Tag Archives: Fiber-glass

Building Seamaster Day 61: Water Deflector & Enclosure

Water Deflector - keeps water from getting under wing compartment

June 3rd, I made a wooden plate that slides around the back of the pylon with a lip over the craddle for the wing. This is to deflect any water that splashes up over the front from getting inside the fuselage. I measured Peter’s version on his seamaster to get an idea of location and dimensions of the slot to be cut.

Once prepped I glued and clampped the piece in place, as seen in the featured image (above).

Next, I cut sponges to fit around the fuel tank to keep it snuggly in place as well as tubing for the fuel lines. Do not want the tank shifting while in flight. I then ensured the tank with the added padding and tubing connected fit appropriately.

After the trial fit I drilled a pilot hole into the firewall for one of the previously drilled holes in the fiber-glass enclosure. I then lightly screwed it in place an continued for the other holes in the fiber-glass as Peter manuvered and held the aircraft so I could get to the various pre-drilled holes in the fiber-glass and drill the pilot holes into the firewall.

Afterwords I screwed the fiber-glass enclosure onto the firewall.

Tank Padding & Tube Fitting
Tank Padding & Tube Fitting

Building Seamaster Day 60: Tank Fit & Power Switch

Fiber-glass Casing

We were having an issue with getting the tank to fit in the fiber-glass housing along with some foam for protection to prevent it from raddling around.

On May 11th I did a trial fit of the tank, with the foam stuffed in, now that the engine is mounted, painted, etc. to make sure things were coming together as expected.

I also started prepping the switch I sanded off the piece of plastic that protrudes over the actual switch as well as drilled a hole into the switch itself due to how I need to rig it up and then cut out a rectangular piece of wood that will fit into the fuselage where I need the switch to be. I then measured where the center of the switch needed to be and cut out a hole about the dimensions of the switch back, sanding to finish the fit. I then put the switch through, back plate on the back, and screwed the two pieces together to secure the switch in place.

Switch
Switch

Building Seamaster Day 49: Fiber-glass Bottom

Bottom Fiber-Glass Applied

January 22nd involved a lot more fiber-glass and wet-sanding so thought I’d provide the gist of the process, which is as follows:

  • Make templates of areas to be fiber-glassed (I used cereal box cardboard)
  • Measure and cut the fiber-glass to size, approx. piece per surface area
  • Wear disposable clear plastic gloves
  • Mix up epoxy
  • Lay first piece of fiber-glass onto surface area ensuring equal coverage and as flat as possible (this tends to be tricky and this was with the assist of a second individual, Peter)
  • Start in the center and brush the epoxy over the entire surface, from inside to the outer edges
  • Use a plastic hand scraper to run over the surface to remove, “squeeze out”, excess glue
  • Leave to dry

You can see the bottom finished at the top of this post and the front and nose fiberglass below left. Below right is the completed sanding of the fiber-glass previously applied to the floats.

The last piece to this process is the wet sandpaper used for the wet sanding, also eluded to this product earlier.

SandWet Waterproof Sandpaper
SandWet Waterproof Sandpaper

Building Seamaster Day 48: Wet Sanding Edges

Sanded Bottom Fiber-Glassed Edges

On January 20th, since the fiber-glass placed around the edges of the bottom of the aircraft was dry it was time to prep for the next phase.

If you look closely at the fiber-glass along the edges in the previous post you’ll notice some really rough spots where glue pooled and dried.

This involved wet sanding the roughness out of the fiber-glass as well as any excess that was hanging over the edges, namely off the bottom over the drop between the front half and back (tail) half.

I also applied the fiber-glass to the seam where the light balsa curves up under the trailing edge of the bottom balsa piece. You can see the excess handing out past the sides.

Sanded Bottom Tail Fiber-Glassed Edges
Sanded Bottom Tail Fiber-Glassed Edges

Building Seamaster Day 47: Fiber-glass Bottom Edges

Bottom Front Edges Fiber-Glassing

On January 16th I continued work on fiber-glassing the bottom of the fuselage. This day was focusing on applying fiber-glass all around the edge of the bottom of the fuselage as well as on the nose. This ensures the seams, spaces between where the bottom connects to the sides, are thoroughly covered.

Also fiber-glassing of the nose of the aircraft to help ensure water tightness there too, preventing the balsa from getting soaked since this will be in the water, partially, and leading the way.

Once this was done had to leave to dry.

Bottom Tail Edges Fiber-Glassing
Bottom Tail Edges Fiber-Glassing

Building Seamaster Day 46: Fiber-glass to Keel

Fiber-glass Keel

On January 14th I continued with the fiber-glassing process. This time, seen above, I applied fiber-glass to the keel of the fuselage. The process was similar to before, this time cutting strips that would wrap over the keel and about equal parts on each side. This is done prior to the remainder of the bottom to ensure there is good coverage along the joints / corners where the keel is attached to the fuselage.

Afterwards I started wet sanding the wing tips. For this I used special sand paper that I dipped into a small bucket of warm water. This keeps the fine fiber-glass particles being sanded away from becoming airborne, you want to avoid breathing these in!

You can see the finished sanded product of one of the floats below:

Sanding Fiber-glass Wing Tip Float
Sanded Fiber-glass Wing Tip Float

Building Seamaster Day 45: Fiber-glassing floats

Rotary Cutter used for cutting fiberglass

On January 13th the fiber-glassing process started with the wing tip floats. This is my first experience working with fiber-glass.

Peter has a big sheet of the stuff. The first step was to cut out the pieces for covering the floats by creating the least amount of waste possible, it’s expensive stuff!

The pieces need to be over-sized so you have enough to work with. Looking at the image below, from left to right, the pieces are:

  • Two for the back concave curve of the floats
  • Then the pieces for the sides
  • Then pieces for the top & bottom of the floats
Preparing Fibre Glass For Floats
Preparing Fibre Glass For Floats

Once you have all the pieces for the day ready you mix up a batch of epoxy and stir it well to ensure the chemical reaction is complete.

After picking a starting point you lay a piece of fiber-glass across the appropriate float surface and brush the glue on ensuring to cover the entire surface area prior to moving on to the next piece.

Once all pieces are glued on you hang them to dry, not worrying about any excess, as seen in the pictures below.

Initial Fibre Glass of Float Tip
Initial Fiber Glass of Float Tip
Initial Fibre Glass of Other Float Tip
Initial Fiber Glass of Other Float Tip