Chapter 3 - Education

I am finished with the three practice layups. They didn't come out perfect. The first layup weighed 12.5 ounces - 1.5 over ideal. Much too heavy. I will definitely work on this. The confidence layup seemed better. I did find a couple of air bubbles adjacent to the foam. I need to watch for this too. The book end was OK but I had trouble with some of the bends.

Having done all this I am definitely going to hook up with another builder and see how they do things. I would also like to get someone over at my shop while I do a layup.

I borrowed two videos on composite building. The one from Burt Rutan (nice sideburns!) and the other with Ron Nichols. I didn't watch these until I was basically done with chapter 3. I wished I watched them once each before, and then each night after doing a layup. It made much more sense seeing them after doing it but it would have helped if I watched them before as well.

I did inquire about the usefulness of taking a workshop on Composite construction. I also asked about the various videos as well. The general feeling was that doing the practice projects in chapter 3, helping a fellow builder for a night or two, and getting someone (EAA technical advisor?) to look at your results were more than sufficient. Of course there were people who felt the workshops and videos really helped too. Check out the archives for more info.

Here are some photos of my progress through chapter 3.

Epoxy Scale November 29, 1999. I built a quick epoxy scale to use during the practice layups since my epoxy pump hasn't arrived yet. After using this for a few days I can say I probably will never use it again.

First Practice Layup November 30, 1999. Here are the six layers after being layed out.

First Practice Layup Close-up November 30, 1999. Close-up of my first layup.

First Practice Layup Complete December 1, 1999. The completed first practice layup.

Cured Slurry December 1, 1999. Here's was a cured cup of micro slurry looks like. I keep forgetting to take the sticks out so I can reuse this stuff.

Confidence Layup December 1, 1999. The confidence layup just after finishing the eight layers of fiberglass.

Confidence Layup December 2, 1999. The confidence layup cut to size.

Book End Layup One December 2, 1999. The first layup for the book end. I had trouble with the corner. I don't think my dry micro was stiff enough so the fillet was no good.

Completed Book End December 5, 1999. The back of the completed book end. The picture is of me hang gliding in May of 1996 at the Point of the Mountain, Utah.

Completed Book End December 5, 1999. The front of the completed book end. The weird coloration is from the slurry.