Time: 8 Hours
The windscreen needs a transition to the fuselage made with fiberglass. It also needs to create a transition from the windscreen to the canopy to close the gap between the two parts. This is a multi step process and a scary one as well. First up for me was to identify the dimensions of the fiberglass area and line that with some electrical tape.
Now that I had the shape I wanted I needed to do some serious etching of the aluminum and windscreen where fiberglass will attach so that it will adhere better. I started with 220 grit to get rid of any shiny area then I followed it with 80 grit to really scratch all of the surface area.
Keep in mind that all this time I have been working hard at not scratching my aluminum and canopy and now I go and do this step was pretty scary. The plan is to have a nice transition between the forward skin onto the windscreen. Vans calls for a 4″ radius to be a good for the curve between the two parts. To help with the void at the junction of the windscreen and skin I’m using a epoxy/flox mixture that will provide structural support and start the shaping. Since this application will be seen from inside the windscreen looking out I’m dying it black. I mixed up a batch and applied it to the area and built up the sides where the transition to the canopy skirts is off.
After the filler cured I did some touch up sanding to knock down a few high points. I then cut seven strips of fiberglass at different widths starting at 1/2″ increasing in 1/4″ increments until I got to 2″.
These were long enough to go from the left side to the right side of the froward edge of the windscreen. I prepped the cutting board with plastic and mixed up some epoxy with black pigment.
I worked quickly and wet out each strip and placed in position starting with the 1/2″ and worked my way up.
I covered all this area with ply peel to help with the surface and will let it cure over night. This is the first of several posts that will cover this process.