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How to make a "copy" of a canopy?

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How to make a "copy" of a canopy?

Old 04-12-2013, 02:49 PM
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Sessholvlaru
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Default How to make a "copy" of a canopy?

I finally have acquired an incredibly rare kit that I have been hunting down for years. Obviously I want to build one but I don't want to disturb the original (it seriously must be the last one ever). Plans can be scanned and balsa cut, but the canopy is unique to the model. How can I go about making a copy? My only though was to fill the original with plaster, removing the plug and then vacuforming? I just cannot damage the original in any way...

The canopy is small (about 2" by 4").

Any ideas?
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:13 PM
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mkoe
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Default RE: How to make a

Iwould not use plaster. It produces heat as it cures and may damage the canopy. There is a product that is similar to a wood filler that would work. The name of it escapes me at the moment. You will also need to put some type of release agent on the inside of the canopy that can be cleaned off after making the plug. I'll see if I can find the stuff I'm thinking about. Ihave seen it used before on YOu Tube to make plugs for canopies and cowls.

mk
Old 04-12-2013, 03:23 PM
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Default RE: How to make a


ORIGINAL: mkoe

I would not use plaster. It produces heat as it cures and may damage the canopy. There is a product that is similar to a wood filler that would work. The name of it escapes me at the moment. You will also need to put some type of release agent on the inside of the canopy that can be cleaned off after making the plug. I'll see if I can find the stuff I'm thinking about. Ihave seen it used before on YOu Tube to make plugs for canopies and cows.

mk
Agreed on the plaster, I know from my sculpting experience that it does get fairly hot. I just need something that is hard enough to be able to take a vacuforming without distorting.

I guess at the end of the day if the original is at risk I can just sit down and carve out a plug.
Old 04-12-2013, 03:42 PM
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Default RE: How to make a

I made a couple from leftover Durabond 90 drywall powder.  I think I waxed the canopy first, and painted the 'plaster' with thinned enamel so it would soak in deeper.  I haven't tried making a part  yet.  I think the 30 minute 'mud' would get hotter.
Old 04-12-2013, 04:17 PM
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Default RE: How to make a

I've used plaster o paris for just this,, it didn't deform the original at all. I used plaster, and also used a piece of foam in the middle so I didn't to have the plaster supper thick, that minimised the heat problem I'm sure.
Old 04-12-2013, 05:50 PM
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Default RE: How to make a

I'll tell you the fail safe way. What I have found to be a successful way to make a plug of a canopy without doing damage to the original is this:
1. Mask off the entire outside of the canopy with 3M blue tape.You're doing this to keep your sticky finger prints and whatever off the canopy.
2. Wax the inside with partall #2 release wax. Wipe on and buff off a couple of times is fine.
3. Spray the inside with partall #10 PVA release and let dry for a few hours.
4. Using epoxy resin and SLOWhardenerand brush a coat on the inside surface and let it start to cure . It takes an hour or more, brushing it occasionally to pop any small bubbles that form. All this is to have no heat which you will have with a fast application.
5. As the first coat becomes tacky I apply a 3 or 4 oz. layer of fiberglass cloth and more resin, then a 6 oz. layer and let dry overnight.
6. This first shell will be strong enough to pull right out the next day but because you kept it thin, there was no hi heat build up in the curing process that would wreck the original canopy.
7. Now that you have removed your plug and put the original canopy in a safe place you can mask the outside of the plug with 3M blue tape to keep it clean.
8. And now wet the inside with new resin and lay another 5 or 6 layers of 6oz or heavier cloth wetting them one layer at a time to build up the wall thickness and you will have a strong stiff plug that you can now use on the Vac U Foam machine to make new canopies.
or you can send it to us and we will do it for you.
Old 04-13-2013, 03:02 AM
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Default RE: How to make a

I've also done what Scale Only did and it works great, no distortion and minimal heat. It's the fastest method, IMHO. Wax the canopy first and used compressed air to lift the plaster mold from the canopy.
Old 04-13-2013, 06:50 AM
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Default RE: How to make a

There also exists some plaster loaded "tape" that you cut to whatever length you want, dip it in water, and lay on (or in) the surface you want to copy. It can go on such that you make thin layers, and thereby not develop the heat of a large volume of plaster.

The stuff I have is called "Rigid Wrap", but I'm sure that it is marketed under other names.

There is also a stuff called Durhams Rock Hard Water putty, that is much more durable than plaster, but handles in a similar fashion.

Les
Old 11-04-2014, 04:03 PM
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I also need to make copies of cabin windows. I was thinking I could use plaster o Paris only do it in a pan of Ice water, anyone try this?
Old 11-05-2014, 05:53 AM
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Post a picture of what you have to work with for more precise advise.

If it's not more than a couple inches thick, heat isn't a problem with the PoP.
Old 11-05-2014, 07:10 AM
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This is for any canopy in general, but right now I have a Top Flite Beech V35 kit that I am building I am going to clone the kit.
Old 11-05-2014, 07:18 AM
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I know this is sort of off the topic, but maybe the canopy you need is available cheap and easy?

http://parkflyerplastics.com/cart/in...index&cPath=46
Old 11-08-2014, 03:18 PM
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I have used the plaster of paris technique before. Cover the outside of the canopy with painters take to protect it. Wax the inside of the canopy with carnuba wax; 3 or 4 coats. Build the plaster up in layers of about 1/4" at a time; that keeps the heat buildup to a minimum. Use gauze cut from a roll or 2 X 2 gauze squares to adhere one layer to the next. Just press the edges of the gauze squares into the wet layer. Don't bother to make the layer smooth on the inside. When dry the next layer will adhere nicely. I only build up the mold to about 1/2" to 3/4" thickness; no need to make it solid.
Old 07-16-2017, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by frequent flyer View Post
I'll tell you the fail safe way. What I have found to be a successful way to make a plug of a canopy without doing damage to the original is this:
1. Mask off the entire outside of the canopy with 3M blue tape.You're doing this to keep your sticky finger prints and whatever off the canopy.
2. Wax the inside with partall #2 release wax. Wipe on and buff off a couple of times is fine.
3. Spray the inside with partall #10 PVA release and let dry for a few hours.
4. Using epoxy resin and SLOWhardenerand brush a coat on the inside surface and let it start to cure . It takes an hour or more, brushing it occasionally to pop any small bubbles that form. All this is to have no heat which you will have with a fast application.
5. As the first coat becomes tacky I apply a 3 or 4 oz. layer of fiberglass cloth and more resin, then a 6 oz. layer and let dry overnight.
6. This first shell will be strong enough to pull right out the next day but because you kept it thin, there was no hi heat build up in the curing process that would wreck the original canopy.
7. Now that you have removed your plug and put the original canopy in a safe place you can mask the outside of the plug with 3M blue tape to keep it clean.
8. And now wet the inside with new resin and lay another 5 or 6 layers of 6oz or heavier cloth wetting them one layer at a time to build up the wall thickness and you will have a strong stiff plug that you can now use on the Vac U Foam machine to make new canopies.
or you can send it to us and we will do it for you.
I know this is an old thread,
but I want to make a glass fiber canopy from a clear canopy (using it as a mould). Would I be doing anything different ? I want to make it light and strong. Thank you !

P.S. I tried to send you a PM, but I think it didn't work correctly.
Old 10-20-2017, 10:53 AM
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Some interesting ideas here!

I need to replace the canopy on a Midwest Citabria, and while a few aftermarket companies make a 'glass cowl and wheel pants, no one has the canopy.

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