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  #1  
Old 04-03-2018, 11:47 PM
DaleB's Avatar
DaleB DaleB is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 1,922
Default Time to finish canopy?

For those of you who keep track of such things... How much time did you spend finishing your canopy? I'm talking specifically about the fiberglass work, not the frame and canopy attachment.

I ask because my partner and I will be replacing our canopy during the condition inspection this year, which we'll start if we ever get finished with winter. We planned to do it last year, and indeed got a lot of it done, but we'll be doing all the glass work this year. I'd like to get an idea of how long to allow for that, and how much of it has to be done with the canopy on the plane vs. what can be done with it sitting on the bench.
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[i][size="1"]Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2018, 01:04 AM
crashley crashley is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: hazelwood north vic
Posts: 165
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a few hours to cut the fibreglass cloth to size a few hours to mask up etc and a few hours to do the actual resin work then after it set a few hours sanding and refibreglassing and then more sanding so about 8 hours on first day and 4 or 5 hours a few days later
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2018, 01:17 AM
E. D. Eliot E. D. Eliot is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Pedro
Posts: 889
Default My first time!!

I may not be typical here - I had and still do have a lot to learn about fiberglass ops! I found the 'process' enjoyable and challenging at the same time. Followed Van's instructions as exactly as I could with one deviation as described below.

I estimate about 5 hours of actual pattern measuring and cutting, epoxy application and trimming after curing. Sanding and filling about 3 hours more. But there is a 'the rest of the story'.

My first attempt at the 'skirt' area (the bottom of both sides in the front) (RV-12 which hang over a void) were were disappointing because they were wavy after curing. Correcting this problem cost me another 3 or so hours of work, etc. I don't know which RV you are building so you may not have to face this problem.

I cut out the wavy sections on both sides and replaced them with a new fiberglass layup under which - the second time- I placed a foundation of aluminum overlayed with 6mil plastic. Then I made sure that the second setup was straight and wrinkle free. My education in using fiberglass was taking some time and work! I got some tutoring on 'how to' from Dan H here on the VAF as to how to make the cuts and the splices. Thank you Dan H.

Then, because I did not want to use tape on top of my firewall aluminum as described by the Van's instructions, I used 6mil plastic under the layups. This worked very well - no problems of the layup sticking to the top of the fuselage. This also caused me problems because I did not have enough clearance between aluminum skin on the top of the fuselage and the bottom of the lay up because a few layers of tape is thicker than 6mil plastic. So, I had to add additional layers of fiberglass to the top of my layups - let it cure - and then remove a few layers of fiberglass from the bottom of my first layup.

Next time, I will use use 5 or 6 layers of 6 mil plastic and I will have the proper clearance between the aluminum top of my fuselage and the bottom of the fiberglass.

The lateral layups across the top of the fuselage went well. As per Van's directions, I had all of my fiberglass cut and numbered as to which ones went first and where, etc. I read and followed Van's instructions on how to wet up the fiberglass cloth and how to apply it, and how to get it to lay flat with no void spaces.

At first, I did not wet my fiberglass as thoroughly as I should have. Learned to wet thoroughly, apply, and then remove the excess epoxy from the layup. Learning here again. Be sure to try to remove all voids in the layup.

So, with all of the beginner mistakes that I made, I estimate that my actual working time to be about 20 hours to ready to paint properly fitting product. Next time, I think that I can do it in about one half that time - we'll see!

This will take some time to get it right so, don't expect to rush thru it. Good skills to you

Hope that this helps to give you some prospective of a beginners first time with fiberglass.
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2018, 05:21 AM
BigJohn BigJohn is offline
 
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Location: Gloversville, NY
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If this is your very first fiberglass work, make a generous estimate, then double it! If at all possible get some help from an experienced fiberglass person. For example, someone who has body shop experience.
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  #5  
Old 04-04-2018, 06:51 AM
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tomkk tomkk is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Port Orange, Fl
Posts: 798
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I've seen actual numbers from people who had little fiberglassing experience that have been in the 60 - 90 hour range for the full Section 34 completion ...
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2018, 07:27 AM
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rongawer rongawer is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brentwood, CA
Posts: 349
Default Log time

I spent 17 hours total, which includes 2 hours of time researching how to do the job and then buying the right materials; this was the first time Iíve built something from fiberglass.

The first day I accomplished taping, cutting and initial lay down of the fiberglass on the sides and spent about 4 hours getting that done - let that cure. The second day was about 4 hours cutting the next 10 strips and then laying them across the top and then let it cure. The rest of the time I spent sanding, and coating with micro, and then sanding and recoating with micro, and then a third coat of sanding and micro...and then finally I used some filler primer and then sanded that... sanding sucks.

I spent about as much time doing sanding, coating, sanding, coating, sanding coating...as I did laying the fiberglass. I allowed a full day for the fiberglass to cure to avoid sanding soft epoxy - itís much easier to sand once itís fully hardened and 12 hours just isnít long enough.

If you planned it over a week, I think youíd be fine, assuming the shop was warm.
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2018, 10:07 AM
DHeal DHeal is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
Posts: 738
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- Follow Van's suggested procedure per plans.
- Don't think that more resin is better. Less is more as long as the glass is fully saturated and the excess resin is squeezed out.
- Strive for a neat, smooth, symmetrical, layering of fabric as you go along. If you are careful, minimal sanding will be necessary.
- Peel-ply can be your friend.
- See Van's RV-14 fairing installation video at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVEE...zuZCXn5TXngVlY
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2018, 12:20 PM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 1,922
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Thanks for the feedback, guys. I've done a tiny bit of fiberglass work, but not for a long time. I have the fabric and peel-ply on hand, as well as what I think/hope will be plenty of West Systems epoxy, micro, etc. I'm going to allow a week to do the work -- should be enough, I would think. Plus, once we get the glass on and cured we should be able to remove the canopy, put the old one on and fly while doing the final finish work.

That's the plan, anyway... we'll see whether or not it survives contact with the enemy.
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[i][size="1"]Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
-=VAF
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2018, 01:05 PM
lewy lewy is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jackson Ohio
Posts: 135
Default Fiberglass work

We added some black dye to the resin, looks great from the inside of the cockpit. Gives it more of a factory finish look.
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2018, 01:10 PM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
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Yeah, I think we'll do that as well. The raw glass / epoxy doesn't look great. Since we're using Sika for the canopy, black seems like a good choice.
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[i][size="1"]Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
-=VAF
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