Fiberglassing flat wings and stabs. - RC Groups
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Aug 26, 2012, 02:50 PM
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Lt599's Avatar

Fiberglassing flat wings and stabs.

I need some help, I am trying to learn how to use FG in my builds. I have read and searched many sites and forums but the one thing I cannot figure out is when glassing a flat plate wing or stab how do I finish the edges. I just tried glassing a horizontal stab for a F18 build. The stab is a single piece of FFF with a balsa LE. I used 3/4 oz cloth and epoxy resin. I cut a piece of cloth leaving about 1" overlap on all sides. I applied the cloth with the epoxy starting from center and working my way out to the edges. Squeegied it out with a plastic card. No problems there, it is nice and smooth with no extra epoxy. What I do not understand is how do I finish the edges? I know when one side is curred I will repeat the process on the other side but how do I join the cloth at the edges and get it to cover the edges of the stab??? I cannot seem to get the cloth to even wrap partway around the edge and hold. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I tried to trim the glass when partially cured to wrap it to the horizontal centerline on the LE...No luck with that either, just started to fray
Last edited by Lt599; Aug 26, 2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Aug 26, 2012, 03:04 PM
Just fly it!
wyowindworks's Avatar
You want to cut a thin strip of glass, mist it with 3M Super 77 spray adhesive, and apply it to the LE and TE before doing the top and bottom surface. The strip should wide enough so it can wrap around the edge and bond to the top and bottom surface. It also helps to cut the thin strip on bias (45 degrees to the length of the fabric). This will help the fabric conform better. I usually cut the strip, make sure that it straight, mist it with the 3M, and then press the edge onto the strip, and then carefully work the fabric around the corners to the top and bottom surface. Trying to pick-up a tacky piece of bias cut material and position it is very difficult. I like to let the 3M dry for a few hours. If you don't let it dry for a while the strip can debond when the resin is added. You can wet-out this strip, that is stick to the edge, when you wet-out the top and bottom surfaces.
Last edited by wyowindworks; Aug 26, 2012 at 03:09 PM.
Aug 26, 2012, 03:54 PM
Registered User
Lt599's Avatar
Thanks for the tip Sounds like that would work on all edges. (root and tip too) if needed.
Sep 01, 2012, 11:40 AM
Hope to get out of life alive
kenh3497's Avatar
I've had fairly good luck by cutting the glass where ever there is a curve. Like around the end of the stab. Just use a scissors to cut up to the part being glassed. You may need to make several cuts to get it to lay down the way you want it to. At a 90 degree corner split the difference and cut right to the tip of the corner. Later after both sides are epoxied you can add a small piece to cover any exposed places. I support the surface so the glass can hang down and wrap the edge a bit. I do the bottom first. After it is cured I sand the excess to remove it. The sanding works better than a blade. 98% of the time I get a double layer on the edge of the foil I'm doing. It's nice for ding resistance.

This works for me. The CAP in my avatar is all glass and epoxy over balsa with the exception of the rudder and elevators which are fabric. It may be worth taking the time to cover the ends of ailerons and such that are small first then do the main part of the piece. This would be a modified version of Wyo's technique.

Pick out what works best for you. you may have to cast about a bit to find what works, but that is part of the hobby.

Hope this helps you.

Sep 01, 2012, 11:26 PM
Registered User
Lt599's Avatar
Thanks Ken, any tips are good, you are right, I am experimenting until I find what works.. more than one way to skin a cat they say Greg

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