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  #1  
Old 01-27-2017, 03:00 PM
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Default doing the wing skin layup alone

I am preparing for my first wing skin layup, but I'll be working by myself so I'm thinking about how to lay a cloth of that size into position without too much distortion. Are there any tips or tricks for doing this alone?

Joe Polenek
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

for starters .... hardshell
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Old 01-27-2017, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

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Originally Posted by TMann View Post
for starters .... hardshell
Done.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

looks good
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

Joe, I was building the Berkut wings which uses Carbon Fiber.
I happened upon a tip that another Berkut builder put out there and coincidently in my EAA chapter.

The process he outlined was to make patterns using a roll of brown paper (Home Depot). You can precut all your fabric ahead of time.

A foam roller can help wet out the fabric as well.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

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make patterns using a roll of brown paper (Home Depot). You can precut all your fabric ahead of time.
I'm doing something similar, using CAD to get the shape of each piece.

My concern is how to get those pre-cut pieces onto the wing without messing up the fibers. On the first ply, I suppose the cloth can be slid around and pulled straight before the epoxy is applied, but that will be a lot more difficult for the second ply since it has goes onto an epoxied surface.

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Old 01-28-2017, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

Joe,

I'd recommend 4 hands so as to drape the glass onto the wing. (I know... this flys in the face of your posts title....)

PS: It'll be nice to have another canard in the area.

Neil
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

I would be more concerned if it was BID or Triax.
Roll it up and unroll it on the wing. It's easy to straighten the fibers once it is laying on the wing.
As you stated, it's the second ply that is a concern.
Mine was a little easier due to it being CF but this will work.

..... and yes, best case would be to have two more hands.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

The epoxy I'm using wets through 1 UNI and 2 BID easily (when doing the IP bulkhead). Hardshelling is working great for me so far! (Early days, admittedly). Laying two or three layers before adding epoxy works for me.
YMMV with the epoxy system you are using. Mine is a local formulation.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

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Originally Posted by Steve parkins View Post
looks good
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilK View Post
It'll be nice to have another canard in the area.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Voidhawk9 View Post
The epoxy I'm using wets through 1 UNI and 2 BID easily
Good to know. That might be an option if the first ply of UND (which would be dry) can stay put while the second is being positioned across the top of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voidhawk9 View Post
Hardshelling is working great for me so far!
Same here. It's nice to get the surface 'just right' before putting cloth on it.

Joe
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

If you are going to hard shell paint some epoxy on the surface and lay the first layer of glass on top. The epoxy will hold the glass in place while you add other layers and more epoxy. Of course if you don't hardshell the micro mix will do the same thing without the overhead of the hardshell

I have done both and personally have come to the conclusion that hard shelling is an additional procedure with limited advantage

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Old 01-31-2017, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

I had help (mix and squeegee) for my first skin, probably just because. Remaining three were done solo.

Cut a number of strips to a pleasing shape.
Slurry foam, wait for the slurry to barely start to tack. Not too long though.
Add first layer of cloth, can be one strip at a time.
Apply some epoxy, squeegee. Shoot for many dry spots.
Add parallel strips, repeat.
Add second layer. Dump epoxy on to wet out second (and first) layer, squeegee.
Add additional strips, repeat.

Rick
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

Here's a follow-up...
With a helper on stand-by 'just in case', I was able to lay down the fiberglass by myself. The main factor that made it possible was having a minimum amount of cloth (just what was needed for this layup) rolled on a relatively light tube. This enabled me to hold the roll with one arm and the end of the fiberglass with the other. Once part of the cloth was in position on the wing surface, the rest was easily unrolled and pulled into place. Laying the second layer of UND over the 'wet' first layer was no problem.

Joe
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

good job.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: doing the wing skin layup alone

Wow!!! Way to go! I doubt many have done that layup alone.
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