Trevor & Dewey's RV-7 Construction Log

Empennage - Fiberglass Tips

Back to Log Index

Date: 10/18/2009
Task: Continued fiberglass work on rudder bottom and top fairing, left elevator fairing, and the HS and VS tips

Today was the big day, where I actually laid the first fiberglass. It was pretty straightforward. Lay out some plastic, cut the fiberglass cloth into a square several inches larger than the area to be covered, mix up some epoxy, pour it on the cloth, and then sandwich the cloth in plastic. I then used the yellow squeegee in the picture below to "wet-out" the cloth. This means it gets completely saturated in epoxy and turns from a white color to translucent.

Here is the first piece wet-out. Its sandwiched between two pieces of 2mil plastic and satrated in epoxy. I then used a rotary cutting tool to cut the cloth in half for each HS tip.

Note the rotary cutter on the top right side. I then peeled off one side of the plastic that was covering the cloth and applied it to the fairing. After tamping it down to its final form, I removed the upper layer of plastic.

Next I cut 4 pieces of peel-ply which is 100% Dacron cloth. It absorbs any extra expoxy from a lay up. Too much epoxy is just as bad as too little.

Then I applied the Dacron on top of the fiberglass and pressed into its form.

Lastly, after about 2 hours of curing, I trimmed the edges of the fiberglass. We'll see what it looks like in the morning.

I also decided to split the forward portion of the bottom rudder fairing. I didn't like how much it was stretching which caused some edges to poke up. I cut it on the band saw, stop drilled the end of the cut, brushed in unthickened epoxy, and then filled with flox. Once its cured I will sand it smooth and then

Lastly I sanded down the tip of the left elevator. I then filled the area with flox. This will all get smoothed out, glassed over, and then a slurry of micro on top.