to cover her with Solartex fabric but have since thought that glassing her using water based Poly Urethane might work well.

Does anyone have any advice on the idea and or point me in a direction or advice on how to fibreglass using water based Poly Urethane.

Any advice or direction would be helpful.

Colin
Here you are....Step by step instructions.

Glassing with Water Base Polyurethane


1. Sand the model with 220 grit and remove any highs/lows you may find.
Fill as needed with lightweight filler and sand.

2. Give the wood 1 thin - medium coat of wood sealer. I use the
commercial stuff. What this does is twofold - it stops the balsa
from soaking up too much of the poly and at the same time protects
the balsa from the water in the polyurethane.

3. When dry, sand lightly with 220 to remove the "fuzzies".

4. Some people say to apply a light coat of 3M #77 adhesive to the
wood at this point. I have found that this is more trouble than it
is worth since if you have a wrinkle, the complete piece of fiberglass
has to be removed to straighten it out.

I prefer to lay the fiberglass cloth on the part/area to be covered and
smooth it out using a SOFT brush. Brush FROM THE CENTER TOWARDS THE
EDGES. The static electricity usually holds it in place. I normally
use 1/2 oz (.5 oz) or 3/4 oz (.75 oz) fiberglass cloth.

5. Using WATER BASE polyurethane and a FOAM brush, start at the center
and brush towards the edges of the fiberglass. All you want to do is
stick the fiberglass to the balsa, so excessive amounts are not needed.
Any additional pieces of fiberglass should overlap each other about
1/2 - 3/4 inches.

Let this dry. DO NOT SAND !!

Brush on another coat of polyurethane. This coat can be a little heavier.

Let this coat dry. DO NOT SAND !!


6. Mix up some polyurethane and microballoons. I use 1 part
microballoons to about 5 parts polyurethane. This will be on the thick
side.

Brush on a medium coat of this mixture and let dry.

7. Wet sand this with 220 or 320 grit paper. BE CAREFUL, AS YOU CAN
VERY EASILY SAND RIGHT THROUGH THE FIBERGLASS.

8. Check the fiberglass carefully to insure the weave is filled. If
the weave is not completely filled, repeat step 6 and 7.

9. SPRAY a coat of water base polyurethane on the plane and let dry.
DO NOT SAND !!

10. Spray a THIN coat of primer on the plane. When this is COMPLETELY
dry, block wet sand with 220 or 320 grit as much of the plane as
possible to highlight any highs/lows you may have missed during your
sanding/prep. The areas that can not be block sanded, CAREFULLY sand
by hand. (TIP: CA some of the wife's/girlfriends fingernail file boards
together. Wrap the sandpaper around them so you can block sand in tight
areas. The CA helps prevent the boards from disintergrating in the water)
Fill any low areas with a lightweight filler and sand when dry.

Apply a THIN coat of polyurethane to these areas.

When the poly is dry, repeat this step until you are satisfied that all
the highs/lows are removed.

11. SPRAY a thin coat of polyurethane on the plane. When dry, spray
the primer.

12. When the primer is dry, you can apply your rivets, panel lines and
other detailing desired.

13. Now you can spray your paint.



Campy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 05:32 PM
  #4
dhal22
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 5,496
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

well said campy. that's how i do it.
dhal22 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 08:02 AM
  #5
yellowpiper
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Toronto, ON, CANADA
Posts: 2
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

Thanks for the info. Very helpfull

Question.
How do you finish off the corners
For example on the fuse do you start on the bottom, trim to edge and then overlap the sides on to bottom by a slight margin.
What about the wing.




Interesting video invertmast, thanks campy and looked at a build thread by dhal22.

yellowpiper is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 09:02 AM
  #6
insalacosm
 
insalacosm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 327
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

I used the WBPU method above with excellent results - it was so easy and clean. I always stayed away from glassing because the challenge to get a good light finish, but the WBPU is so easy and because the PU evaporates, it makes for a light finish.
Steve
insalacosm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 02:48 PM
  #7
lmeddock
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: orlando, FL
Posts: 8
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

Can you help me with finding a source for .05 oz cloth or even .75? I don't want to buy it one square yard at time. I used to buy it from a guy out west, but can't find him. Any help would be great.
lmeddock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 03:27 PM
  #8
wyowindworks
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cody, WY
Posts: 294
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

I use Thayercraft for most of my glass needs.
wyowindworks is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 05:45 PM
  #9
Scorpion Racing
 
Scorpion Racing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winter Haven, FL
Posts: 624
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

Yes, Thayercraft is a great site for glass. I just got 50 Yds. of the .75 oz. for $75 delivered along with a few other weights of cloth. Each weight was rolled on a PVC pipe, sealed in plastic and wrapped in shipping paper. Good people to deal with and very quick service.
Scorpion Racing is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 08:29 PM
  #10
saramos
 
saramos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Northridge, CA
Posts: 3,037
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa


Quote:
ORIGINAL: yellowpiper

Thanks for the info. Very helpfull

Question.
How do you finish off the corners
For example on the fuse do you start on the bottom, trim to edge and then overlap the sides on to bottom by a slight margin.
What about the wing.

I would recommend proceeding back to front, and bottom to top. For example, if you glass the fuse, start on the back and work forward. this way, all overlaps are backward facing. On the wings, do the bottoms first with a little overlap onto the top of the wing along the leading edge. Then do the top of the wing overlapping onto the bottom along the leading edge. The overlaps do not need to be too large, 1/2 to 1 inch, but this will also give two layers over the leading edge for a little more hanger rash resistance. Same with the hoirizontal stabs. Trailing edges are usually too sharp to bend around and are typically sanded once cured to trim the overhang.

Scott
saramos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2011, 03:16 PM
  #11
Avaiojet
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Jupiter , FL
Posts: 3,123
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

I personally wouldn't use water base anything.
Avaiojet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2011, 10:22 PM
  #12
dhal22
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 5,496
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Avaiojet

I personally wouldn't use water base anything.
Charles, the water based polyurethane provided an excellent surface for your graphics on my MK Blue Angel. But I think the automotive clear coat will help with the concerns you are thinking about.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Zx69850.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	99.4 KB
ID:	1600745   Click image for larger version

Name:	Vq51091.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	99.5 KB
ID:	1600746  
dhal22 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2011, 08:16 AM
  #13
kenh3497
 
kenh3497's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rockwell, IA
Posts: 1,299
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

I started modeliong in 1975 and have used epoxy & glass. I've been away from the hobby for some time now and am currious agout the WBPU process. This thread has been very informative so far. My next project will be a 20% scale Zlin 526

At this point my only question is, whis PU product seems to be the poupular one to use?

Thanks!

Ken

OK I lied ..... I do have another question. Is the surface of a WBPU as hard and tough as a surface done using epoxy?
kenh3497 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2011, 06:07 PM
  #14
jvigani
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Somerville, NJ
Posts: 67
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Fibreglassing over Balsa

Which PU product seems to be the popular one to use?

Most use Minwax Polycryilc.

Is the surface of a WBPU as hard and tough as a surface done using epoxy?

No it is not as hard as epoxy, but it is lighter and reasonably hard.
jvigani is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:26 AM.