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Old Dec 07, 2012, 05:56 AM
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Greybird's Avatar
Florida
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Cutting painted fiberglass fuselage

I need to do some clearancing to get my Jet Ranger fuselage to fit my Century Swift. How do you cut painted fiberglass without destroying the paint? Can I use a fine tooth small hacksaw? Files? Dremmel with what on the end? I would prefer no dremmel if possible.......
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Keyrigger's Avatar
Mississauga, Ont., Can.
Joined Sep 2009
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It depends on what you are clearancing for and how much you need to cut. I am going to presume it is for the tail pitch slider and the swashplate/linkages. I use a Dremel carbide smooth cutter to cut the larger areas and then the same cutter to do detail work. I use small needle files and 180 grit sandpaper to finish off the work. A rotary sanding drum will make fairly short work of the clearancing of the swashplate and the carbide cutter can clearance the ends/linkages as needed. You can easily do this work without destroying the paint an gelcoat and use a bit of matching paint to touch up the finished edges. Take care.

Don

Some examples.




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Old Dec 07, 2012, 09:06 AM
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Nice work! Do you have a pic of the carbide cutter?
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 09:34 AM
Love my scale Whirlybirds
Keyrigger's Avatar
Mississauga, Ont., Can.
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No, I don't but it is a Dremel smooth edge 1/8th" carbide cutter with a straight end, not the tapered end. They are also referred to as a carbide burr tool. There are two types, straight and serrated. The serrated will really chew through the glass but it is not as easy to leave a nice edge with it. The straight will leave a nice edge but will take more work to cut the glass. They can also be bought at any industrial abrasive and cutting tool distributor and some for a lot less than they charge for the pre-packaged Dremel bits. Take care.

Don
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 08:43 PM
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A fine tooth hacksaw, small files and sandpaper work great. Not near as difficult as I thought it would be. Now getting to the 2 bolts that hold the tailcase on? Hmmmmm.....
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:24 PM
Love my scale Whirlybirds
Keyrigger's Avatar
Mississauga, Ont., Can.
Joined Sep 2009
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Mine was a completely different build to yours because of the change in helicopter chassis. Is it possible to push the boom further past the tail end of the fuselage to get at the two bolts that go through the boom and tail housing with the mainshaft taken out or the scale platform not installed? (I am looking at a new Swift tail picture on Century's website, so I don't have one in hand to compare) Another suggestion is to not install the rear bolt of the tail fin, spin it forward, make an access hole underneath it, and use that hole to access the bolts? Hope you can work it out.

Don
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:37 AM
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Good idea. I don't have a lot of time to work on this heli lately. Work has been very busy. I got a new phone yesterday, hopefully be able to plug in some pics later. Off topic: HOLY CRAP, I can't believe what a Galaxy S3 can do.....
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