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Old May 04, 2012, 05:08 PM
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United States, VA, Sterling
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How ot make home made canopy?

So I lost canopy of my glider while flying it and I couldn't find it as I flew it over a wide field. I want to know how to make a homemade canopy? - The replacement canopy wont be here another 10 days so I want to try it myself.

Someone suggested using a soda bottle to make it and a youtube video for example this one. But I cannot seem to understand how do I shape the canopy after putting it up on heat gun

Do i need to make a mold with plaster of paris? - That is a missing bit is there any video/article/tips on how to shape it?

Thanks.

Making an RC airplane canopy (without a vacuum former) (8 min 8 sec)
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Old May 04, 2012, 07:37 PM
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Livermore, CA
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I have used a 2 liter coke bottle.
I used the lower part, where it forms almost into a ball at the bottom.
I then used a hairdryer to curve it more and then glued it on.
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Old May 04, 2012, 07:42 PM
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Your mold can be made of just about anything that can take some heat. The surface quality of the mold will be reproduced in the molded part so you have to make the mold as perfect as you want the finished part to be.

Here are a couple of ways I have made plastic parts:

You can make two wooden frames (sort of like a picture frame). the plastic is held between the frames by putting some spring clamps arond edges of the frame. The amount of pressure needs to be enough to allow the plastic to slip a little but yet hold it back enough so it will stretch over the plug (male mold). You heat the plastic until you can see that it is soft and sagging in the frame. You then plunge it down over your male mold. It cools very quickly. It can be done. I did it.

Another way is to make your male mold and then take a soda bottle or water bottle and cut the ends off so you have sort of a tube. Place the plug into the "tube" and heat all around with a heat gun. The bottle "tube" will shrink down to grip the mold just like shrink tubing.

There, of course, will be a learning curve. Good luck!
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Old May 04, 2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch777 View Post
I have used a 2 liter coke bottle.
I used the lower part, where it forms almost into a ball at the bottom.
I then used a hairdryer to curve it more and then glued it on.
So you didn't really used any mold - just curved it and glued it on ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost_Dawg View Post
Here are a couple of ways I made plastic parts:

You can make two wooden frames (sort of like a picture frame). the plastic is held between the frames by putting some spring clamps on the frame. The amount of pressure needs to be enough to allow the plastic to slip but yet hold it back so it can stretch over the plug (male mold). You heat the plastic until you can see that it is soft and sagging in the frame. You then plunge it down over your male mold. It cools very quickly. It can be done. I did it.

Another way is to make your male mold and then take a soda bottle or water bottle and cut the ends off so you have sort of a tube. Place the plug into the "tube" and heat all around with a heat gun. The bottle "tube" will shrink down to grip the mold just like shrink tubing.

There, of course, will be a learning curve. Good luck!
The question is how do you make male mold?
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Old May 04, 2012, 09:07 PM
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You can make your mold out of pretty much anything that you can into the right shape. Some guys just carve blocks of foam, but too much heat will melt that so you'd have to be careful. You could also use carved balsa.
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Old May 04, 2012, 09:53 PM
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When it's plyable, not scortching shape it with your hands. You have to be careful of the temp you get it too, too hot it will burn you and super hot plastic will not rub off easily. It's like napalm.

You could shape up a foam block easily that you could use for a plug. Heat your bottle then lay it over the plug, put on oven mits and work the plastic in tight as you can around the plug, till it cools.
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Old May 05, 2012, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C₄H₁₀ View Post
You can make your mold out of pretty much anything that you can into the right shape. Some guys just carve blocks of foam, but too much heat will melt that so you'd have to be careful. You could also use carved balsa.
Yeah I have been thinking about foam but I am reluctant as I think when a heated plastic will be placed on it, it will simply melt down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dedStik View Post
When it's plyable, not scortching shape it with your hands. You have to be careful of the temp you get it too, too hot it will burn you and super hot plastic will not rub off easily. It's like napalm.

You could shape up a foam block easily that you could use for a plug. Heat your bottle then lay it over the plug, put on oven mits and work the plastic in tight as you can around the plug, till it cools.
Do you think Foam can live up with a heated plastic?
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Old May 05, 2012, 10:15 AM
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Really depends on the temps. The first video posted the guy was using a heat gun, at that temp no it would melt. At hair dryer even on max heat I think the foam would be ok.

If you have some foam scratch builders in your area you may be able to scab a piece or two of foam to test with. Alternately you can try to find a housing construction site in your area and just pick up some of the scraps they are using for the outside of the houses. And test on that.

You could also just try it without a plug, if you don't mind spending some money you could get Model Magic. http://www.dickblick.com/products/crayola-model-magic/ You should be able to pick some up from Michaels arts n crafts. It's about $4 for a few ounces of the stuff. It's air dry clay and will surely hold up to the temps once cured.
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Last edited by dedStik; May 05, 2012 at 10:21 AM.
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Old May 05, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Carve a balsa form, paint it black and use it. Who can see a canopy on a plane at altitude??

howell
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Old May 05, 2012, 10:31 AM
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See also this post from your other thread about how not to lose it in the event it separates.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...40&postcount=9
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Old May 05, 2012, 04:25 PM
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S.E. Michigan
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A foam form that has been coated with epoxy will withstand more heat than foam alone. As another poster said, balsa will work too. I'd use some of the harder heavier balsa. If you you put talcum powder or even petroleum jellly on the plug you will have less trouble getting the canopy off the mold.
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Old May 06, 2012, 09:40 AM
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Lake Charles, Louisiana
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Vacuum forming is very easy to do with no special tools needed.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=489215
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