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  1. #1
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    daveaust's Avatar
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    DIY fiberglass NG glarewings

    I know this is very basic for most of you and will have done this many times, but just wanted to show my first fiberglass project(ever). If you have been interested in glarewings and don't really want to make them from wood (or buy) then consider this approach. I am a complete amateur at this and my first one turned out fairly well. Easy to do, fast process, and both should run you about $30 US (probably less) and that will still leave you some leftover materials. I used insulating styrofoam from local home improvement store. Will leave you most it left for something else. Plaster for mold, cheap, and fiberglass cloth plus any resin you want- polyester or epoxy. All cheap. I measured and eyeballed diagrams/photos and easily made the original positive the foam models by stacking two layers (left and right). Coated with wax so not to stick to plaster. Sink into plaster "bath" to make mold. When plaster cured, coat your mold with paste(johnson,etc) wax or mold wax. Then just lay up your resin/fiberglass cloth. Pulling final model may require tugging or you can one-off and crack the plaster. If I can do it, anyone can. I will paint.
    Pics show pink original model for left side, right fibeglass model and right mold. Plan to do left side this week.
    Oh yes I am going to coat next waxed plaster mold with PVA(mold release agent) for easier pull.
    Anyway, this is my quick, cheap, and dirty method, not perfect, and there are much better ways to do it, but after sanding/paint it should look pretty close.
    The real ones are slightly spongy like a car dash. I got to go into an NG cockpit recently after we landed and get pix and poke around on them.
    Hope someone sees this and tries it if they need glarewings.
    Thanks for looking,dave


    DSCN0591.jpg

    photo3.jpg

    Links to some pics:
    http://photobucket.com/727-TQ
    http://s242.photobucket.com/albums/f.../CockpitStuff/

  2. #2
    Forum Moderator JWS's Avatar
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    Re: DIY fiberglass NG glarewings

    Some challenge Dave. I've made them out of MDF.

    JWS

  3. #3
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    Re: DIY fiberglass NG glarewings

    I've seen the MDF glarewings people have made and they look fantastic but I am not so good at wood "crafting" myself so I thought I'd do this and do the carving and shaping out of the styrofoam instead, which is much easier for a hack like me! I am currently thinking about how to do something similar in fiberglass for the panels right under the lateral areas of the glarewing/shield that drop down to meet the MIP. It will be trickier especially to match both sides shapes. My final size of the glarewings are a bit too long but I've a little bit of room to adjust. Here's a pic of the underneath side of the wings. I couldn't close photos from the angles to see the detail until I took these but I had already modeled the styro. My goflight MCP is small and I will end up with a full size MCP eventually so I will probably have to make a new set with more accurate sizing.

    DSCN0510.jpg

    DSCN0508.jpg

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    Forum Moderator JWS's Avatar
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    Re: DIY fiberglass NG glarewings

    yes, that's a tricky one. I did not had that nice pictures, so had to do a lot of guess work. Ended up by using thick black paper. Have a look at my album to see the result http://http://www.mycockpit.org/phot...cat=652&page=3

    JWS
    Last edited by JWS; 03-12-2012 at 03:48 PM. Reason: terrible typo's

  5. #5
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    Re: DIY fiberglass NG glarewings

    Looks very nice. You are giving me ideas...

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    Forum Moderator JWS's Avatar
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    Re: DIY fiberglass NG glarewings

    Thank you. I thought it was a cheap and acceptable way of dealing with the problem.
    I hope useful ideas.

    JWS

  7. #7
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    Re: DIY fiberglass NG glarewings

    If you use foam, use the pink insulation type - not the white extruded kind. Use EPOXY resin, not Polyester. Polyester ruins the foam. Make the shape out of foam, slightly smaller (2mm will do nicely) and coat with spray-on wax (or even spray on some veggie oil). Then apply the resin and cloth (fine woven cloth if you want to save a LOT of sanding). Cover the wet resin with plastic wrap (not too tight!) to save even more sanding paper. Remember that the cloth should be saturated in resin, but do not drown it! When the cloth is translucent, it is saturated.
    When the resin hardens, remove the bulk of the foam manually. To remove the last parts, wash with Acetone - it dissolves the foam. Reinforce the glare wing with more resin and glass fibre, and you're done. Remember to add some "fastening points" if needed.

    This is a very easy way to make one-off glass fibre products. Just remember to use breathing protection, gloves and glasses!

    Other applications for this method: eyebrow window frames, side walls, pedestal (!!!), glare shield top...

    To get flat glass fibre sheets, use a piece of sheet metal laid on a flat surface. Just apply some wax to the surface, then spread epoxy resin and roll out cloth. An aluminum roller is a great help for wetting out glass fibre.

    To fire your creative juices, I recommend researching the "stitch and glue" method used for building boats. This website has a lot of info.

    To create complex shapes and curves, stretchy cloth is often used as a base in automotive buildoffs. Instrument panels, interior panels...

    If you saturate one layer of woven fibre glass with epoxy resin, once hardened it can be bent in rather tight curves. Then add more layers to strengthen. There is NO limits to its use!

    But: do your research! Epoxy resin is nasty stuff. If you wait too long between coats, you need to wash the resin since it puts out a layer of wax when hardening.

    Forget MDF. Fibre glass and epoxy is the way to go - it is MUCH easier! And if you use foam as a base mold, you really do not need any tools other than a knife and a rasp or two - and some sanding paper for finishing.

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  9. #8
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    Re: DIY fiberglass NG glarewings

    Vidar, thanks for even more info and ideas. I will be stealing some of these techniques from you. And yes the modelling from foam is easy/ideal. I use the large styro sheets for new home construction in-wall insulation. It isn't as grainy and crumbly. Works very well. I'm starting my main window framing from wood and will probably use some FG too... dave