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Old 03-02-2021, 02:43 PM   #481
Dutkoski
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Re: Re-starting Avro Arrow build


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Iíve been back at it, off and on as they say, busy busy busy. So during the last few days, Iíve prepared the right wing master plug to be moulded ........ finally.

After the master plug is final sanded to the finish you want (400 grit in my case) you need to make the parting boards that will surround the plug and provide a ledge that the moulds flange will be created. This flange is very important, it needs to define the draft center line so the eventual part can be removed from the mould. If you have a negative draft in the mould, you might not get the part out. Also, making a flange that is narrow is counter productive, prepare to make them fairly wide. This is so there is plenty of room to have your reference indents and bolt holes. Also, if you vacuum bag your parts, the larger flange is needed to attach the vacuum sealing tape.

Some guys seem to use thin hardboard, but not me, I prefer using 5/8Ē thick white melamine painted particle board material. Easy to obtain from Home Depot. I cut it into 3 3/4Ē wide strips.

Before anything else, apply parting wax around the perimeter of the wing and after buffing, spray PVA parting solution around the edges. This step is very important for later on.

I then block up the master plug, the wing in this case, using foam that is hot glued together to get the height I need. Generally, I start with the wing root and get the physical center line of the airfoil. I then make standoffs to support the wing root parting board, the upper surface is lined up with the root center line. I use hot glue to secure the standoffs to the work table and the parting board to the top of the standoffs. Donít use a lot of glue as you need to knock everything off afterwards. Also DO NOT APPLY THE HOT GLUE TO THE SEAM WHERE THE PARTING BOARD MEETS THE PLUG.

Once you have the parting board material all the way around, use bondo to fill in the joint seams and mould ramps to match up any steps that were created. In this case, the area of the dog tooth feature created a slight step along the leading edge.

Next step is very important, you must seal the seam between the parting board and the plug. I normally leave a very slight gap between the parting board and plug, less than 1/32Ē mostly. To seal this gap, I use bondo, I mix it up in small quantities, about a teaspoon amount at a time. I then use a blunted popsicle stick or credit card material to squeeze the bondo into the seam. Once the bondo has cured stiff, I use a safety razor blade to trim away the bondo. Because you had previously applied wax and PVA to the edges of the mould, the bondo easily lifts off the plugs surface.

After the seams are sealed, I use my Dura Grit spherical burr in my Dremel and create divots along the parting board around the perimeter. These will create a dimple that will be replicated as a divot when you mould the opposite side.

Now the fun begins, after a good cleaning, I like to apply at least three coats of parting wax and then spray two coats of PVA release agent. There are several other parting systems on the market now, but, I have been using this system for about 25 years now and I am very comfortable using it.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:23 PM   #482
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Re: Re-starting Avro Arrow build

Wow, amazing work John. Someday I will learn this! :P
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Old 03-04-2021, 09:12 AM   #483
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Re: Re-starting Avro Arrow build

Well, in everyones life, a little rain must fall ...... and today is my turn I guess. On Tuesday, I had prepared the master plug. I applied a good layer of gelcoat and everything seemed perfect, good even coverage. After a couple of hours, I checked on it and discovered the coating had lifted slightly at the edge of the parting board in one section. But everything else seemed good. About 6 hours later I checked again, holy crap, the whole covering of gelcoat had literally lifted off the master plug and cracked everywhere. This has never happened before, I have made literally dozens of moulds, I was stumped ......

I contacted Rayplex in Oshawa ( where I purchased the gelcoat on Monday ) and advised them. The chap told me that I put in too much hardener, it cured too fast.

So, last night, I prepared the master plug for the wheel well doors on the other wing plug. Mixed up two ozís of gelcoat with the recommended 4 drops of hardener per oz. and applied the gelcoat. All looked perfect. This morning, I checked and guess what, it did the exact same thing, totally lifted off the plug in a single sheet but, it was dry ...... yeah.

So, I contacted my regular supplier, Composites Canada and spoke with them and sent them pictures of the problem. Also, reordered another gallon of gelcoat, etc. Now waiting for their comments on what had wrong.

If anyone has had similar problems, I would be interested in their solution.
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:32 AM   #484
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Re: Re-starting Avro Arrow build

Wow, that looks bad but it all lifted of easily??
If you ever wanted to do a hands on teaching seminar either classroom or virtual on all this stuff, I would sign up immediately! I really enjoy watching and learning this....I'm still a bit chicken to dive right in though...
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Old 03-11-2021, 07:31 PM   #485
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Re: Re-starting Avro Arrow build

Iím very happy to report, the new gelcoat behaved as expected. So, yesterday, I applied the gelcoat to the wing and to the landing gear door area of the opposite wing. I left this overnight to obtain a good cure. This morning, after preparing everything, ie: cutting the required amount of matting material, the surface veil and getting the resin, tools sorted, I started.

First layer is the surface veil. This fine matt material provides a very good bond between the gelcoat and the heavier matting.

Next, the applying the 1.5 oz. matting. I like to pre-cut the matting into 12Ē squares, I personally prefer this to trying to apply large pieces, unless the surface is basically flat with no features. The smaller pieces allow me time to use my segmented roller to work out all the tiny air bubbles without having to worry about the resin kicking off (hardening). I also mix my resin at the lower end of the hardener to resin ratio. It works out to 4 drops of hardener to 1 oz or resin at room temperature. For this task, I normally mix up 16 ozís of resin at one time in a large aluminum foil cooking pan, I get them at good old Dollarama.

I like to apply my first layer of matting and then a layer of matting to just the parting boards around the perimeter. Then two more layers of matting for the final thickness. So, in total, 4 layers on the parting board surfaces and three layers on the entire mould surfaces. You must use the aluminum segmented roller to work the air bubbles out, this will make your mould stronger.

I measured and pre-cut the 3/8Ē plywood fence material. These will be attached tomorrow. Their main purpose is to provide rigidity and stability to the mould. Also, they provide a base for the mould so it will sit solidly on the workbench for when you make your parts.

The last two pictures shows the amount of resin I used, quite a bit, huh. Plus, the basic tools needed. The most important tool is the respirator style mask. Mine is very old, but, the filter cartridges get replaced. So, it operates like new and my lungs are just fine after 25 years or more of doing this fun stuff.

Because I use polyester resin, I have a pretty good cross ventilation in my workshop sucking in fresh air from outside the house and exhausting it out the workshop window via a 16Ē electric fan operating at top speed. No smell remains in the house, which as you know, happy wife means a happy life
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Old 03-14-2021, 03:34 PM   #486
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Re: Re-starting Avro Arrow build

I know I'm using matting in a different use than yours but I learned a long time ago to tear it apart rather then to cut it. Edges blend into surrounding material easily that way plus can fit into corners better etc. I decided it might be smarter to tear it when I noticed how well you could see major repairs to Corvette body panels long after the paint was applied & polished. As the solvents off gassed sharp edges from cut & overlapped patches showed up as ghost images in good light.
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Old 03-15-2021, 08:39 AM   #487
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Re: Re-starting Avro Arrow build

Yep, I do that when there is a 90 degree corner. Also, when there is a deep feature, like the dog tooth in the leading edge, I rip apart some small pieces and soak them to fill the void.

All the tricks we learn with experience ....
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Old 03-18-2021, 09:07 PM   #488
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Re: Re-starting Avro Arrow build

The wing mould turned out better than I hoped. Plus, the set of wheel well door moulds turned out nice and crisp. Still have to make the wheel well door moulds for this wing and tge control surface moulds, but, thatís for another day.
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