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Old Nov 18, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Joined Jan 2011
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first composite

Im interested in trying this out. I have covered planes in fiberglass before but never made a fully composite one. Im interested in using a foam kit plane as the mold. Ive done some looking but cant find everything i need. What would be the cheapest way to make one. I know i need fg cloth. What others are must haves? I know i need the parting board and clay. My question is what kind of clay, epoxy, wax, etc. trying to get everything locally if possible
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 12:41 PM
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Joined Nov 2010
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body filler, mould release wax, PVA, tooling epoxy, moulding wax hard kind, sand paper 100,400,600,1000,1500,2000, car buffing paste, some old rags.
Where are you located, or which store's do you have access too.

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Old Nov 18, 2012, 01:08 PM
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Ward Hagaman's Avatar
San Diego
Joined Mar 2003
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Melamine shelves work well for a parting board. Plumber's putty has worked well for me and its readily available. West Systems is good for epoxy...boat stores or wood working stores usually stock it...I would splurge and get the metering pumps too, plus carbon dust and filler for the first layer.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 12:44 AM
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Australia, NSW, Bellingen
Joined Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by stingeragents View Post
............. What would be the cheapest way to make one. I know i need fg cloth. ......................
I don't want to discourage you because I think composite moulding is one of the most fascinating hobbies around. From my experience it is, at least.

However, you will not make a "cheap one"! The list provided amounst the previous replies is fairly comprehensive, but no doubt not complete. It would be hard to give you a complete list.
To stock up on all the above plus some good laminating resin for one plane would make it very expensive. Note here: Do NOT buy cheap resin!!
Alternatively, if you look at this venture as the beginning of a new branch of your hobby that you will use to build many planes, the cost of all the items above mentioned will be amortized over many models. One can of wax will build 1 plane, but it may build 20 etc. etc.. Different economics altogether.
Cheaper by a long shot, but still not cheap compared to the planes coming out of China!


edit: I have just re-read your post. You did say "cheapest" and not "cheap". However, I will leave my comments as above for what they might be worth.
Good luck and keep posting. Much to be learned here. I know from experience!
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Last edited by Jim.Thompson; Nov 23, 2012 at 12:47 AM. Reason: see edit.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:58 PM
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Ok, I may do some experimenting with it. I'm mainly wanting to mold fuesalages, and wings, stabs, etc are very easy to make with flat foam.
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Old Dec 04, 2012, 06:06 PM
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Australia, QLD, Toowoomba
Joined Jan 2010
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Hey, I got into making composite gliders a couple of years ago and have to say its super rewarding! Its hard work and a massive amount to learn, but there is always someone to answer all your questions. I started with vacuum bagging, which is an art in itself. When you have learned this, you can move up to fully moulded, which is a bigger commitment by far but makes super planes. Fuselage moulding is probably a less steep learning curve as you dont have to build a bagging set up, but you will have to put many hours into moulds etc.
Composites can be very expensive or relatively cheap, especially when comparing it to the price of ready made composite planes, but you will put many, many hours of your time into it. For me this is just fun, if you are more time poor its something to think about. I have learned to multiply all my time estimates by at least double!
Have fun with it!
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 06:31 AM
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New Zealand, Canterbury, Christchurch
Joined Dec 2011
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download and read this http://drum.lib.umd.edu/handle/1903/3930
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:39 AM
Red Merle ALES
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United States, Mt, Helena
Joined Apr 2002
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You may be interested in this:

If you can't get it to slide off then you can cut if off and reseam it. However, I would cut it off lengthwise and reseam it that way instead of what I show in the link. It's much easier to reseam it that way!

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