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Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

Old 06-10-2006, 02:58 PM
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e-sailpilot86
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Default Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

It seems all my fiberglass work is garbage. I mean, I can fill it in, but none of it ever comes out looking professional. I don't have any specialized tools for any fiberglass work. I end up fiberglassing parts that get bubbles all over the place, large amounts of sanding is needed, and I always have fiberglass lifting up off the surface. I only have some fiberglass (out of it as of today) that frays a lot and gets bits of fiber all over the place (even with the waxpaper-sticky adhesive trick). [:@][:@] This isn't enjoyable at all. I need a good setup to work with fiberglass! What do I do?

I have:
cross cut scissors (seems to be the only thing that works)
endothermic epoxy, not resin
latex gloves (not the correct kind, I know, as soon as gloop gets on them, I take them off before the stuff breaks through the protective layer)
scraps of balsa to spread epoxy

and that's it. Right now, I hear from some people that working with fiberglass isn't that hard, and inexpensive... all I can say is that I'm determined it's a myth. I don't remember the perso, but thermal fliers have been making these big 3-4 meter "Genie" glass slippers from scratch for supposed little money. I sense I'd be spending about $1000+ just to get started after reading up on what I need to buy! It seems there's a not so hectic way to get these things done, but not without losing an arm and a leg. Help?
Old 06-10-2006, 07:55 PM
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davidfee
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

What are you trying to do with fiberglass? Just name an example project.

What is "endothermic epoxy, not resin"?

-David
Old 06-10-2006, 10:45 PM
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Pitts S1S
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

ORIGINAL: davidfee


What is "endothermic epoxy, not resin"?

-David

Definatly no good as a replacement for resin.
Old 06-10-2006, 11:08 PM
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Darth Shreck
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

("endothermic epoxy", not resin) I build Giant scale composite pylon racers and I haven’t heard of that before (but I could guess)

Using too much resin or fillers like cabosil in those areas can cause bubbles and imperfections on the part. Much of that can be eliminated by using an epoxy resin that is a higher viscosity and easy to use with the appropriate pot life for your experience level. Then experience helps too, but choosing the right resin to start with is a biggy.

The two resins we like the best is MGS system 285 and PTM&W or also marketed as Aero poxy. Both are available from Aircraft Spruce. For beginners I recommend the Aero Poxy, it has the thickest viscosity and is the easiest to work with because your fiber glass will stick to your mold better on compound corners and stay there without constant attention. But because it thicker it's easier to have your models come out a little heavier than the MGS.

MGS #285 will wet out easier and has similar qualities to the Aero Poxy, but it's a little thinner in viscosity and tends lift in compound corners a little easier than the AP. The MGS is also a bit more sensitive to room temperature curing when the weather starts to get cold. I consider MGS to be a fine intermediate level resin, to be used after you have gained some skills. Many people believe MGS to be the finest epoxy resin available.

After you have more experience under your belt you can build light with either system. We build 100" long Nomex fuselages that others builders averaged 4.5 lbs. using MGS and Aero Poxy, but we build them with Aero Poxy and decreased the weight to 3.25 to 3.5 lbs and increased the fuselage strength too.
Old 06-13-2006, 12:46 AM
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Darth Shreck
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

Aircraft Spruce sells it as Aero Poxy. #PR2032 (I think is the resin #) It is PTM&W’s best, intended for composite lay ups. They sell it as a kit with there 1 hr pot life hardener #PR3660. If that’s too fast, you can buy straight from PTM&W and get there 2 hr pot life #PR3655 or there 4 hr pot life #PR3657.

Please note these are the part #'s on the cans, not in the catalog. Also the Aero Poxy is cheaper through aircraft spruce, than PTM&W (they will not undercut their wholesale customers). Purchasing as a kit is cheaper than as an individual.

I have tried all their resins, except West System. Only the Aero Poxy and the MGS are worth recommending to others of the resins I have tried.

Bill
Old 06-17-2006, 10:24 PM
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e-sailpilot86
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

pftt.... lol! I can't believe I said endothermic epoxy.... Ok, I'll just be clear about it this time. It's the kind that you mix 50/50 and can buy at the local hobby store, pretty sure I may have meant exothermic. I'm fiberglassing a small r/c boat. So far, the results were far better than I expected, still got a ways to go, I only fiberglassed the sides so far, got to fiberglass the underside now. Keep the tips coming!
Old 06-18-2006, 02:25 AM
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mintie
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

west systems epoxy is a very good resin to work with....nuplex polyester resin is all so easy to work with.the more you do the better you will get..Just remember not to use heaps of resin,it is there to wet the cloth and no more.I use both in the work I do and have excellent results. I am an aircraft engineer and build composite parts for full size aircraft. I my spare time build parts for model planes and full size cars. In a lot of cases have to make a mold first.
Old 06-20-2006, 10:23 AM
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Skybum105
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

Is the MGS and Aero Poxy "foam safe"? I'm gearing up to make fiberglass skinned wings with solid foam (expanded foam) cores and know that regular fiberglass resin will turn regular expanded foam into goo. I would like to bond the fiberglass directly to the foam without any sealing or protecting resign barriers in between.
Old 06-20-2006, 02:44 PM
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davidfee
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

Yes, MGS and Aeropoxy (in fact, virtually every epoxy type) are fully compatible with polystyrene foam (EPS).
Old 06-21-2006, 08:30 PM
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Skybum105
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

thanks for the info
Old 07-18-2006, 07:03 PM
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Skybum105
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

Another couple questions. I see that Aircraft Spruce has quart and gallon sizes. Buying the gallon size would be cheaper in the long run, but what is the shelf life of epoxy? Also, how much epoxy could I expect to use on a .60 size aircraft (foam core wings and fuselage) for the entire aircraft? Would it make sense to cover all the foam with ceran wrap and use fiberglass resin to save cost? I sure would like to bond the foam to the fiberglass, but if cutting the cost significantly, I could design around a "no bond" wing and fuselage.
Old 08-11-2006, 09:40 PM
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e-sailpilot86
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

I'm wondering the same thing two. How much epoxy would be used? Fiberglass I can figure out, but epoxy?
Old 08-12-2006, 07:25 AM
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Campy
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

If all you are trying to do is get an acceptable surface for painting you may want to investigate glassing with polyurethane.

This method has about 60% of the strength of a resin job, but only 1/2 of the weight. There are no fumes and it is very easy to sand. The final surface takes paint and looks as good as a resin job, however it is more suseptable to dings than a resin job, but a lot less than a regular film finish over balsa.

If you are interested PM me and I will send you a basic "How To" on glassing and another on painting with latex.
Old 09-19-2006, 11:45 AM
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crtmmac
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

Can I use Butyrate dope to adhere glass cloth to a balsa fuselage? The latex paint over that?. What is the best clear coat for over latex paint?

thx
Old 09-19-2006, 02:49 PM
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dreadnaut
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

What weight of fabric are you using? If you are using 6 oz, and trying to get it to bend around a sharp corner, or even a tight radius, it will be hard to avoid bubbles near the transition. If this is the case, use a lighter fabric; .5oz to 1.5 oz. And ditto to dumping the HS epoxy. I have used West System and Pro-Set. Another way to keep the fabric down is to vacuum bag it.
Old 12-19-2006, 05:20 PM
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Default RE: Want to do fiberglassing... what do I need?

Try some Zpoxy it penetrates dry cloth well with a brush, squeege or foam roller.

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