Monday, May 4, 2015

Foamy Rehab 1

Well, here we go!  Let's get started.

After looking over the whole aircraft and its design and parts, I decided that the ugly epoxy job had to go!  This really involved two items.  The first was the tail section where it had broken off just in front of the rudder.  The second was the carbon fiber rod that ran down the bottom of the fuselage.  Both were ugly globs of epoxy. 

This photo gives you an idea of the parts I started with.  Just imagine that the tail was still on and the electronics were also still installed, either on the white Velcro strip, or just in back of it.

This photo doesn't quite show it but if you look close you can see that the rudder does not line up with the fuse section.  It was off set and twisted.  My first thought was to just cut it somewhere and fix the alignment.  But I could not find a decent place to do that that would not involve sawing through epoxy.  I finally started by just breaking it off past the epoxy farthest from the tail.  This also involved separating some of the carbon fiber rod as well and you can kind of see that in the first photo and the next.

Next came an inspection of what was left.  I had this ugly jagetty edge and this long carbon rod to deal with.  I also was going to have to deal with this micro servo that was epoxied in as well.  I started by finding where I could cut a straight line and clean up the edge, which you can see in the following photos.  I did this so that I would have a clean edge to work with.

Now the carbon rod must come off!

The best way that I could figure out to remove the epoxy and carbon rod without doing too much damage was to carefully slide and work by Exacto knife between the foam and epoxy.  This took some time but worked surprisingly well!
All of the epoxy came off and did not do too much damage to the foam.  The worst area was toward the front, especially where the servo was.  No I was left with this ugly epoxy encrusted carbon fiber rod.  I was pretty happy with this so far.

The cheep Dutchman that I am, I just had to save that carbon fiber rod.  I started by breaking most of it off with my fingers.  Not such a good idea as some of it was sharp and pokey.  If you are going to try this, then I would suggest using gloves!  What did not come off with my fingers came off with using pliers to nip off pieces.  For the rest, I found that the biggest notch in my wire strippers fit over the rod just right and I started sliding it up and down to remove that rest.

I really did not like what was left of the tail and rudder section.  The elevator was just fine, but not the rudder.
I decided to come up with a replacement.  To make this, I laid out the pieces that I had and traced around them on a piece of Dollar Tree foam board.  I used this because it was very close in size to the depron that the rest was made from.  Then I cut this out and gave myself some extra toward the front.

In the following photos you can see how I cut out the foam from this extra length so that I could use the paper to help secure the two together.

This shows me aligning the two sections together.

This last photo shows how it will look when completed and glued.

Well, that's enough for now.  In the coming entries I'll complete this rebuild and hopefully give this plane a test flight.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to post comments, good or bad, and be sure to come back and check for future posts.

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Mr. Clean