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QuickTalk 2 - Q-TIPS

Keep epoxy in a box with a light bulb on - 100 degrees, epoxy is runny as water and makes for light layups. Two 20-cc syringes make a great "poor man's ratio pump". Just measure out a 5-to-2-volume ratio of resin and hardener and mix away. A 'Disston Abrader' replaces sandpaper and is easy (and faster) to use. (Norm Sanford, #486)

Many layups are easier to do on a sheet of Saran wrap at your worktable and then carefully transfer them to the plane. An example is with BID tapes. Saturate the plies on a worktable then roll them up with the Saran wrap like an Ace bandage, and unroll against the inner surface. Look for air bubbles and work them out carefully.

A good way to have a centerline reference is to measure two or three center points, and then run a string above the airplane. You can drop a plumb line and find your centerline anywhere on the airplane. Can even mark F.S. positions up there if you want. (Kimberly Singleton, #2170)

I have found the use of Mylar tape (the shiny type used on packing boxes) is excellent for holding glass or micro in place (i.e. the wraparound of the wing leading edges). After curing, the tape peels off and leaves a very smooth surface. I also have found it a good replacement for Saran Wrap to hold glass down around tight corners. The Mylar retains its stiffness and does not "wrinkle up" like the Saran sometimes does. (Robert Herd, #478)

Getting dry micro to be flush with adjacent foam can be a sanding problem. One solution is to use Peel-Ply over the "ding" filled with micro. Use your finger or a straight edge to contour. The result will be flush at cure and ready to glass. (Jim Massengill, #2269)

A hot glue gun (I use Sears) is good for temporarily attaching tabs or parts to fuselage shells, etc. I used it to attach templates to jig table and to anchor shell in place. Do NOT use it on density foam - it will melt. (K. C. Priest, #2559)

To make hotwire templates, we purchased a small sheet of Formica and glued the full scale drawings to the Formica. We found 3M contact cement doesn't cause shrinkage, dries in five minutes, and holds the paper securely. Make sure the paper lies perfectly flat and keep the water line straight. Rough cut out the templates with a saber saw or Dremel. Next use a belt sander or a disk sander to finish shaping the templates. Black and Decker makes a portable belt sander that is driven by a standard electric drill. It works great! (Only cost $22.) The finished templates were so smooth on the edges that they were ready for use. (Phil Haxton, #2011)

Marking pencil lead on the edges of the hot wire templates increases the smoothness of the cut. In order to cut large, odd-shaped pieces of fiberglass cloth, a newspaper template helps tin transferring compound shapes to a two-dimensional cutting surface. (Richard Spencer, #429)

To level the wing and canard for installation onto the fuselage, instead of bondoing a board onto the wing, small bubble levels bondoed in the center section are out of the way and show the level of the surface. We put the two levels flat and perpendicular. (Jack Dempsey, #279) /K. C. Priest suggested Jack's same idea except with the use of a single "Bulls-eye" level. -Ed./

I have noticed one thing in common with many EZ's and Quickie - they all have wavy trailing edges (wings, elevator and ailerons). After glassing the bottom skin of the part and sanding off the foam tab, the trailing edge is very flimsy and usually wavy. By attaching a long piece of aluminum angle to the bottom of the trailing edge before glassing the top skin, the edge is held straight and rigid. After cure, break loose the aluminum and you will have a straight training edge. (Tom Solan, #259) /Several builders have also suggested clamping the trailing edge between two stiff pieces of wood or aluminum (use non-stick barrier) during cure. -Ed./

When excess epoxy is seen but can't be squeegeed, just blot it up with paper towels. A lot of excess weight can thus be avoided. (Owen Billman, #53)

If you forget to clean your squeegee after a layup, just take it to your belt sander. While you are there, round each corner with a small radius to get into fillets. (Pete Bliss, #515)

You can order a PDF or printed copy of QuickTalk #2 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.