Learning to use fibreglass

Discussions about techniques for rocket building. Leave your tips and tricks to making the perfect rocket.

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Learning to use fibreglass

Postby Lister » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:18 pm

After the cert launch on sunday my athena 3 had a heavy deployment that should have wrenched the shock mount out (was mounted direct to the airframe.. yeah ive learnt) but instead wrenched the airframe in a spiral groove, so pete suggested I learn to glass so I can fix it (of course im gonna fix it as it whistles :D ) and to put a coupler inside the tube to stiffen it.. ive also made a new centering ring a bit smaller than the others andmounted the shock cord mount to that and ive jb welded that in with some braided nylon platted around the shock mount where its attached..

anyway back to the glass.. so I went and brought a heap of nuplex GP LSE Resin and some MEKP catalyst, I also had a tube of z poxy finishing resin which is odourless and easy to clean up and I got a finishing cloth thats 200gsm and some thicker traditional cloth that was on a roll and they didnt know the weight..

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Nuplex Supplies
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So tuesday I put 3 layers of the finishing cloth on a 29mm mmt with the z-poxy FR and it worked well.. had a few drips to sand off (ITCHYSONOFABITCH) but it was a little thin where I had do tubing where the nose cone will go.. so the next day knce sanded smooth I put a layer of the traditional kind of cloth and a layer of finishing cloth. Which made it alot thicker and a f*** ton heavier but did what I wanted.. plus its thick enough I can mount a HAMR 29mm with a bit of sanding.

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Will this work well? Also am I better to start from the bottom of the rocket and work my way up?
but like I said it was a bit heavy 320g if I remember right. Zpoxy FR was very easy to use but very expensive, plus you cant use it over or under regular styrene glass.

So I moved on to another tube which I added an extra length of 29mm phenolic to and covered in glad bake (no not multix) and got the nuplex resin and catalyst mixed, very glad I have chem gear and canister respirator. It mixed well and stayed thin enough to work with but not thin enough to run, waited a few mins after mixing for catalyst to work then put it on.. it hasnt fully dried yet but god was it good to use, very happy with it and makes learning to glass super easy, no air bubbles at all and had a great consistency for at least half an hour, probably more but thats how long I was using it to do the tube and a nose cone. I put a layer of finishing cloth on first then one layer of traditional cloth and another one of finishing cloth and I think that should be fine.
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Nuplex resin 29mm tube
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so now ive had a bit of practice and am confident I can handle doing a finished rocket I have a question..

what is the best way to glass my athena (has split fins) I have cut out finishing cloth to do the fins and have both sides of the fin on one piece so I can drape it over the fin and not have a join at the tip.
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Fin covering
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