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  1. #1
    MinnFlyer's Avatar
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    Fiberglassing question

    I have worked with fiberglass many times for cowls, wheel pants and the like, but I have never glassed an entire plane before. One of the things I keep seeing people talking about is filling the weave.

    Now, I understand that the fiberglass adds strength, but then, we don't really NEED much in the way of strength. I mean, if a fully sheeted wing with iron-on covering is plenty strong enough for a given airplane, the additional strength of glass is not needed, so the cloth is there more to hide the wood grain that anything.

    So recently my mind was wandering as it is prone to do, and I thought, "Why not use silk instead of glass?"

    It's lighter, and it has a tighter weave, so it would weigh less and be easier to fill.

    Comments?
    Mike B. AMA# 42400 www.gettingairborne.com
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  2. #2
    acerc's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    MinnFlyer, I'm with you on the glass. Haven't used it for covering in some time. I now prefer polyester. First tried Sigs Koverall, But it took too much filler to close the weave. I now use stits polyester, much, much tighter weave. Usually two coats sprayed on fills the remaining weave and it's ready for paint.
    And with all your experience, I have a feeling you know the answer to your question before you asked. LOL
    Robert
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  3. #3

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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    Silkspan, applied with nitrate dope and then filled with nitrate dope and a mixture of dope and talcum powder, works well. too. I think the big advantage of glass is ding resistance, rather than strength per se.
    Al Gunn
    Ultra Sport Brotherhood No. 9

  4. #4

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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    I agree, I dont glass a whole plane for strength. I do it for a good paint surface. My proceedure does one coat for reson using the TP method to remove excess. Then I use hardware store light weight spackling mixed to a milky runny consistancy and rub it in with my fingers. After dry, I sand it all off down to the weave without going into the weave. Look for any spots I might have missed and do it again. Once all filled, I primer, sand, then base color. Silk will work just as good if weight is a big issue. You might even could skip the spackling and go straight to primer. This gives a pretty light weight finish if you can keep from getting too heavy handed with the spray gun.
    Edwin

  5. #5

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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    All I use is liquid sheeting this stuff is great.
    Ken
    Ken
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  6. #6

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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    I spoke to the fellow about the liquid sheeting when I first saw it here on RCU. Looked like a great product to me, I just haven't tried it yet. Mike, silk works very well. I haven't used it in years though. I have been able to get very big sheets of 1/2 ounce glass from a friend. You also know I put it down with Deft. Glassing is more about the smooth finish for painting. If you are looking for that cloth look then just leave the weave open. Just another way to skin the same cat. Added strength?? I don't know. All I can say for sure is when your picking up a crashed plane the pieces are in a smaller pile. A lot less hanger rash over time too.
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
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  7. #7

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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    Liquid sheeting? What is that? I have fiberglassed a few planes, didn't always do a great job of filling the weave.  It still flys ok, and al least the fiberglass and paint don't loosen up and flap in the wind like plastic covering does!
    Jim S.

  8. #8
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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    I have read several threads in RCU that discusses polyesther dress liner in place of Koverall. Some say it fills easier and is certainly easier to come by than Koverall if you get it at a fabric store. Evidently Walmart sells some but it is more open weave and does not fill as well. The material you get at a fabric store also shrinks well. I have used Koverall with good results and next time I have an approprite plane to cover, I intend to try dress liner.
    \"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is\"

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  9. #9

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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    I've experimented with dress liners and concluded that nothing shrinks as good as koverall. I've also experimented with LS2. I've only used it on struts and it gives a great paint surface on raw wood. However, I havent really gotten the hang of it yet. A buddy has done a TF giant P-47 with it and it turned very good. Painted with Bear latex paint.
    Edwin

  10. #10

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    RE: Fiberglassing question


    ORIGINAL: shark again

    Liquid sheeting? What is that? I have fiberglassed a few planes, didn't always do a great job of filling the weave.Β* It still flys ok, and al least the fiberglass and paint don't loosen up and flap in the wind like plastic covering does!
    Jim S.
    You may have to do a search. Last year or early this year the guy did a thread on it. Very cool stuff. Can be used over foam or wood sheeting for a smooth glass like finish.
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
    Daisy Air Guns, keeping kids off your lawn for 100 years

  11. #11
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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    Alan

    CORSAIR Brotherhood # 90

  12. #12
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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    I do like the cloth, such as stits, but I like fiberglass because it gets rock hard and it can get banged around without punching a hole in it like cloth.

    I know this thread is about cloth but heres how I fill the weave when i fiberglass:

    1: lay cloth down, saturate in resin, use a credit card (or similiar) and push all the excess resin out, wipe up, and wait till it cures
    2: SAND!
    3: Put another layer of JUST resin, push excess out with credit card
    4: SAND!
    5: repeate with adding resin and sanding till weave is filled

    It is a more time consuming process, but its much easier to fill the weave putting more layers of only resin on than bondo like some people do, and gives a good surface to sand.

    So to end it, I think it depends on the airplane. A warbird I would fiberglass for sure, but a sport plane and similiar, I would use stits cloth.

    Jason

  13. #13

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    RE: Fiberglassing question


    ORIGINAL: LargeScale88

    I do like the cloth, such as stits, but I like fiberglass because it gets rock hard and it can get banged around without punching a hole in it like cloth.

    I know this thread is about cloth but heres how I fill the weave when i fiberglass:

    1: lay cloth down, saturate in resin, use a credit card (or similiar) and push all the excess resin out, wipe up, and wait till it cures
    2: SAND!
    3: Put another layer of JUST resin, push excess out with credit card
    4: SAND!
    5: repeate with adding resin and sanding till weave is filled

    It is a more time consuming process, but its much easier to fill the weave putting more layers of only resin on than bondo like some people do, and gives a good surface to sand.

    So to end it, I think it depends on the airplane. A warbird I would fiberglass for sure, but a sport plane and similiar, I would use stits cloth.

    Jason
    Jason,

    I've never glassed like that. Where did you learn that?

    Charles
    Owner: CFC Graphics. "Model Airplane Graphics from a Model Airplane Builder." cfcgraphics.com

  14. #14
    skeeter_ca's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing question


    ORIGINAL: Avaiojet


    ORIGINAL: LargeScale88

    I do like the cloth, such as stits, but I like fiberglass because it gets rock hard and it can get banged around without punching a hole in it like cloth.

    I know this thread is about cloth but heres how I fill the weave when i fiberglass:

    1: lay cloth down, saturate in resin, use a credit card (or similiar) and push all the excess resin out, wipe up, and wait till it cures
    2: SAND!
    3: Put another layer of JUST resin, push excess out with credit card
    4: SAND!
    5: repeate with adding resin and sanding till weave is filled

    It is a more time consuming process, but its much easier to fill the weave putting more layers of only resin on than bondo like some people do, and gives a good surface to sand.

    So to end it, I think it depends on the airplane. A warbird I would fiberglass for sure, but a sport plane and similiar, I would use stits cloth.

    Jason
    Jason,

    I've never glassed like that. Where did you learn that?

    Charles

    Sounds like the way full-scale fiberglass planes are done. No bondo or filler just fiberglass & resin and more resin as needed during sanding.

    skeeter
    \"It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission\".

  15. #15
    LargeScale88's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing question

    I built a 32 foot cabin cruiser boat several years ago with my father and I bought a book on fiberglassing. I was buying resin in 10 gallon buckets and 12 oz cloth in 50 yard rolls! So I've laid alot of cloth and resin in my time. Anyway, the book stated its better to fill the weave with just plain resin, rather than bondo or somethin else, because the resin will soak back into the cloth and create a stronger bond, and bondo just stick to where you put it, it doesn't soak in and penetrate like using resin will.

    It works for me.

    Jason

  16. #16

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    RE: Fiberglassing question


    ORIGINAL: LargeScale88

    I do like the cloth, such as stits, but I like fiberglass because it gets rock hard and it can get banged around without punching a hole in it like cloth.

    I know this thread is about cloth but heres how I fill the weave when i fiberglass:

    1: lay cloth down, saturate in resin, use a credit card (or similiar) and push all the excess resin out, wipe up, and wait till it cures
    2: SAND!
    3: Put another layer of JUST resin, push excess out with credit card
    4: SAND!
    5: repeate with adding resin and sanding till weave is filled

    It is a more time consuming process, but its much easier to fill the weave putting more layers of only resin on than bondo like some people do, and gives a good surface to sand.

    So to end it, I think it depends on the airplane. A warbird I would fiberglass for sure, but a sport plane and similiar, I would use stits cloth.

    Jason

    This is how i have learned to do it and how i do it, works all the time for me. Only thing to watch is how you mix 2 parts of resin together, if ur ratio is perfect, ur fine, but in case with epoxy resins, if ur bit off, resin will not cure as this has happened to me and i've almost lost my project due to resin being not cured as my mix ratio for that section was off.....
    I do believe in KISS (Keep it simple silly), but doesn\'\'t mean my models fall in this category!
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