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  #11  
Old 07-01-2017, 02:34 PM
Dave12 Dave12 is offline
 
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Location: Elkton, Md.
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Seriously, if you care about build quality, do not buy this pre molded component.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2017, 10:07 AM
Azjulian Azjulian is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 84
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I too fretted about the fiberglass, I really don't know why now... it's basically paper mashe. Just like painting etc make sure you put tape at the edges and use paper to keep resin off the aluminum body. Then it's just about applying the pieces and the west systems makes getting resin mixed properly so easy
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2017, 11:53 AM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,027
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My first project was a WAR FW-190. It was fiberglass over a wood airframe. I love the fact that it always gives you a "do over" if you screw it up. The epoxy can be a real health issue though. The old Hexcel 50/50 mix sensitizes some people (an acquired allergy gets worse with more exposure) and I used to get terrible hand rashes even with barrier cream and/or gloves. I knew one guy who gave up his project because it irritated his lungs so bad. Fortunately the newer polyester resins with hardener seem to have beat that problem, but the fumes are really noxious. Make sure you have good ventilation and use a respirator with activated charcoal filters.

It's a good idea to keep a small sample of each batch so you can determine cure state without disturbing the work piece.

Good luck!

Rich
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2017, 03:05 PM
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DonFromTX DonFromTX is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: La Feria Texas
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Sitting in my hangar side by side is one RV12 with the skirt I made myself, and my other 12 with the Viking skirt. I had not seen one of the Viking ones previous to this purchase, but heard constant complaints about poor fitting, need to make modification to them, etc.
I must agree that it is actually a very simple thing to make, and you can save some bucks, but for the finished project, I can tell you my Viking one looks and fits perfectly, the builder made no changes or modifications to it. Not sure why anyone would have any complaints about it at all.
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2017, 04:55 PM
E. D. Eliot E. D. Eliot is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Pedro
Posts: 822
Default No big deal - no short cuts

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to learn how to ride a 'two wheeler'? Same deal here - looks hard - its easy once you have a little experience.

My first time with fiber glass. I had a fairly steep learning curve. The reward of doing your own canopy is that you learn a lot and you will have an excellent fit of your canopy.

Recommend that you view the Van's RV-14 utube. View Dan's how to fiberglass tutorials here on the VAF. Review the RV-12 instructions given with the plans. Get the right equipment.


Purchase West Systems 105 resins and pumps. Get the 'slow' part B. You use flox in areas that need strength. Glass beads are for filling in areas where little or no structural strength is needed. Flox sands hard and glass beads sand easily. You will need at least 72" of fiberglass. I bought 72 " and had to buy more as I wanted to redue the 'skirt' part that covers the canopy pneumatic cylinders. My first try at this area produced 'wavy' skirts. I learned that you can't just let fiberglass hang down and expect it to remain straight. You need a 'pattern' underneath to support your lay up as it cures. "Knowledge and fun" right?

I highly recommend that you use peel ply unless you want to spend extra hours sanding. Get some 6 mil plastic to go under your fiberglass parts and to cover the table. You can use 4 mil but it makes the job a lot harder. Purchase the 'pizza cutter wheel' from Aircraft Spruce. It will save you time and frustration. Yeah, I know that it costs $28 or so but what the heck, you and I are rich right? I thought that I could get by without one - I have sharp scissors - no good - get the right tool (in my opinion).

Because my 12 build is located inside of my garage, I was forced to do the fiberglass layups there. My West Systems fiberglass did not produce fumes that were strong or obnoxious. Remember, you are going to mix only about 4-6 ounces of resin at a time and what you don't use, you place into the trash can outside. Nevertheless, these fumes or any epoxy resin fumes likely are not good for our bodies so try to have good ventilation or a good fan working to remove the fumes.

Sanding fiberglass - not much written about this - I took my canopy off of the fuselage each time I wanted to sand the fiberglass. Maybe 20 times? I did all sanding outside with a good wind at my back and a mask on my face. When I was finished, I showered. Clothing was laundered. I wore no mask the first time that I sanded and when I lay down that night, I started to cough - I assume that I had fiberglass in my lungs - not good and lesson learned.

Summary - get educated by the sources that I outlined above. Get the right tools. Get a good supply of the correct weight and weave fiberglass material. Get West Systems or equivalent epoxy. Follow the directions on the RV-12 plans exactly. Expect that you may make mistakes - you are learning a new skill. You can't rush this procedure - allow maybe 4-5 hours to do your first lay up. Take your time.

Try to find a mentor to assist you - someone who has done fiber glass work before and enjoys it! This may be the best piece of advice that I could give you. There hopefully several people in your area who like fiber glass work. Find one and ask for help - this will make it so much better for you. Best to you.
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2017, 04:46 AM
Allan Stern Allan Stern is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 161
Default RV 12 canopy

I too asked the same question as you. Basically received the same replies. I have built a 6A and an 8A so was familiar with the fiberglassing of an RV. Each RV is a little different so one size will not fit all and by making it yourself you will get a custom fit.
The most difficult part for me was cutting the layers of cloth as fiberglass wants to move once it is cut from pattern and you saturate it with the resin. But I did it and the canopy turned out pretty good that I am happy with. Just work on one layer at a time and you will get it done.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2017, 12:42 PM
Ueli N Ueli N is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Blaine WA
Posts: 27
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I never worked with fiberglass before and had the same fears.
But when you prepare and organize everything in advance and have a helper it's not a bad experience.
One trick I learned from someone with experience, that helped me a lot was
To cut all the templates required for the job also from a roll of wax paper, then use some 3M 77 spray glue and cover one side of the wax paper with a very thin layer of the glue. Press the paper on the Fiberglas cloth,that way it can be cut by scissors.
It's easy to transfer the cloth to the canopy and after position peal off the paper.
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2017, 03:23 PM
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Phantom30 Phantom30 is offline
 
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Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID/Casa Grande, AZ
Posts: 525
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ueli N View Post
I never worked with fiberglass before and had the same fears.
But when you prepare and organize everything in advance and have a helper it's not a bad experience.
One trick I learned from someone with experience, that helped me a lot was
To cut all the templates required for the job also from a roll of wax paper, then use some 3M 77 spray glue and cover one side of the wax paper with a very thin layer of the glue. Press the paper on the Fiberglas cloth,that way it can be cut by scissors.
It's easy to transfer the cloth to the canopy and after position peal off the paper.
Really good advice...wish I'd known this trick when I did mine..
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  #19  
Old 07-04-2017, 05:15 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 6,591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ueli N View Post
I never worked with fiberglass before and had the same fears.
But when you prepare and organize everything in advance and have a helper it's not a bad experience.
One trick I learned from someone with experience, that helped me a lot was
To cut all the templates required for the job also from a roll of wax paper, then use some 3M 77 spray glue and cover one side of the wax paper with a very thin layer of the glue. Press the paper on the Fiberglas cloth,that way it can be cut by scissors.
It's easy to transfer the cloth to the canopy and after position peal off the paper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom30 View Post
Really good advice...wish I'd known this trick when I did mine..
I'm not sure it can be any simpler than to follow the recommendations that are (I think) in the manual.....

Buy a cheap rotary fabric cutter at a fabric store.... wet out a piece of cloth on some plastic wrap.... cover with another piece of plastic wrap and then with the template laying on top... cut around the perimeter of the template with the rotary cutter. Remove the excess trimmings. Remove the plastic wrap from the top side and lay the cloth in place.... then remove the second layer of plastic wrap.
Repeat as many time as is required.

This is basically how the guys building composite airplanes have been doing it for decades.
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  #20  
Old 07-04-2017, 05:52 PM
DHeal DHeal is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
Posts: 569
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Avoid the temptation to use excess resin -- more is not better. Wet the fabric weave completely and then squeegee or roll out the excess. Then put the wetted fabric in its pre-marked position. Follow Van's directions. Great fun!
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