Tutorials & Technique

We were now ready to schedule time to do the layup preparation, we decided to do this on a full day, I said it would take 3-4 hours.

We used:
– Ram Wax
– PVA release
– GC1/080 Gel Coat
– 1 layer 163g Twill Glass
– 1 layer 210g unidirectional cloth
– 3 Layers of 410 Biax Glass
– Ampreg 21 epoxy.
– Cotton Flock
– modelling Clay

We first Filled the Gap, using modelling Clay, these corners where all squared and cleared with a squared off credit card. Once done we polished the Plug, with some G18 and then 5 layers of Ram wax. After doing the Gel coat, we precut all the cloth and filled all the “Corners” with cotton flock. Then the cloth went on in the following order, 1 layer 163g Twill Glass, 1 layer 210g unidirectional cloth and then 3 Layers of 410 Biax Glass. I was worried the about all the bubble and I would like to put a Bladder in the mold. So I decided, I need to vacuum all the air out, I went home for dinner and came back and the mold was hard. After, 3 hours of staring at the mold cleaning it up, I decided the mold was hard, and MAD kept saying he was worried it was not coming out to easy.

So I started unscrewing it, Usually in the past, I would worry but I was certain it would be perfect this time. I took off one side, it was flawless, then the other and the two sides. I wasn’t going to split it, but Sydney was saying am I thinking what he is thinking. So I split the mold, no resistance, nothing. The mold came out, but there was gel coat on my hand… DAMN. It turned out the second batch of gelcoat was not perfectly mixed. Not serious. I will correct this afterwards as it’s only on the flange. What was a total disaster and is also fixable is we used Nuts to mate up the halves. This chipped off some Gelcoat. I will fix it but note to Self, next time use something flat in index it. I though the result proved the the time spent on the layout preparation was well spent.

Here is the result, I will let the final un-cleaned product speak for itself.

Okay, after choosing what plane you are molding, in this case the fuz came from a crashed Opus, donated to me by a friend. I Repaired best I could, sanded and resprayed the Fuselage with a 2K (2 part) primer and 2K paint, each time wetting it flat down to 1000 grain paper. The last layer of Purple was sanded down to 1500 grain. Each successive layer is wet sanded to provide a smooth and error free surface, eventually you will find a surface that is free from errors, cracks and dust. This is time consuming but well worth it in the end as 2k paints provide the perfect surface to polish to a mirror finish.

So while it’s not 100% completes as there is still a lot of Rust on the base of the De Walt radial arm Saw. There is still loads of fasteners that need to be re-blued due to Surface rust which I will fix with my Electrolytic rust Remover, I think it looks loads better then it did when it was purchased. I need to use the machine so it will need wait while I complete the houses pictures rails and Skirting boards. i have a long standing love for a De Walt radial arm Saw, and there are many article on this machine that say it dangerous and outdated etc… What they don’t tell you is 95% of the time it’s not set up correctly and that this machine is really a workshop powerhouse. I suppose that’s why De Walt called this radial arm Saw DW-1251 “Powershop”. Anyways, enough on that here is the before pictures and then an after picture.
 De Walt radial arm Saw DW-1251 Powershop before restoration

De Walt radial arm Saw DW-1251 Powershop before restoration

De Walt radial arm Saw DW-1251 Powershop before restoration

De Walt radial arm Saw DW-1251 Powershop before restoration

The Machine before restoration

the Saw before restoration

The De Walt radial arm Saw DW-1251 Powershop After some restoration

We all face the problem of rust somewhere along the line and the question is how to remove it or even recover some of the metal without doing any damage to the actual part itself

Electrolytic rust removal or Electrolysis

DO NOT USE STAINLESS STEEL or CHROME, The process breaks down the sacrificial anode and deposits Chromium in the water and the will end up in the local water so don’t do it, and it consider Hazardous Material. Also Hexavalent Chromium cause birth deformities etc so it’s nasty. The process also lets off Poisonous gases so JUST DON’T do it. Also putting some other Chemicals in the process will also perform electro plating for you but more about that in another build maybe. The process can also perform Electropolishing using Salt and propylene glycol (aka Anti-freeze), once again more about this LATER, and they are both more complicated.

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Composite molds

Making a composite mold is all about preparation,like anything else if the foundation is good you have a good start. Mold making for a composite aircraft is no different, see what materials are available ask questions and try it. Composite materials vary and it’s always best to find the right stuff for the job.

I constantly strive to find new ways of doing things and over the years I have found some things work better than others. This time round I need to thank Mike (aka mikegbogh) for the recommendation of using a Farecla product called G6 Regular Grade Paste Compound. I contacted the local Agent, and they gave me some samples to try needless to say, two days later I bought the products, Wow!!!!. This product is available from most good Automotive paint store, if you are stuck try the Local Agent Gondolier they have a list of distributors per region. Internationally you will need to go to Farecla Products/ and track down a distributor.

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10 to 12 years ago I conceived the idea of building my own CNC machines for Foam cutting and routing, and after moving to Europe for a few years and then career and the lack I space I bench the idea, and kept buying parts for the machines. about 4 weeks back a friend and myself where chatting and he said he has space by him lets build it. The Foam CNC requirements changed over the years, so the CNC Foam cutter changed as well, but the CNC router, was still a go. I’m not sure what the feeling is among local modellers is with regards to DIY CNC, but I will take some pictures along the way. Feel free to ask questions and I will answer them as best I can.

We started assembling the machine now having framed the table and put the Gantry base on. All the alignment is perfect. This is all lying on the gravity feed Foam cutter we made for Long wings a little while back.


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I was lucky enough to be given a 1/5 hp fridge compressor. Now I have been told that some of the compressors take little longer to build up pressure, bigger is better, but who cares anyways. I want to vacuum bag wings and build a compressor was what I need to do.

Before we start out we will need a few supplies

– 1 Fridge Compressor = Free, ask at the local scrap dealer, or Friends.
– 1 Supco 3 n’ 1 (Starter, Relay, Capacitor all in one Unit) = R490 ($66) from Patriot supply in the States Not needed if you have one

– 1 Vacuum Gauge for a motor Car Carburetor , for Measuring vacuum and help setting the Pressure Switch = R149
– 1 Carburetor Vacuum Goody, I find the right name = Free (used to make vacuum switch.)
OR
– Digital SMC vacuum switch from eBay for R215 ($20). Makes life easy and very effective

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Not having tools has never been an excuse not to build an aircraft. My first aircraft’s where built using a pencil, a ‘snap-off’ blade craft knife, a coping saw (for ply), a sanding block, a Hand Drill and a 45cm metal ruler. The Rule of thumb is do not buy a tool unless you are really going to use it, otherwise you end up spending a small fortune on tools that gather dust or frustrate you. If you keeping running into the same problem then

Trust Pro-edge box of Hand tools

buy the tool to solve the problem, else save the cash for more building materials.

We all know the saying “A bad workman always blames his tools” well when building planes it’s no different, learn to use your tools properly. Pay close attention to a tools capabilities and limitations as having a #11 blade snap or shatter in your hands can lead to a lot of blood loss. Always practice on scrap wood with new tools before using them to familiarize yourself with them, practice always make perfect.

Just remember you can cut, sand or plane wood short but you cannot cut, plane or sand it longer. Just be patient and try first then use it.

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