International Seawind Pilots Association
Roger Isackson

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The following letter & pictures were submitted by Roger during November 2003.

From: Roger Isackson
Sent: November 2003
Subject: SW

I Thought you would find the attached photo [of safe canopy storage] interesting in light of one of your recent posts.  

[About fiberglass and resin fabrication,] I attempt to make all of my thicker lay-ups a semi-continuous process.  I lay out most of my reinforcements on vacuum bagging film on which I draw the outline of the reinforcement.  I put the marker side down so as not to get ink in with the sticky stuff and I use masking tape to keep everything from sliding around on the bench.  I lay the glass on the resin painted surface of the film then stipple with a chip brush of appropriate size.  I have found trimming the first 1/8 " off the end of the brush with a very sharp scissor makes the process go a lot better.  I use no rollers as I hate the way they pick up glass strands along the edge of the cloth.  This is especially bad  when the orientation is 0-90.  I limit the thickness to 4 or 5 plies, any more than that and I find myself losing the shape of the lay-up while chasing bubbles and working resin either in or out of the pack, whatever is necessary.  So I put it in place and mix up another batch. Usually by the time I am ready for the next 4 or 5 plies, the previous ones have set up enough so I don't have to worry about moving them around.  I know if I can dent the resin with my fingernail I am going to get a good bond. 

Actually according to Dows' literature a chemical bond is capable a long time after you are unable to dent the resin. Up to 24 hours I believe.  I don't like to let it go that long though.

 I use acetone for cleaning brushes mostly. I like to give the surface an initial wipe with a clean cloth and good acetone.  But that is where it ends. I then sand with 150 grit and vacuum... twice!  I am very careful about contaminates around the shop however.   I also like to prefabricate parts on the bench where I have more control of the quality.  Whenever I know it is going on a fully cured area that is.

Remember the fix for the fragile balance horns Mike Bowes' shop recommended?  I made the fix and am going to send you a sequence of photos. [Included below.]


Above: composite bulkheads cut for elevator horn

Above 2 photos: Foam and one side of fiberglass tapered to expose the inner plies for bonding.

Above: Edges of inner plies cleaned and exposed for bonding. Special tool made from spent saber saw blade.

Above: Bulkheads ready for installation into the elevator horn.

Above: Clean-area type fiberglass storage and cutting table. Bonding strips cut and ready for use.

Above: Single ply bulkhead removed and elevator interface BH reinforced prior to installing new BH.

Above: New BH temporarily held with hot glue prior to installing inner tapes.

Above: Tapes installed to bond inner surface to edges. Note the correct wet-out of the fiberglass without any excess of resin. Also note the uniform width of plies.

Above: Fillet and tapes installed to bond outer surface.

Above: Completed BH installation.

Above: MLG Hydraulic actuator anchor.

Above: Safe canopy storage.

Above: Skew chisel fabricated for trimming and cutting.


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