Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ch 7: Glassing the Sides (2 of 2)

Vrooom Vrooom...Check it out!!  A major milestone reached...we can finally sit in the Cozy and make airplane noises.  There is still a long way to go but it sure is nice to finally have something that's starting to be least to me.

Me and my co-pilot trying out the size of the fuselage

Glassing the sides was fairly uneventful.  It's a very short paragraph in the plans that took me about 9 hrs each side to accomplish.  Thanks to my friend and co-worker Bryan who helped me with the starboard side.  It only cut an hour off but having an extra set of hands sure made it easier.

I did have a little trouble on the port side so I'll offer a tip to help.

Left side: 23" wide 3rd ply for fuselage
Right side: 3", 4", & 5" reinforcement strips
TIP:  I wasn't too happy with the way the pilot side UND 3-ply top reinforcement came out.  Glass threads kept peeling off the UND and some ended up in a rope-like clump creating a noticeable ridge in the glass.  To avoid this on the other side I used some low stick tape (the blue painter stuff) to mark the edges of each reinforcement before I cut the glass.  I marked a 3" width of glass, then an inch wide piece of tape; 4" width of glass, then another inch of tape, etc.  If you measure it out correctly you can layout all three reinforcements right next to the 3rd ply of UND that covers the entire length of the side. (see pic)  With the tape in place the threads will stay put.

Once taped, you can cut the strips apart down the center of the tape.  Once glassed in place, simply fold the taped part up and run down the length with your electric scissors leaving a nice clean edge.  Using this process, the starboard side came out much better.  I'll be doing this with all my UND strips from now on.

A selected 6" x 6" area with air specks scattered throughout.
OOps, AIR...Again!
After pulling off the peel-ply on the starboard side, I found that I had an inordinate amount of air in the layup from behind the front seat all the way back. It appeared from the grain it was in the first layer next to the foam.  DRAT!  I thought I had conquered this problem.  The port side went great with almost no air at all.  I guess I just couldn't see it.

The inspection criteria says that no more than 10% of  any 6x6 section can have air.  The pic to the left shows a sample 6x6 area.  The trick is determining if you've reached that magic 10% coverage.  Depending on interpretation, the 10% rule is meant for critical areas like wings, canard, etc that take stress.  According the Marc Z from a forum email in 2006, you don't have to be as conservative outside of those areas.  I'm trying to determine if I have a problem or not.  I'm consulting with a fellow builder before I decide if anything needs repair and I'll update the post on my outcome..

Ch 7 Done!  Now to start adding stuff to the fun!