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Old Jan 01, 2012, 10:51 PM
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I am enjoying your thread immensely. I am in awe of someone who possesses both the skill and patience to see such a project to fruition. I plan to attend Joe Nall and anxiously await seeing the Tomcat. Do you think you will have a flying prototype at Nall??
While I REALLY wish i could say yes, to that, its highly unlikely. If i was able to devote 40+ hours a week like i was able to at the very beginning, it would be possible, but right now, i'm stuck to only about 8-10 hours a week if I am lucky.

The best I will probably be able to do (and even this is a long-shot) is to have the prototype fuselage at the Nall.
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Old Jan 02, 2012, 10:55 PM
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Separated the ventral fin and 2nd canopy frame tonight. It was a good learning experience, but I am not satisfied with the outcome...

First off, I used a mixture of epoxy and cabosil to fill in the 90* joints on the ventral fin and around the naca duct since the glass cloth won't go all the way into those corners. I also used this same technique to join the 2 canopy frame parts together. The execution was perfect, Until it came time to remove them from the molds. The ventral fin cracked at the seams and then the mixture between the mounting flange area and the naca duct cracked out.... disappointment #1. So i decided to move onto the canopy frame. The lower half of the mold released well, but in the process of getting it out of the 2nd half of the mold, the epoxy mixture didn't hold well and the bottom portion of the frame basically peeled away from the mixture. The mixture was also extremely brittle.... disappointment #2.

so a few things were learned today... some ok, some very bad

1. Epoxy and cabosil to an almost peanut butter consistency SUCKS for everything.
2. My canopy frame mold somehow developed a few issues. The right rear corner is about 3/32" lower than it should be, which causes the canopy frame to end up high in the back than it should. I have no idea how this happened since it was the last part of the canopy mold to be made... so a few options to fix this.
A: make G-10 routed parts and assemble the frame molding to the frame base plate separately (more work for the builder, but the fit would be extremely tight).
B: Make a new lower canopy frame mold segment
or
C: try and modify the current lower mold segment to fill in the portion that isn't correct. I will probably try this first, if it doesn't work, I will probably do option B, as i'm trying to make this an easy build.

Videos:
How to build an F-14D Tomcat #47 (21 min 0 sec)


How to build an F-14D Tomcat #48 (14 min 0 sec)
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Old Jan 25, 2012, 11:06 PM
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Been back home for a week now, and the 6oz cloth i needed for the remainder of the molds finally arrived. So 2 1/2 days later, Both wing panels are now molded:


You'll notice in the previous photo's on the wing mold in the background the black lines drawn on it. These are the position where the Mold backer plates will be epoxied to the molds. Reason for these, are to add some rigidity to the mold to keep it from warping. For the backer plates, i'm using 1/4" MDF that will be also be glassed to the mold.

Here is a photo of the stack of backer plates and the flap molds. These too will get the backer plates installed, along with the vertical and horizontal stabs:


I also laid up and removed the first useable Ventral fin. I used a mixture of Cotton flock and epoxy to join the halves, with a 3/8" wide area of the stuff along the LE of the fin, and 1/4" wide area along the bottom and aft edge. The top edge had a narrow bead applied to it before closing. Final weight for 1 ventral fin is 2.5oz With the mold/seam flashing still attached.



I also placed an order for the Airex foams for the prototype, along with some carbon/airex sandwhich panels and other items (like my vacuum bagging system parts). I'm going to get the mold backer plates all installed by sunday, so beginning next week i can concentrate on getting the fuselage 100% complete and ready to be molded.
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Old Jan 25, 2012, 11:49 PM
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Awesome! Looking good Thomas!!
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 10:45 AM
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Wow! Just fantastic Thomas!
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 08:53 PM
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Well the Wing, Vertical stab and Flap molds all have their backing stiffeners fit and glued into position. Boards are 1/4" MDF that are tack-glued with CA to the molds. Then a mixture of epoxy and cotton flock is used to make a fillet around the boards to attach them to the molds. Then to keep any moisture out of the boards, they were coated with epoxy.



So here is a photo of a table full of molds... 15 down, 15 to go... not including the fuel tank molds, or any of the armament stuff... I need a partner for all the missle's, bombs,pylons etc. lol


And a new you-tube vid

How to build an F-14D Tomcat #49 (9 min 54 sec)
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 09:24 PM
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Looking great man! Have you opened the wing molds yet? If not...how are you resisting the temptation????



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Originally Posted by invertmast View Post
Well the Wing, Vertical stab and Flap molds all have their backing stiffeners fit and glued into position. Boards are 1/4" MDF that are tack-glued with CA to the molds. Then a mixture of epoxy and cotton flock is used to make a fillet around the boards to attach them to the molds. Then to keep any moisture out of the boards, they were coated with epoxy.



So here is a photo of a table full of molds... 15 down, 15 to go... not including the fuel tank molds, or any of the armament stuff... I need a partner for all the missle's, bombs,pylons etc. lol


And a new you-tube vid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah0n7MHmN7o
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 10:20 PM
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Looking great man! Have you opened the wing molds yet? If not...how are you resisting the temptation????
Nope, not yet. The wing molds, 1 vertical stab and both flap molds haven't been opened yet.. lol The only reason I haven't opened them yet, is b/c i was waiting to put all the mold stiffeners in place. But now I probably won't open them till the fuselage is molded.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 10:22 PM
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Seriously?? Wow! I was considering opening mine tomorrow, but might wait until I get the rest of the stiffeners on. So hard to wait though. I want to lay up a wing!

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Nope, not yet. The wing molds, 1 vertical stab and both flap molds haven't been opened yet.. lol The only reason I haven't opened them yet, is b/c i was waiting to put all the mold stiffeners in place. But now I probably won't open them till the fuselage is molded.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 10:42 PM
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Seriously?? Wow! I was considering opening mine tomorrow, but might wait until I get the rest of the stiffeners on. So hard to wait though. I want to lay up a wing!

LOL.. yup seriously actually, another reason i'm waiting so long, is so they are well "cured" before the opening. I'm trying to get access to the autoclave at work so i can post cure all the molds before putting them into use, but at $300/day power bill to run the thing, its king of hard convincing the owners to let me use it lol
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 10:54 PM
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I have a heater blowing warm air on mine. That's all I can do.

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LOL.. yup seriously actually, another reason i'm waiting so long, is so they are well "cured" before the opening. I'm trying to get access to the autoclave at work so i can post cure all the molds before putting them into use, but at $300/day power bill to run the thing, its king of hard convincing the owners to let me use it lol
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 10:58 PM
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I have a heater blowing warm air on mine. That's all I can do.
Hey, if it works it works! We've got a wood burning stove in our home for heat, It works great for decreasing the cure time of epoxy.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 11:00 PM
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I miss the summer. I leave them in my car and it gets up over 100 for post curing.

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Hey, if it works it works! We've got a wood burning stove in our home for heat, It works great for decreasing the cure time of epoxy.
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 11:04 PM
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I miss the summer. I leave them in my car and it gets up over 100 for post curing.
Yeap I agree! I hate winter... I've got figure out a way of post-curing the fuselage for this big B()*ard... I"m guessing 2"x4x8 sheets of foam home insulation and a ceramic heater modified to be temp controlled...

Hopefully my tax returns show up next week that way i can get the last of my vacuum bagging system and start laying up some horizontal stabs
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Old Jan 27, 2012, 11:07 PM
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Yeah, my buddies are always telling me to make something like that. I have even seen people just use light bumps and a dimmer switch. Doesn't have to be fancy.
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