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making my own canopy ...?!

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Old 11-20-2006, 10:20 AM
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X3n0
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Default making my own canopy ...?!

After reading some techniques on how Fibre-Glass canopies were made, I got to thinking. since my main goal is to be able to paint a canopy well; how about I use the original canopy as the mold on which to lay the Fibre Glass strips and resin. Sure its going to be a tab wider BUT if I use offsets I can still attach it to the body. Also my body has been trimmed ABOVe the exhaust line so that wiered shark mouth is not there.

What do you all think. BTW how much money do you think this will run me for materials.
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:20 PM
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Default RE: making my own canopy ...?!

Yeah, you can do that but remember, you'll be making a female mold 1st.

Then you make a layup IN THE female MOLD as the canopy you'll be flying with. Its a 2 part process.

Be sure and use some sort of mold release agent on the stock plastic canopy so as to allow the mold to be extracted from the stock canopy. I've used 5 coats of Johnson Paste Floor wax (Yellow can) before with great results.

The good thing is, that the mold you'll make once can be used over and over.

So do a good job as every defect in the finished mold will haunt you forever!!!!

Sell some finished layups here and offset your costs!!!!

Be sure and use a lightweight cloth. (You can get resin real cheap by the gallon at most auto parts stores)

I have a Cal 30 still in the box. Not ready to risk it yet, busy beating up a EL-cheapo mini electric right now. Poor thing!!!!!

Heard the Cal 30 is a sweet bird to fly. Can't wait.

I want to create a canopy design thats wicked, but also very original too.

Hope you have lots of patience... It will be worth it though.

Best of luck to you with the project.

Be sure and keep us informed OK???
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:22 PM
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Default RE: making my own canopy ...?!


ORIGINAL: robotronski

Yeah, you can do that but remember, you'll be making a female mold 1st.

Then you make a layup IN THE female MOLD as the canopy you'll be flying with. Its a 2 part process.


ok now you have me a bit confused. If the original Cal canopy is considered the MALe then what I cover it with could be the female right ? So then when I extract the male original the female copy ( though slightly larger) can be used as a canopy right ?

thats what I was thinking ..........what am I missing here ?
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:59 PM
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Default RE: making my own canopy ...?!

This is what I get...
You make a mould over the top of the original canopy (we'll call the origianal canopy, canopy 1 which is male) and the mould you have made over canopy 1 is the female (we'll call this canopy 2). So you have canopy 1 (the origianal) and canopy 2 (the new mould) Canopy 2 is slightly larger than canopy 1. Get canopy 2 and make a mould inside that (this can be canopy 3). This canopy 3 will turn out the same size as the origianal canopy 1... Keep canopy 2 so you can make lot's of little canopy 3's.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:13 PM
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Default RE: making my own canopy ...?!

got it. I was originally thinking of just using canopy 2 with someoffsets to make up for size difference but I see what you are saying too. Resin at the auto store you say ? what do they use it for ? and how fast acting is it ?
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Old 11-30-2006, 08:37 AM
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Default RE: making my own canopy ...?!

ThanX for clearing that up Kevinator9, seems you understand exactly whats going on with the process. Lots of work huh????
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Old 11-30-2006, 08:48 AM
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Default RE: making my own canopy ...?!

BTW, we typically call the original you make the mold from a "PLUG".

For example, a boat builder would spend a year making an original wooden boat mock-up of the hull shape. This mock-up is absolutely perfect. It has to be or any flaws will be replicated many times.

Then they glass it and sand it smooth. Now they call it a plug.

Wax the plug, cover it with many layers of fiber glass, and before removing the glass shell from the plug, they attach an external skeleton to it to give the mold additional strength.

Then a crew drives soft plastic wedges to separate the mold from the plug and now there is a an exact copy of the exterior lines of the hull.

Next time you go out on a boat, look at all the unique molds it takes just to make the deck and dashbaord area nice. Its a ton of prep work.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:15 PM
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Default RE: making my own canopy ...?!

Its just so you can make many and make 'em right.
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