Making fibreglass nose cones

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PJR
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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby PJR » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:19 pm

I start with some 6oz strips that go over the shoulder to build it up. Then add some epoxy and micoballoons around the nose cone. I was a little heavy hand with the mix today but that is ok. I used a paddle pop stick but a syring is better but time comsuming to fill and some time messy.

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Then I started at the nose cone tip small pieces at first and getting bigger as I go I have 2 layers on each side here and I haven't quite covered the top

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After another small piece on top just start getting bigger pieces and don't forget the back board as you go. As I am working I add small strip between the back board, the base board and nose cone to tie them together.(2 pieces around the nose cone abou't 30mm X 75mm just rough cut with scissors and 1 each side of that)
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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby air.command » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:30 pm

Great tutorial Phil! I always wondered what the process was for making a mold like this. How many nosecones would you expect to get out of the mold before it becomes unusable?
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PJR
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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby PJR » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:47 pm

air-command not that shore but a lot more than I can use. With the gellcoat it makes it a very hard mould. I usually lose or break the item that I make the mould for before the mould wears out

Phil

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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby PJR » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:59 pm

The last stage in the mould process is to add the bolts and clean the mould up. I put the 1st line at 60mm from the nose cone where I want to trim the mould to and the 2nd 30mm where the bolt holes are going to go. I use a campass with a marker taped to it. I place 3 bolts in the mould to start with to hold everthing in place then finish drilling the rest of the holes and fit all the bolts(I wanted less bolts but didn't like the spacing I worked out so went for more instead of less bolts)

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I rough cut the mould with an angle grinder

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Then finish it off with a belt sander

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Remove the bolts and again use the paddle pop sticks to open the mould. The top half will come way easily. The nose cone is harder to get out. I cut 1 of the paddle pop sticks down and lightly tapped it in to the coner of the nose cone with a small hammer. Then start chasing the gap around the base of the nose cone with out the hammer and it will start to come out and 1 last paddle pop stick pushed in as far as you can and the nose cone will pop out

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Wash the mould out to get rid of the PVA glue and you are ready to start using your new mould

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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby krusty » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:04 pm

That's great ! You make it look so easy :) I will have to give this a go over my Christmas break :)

Thanks for taking the time to document the process, something I've wanted to see done for a long time!

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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby rocket_troy » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:55 pm

Yup, nice job.

TP
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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby PJR » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:33 pm

Thank's krusty and rocket_troy.

Next week I will put this mould to good use. I need 3 nose cones,2 for new rockets just waiting for nose cones and 1 for a repaired rocket.

Phil

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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby PJR » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:49 am

The first nose cone out of the mould. I started with 2.5oz glass at the tip them 4oz from the shoulder to 3/4 the way up to the tip,then a couple layer of 6oz at the shoulder to 1/2 way up the mould. The black marks are from a permanent marker I use to mark out the fibre glass

As you build the nose cone you don't need much fibre glass at the tip just build layers as you go adding more at the shoulder for strength
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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby CATO » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Well done Phil 8) .....

NSWRA needs to hold a fibre glassing tutorial open day (so I can learn this stuff)..... :mrgreen:
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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby Wingnut » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:47 pm

Awesome result Phil. I'd be feeling pretty damn satisfied if I could turn out as good an end product as that. Great job, and thanks for taking the time to post a tutorial.

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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby krusty » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:55 pm

What Mike & David said :)

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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby air.command » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:57 pm

Good stuff Phil! That turned out great. Could you please describe the process of how you lay the fiberglass in mold and how you prep the mold for each nosecone?
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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby PJR » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:59 pm

Thanks guys. Its always satisfying when everything works out 8)

edit - air.command, I am laying up a couple of nose cones over the next couple of days. I will get some photos and continue posting because the heading was Making a fibreglass nose cone. Not making a mould :?

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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby PJR » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:35 pm

preparation is very important when laying up a nose cone. You will be surprised how long it takes to position all the individual peaces before the resin starts going off.

Wax the mould 6 times. Spray a light coat of PVA release agent onto the mould. On the bench I have rags cut into peaces, A small art paint brush on a stick so that you can reach the bottom of the mould to push the seams down. A balloon on a old peace of fuel line so when the mould is together it press the seams together as well and I put peel ply on the top shoulder to make it smooth because i glue a bulk head into the nose cone to add strength but mostly for the shock cord attachment and the balloon helps wet out the peel ply. Also scissors for trimming around the mould

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I lay out all the precut peaces of glass mat so that i can keep things moving

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more to come later

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Re: Making fibreglass nose cones

Postby PJR » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:30 pm

I glass in sections. At the tip in each half I use 3 peaces of glass 1 on each side and 1 in the middle

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Over hang on 1 side which is for joining the 2 halfs. put the over hang on both mould halfs on the same side

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The other side to the over hang is level with the mould. I am doing 2 layer for this mould. You can see when the glass is wetted out with the coloured gell coat, as the glass go's the same colour as the gell coat

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After the 6 peaces of glass. Move to the shoulder

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Again I use 6 peaces of glass. Use your paint brush to make shore the the glass is up against the shoulder

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On this mould I am using 2.5oz glass there will be a step on the shoulder because the glass isn't thick enought to fill the gap. I mixed some epoxy and micoballoons and placed a small amount on the joint and placed some at the tip

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place the last of the glass in the mould. it was a little long on the over hang. after I wetted it out just cut with scissors.

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joint the 2 halfs together. start with the over hang parts in the middle and slide them together

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Put the bolts in

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With the brush pat the seams down

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I put peel ply in the top section to smooth it out so that I can glue a bulk head in. Again I do it in 3 section.

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I put a balloon into the bottom of the mould to help push the seams and peel ply together. Then double check that the glass is stitting ok in the mould some time it comes away with the balloon

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