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  1. #1
    stevegauth30's Avatar
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    Tips for glassing warbird.

    Hey guys. I'm sure this question has been asked time and again, but after a day of pouring through threads, I haven't really found the answers to my questions. I don't have much experience with glassing as I have only glassed one set of floats so far, and they didn't come out that great. What are some tips as far as seams are concerned. How about wing tips and other curved areas? BTW, don't know if it makes a difference, but it's going on a TF Sea Fury and the epoxy I have is west systems. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about west, but it's what I have.how about once it's laid up, filling the weave and getting a nice smooth surface? Any tips would be a big help. Thank you to those who take the time to answer. Steve.
    CUB BROTHERHOOD # 151, CORSAIR BROTHERHOOD # 80, CLUB SAITO # 804, WACO BROTHER #242, P-47 BROTHER #98, GLOW HEAD #1

  2. #2
    sensei's Avatar
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    It is just my opinion and that and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee, maybe.

    Adding a single ply of 3/4 oz with epoxy resin will not buy you any strength, only additional weight, especially if you don't really know what you are doing, so do yourself a favor and goto home Depot or Lowe's and get yourself a quart Minwax oil based urethane to place the glass on with, after that prime and paint is your choice.

    Bob
    Fly It Like You Stole It!!!

  3. #3
    stevegauth30's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply sensei. I've read a lot of people using that. So, you put the glass on with it, do you still have to fill it in? Or are you filling the weave with the primer?so the epoxy won't add any strength? It's got to be at least as strong as ultra Kote, right? Not that I'm set on using it, just wondering.thanks again for taking the time to answer. Steve.
    CUB BROTHERHOOD # 151, CORSAIR BROTHERHOOD # 80, CLUB SAITO # 804, WACO BROTHER #242, P-47 BROTHER #98, GLOW HEAD #1

  4. #4
    saramos's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,

    I've had good luck with West Systems epoxy. The trick is to be ready and to work in the proper order. Once you have filled, sanded and smoothed out your surface, use a tack cloth to get rid of any dust. When glassing, you want to work from back to front so that the overlay is in the direction of the air flow. I also like to work from top to bottom. Your overlaps should be at least an inch. I like to start with the wings. Do the top of the wing in one session using 3 pieces of glass, right left and overlapping center. The right and left pieces should overlap the wing joint and the center piece should cover the center overlapping the wing joints by 3 inches. Start with the right. Lay the glass so there is at least 1 inch overhang all around the wing. have all pieces cut before you mix any epoxy up. Also have a bunch of paper towels cut in quarters for cleanup, and a roll of toilet paper, some small disposable brushes and some squeegees. I keep and use fake credit cards that come in the mail. If you use the West Systems, use their pumps. 105 resin and 206 hardener is a good choice. 1 pump is about right for 1/4 of the wing. Some people like to give a real light dusting of 3M 77 glue on the surface to hold the glass in place. Do the top right first. Start in the center of the piece of glass and work your way outward. While working, try not to distort the fabric. Get the epoxy onto the surface quickly and start spreading it out. The epoxy will kick quicker in the container than when spread across a surface. Work the epoxy outward until it is completely wet and shiny with no whitish areas. Next, use the squeegee to remove as much excess epoxy as you can, wiping the squeegee on the 1/4 sheets of paper towels. Be careful in concave curves as brushing and squeegee can cause the glass to lift. dapple those areas with the brush. Finally, roll the roll of toilet paper on the surface to absorb more epoxy, tearing off the outer layer of the roll as you go. Once done, the surface will be an even satin without being shiny. Now proceed to the top left in the same fashion overlapping the right by an inch or two. Finally the top center. The overlap on the front of the wing should be rolled over the LE onto the bottom surface. The overlap on the TE can just hang loose. After the epoxy starts to setup, the overhang on the TE will be leathery and can be easily trimmed close with a pair of scissors. Let it dry for 12 - 24 hours. Any overhang on the TE can now be sanded off with some 220 grit paper. Now you can repeat the process for the bottom of the wing, rolling over the overhang around the LE onto the top. When done, there will be two layers covering the LE, and 3 layers covering the wing joints. You will have removed all excess epoxy leaving a surface with the texture of the glass. Move on to the fuselage, starting in the back and moving down and then forward. It may take up to 8 pieces to cover the tail, 2 for rudder, 4 for the stabs and 1-2 for the fuse around the tail. Do the stabs first, then the rudder, then the aft fuse. Make 1" overlaps of all the pieces. Then start moving forward on the fuselage. The number of pieces depends on the complexity of the fuselage. Again, plan out and have all your pieces cut before mixing epoxy. You should be able to do the actual glassing fairly quickly. Just always work in small batches of epoxy to give good pot life. (I like 1 to 2 pump batches and no more). Heat shortens the pot life. The larger the batch, the more heat it generates. I see you are in San Antonio. I would try and shoot for 75 - 85 degree environment to work in.

    Hope that helps

    Scott

  5. #5
    sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegauth30@comcast.net View Post
    Thanks for the reply sensei. I've read a lot of people using that. So, you put the glass on with it, do you still have to fill it in? Or are you filling the weave with the primer?so the epoxy won't add any strength? It's got to be at least as strong as ultra Kote, right? Not that I'm set on using it, just wondering.thanks again for taking the time to answer. Steve.
    Hello Steve,

    Yes you still must fill the weave regardless of what you place the glass down with. Talcum powder mixed in with the Minwax urethane works pretty good for filling the weave after the glass application is down and everything has set overnight, then prime as you see fit. The thing is this, epoxy is fine for use in this application, it is more expensive, it is two component so it must be mixed for every batch, it thickens and heats as you work with it because of it's exothermic reaction after mixing, so you need to move right along as you work because time is not really your friend. Now with the Minwax you open the can, relax, use what you need, and work at your own pace until finished, close the can for use at a later date...

    Laminating epoxy has no strength by itself, now when you add multiple layer of glass and the binder/epoxy is very strong in this application, but weight is also an issue so just be careful. So you see, the application of using epoxy for cosmetically prepping for paint it is of no structural value, especially when there are things out today that makes things so much easier to use with equal too or better performance than epoxy. I too used epoxy and glass way back when as part of my paint prep regiment, but I also flew using am radios back then, and I fly 2.4 today. In the use of epoxy or urethane with a single ply of 1/2 to 3/4 oz glass, you will get hangar rash just as easy as plastic film covering, so don't let anyone kid you about that, and you can easily test this by simply dropping a 1/4" bolt 2" long from 36" up down on the surface and you will see thing much more clearly. Anyway I am sure your project will turn out great either way you go so I wish you the vary best.

    Bob
    Fly It Like You Stole It!!!

  6. #6

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    Have you tried using a layer of peel ply poly on top of the glass.. I think it's a real time saver because the peel ply well soak up the extra resin and leave you a surface really for priming without a lot of sanding being needed. It cost a bit more but I think you'll love the results..
    try it try it I did.

  7. #7
    stevegauth30's Avatar
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    Well, I gotta say, I really like the idea of having all the time you need using the min wax.as well as I'm sure being quite a bit cheaper. I also like the idea of the peel ply. I've seen it before, but don't know much about it. More research. Thanks guys. Steve.
    CUB BROTHERHOOD # 151, CORSAIR BROTHERHOOD # 80, CLUB SAITO # 804, WACO BROTHER #242, P-47 BROTHER #98, GLOW HEAD #1

  8. #8

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    I recently tried Sensei's Minwax method and I am thrilled with the results. I applied the 1/2 oz. glass cloth by brushing on the Minwax and squeegeed away the excess. Once that was dry, I lightly sanded the surface and smoothed out the seams with a sanding block. I then applied a second application of Minwax, sanded it and then primed. There was almost no weave showing through the primer. Total weight gain from bare wood to glassed and ready to prime was under 3 oz. This is on a 40 size sport plane with a 56" WS....RS

  9. #9

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  11. #11
    oliveDrab's Avatar
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    Minwax Oil-based poly w/cloth

    Quote Originally Posted by sensei View Post
    It is just my opinion and that and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee, maybe.

    Adding a single ply of 3/4 oz with epoxy resin will not buy you any strength, only additional weight, especially if you don't really know what you are doing, so do yourself a favor and goto home Depot or Lowe's and get yourself a quart Minwax oil based urethane to place the glass on with, after that prime and paint is your choice.

    Bob
    I tried the Minwax-oil-based-urethane-over-3/4 oz-cloth method on an 80" Top Flite T34B. It turned out to be a smooth strong finish. But two problems occurred:

    1. I think I applied too many coats of Minwax. It got heavy. The plane turned out to be 17.5 lbs. It was electric with a 10S Lipo and an EFlite Power 160 motor. It had Robart retracts, flaps, 7 645MG servos. Now that I think about it, maybe 17.5 lbs isn't too terrible.
    2. I sprayed it with Krylon primer then white Lustrekote. A month later The white started to turn reddish-brown on the ailerons. Was that the Lustrekote?

    The Minwax worked well - no mixing just like Sensei said. I'm gonna do it again but this time I'll pay more attention to the number of coats I apply and better paint.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by oliveDrab; 10-14-2013 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Comment about weight
    "We’re retrieving the seed — then we’re done defending the humans."

  12. #12
    oliveDrab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sensei View Post
    It is just my opinion and that and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee, maybe.

    Bob
    Cracker Barrel has been charging me $1.99 for a cup of coffee. At least it's good coffee.
    "We’re retrieving the seed — then we’re done defending the humans."

  13. #13

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    Has anyone tried minwax and 3/4 glass compaired to epoxy resin to see the difference or if there is one.. ??

  14. #14
    oliveDrab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chip_MG View Post
    Has anyone tried minwax and 3/4 glass compaired to epoxy resin to see the difference or if there is one.. ??
    I can't tell you if there's a difference but I did try the minwax and 3/4 glass and I liked it a lot.
    "We’re retrieving the seed — then we’re done defending the humans."

  15. #15
    sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliveDrab View Post
    Cracker Barrel has been charging me $1.99 for a cup of coffee. At least it's good coffee.
    LOL. As with anything to much build up can cause excessive weight, so just be careful.

    Bob
    Fly It Like You Stole It!!!

  16. #16
    MTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chip_MG View Post
    Has anyone tried minwax and 3/4 glass compaired to epoxy resin to see the difference or if there is one.. ??
    Yes....with the Min wax (polyurethane finish) method as the basis, laminating epoxy glassing technique adds approximately 50%-100% when used without thinning. Same is true for the older polyester resin or vinyl ester used as the resin of choice

    Epoxy paint (Klass Kote) is slightly lighter, 15%-20% than Min Wax and glass (same glass which for me was 1/2 ounce variety)

    In terms of toughness, laminating epoxy or polyester are tougher than Min Wax; epoxy paint is next. But the term "tough" is used loosely and subjectively here because none of these thin covering jobs are tough enough to resist even light hanger rash

    The lightest by considerable margin is also the least tough because it is the thinnest.....dope and Jap tissue or dope and light silkspan.....

    Bottom line (sort of obvious), the material you use matters less and less as you thin down the covering job.....

    So from thinnest to thickest, Light Silkspan and dope is about 1 mil thick; Esaki Jap Tissue and dope is about 1-1.1 mil thick (this is stronger and stiffer arrangment tho than light silkspan and is my choice for finishing large areas). Medium silkspan and dope, is around 1.7-2 mils thick

    Epoxy paint and light glass is about 2.5-3 mils thick; Min wax and glass is about 2.5 to 3.25 mils thick. I've also used epoxy paint and carbon veil and this method definitely adds lots of stiffness for a moderate thickness (and weight) of around 3 mils

    Laminating epoxy and light glass 4 mils to 6 mils thick

    For comparison, Wrinkle kotes (monokote and ultra kote and the so many other flavors) 2.75 mils to 3.75 mils, depending on color. Light versions range from around 1.5 mils to 2.5 mils again depending on color. I have a small quantity of 1/2 mil stock but needs adhesive and is pretty flimsy

    Textiles run from 4 mils to 6 mils.

    Polyspan spun polyester covering and dope are about 3-3.5 mils. Polyspan light (polyester tisue) is about half the thickness of regular. Depending on the structure, these are my choices for open framework, and sometimes I laminate these with carbon veil for extra stiffness. Come to think of it, I've used carbon veil under various coverings to add stiffness to flimsy open framework.

    Just a few of the things I picked up along the way over my 45 years in the hobby. As always, YMMV.....
    Last edited by MTK; 10-14-2013 at 01:23 PM.
    Regards,
    MattK
    (Rcmaster199@aol.com)

  17. #17
    stevegauth30's Avatar
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    Some good info here. I'm learning a lot. Thanks. I'm still in a tug of war in my head. Min wax or west epoxy.i still like the idea of having all the time I need with the min wax.
    CUB BROTHERHOOD # 151, CORSAIR BROTHERHOOD # 80, CLUB SAITO # 804, WACO BROTHER #242, P-47 BROTHER #98, GLOW HEAD #1

  18. #18
    sensei's Avatar
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    As I think MTK and myself have already stated, there is no real benefit to the epoxy over Minwax He feels that the epoxy is a little lighter in his experience and I have had just the opposite in mine. The choice is yours and if your careful, you will have good results no matter what you decide.

    Bob
    Fly It Like You Stole It!!!

  19. #19
    oliveDrab's Avatar
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    Epoxy paint vs MinWax

    Quote Originally Posted by MTK View Post
    Epoxy paint (Klass Kote) is slightly lighter, 15%-20% than Min Wax and glass (same glass which for me was 1/2 ounce variety)
    I was going to use MinWax and glass on my next plane. I assume that would involve applying the glass cloth, 2 coats of MinWax, then primer and paint. But maybe
    Epoxy paint and glass is better. What are the required steps for applying that?
    "We’re retrieving the seed — then we’re done defending the humans."

  20. #20

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    Wrong!!! I love the guys who post like this, because I get to give em a test....take some .75 cloth,,,glass "and do it right",,a 4"X4" piece of balsa glass it, and let it dry over night. in the morning get another piece of balsa, same size,,,and break it...slowwwwwww,,,,then do the same to the glassed piece... If you were honest with all of us, and honest with yourself,,you would find that it DOES add strength. and that is only a 4X4 piece... The more wood you cover, "fuse", the stronger it becomes... This is the way I have done it,,,it they all flew great!!..yes,,Glassing adds weight,,,but not 40lbs!!!....here it is...works awesome!!!

    1. Brush mixed glass on wood....just enough to saturate the wood,,,NOT DRIPPING"
    2. Relax some,,,,have a beer,,,and let the wood take it allllll in.... hahahaha
    3. put on some rubber gloves, or do this first,,whatever you like...
    4 Find a buddy who has a set of good hands, not an old man that shakes like crazy!!
    5. you grab a side, and he grabs a side...His job is to hold the glass while you work it down on the plane. " I do it myself, but an extra set of hands is priceless.
    6. work the glass with your hands, rubbing it down onto the plane. You do this after you had a beer and the resin is sticky/ tacky... NOT DRY
    7. Let dry over night, watch some TV and go to bed...
    8. next day, go look at your work..if you have a place your not happy with,,,sand with 800, and make up a small amount of resin, and fix the places..no glass "material" needed for small patches.
    9. Go to the auto parts store, and get a qt of high build primer,mix and spray. I use polyurethane " its flexible" ahhhhhh...spray it on,,,and you'll see it fill the rest of the glass you missed.
    10. When dry...800 sand till its smooth and work it slowly you don't want to sand through the primer to the glass.
    11. air pressure to blow off the dust..outside,,,not in the house!!! your wife or GF will shoot ya!!
    12...mix up the paint and get busy!!.....its simple,,,but take your time!! You want your glass job to look awesome!!!
    ...................................

    Glass just needs the weave to be full,,,does not,,,NOT need to be covered till you cant see it,,, that's what primer is for!!!!



    Quote Originally Posted by sensei View Post
    It is just my opinion and that and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee, maybe.

    Adding a single ply of 3/4 oz with epoxy resin will not buy you any strength, only additional weight, especially if you don't really know what you are doing, so do yourself a favor and goto home Depot or Lowe's and get yourself a quart Minwax oil based urethane to place the glass on with, after that prime and paint is your choice.

    Bob
    Life is to short,,, to fly slow planes!!!!!!

  21. #21
    sensei's Avatar
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    I think you should give all options a try, the required steps are applying the glass and epoxy, pin hole filling, sanding, priming, sanding and maybe priming and sanding again, it just depends on the finish you are looking for and finally your top coat.

    Bob
    Fly It Like You Stole It!!!

  22. #22
    stevegauth30's Avatar
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    Ahh, so many different methods and opinions, and I'm sure they all work great. This is exactly what I was hoping for. I really feel a lot more confident now about glassing this beast. A little more research, and by the time I am actually ready for glass, I should have my mind made up as to which way I'll go. Probably min wax.thanks again and keep the good ideas flowing. Steve.
    CUB BROTHERHOOD # 151, CORSAIR BROTHERHOOD # 80, CLUB SAITO # 804, WACO BROTHER #242, P-47 BROTHER #98, GLOW HEAD #1

  23. #23

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    Steve,

    I have used Sensei's Min-Wax method on my last build and the 1/5 scale P-47 came out at 27lbs less than some Monocoate planes of the same manufacturer. I was apprehensive but everyone has given the same advice I had. I did three coats and almost all of the weave was filled. Primer, sand,Primer, sand ..... did the rest. About 3 applications of primer and 3 coats of Krylon did the trick for me. As for the curves I tried to let gravity work and overlapped on leading edges and sanded to a finish. Here are some pics.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Z

    It isn\'\'\'\'t illegal to be Stupid but it sure can cost alot.

  24. #24
    sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cublover View Post
    Wrong!!! I love the guys who post like this, because I get to give em a test....take some .75 cloth,,,glass "and do it right",,a 4"X4" piece of balsa glass it, and let it dry over night. in the morning get another piece of balsa, same size,,,and break it...slowwwwwww,,,,then do the same to the glassed piece... If you were honest with all of us, and honest with yourself,,you would find that it DOES add strength. and that is only a 4X4 piece... The more wood you cover, "fuse", the stronger it becomes... This is the way I have done it,,,it they all flew great!!..yes,,Glassing adds weight,,,but not 40lbs!!!....here it is...works awesome!!!

    1. Brush mixed glass on wood....just enough to saturate the wood,,,NOT DRIPPING"
    2. Relax some,,,,have a beer,,,and let the wood take it allllll in.... hahahaha
    3. put on some rubber gloves, or do this first,,whatever you like...
    4 Find a buddy who has a set of good hands, not an old man that shakes like crazy!!
    5. you grab a side, and he grabs a side...His job is to hold the glass while you work it down on the plane. " I do it myself, but an extra set of hands is priceless.
    6. work the glass with your hands, rubbing it down onto the plane. You do this after you had a beer and the resin is sticky/ tacky... NOT DRY
    7. Let dry over night, watch some TV and go to bed...
    8. next day, go look at your work..if you have a place your not happy with,,,sand with 800, and make up a small amount of resin, and fix the places..no glass "material" needed for small patches.
    9. Go to the auto parts store, and get a qt of high build primer,mix and spray. I use polyurethane " its flexible" ahhhhhh...spray it on,,,and you'll see it fill the rest of the glass you missed.
    10. When dry...800 sand till its smooth and work it slowly you don't want to sand through the primer to the glass.
    11. air pressure to blow off the dust..outside,,,not in the house!!! your wife or GF will shoot ya!!
    12...mix up the paint and get busy!!.....its simple,,,but take your time!! You want your glass job to look awesome!!!
    ...................................

    Glass just needs the weave to be full,,,does not,,,NOT need to be covered till you cant see it,,, that's what primer is for!!!!
    I think you missed the point altogether on the strength/weight issue, 1/2 or 3/4 oz. glass keeps the swell back down from the underlying balsa in an application of prepping for paint only, thinking that you have added a great deal of strength in this type of glassing process is truly wrong as you put it, it is just a paint prep procedure and nothing more.

    Now I will agree that you have some mad finishing skills as illustrated by your paintwork but a composites guy or a builder that knows the ins and outs of building really light you are not. I followed your build thread on your Spacewalker and it looks real nice, but lets face it, at 49 pounds it is no lightweight.

    Bob
    Last edited by sensei; 10-15-2013 at 05:41 AM.
    Fly It Like You Stole It!!!

  25. #25
    sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordicz View Post
    Steve,

    I have used Sensei's Min-Wax method on my last build and the 1/5 scale P-47 came out at 27lbs less than some Monocoate planes of the same manufacturer. I was apprehensive but everyone has given the same advice I had. I did three coats and almost all of the weave was filled. Primer, sand,Primer, sand ..... did the rest. About 3 applications of primer and 3 coats of Krylon did the trick for me. As for the curves I tried to let gravity work and overlapped on leading edges and sanded to a finish. Here are some pics.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Very nice!!!

    Bob
    Fly It Like You Stole It!!!


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