Old 07-04-2011, 05:47 PM
Slow & Low
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 196

Alright, I've had a nice little rest so I thought I should document some things here while I've got a moment.

Since making the fuse mould in 16pcs that each contained 13 layer laminations, at about 3 hours each, I decided that I needed to explore methods for not only speeding things up, but also reducing material costs. As a home hobbiest, you know that the further you can stretch a buck, the better. And afterall, we're building model airplanes here....

The first thought, as silly as it sounds was to go to a bigger brush. Well, that means mixing larger batches, which means a new scale. It also results in using about twice as much resin, but that's another story.

After some thought about rigidity of the tool, I came to the conclusion that what was needed, was much the same thing that's needed in a wing; a spar to take the bending moment produced along the length of the wing, and something to resist twist.

In the end, by using an integral fibreglass outer shear flange around the tool perimeter, and also incorporating the aluminum extrusions at acute angles in the tool face, I was able to cut the 13 layers down to 6 in the tool face and only 4 around the vertical perimeter shear flange.

More substantially, in terms of cost, I went from 2 gallons of laminating resin down to under one. In ballpark figures that's about a 60% savings in the material cost of this tool. The labour savings, although I will not quantify it here because it would require me to assign some certain degree of value to my skill level, was priceless to a guy who couldn't feel his legs after laying down each layer.

What does General Bugsy think of our new toy?
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