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Need Help with making my Own Canopy..

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Old 12-21-2003, 11:01 PM
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Boss248
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Default Need Help with making my Own Canopy..

I have to learn how to make my own canopy and I need some info or a link that can get my the info needed. I have no problem in making molds and plugs but I need to know what material to use and what ever else I need from there..
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Old 12-22-2003, 12:46 AM
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Mike James
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Default RE: Need Help with making my Own Canopy..

If you want to go with plugs and molds, here's one method:

http://homepage.mac.com/mikejames/rc...ut_canopy.html
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Old 12-22-2003, 08:32 AM
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Default RE: Need Help with making my Own Canopy..

If your canopy isn't too big, you can heat-shrink PET (1 or 2 liter soda bottle) plastic over a male plug. Works great and is cheap. (I love cheap!) The green tinted bottles make good tinted canopies also.
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Old 12-22-2003, 11:03 PM
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Default RE: Need Help with making my Own Canopy..

By heat shrink do you mean with a shrink gun or do you mean in the oven?? Thats a damn good idea...oh yes..uuum cheap is good
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Old 12-23-2003, 09:09 AM
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Default RE: Need Help with making my Own Canopy..

ORIGINAL: Boss248

By heat shrink do you mean with a shrink gun or do you mean in the oven?? Thats a damn good idea...oh yes..uuum cheap is good
Yup, the stuff is like the MonoKote from heII. It shrinks about 25% with your heatgun up on nuclear. Carve your plug, sand smooth and stuff it into the appropriate sized bottle with the neck & bottom cut off. The compound curvy part at the top of the bottle should be placed at the front of the canopy to reduce the amount that it has to be shrunk. Here's a pic of one I did for a little 1/2A plane a while back.
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Old 12-23-2003, 02:30 PM
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Default RE: Need Help with making my Own Canopy..

Thank you Dicky bird! Finally someone who made this process make sense. I have been worrying this one for over a year. Never had anyone make it simple (remember the KISS principle). Thank you for making it real simple and clear.

Mark Shuman
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Old 12-23-2003, 02:39 PM
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DICKEYBIRD
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Default RE: Need Help with making my Own Canopy..

Mark, one thing I forgot to mention is that you may have to glue a spacer onto the bottom of your plug to take up any "slack." You want the plug to be a tight fit in the bottle before you start shrinking the plastic.
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Old 12-24-2003, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: Need Help with making my Own Canopy..

Hey Mark,

I bought a book called Do It Yourself VACUUM FORMING by Douglas E. Walsh. It shows how to make a vacuum former using a shop Vac and some wood supplies from Home depot. I spent around 25 -30 dollars on supplies to make the former. The book also has a list of plastic companies where you can buy enough plastic to make your own Air Force with.
Prices vary and the company will cut the stock down before shipping. Since I got the book, I never bought another canopy. Made them myself. Many of the projects I did called for weird shaped canopies which I couldn't find in magazines.
The main thing was to keep the oven heated to around 250. that way bubbles don't develop in the plastic. Wait till the center sags and then quickly take it out and place it over the mold. I guesstimate only 1 minute before the plastic starts to harden. It takes some practice but once you have it, any project just became easier.
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Old 12-31-2003, 08:03 AM
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Default DICKEYBIRD help making my Own Canopy

DICKEYBIRD: I just wonder... Can I use the oven instead if a heating gun? And the plug, what shuld it be made of???

Marcel
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Old 12-31-2003, 08:17 AM
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Default RE: DICKEYBIRD help making my Own Canopy

Hi Marcel,

I would assume an oven would work as long as the temp. is high enough but any of the film covering heat guns work great and allow some control over the shrinking process.

I used medium balsa for my plugs and sanded them with 320 grit sandpaper. That's one of the advantages of this process; you don't need a super smooth or painted finish to get a very smooth canopy! Since you're not using vacuum and the plastic is thick enough, it won't get sucked down into every little imperfection in your plug.
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