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New guy to composites

Old 08-06-2007, 03:26 PM
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Default New guy to composites

I am pretty new to the whole fiberglassing world, i.e. just glassed my first model. I am building the TF Skylane and would like to fabricate fiberglass wingtips for it. Is there any easy way to make a mold of the shaped balsa tips and then make glass ones from that mold? What would I use to make a mold? Would it have to be vacuum bagged? If you guys could help a poor guy out it would really be appreciated, I think this would look and last much better than the balsa tips...

Thanks
Dan
Old 08-07-2007, 05:28 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

No help??... Never seem to get my questions answered around here....
Old 08-07-2007, 06:56 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

Go here and search the site for the Tutorial section. The mold making process is fully described.

http://www.cstsales.com


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Old 08-07-2007, 11:47 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites


ORIGINAL: Ed Smith

Go here and search the site for the Tutorial section. The mold making process is fully described.

http://www.cstsales.com


Ed S
I made my first molds by following this very tutorial. It is realy basic, but a good start.

Wheel pants and cowl for a Goldberg Ultimate.
Old 08-08-2007, 07:59 AM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

Sweet Ill check it out... Thanks guys!!
Old 08-08-2007, 08:17 AM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

If you want more answers, start with simpler questions. Your question requires a chapter to answer!
Old 08-08-2007, 10:42 AM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

Exactly what I was thinking
Old 08-08-2007, 11:01 AM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

Which is why I sent him to the CST site.

Ed S
Old 08-08-2007, 02:18 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

Ha ha, sorry guys, I guess I didn't realize it was so complex. I just want some fiberglass tips. And I think this would make a good project to get me started in molding and fabricating my own fiberglass parts. Vacuum bagging kinda scares me, don't have nearly enough access to equiptment required. I figured making a simple rubber mold, laying glass and resin inside it would be the best way to do it. BTW, I dunno if it is just my browser but i couldn't get any tutorials to show up. I did a little research and figured out how complex of task rubber mold making is. The reason I really want them glass is to make them removable to service the lights and resistance to hangar rash. If I find this is too cost prohibitive or takes more work than my little apartment garage can handle, I will just glass them with heavier fabric and say screw it lol.

Once again, thanks a bunch!!
Old 08-08-2007, 08:45 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

Another good site for some information is Fibre Glast - they're a bit on the pricy side of supplies but they have some great tutorials and books / videos.

http://www.fibreglast.com/contentpag...enter-286.html

I've learned a lot of what I know through a lot of trial and error (a lot of error!) and document a bit on my site at http://www.teamseacats.com Go to the categories for "One Meter" and "Boat Construction" to get to most of the composite work.
Old 08-09-2007, 08:11 AM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

This is how I do wing tips. Make a male plug from hard balsa, prime and paint. Make a female mold with tooling epoxy 6 layers of 6oz fiberglass with one carbon fiber. You do not have to vacuum bag. Lay up wing tips with 2 layers of 3.2oz crow foot fiberglass.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:00 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

what randy said is right on the money of how to make a very simple mold and part. But i feel he left out two things that are very important to know if you telling a beginer how to make parts. 1. You have to put a release down on the male plug, if you do not do this you mold will stick to the plug and you might as wll throw it away and start over. 2. It looks like you used some sort of gelcoat or surface coat on your mold. Randy if you did could you please tell jetboy what surface coat you used, how you applied it and what wax you used to release you male plug. Jetboy randy is right is saying you do not need a vacume pump for the mold or part, just make sure you squeeze as many air bubbles out as much as possible when laminating, it will make you part look better and less body work too.

If i came off as an ass i'm sorry i just felt you left out two important steps that jet boy should know, if you used a release and a surface coat.
Old 08-10-2007, 11:43 AM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

I use Dolphin wax from H&M racing in canada. Yes the male plug is glued to plexaglass and waxed 12 times. You can see it in the left of picture one. Plug suface is not a gelcoat but a tooling epoxy from Fiberglast # 1099 epoxy surface coat. You can see it in pictures one and four. I use the same Dolphin wax in the mold for a release, along with PVC.
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:41 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

you mean PVA?
Old 08-10-2007, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

I have a mold making tutorial on my website at www.jtmodels.com that could be adapted to making wingtip molds. Takes a little practice but once you're good at it the possibilities are endless.

Happy flying,

Jimmy
Old 08-10-2007, 10:24 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

Sorry should be PVA
Old 08-11-2007, 01:32 AM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

I just saw your article you wrote on how to make a mold and your hot box article also. Ive made hundreds of molds , everything from simple glass gelcoat molds up to high temp tooling molds. 1. i have never used or even heard of what you refer to as PVA, what is it and it's purpuse? Also i have never taken a week to wax a master before, normally i only put 3 coats of wax on, let it haze then buff it off, wait 15 min put 2nd coat thn buff, another 15 then the 3rd coat buff it then wait another 30 min before i apply my material. Your gel coat shouldn't take 4-6 hrs to set, you want your gelcoat to have some tack left to it so you get a good bondto your fiberglass. Ive seen gel coat flake off before becouse the person let it sit and harden before he started putting his glass on it. The best way to check your gelcoat to see if it's ready is to take your finger and lightly touch the mold, like a corner or something. You should be able to leave your fingerprint in the mold, but the gel coat shouldn't stick to your finger, itf it does stick wait a little longer, it should only take 30-45 min, depending on room temp and what gelcoat your using.


Now i like your hotbox idea, ive made a few in the past before, but i have to say yout idea for a thermostat and a way to control the bulbs with a dimmer switch is alot better than anything i have come up with.
Old 08-11-2007, 01:59 AM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

PVA is Polyvinyl Alcohol which is a release agent. It forms a film between the mold and the glass that's being laid up and helps preserve the mold (keep things from sticking.) I've found that it helps my molds last longer. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinyl_alcohol Very common in mold making.

The gelcoat that I use takes a considerable amount of time to cure. I don't use poly based gelcoat so the cure time is longer. Unfotunately, I have to plan my day around laying up the mold so I can make sure I'm ready to lay up the glass while the gelcoat is still green.

I've tried throwing on a couple of coats of wax in a short time and buffing it out but have had a couple of plugs stick. I'd rather take the extra time waxing and not waste the time that it's taken to get the plug in the shape it is before I lay up the mold.

Hot box works great - espcially in the winter when the garage is at 20 degrees and the basement doesn't feel much warmer!
Old 08-11-2007, 06:17 AM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

Three quick coats of release wax on a new mold?

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Old 08-11-2007, 11:59 AM
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Ive never used a poly based gel coat either, i like to use Resin services 902-na gelcoat, it's the best that ive found IMO, spreads nicely, cures great, repairable and easy to buff to a polish. Ive never used PVA before but i understand what it is and does now. We must be using a different kind of wax, i like to use what called honeywax for my low temp molds but i use freekote 700nc for my highertemp molds and plugs. Ive only had one mold stick to my plug, it was the first one i did on my own. Oh we'll 6 yrs later and not one stuck mold after that, now i have stuck a few parts from time to time...
Old 08-11-2007, 11:51 PM
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Wow I leave for two days and the posts rack up!! Lots of good reading.... thank you very much once again!!

TeamSeacats... I will check out that site...
Randy... that looks exactly like what i was hoping for!! Looks simple and relatively quick...
Old 08-13-2007, 04:08 PM
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Default RE: New guy to composites

Since the Skylane's wingtip has such a complex curvature to it, would it be best to do a silicone mold or a two piece fiberglass mold? The silicone seems easy enough but may make it tough to get the glass to the thin aft tip. The two piece mold has me worried because I have no idea how to construct one of those...






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