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Old 03-11-2012, 06:04 PM
DHeal DHeal is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
Posts: 774
Default Tip: Cutting Fiberglass Parts

I just finished making the initial cuts on my various RV-12 fiberglass parts (tail fairing, cowl, etc.). I used my cheapy Craig's List Skil bandsaw with excellent results. Here's how I did it: I carefully ran dark masking tape along the mold cut lines - on the outside surface of the fiberglass. I made a saw blade kerf guide out of a scrap piece of clear plastic. I backlit the kerf guide from underneath the saw table using a small worklight. Now I could easily see the saw blade and its relationship to the masking tape through the translucent fiberglass. I was able to accurately guide the fiberglass piece so that the blade cut within 1/16" of the masking tape. Worked great for me -- be very careful, no cutting of fingers permitted!

ps -- You may want to have a trusted associate help you hold the large lower cowl piece as you maneuver it through the saw.
David Heal - Windsor, CA (near Santa Rosa)
EAA #23982 (circa 1965) - EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor; CFI - A&I
RV-12 E-LSA #120496 (SV w/ AP and ADS-B) - N124DH flying since March 2014 - 740+ hours (as of Mar 2019)!
VAF donation through June 2019.
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