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  1. #1
    Alex7403's Avatar
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    Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Hello,
    I’m planning to build a TF GE P-47 Thunderbolt 60 size kit this winter and I would like to fiberglass it.
    I read the airfield models tutorial but I have several questions and I need more tutorials about this subject.

    1. As I understand you cover bottom wing then top wing, how do you deal with the seam on the LE?

    2. If you need to use more than one piece of cloth per surface how do you do it seam wise?

    3. epoxy doesn’t like to be applied on existing epoxy, so if you need to fiberglass the wing center with 4” heavy weave tape and fiberglass the whole wing with 0.75 cloth what comes first and how?

    4. what paint do you use to paint on fiberglass that withstand glow fuel?

    Thanks
    Alex
    Ultra Sport Brotherhood #3.
    Ya know, a cat is longer from head to tail than from tail to head.

  2. #2
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Alex,

    I'm no expert but I have a couple of fibreglass jobs behind me (and another US60 soon to start). Here are my comments:-

    1. Seams are no problem at all with lightweight cloth, you just sand them out. This applies to both you wing LE and other seams. I used .58oz cloth and was able to hide all seams completely

    2. I have had no problems applying over exisiting provided it is well sanded first. And anyway, if you have a heavy reinforcing cloth do you need to run the finishing cloth over it?

    3. My preference with painting is to use a water based paint then put a clear coat over it. This means I can use an airbush for painting (worked OK on my 60 TF Corsair) and clean up with water. Someone in the US can advise you what's best, I have heard Nelsons is good.

    Good Luck

    Terry

  3. #3

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    ORIGINAL: Alex7403
    1. As I understand you cover bottom wing then top wing, how do you deal with the seam on the LE?

    2. If you need to use more than one piece of cloth per surface how do you do it seam wise?

    3. epoxy doesn’t like to be applied on existing epoxy, so if you need to fiberglass the wing center with 4” heavy weave tape and fiberglass the whole wing with 0.75 cloth what comes first and how?

    4. what paint do you use to paint on fiberglass that withstand glow fuel?

    Hi Alex,

    I will offer up my opinions regarding your questions. I'm sure others will provide you with more options.

    1. Does not really matter one bit if you cover the top or bottom first. By the time you are done sanding and filling the weave of the fiberglass to a smooth surface you will not see any seams at all.

    2. Again, it does not matter as the seams will dissapear during the finishing.

    3. Never had any problems putting epoxy over epoxy. In a scenario such as you describe I would glass the joint first with the heavy cloth and then blend it into the surrounding structure with light weight spackle. Then glass over the entire structure with the 3/4 ounce cloth.

    4. There are several options including Warbirds Colors, Klass Kote, Dope, Nelsons, and I'm sure others as well.

    Best of luck with your Jug, they are great flyers.

    Chad Veich

  4. #4
    CGAV8R's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    When you glass the bottom of the wing only let the resin get a little past half way on the leading edge. After its dry take a razor blade and trim off the excess glass where it meets the resin. Sand the edge of the resin smooth with sand paper, I use 80 grit. Then when you do the top of the wing overlap the glass a little and do the same process again.

    Just overlap your seems by a half inch or so, when dry you just sand it all level.

    When applying epoxy over dried epoxy just sand and wipe the first coat with acetone, then apply your second coat. Apply the 4" glass first, let dry then sand the edges to a smooth taper (feathered edge). Then apply the.75 across the whole wing.

    I use a laquer based primer, home depot latex color, and nelson hobbies water based polyurethane with there crosslinker added to it.

    Aaron D.

  5. #5
    Alex7403's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Thanks guys, I'm used to fiberglassing the wing center with heavy weave and its issues never thought that a light weave fiberglass eliminates this seam.
    Ultra Sport Brotherhood #3.
    Ya know, a cat is longer from head to tail than from tail to head.

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    This model was covered with polyester resin then painted with automotive paints.

    I've never used Epoxy or water base paints.

    I might be at a loss, maybe I'll try that with my next model. I have one soon for finishing.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Charles
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  7. #7

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Pretty much what was stated here......

    Use Zpoxy finishing Resin, West System Epoxy or Polyuthrene (never used this) over the glass.

    Remember that a joined wing you put thicker cloth more for strength. On the wing itself you are only putting cloth on there for hangar rash and for a smooth paintable surface. The less amount of cloth and resin you put on means less weight and less sanding.

    Apply very light coats. Might take you a few extra days as you wait for things to dry but its less sanding. Wear gloves/mask/googles when sanding the Fiberglass and I like to have a vacuum nearby as well.
    www.hobbiesxtreme.com

  8. #8
    Doolittleraider's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    \"To Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, you would have enjoyed this airplane and it would have enjoyed you -\"
    Chuck Yeager

  9. #9
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Hi

    There are a lot of good suggestions here.

    Note that this concept takes practice!!!!

    Here is what has worked for us and minimizes sanding. We use this method to make our plugs. I hate sssanding.

    West system epoxy thinned with alcohol to a hot syrup like viscosity. Why thin?? To ease the bond to the wood, using less resin, avoiding the .75oz cloth from floating above the resin due to thick viscosity. .................... But you can squeegee the extra thick resin off with a credit card!! Sure one can but, the thin resin takes a minor squeegee. Then once cured, you can light sand and begin to use primer. We use duplicolor Hi fill primmer/filler from pep boys. lacquer based super fast drying.

    West systems sands fast and powders up when cured and does not clog the sand paper.

    Try to get .75oz glass that is not folded. Folds have creases that may not want to lay flat.

    Steve

    (We actually use a second coat of thick resin once the first thin layer is cured. then squeegee and sand smooth. Fills weave way faster then primer. We do this because our models are to become plugs for composite parts and not flying models. although they will work for flying models as well.)

    Again, practice


    Also the thin resin penetrates deeper into the wood and adds more stiffness to the balsa.

  10. #10

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Did you mean to say "Denatured Alcohol" ?
    www.hobbiesxtreme.com

  11. #11

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    ORIGINAL: Alex7403

    Hello,
    I’m planning to build a TF GE P-47 Thunderbolt 60 size kit this winter and I would like to fiberglass it.
    I read the airfield models tutorial but I have several questions and I need more tutorials about this subject.

    1. As I understand you cover bottom wing then top wing, how do you deal with the seam on the LE?

    2. If you need to use more than one piece of cloth per surface how do you do it seam wise?

    3. epoxy doesn’t like to be applied on existing epoxy, so if you need to fiberglass the wing center with 4” heavy weave tape and fiberglass the whole wing with 0.75 cloth what comes first and how?

    4. what paint do you use to paint on fiberglass that withstand glow fuel?

    Thanks
    Alex
    hey Alex I just built this plane and finished it last year, first before I coment on the glassing/finishing I would add keep it light, use as little resin as you can to provide a paintable surface you will be glad you did.

    1. I used the lightest glass cloth I could find it was .56oz cloth even lighter than the .75, like the previous posters pointed out it doesn't matter what order,top/bottom first, although I did the bottom first then, trimmed the glass with 120 grit paper no need to use a razor the glass literally wipes away with the sandpaper, so be carefull.
    2.you will need to do more than one piece for the wings actually 4 pieces makes it easyer than one large piece on each side for the TF P-47, the cloth is really so light that the seams are hardly noticeable.
    3. the model your building doesn't really need the center wing section double glassed its plenty strong built as the instructions say your just adding extra weight to the wing by adding the glass.
    I did glass the belly pan with a extra layer of .56oz glass because the wood sheeting is really thin there and in case of a belly landing I wanted it to be a little stronger.
    4. for my particular model I used www.warbirdcolors.com paints there water clean up and fuel proof, authentic colors, and stencils from www.getstencils.com

    I also glassed my plane with water based Varathane Diamond finish polyurathane instead of epoxy using the methods in this thread http://www.tompierce.net/SBD/index.htm
    went with a OS 120 pumped 4st
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  12. #12
    Alex7403's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Thanks guys,
    Yes I was thinking to fiberglass to avoid hangar rash and damage while transporting 0.56oz cloth will do.
    I'm reading that thread Doolittleraider added about this Envirotex lite pour on epoxy, it sounds great but the weight on the Envirotex website they say 4 oz per square foot? I have alot of footage to cover.

    * When you say Resin you mean the epoxy mixture not only the liquid in the resin part of the epoxy?

    * When you say thin you mean to thin it with alcohol about 25% and not some other way?

    Bigtim, I'm not building it yet just calculating in my head what's involved, that P-47 is bugging me for a long time now, I'm planning power it with OS 91 FX because this is what I have available and I'm thinking about these mechanical retracts when they will be available but I'm not sure about that yet.

    Thanks again
    Alex

    Ultra Sport Brotherhood #3.
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  13. #13
    SCALECRAFT's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Alex

    I just got a pair of those. Mock them up on a test stand and start making your adjustments and get to know what they need to work. The servo I'm using is the Nitroplanes MG 995 standard digital servo. rated at 200 oz. I have programed my radio to slow it down and travel to work well. It is not a retract servo. The only problem is the mounting holes don't line up with the retracts holes.

    I may put a set of these in my CMP P-51D 70" span.

    Steve

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Alex, I use Envirotex Lite for the big areas and sometimes use Zap Finishing Resin. I'm a fan of the Envirotex Lite, but you need to let it cure for a few days, depending upon weather, for it to be easier to sand. It's ready to cut with sandpaper or fill over the initial lay down coat in 24 hours, so a person can really move along once they get going. I mix up a batch of the resin/hardener, and thin it one to one with denatured or wood alcohol (sometimes called Shellac thinner) for the lay down coat. The "fill coat" is thinned about half that. The only mixture that gets on the plane is mixed epoxy - not just the resin part. You will find that this a very light finish unless you put way too much on in the way of a fill coat. Some folks don't use a second coat of epoxy but just fill with primer, but honestly if you sand the fill coat just to the weave it's still very light. I have not squeegeed off the fill coat before but I'm going to try it on my next build. Four ounces to the foot? I'd guess that I can cover a giant scale plane with four ounces of epoxy, thinned as described above, maybe six ounces....
    Sam
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  15. #15
    SCALECRAFT's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.


    ORIGINAL: sweetpea01

    Did you mean to say ''Denatured Alcohol'' ?
    With West systems epoxy, we use isopropyl alcohol. Most bottles of this stuff are at 70%. You may want to sample test mix with other epoxy resins before coating your model.

    Steve

  16. #16
    G-Pete's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    .75oz cloth[:'(]
    epoxy[:'(]

    this is old age no need for heavy fiberglass. 0.56oz is plenty. As for the epoxy [:'(] did I mention [:'(] - too messy. One minor mistake and you sand for days. Brushing lacquer method - in case you don't like the smell get it water based. A few coats and you are done, no sanding in between. Most of the agent vaporizes and this coat does add hardly weight.

    We had guys they building for over 25 years scale airplanes - "NOTHING better then epoxy, best method" what they said....

    After showing them this method - guess?! What was for 25 years their favorite collects now dust on the shelf.

    What is good for my Z P-38M 114" is good for your .60 Jug!
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    G-Pete
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  17. #17
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    BTW: overlaps...very very light sand and they are gone, can't beat that. That means it does not matter where they are on top or bottom - or how many you have.
    Model you build
    Fiberglass your supplier
    Brush Home Depot
    Brushing Lacquer Home Depot

    I guarantee you - your bird - ONE EVENING done!


    Here is some reading material....click here - save time and money AND weight
    G-Pete
    Owner of WERK77 and Fritzdezings

  18. #18
    All Day Dan's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Alex, Here's one more for you. Dan
    Brush on a full strength coat of Valspar Lacquer Sanding Sealer NAS1420. A well-stocked paint store that caters to the professionals will carry this. It is usually used for furniture finishing. One of those two-inch inexpensive disposable brushes is ideal for this application. Sand lightly with 220-grit sandpaper. Apply ΒΎ fiberglass cloth over the surfaces brushing through it with the sealer thinned 100% with lacquer thinner. Sand lightly with 220-grit sandpaper. Brush on another thinned coat of the sealer. Sand with 220-grit sandpaper being careful not to cut into the cloth. Brush on two more coats of the thinned sealer. Try to fill the weave of the cloth as much as possible. Sand with 150-grit sandpaper to keep the surface flat and smooth.
    Spray on three coats of Pacific Coast Lacquer’s PCL 913 lacquer based primer(Dupont and PPG are the same) thinned 125% with medium lacquer thinner. Sand the first coat with 100-grit sandpaper, the second coat with 150-grit sandpaper and the last coat with 320-grit sandpaper. You should now have a pretty good surface for your color coats.
    Apply a coat of Kilz that is thinned to two parts Kilz to one part naphtha. This will improve the adhesion of the final color coats.
    Paint with Benjamin Moore’s oil based paints. Use two coats of paint, each thinned to a mixture of two parts paint and one part naphtha.
    Change the process as needed for a fuel proof finish if you are not going to use a gas engine.
    Dan

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    For some reason I can't subscribe to this thread without replying...so bump to the top.

    Don
    Revver Brother #94

  20. #20

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Alex,
    bigtim mentioned Tom Pierce's water based poly method. You can check it out at: http://www.tompierce.net/rcplanes/ I used this method on a TF Spit and if I may gloat a bit, pretty good for a first time glasser. I work in a small garage so dealing with fumes was a major problem for me. Using a water based system was clean, didn't stink up the house and was easy to clean up. I used .75 oz with the WB poly and painted with Warbirds Colors.
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  21. #21

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    i also followed a lot of tom's advice. sanding sealer, .56 oz cloth, minwax polycrylic, filler primer, nelson's paint and i'm just about to start the clear coat.

    http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_6819340/tm.htm

    i also built a practice plane 1st for the glassing and painting experience.
    David

  22. #22
    JohnVH's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    How many others have used this laquer method? Hows it look after a couple years?
    ORIGINAL: jefflangton
    Time to bend over and let your head pop out!!!!

  23. #23

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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    there is a couple of camps on the Laquer method both are quite serviceable one is to use brushing laquer from start to finish Deft is the brand of choice.

    the second is to use the Deft as a sanding sealer on the bare wood, allow it to fully dry, and then a water based poly as the glassing resin,its the method I have been using and has worked well on the 3 planes I have used it on.

    when using the Deft alone there is alot of smell, and really needs a area where ventilation is good, I also use a respirator when doing this phase of the wood sealing process.

    as a side note, I have been using the Deft spray cans instead of the brush on material lately, it seems to seal the wood as well as the brush on does, and tends to lay down a nice even light coat on the surface, its also quicker so there is less exposure to the fumes as well.

    the glassing can be done with any water based poly my material that I prefer is Varathane Diamond finish, satin sheen,it coats up fast, hardly any odor, and is supremely tough, I used it mainly for floor and furniture finishing, before trying it on models, the spit is several years old now and the paint and finish is as good as the day it was finished.
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  24. #24
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.


    ORIGINAL: G-Pete

    .75oz cloth[:'(]
    epoxy[:'(]

    this is old age no need for heavy fiberglass. 0.56oz is plenty. As for the epoxy [:'(] did I mention [:'(] - too messy. One minor mistake and you sand for days. Brushing lacquer method - in case you don't like the smell get it water based. A few coats and you are done, no sanding in between. Most of the agent vaporizes and this coat does add hardly weight.

    We had guys they building for over 25 years scale airplanes - ''NOTHING better then epoxy, best method'' what they said....

    After showing them this method - guess?! What was for 25 years their favorite collects now dust on the shelf.

    What is good for my Z P-38M 114'' is good for your .60 Jug!
    I like this tip. I'm going to try it on the next one. Too late for the big Jug. It got 1/2 oz and Z-Poxy.
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    Cheers,
    Gary P. / use Steel Powder for ballast not lead. PM me for more information.

  25. #25
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    RE: Fiberglassing the airplane questions.

    Subscribed![sm=tongue_smile.gif]
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