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macleodm3

Canopy Trim

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I am not satisfied with the seam where my clear canopy meets the fiberglass.  I have attached a couple photos.... one inside and one outside the plane.  Are there any great techniques for this area?  I am looking for a very nice, clean line... Any tips?

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Edited by macleodm3

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Watching with interest.
I'm not that far along, but have wondered a bit about it myself.

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Geez Andrew, some guys would love to have such a nice canopy joint.  

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10 hours ago, Kent Ashton said:

Geez Andrew, some guys would love to have such a nice canopy joint.  

That was my first reaction as well.  I am now hesitant to show the quality of the joint I have come up with for the Glassair III door/window repair I've just done.  Back to the shop...

Andrew, consider that good and get some protective covering back on that canopy!  Seriously, at most you could put some thin painter's tape on the window for a straight edge, then put on some West until it gels up, then pull the tape and let it cure.

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The transition from glass to clear canopy is to me, one place that can make any aircraft look cobbed.... unprofessional, home made.  Everything else can be perfect... but some canopies look professional here and some don't.  They're all awesome... if they're flying... but I'd like to go the extra mile for this one area.

Mine doesn't look as good in person.... I'll need to take a couple new photos this evening to show canopy / glass areas that need some attention. I was wondering if anyone had a great trim product... some sort of a adhesive backed rubber trim strip that worked well.  I did the painter's tape / micro around the inside of the rear windows and they turned out OK.. I suppose I could do that for the canopy too.... 

I have a thick film of sanding dust on my canopy... so that is my protective covering.  

 

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6 hours ago, macleodm3 said:

I have a thick film of sanding dust on my canopy... so that is my protective covering.  

I have this protective covering on many of my parts too. And shelves. And tools. And walls... :cool:

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4 hours ago, Voidhawk9 said:

I have this protective covering on many of my parts too. And shelves. And tools. And walls... :cool:

Yeah its awesome!!  It keeps everyone else out of the workshop too.... theft prevention!  And I think it kills bugs which like to crap on the plane.

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14 hours ago, macleodm3 said:

And I think it kills bugs which like to crap on the plane.

You might be right!  Diatomaceous earth, which is tiny broken-up bits of fossilized diatoms, is used as an organic gardening material to prevent bugs.  I also just learned that it’s used as a stabilizer for dynamite.

So there you have it, our planes are “Organic” AND “dyn-o-mite”!

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On 9/27/2018 at 10:27 AM, macleodm3 said:

Mine doesn't look as good in person.... I'll need to take a couple new photos this evening to show canopy / glass areas that need some attention. I was wondering if anyone had a great trim product... some sort of a adhesive backed rubber trim strip that worked well.  I did the painter's tape / micro around the inside of the rear windows and they turned out OK.. I suppose I could do that for the canopy too....

I took a closer look at your pictures.  Your inside shot is a touch blurry so that might be hiding some of what you're talking about, which I think is exactly what I am dealing with right now (see the pictures).

I built-up a "tape dam" using several layers of painter's tape.  The micro build-up is quite thick, and my plan now is to remove the thick "tape dam" and replace with just 1 layer of painters tape.  I am going to put down a final treatment of micro (just for edge aesthetics), wait until the micro gels up a touch so it's not running, then pull the tape so I have a clean line.  I'll put another layer of tape down after that, just for protecting the plexiglass so I can complete final sanding and whatnot.

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On 10/1/2018 at 8:36 AM, Jon Matcho said:

I built-up a "tape dam" using several layers of painter's tape.  The micro build-up is quite thick, and my plan now is to remove the thick "tape dam" and replace with just 1 layer of painters tape.  I am going to put down a final treatment of micro (just for edge aesthetics), wait until the micro gels up a touch so it's not running, then pull the tape so I have a clean line.  I'll put another layer of tape down after that, just for protecting the plexiglass so I can complete final sanding and whatnot.

Yeah... the plans have us build up a bunch of tape... all mine has been removed so I don't have to deal with lots of old tape residue.  I try to not have tape on the canopy for more than several weeks.  I have added 1 layer of blue painter's tape (auto body painter's tape... not paper masking tape) and some protection film.  

Next, I am going to do a big micro fill and wipe off any micro that ends up between the fiberglass and blue tape.  

Let that cure.

Sand it down to final profile.

Do a small micro fillet... using my contoured micro as a guide on one side and the edge of the blue tape as a guide on the other.  Let cure to gel (not complete) and then carefully remove blue tape and black tape and clear film.

 

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The line of the clear part of the canopy over the top there is a bit different to usual. I like it.

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20 hours ago, macleodm3 said:

I have added 1 layer of blue painter's tape (auto body painter's tape... not paper masking tape) and some protection film.

I'll definitely be making a trip to the automotive store!  Corners without the tape kinking up are the key. 

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11 hours ago, Voidhawk9 said:

The line of the clear part of the canopy over the top there is a bit different to usual. I like it.

Most Cozys have a curved spot like that but less noticeable amount.... a hat bill shaped curve.  I've seen another Cozy with one similar and think it looks good too... maybe 5% more shade from directly overhead.  The Aerocanard canopy is much much more coverage... I like the Cozy version more.

The glass overhead helps fair the bubble in to the fiberglass.  With the bubble only, there is a noticeable dip... it should look good once its faired in with micro.

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10 hours ago, Jon Matcho said:

I'll definitely be making a trip to the automotive store!  Corners without the tape kinking up are the key. 

Search for 3M Vinyl Tape 471+

It conforms amazingly well, around corners and such.  Excellent product, but hard to find locally.  Advance Auto, Auto Zone, O'Reilly's all did not have it.

Found it at a local Federated Auto Parts store by calling around.

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11 hours ago, CozyKen said:

 I'm getting to this point and had a Lancair guy come by for a look. He recommended using Pro Seal. It goes on like caulk and is easy to tool. Paint sticks to it.

Spruce has a similar 3M product. https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/appages/ac251kitg.php

I've have not use Proseal in that way but used it to build the BD-5 and seal RV fuel tanks.  It might work around a canopy edge but it's really sticky stuff and a bit of a mess to apply.  I wouldn't call it "easy to tool" because it sticks to everything.  It can be sanded but it's like sanding hard rubber.  Maybe the Lancair guy has had good results around canopies but I think you can also get a good finish with micro.

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