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Thread: Looking to fabricate the lower windshield fairing. Can anyone point me in the right direction.

  1. #1

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    Looking to fabricate the lower windshield fairing. Can anyone point me in the right direction.

    I want to scratch build the lower windshield fairings and was wondering if anyone has posted anything about doing this. Thanks in advance.


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  2. #2
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Shrinking and stretching. It takes a lot of practice. The teeth on these tools will mar soft aluminum which will need a lot of work to correct. Not recommended for this particular purpose.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlxIVLVXUiQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAxV3eLuxdw

    I use one of these from Harbor freight for stretching.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-UeQV7pySw
    Set the rolls to match flat to flat and just squeeze the metal a little at a time to stretch. Start at the center of the windshield moving outboard keeping in mind that a little stretching at the center moves the outboard end a lot. Make a paper template by placing the paper flat along the base of the windshield for the distance you want the part to lay. Cut it to shape then add the amount that you want beyond the windshield edge over the boot cowl. This will give you a pattern to cut the fairing materiel. Then using the stretcher/roller work only the portion which lays on the boot cowl.

    Practice, practice, practice. It will take a lot of tedious work but very satisfying in the end.

    I hope that this is helpful.
    N1PA
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  3. #3
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    From the Bearhawk manual -
    Windshield Fairing

    The Fiberglass fairing is made up of about 8-10 layers of 4″ fiberglass tape, then trimmed to size and sanded smooth.
    To make the fiberglass fairing at the bottom of the windshield, tape the windshield in its proper location and cover it and the boot cowl with black electrical tape. Cover the bottom 4″ of the windshield and the front 4″ of the boot cowl where it intersects the windshield. Add a good coat of wax to the taped area and lay up the cloth.
    Some of you may be able to make this fairing out of 5052 aluminum. I hope that someone does.
    As shown in the photo the fairing goes from the T14 tube around the front of the windshield and back to the T14 tube on the other side of the fuselage.



    The back up strip of .032 5052 H32 aluminum is first bent about 110° on a brake, then stretched and shrunk as needed to match up with the windshield and boot cowl. Both the back up strip and the fairing are attached to the boot cowl using #6 screws about 3″ apart with nut plates on the boot cowl.
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  4. #4

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    Vans Aircraft has a series of YouTube videos that helped me a tremendous amount when I was fabricating the windscreen fairing for my RV-8. This method could really apply for any windscreen. If you wanted to make it removable you could just do the layup over clear packing tape so it would release then, once you’re finish, install your method of attach hardware.
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zuZCXn5TXngVlY

  5. #5
    storm_pilot's Avatar
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    “Practice, practice, practice. It will take a lot of tedious work but very satisfying in the end.”

    Ummm........ yeah.

    I think it took me about 7 attempts and 20 hours to get 2 I liked.

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  6. #6

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    I was up at Javron's week before last and asked Jay the very same question as I purchased two different one's from CubCrafters and both did'nt even come close to fitting his new boot cowl. He felt this task was one of the most difficult to do on the whole project. I agree. I have a buddy whose coming this weekend with his english wheel and help me get on track. He says it's a piece of cake! Hah!
    Will try and post pics when the time comes. Don't feel like your alone out there.

    Blue Skies,
    Denny
    If you get lost while flying, don't try hail a cop. Pick up the first railroad you find and hug it until you get somewhere.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by flylowslow View Post
    I was up at Javron's week before last and asked Jay the very same question as I purchased two different one's from CubCrafters and both did'nt even come close to fitting his new boot cowl. He felt this task was one of the most difficult to do on the whole project. I agree. I have a buddy whose coming this weekend with his english wheel and help me get on track. He says it's a piece of cake! Hah!
    Will try and post pics when the time comes. Don't feel like your alone out there.

    Blue Skies,
    Denny
    Any progress Denny?


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  8. #8

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    First forget shaping a metal fairing? Lay it up with fiberglass and west systems epoxy resin. Cover boot cowl with plastic so resin doesn't stick. Build dam with masking tape on the windshield. At least 6 layers. Sand 180 grit the exposed 1" of windshield at the bottom . Lay up a at least 4 layers of 2" glass cloth. Carefully lay to the tape dam on the windshield. This is important. Use edge of knife blade to smooth and shape fairing in a scraping motion. You will be amazed. Sand and fill for final painting. Screw fairing to the boot cowl. Fairing should be bonded to windshield. Add screws if it makes you feel better. I did'nt and still bonded. Will fit perfectly.

    I broke my orignal wind shield. Was able to peal off fairing. Epoxied to new windshield. Fit perfectly.
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  9. #9
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by don d View Post
    First forget shaping a metal fairing? Lay it up with fiberglass and west systems epoxy resin. Cover boot cowl with plastic so resin doesn't stick. Build dam with masking tape on the windshield. At least 6 layers. Sand 180 grit the exposed 1" of windshield at the bottom . Lay up a at least 4 layers of 2" glass cloth. Carefully lay to the tape dam on the windshield. This is important. Use edge of knife blade to smooth and shape fairing in a scraping motion. You will be amazed. Sand and fill for final painting. Screw fairing to the boot cowl. Fairing should be bonded to windshield. Add screws if it makes you feel better. I did'nt and still bonded. Will fit perfectly.

    I broke my orignal wind shield. Was able to peal off fairing. Epoxied to new windshield. Fit perfectly.
    no need for bottom fairing to be secured in any way to windshield... it's free floating

    edit: in fact the PA-12/J-5 and such were only held in by the TOP screws.....

  10. #10
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by don d View Post
    Fairing should be bonded to windshield. Add screws if it makes you feel better. I did'nt and still bonded. Will fit perfectly.

    I broke my original wind shield. Was able to peal off fairing. Epoxied to new windshield. Fit perfectly.
    Use caution in fastening a plexiglas windshield tightly to anything. The plexi is brittle with a vastly different coefficient of expansion and contraction when compared to the rest of the structure. Some airplanes are very flexible in the area of the windshield. If it is securely fastened it can break or crack very quickly. Being loosely fastened makes for a long life.
    N1PA
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  11. #11
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    I bought one last winter from aircraft spruce and it wasn't even close, but 2 hrs. of try-fitting and gently working with a small hammer and dolly, I found it to be soft and easily workable. It came out very nice and looks fine. After drilling holes through both the top and bottom, I decided to slot the bottom one's oversize so I can control the "jam" and prevent it from being too ti ght. Very pleased with it. Probably 3 hrs. total in it but not bad for the purchase price.

  12. #12
    supercrow's Avatar
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    This one was actually a J-3 one, but suspect you can do the same on an 18 one.
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  13. #13

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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	39274this was the Javrons work which is impeccable but he has a shrinker. I'm still in the thinking stage on mine...my metal buddy want's to make it from scratch! It's really a challange to get it perfect with the existing windshield margins.
    Blue Skies
    If you get lost while flying, don't try hail a cop. Pick up the first railroad you find and hug it until you get somewhere.

  14. #14
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flylowslow View Post
    ....but he has a shrinker. I'm still in the thinking stage on mine...my metal buddy want's to make it from scratch! It's really a challange to get it perfect with the existing windshield margins.
    Blue Skies
    It is a challenge. It is also one of the most labor intensive items on the building project. Since you are making the installation from scratch, start by fitting the windshield to the airplane. Tie the fitted windshield to the fuselage snug enough so that it can't move while you are making the retainer strips. Then make the retaining strips fitting them to the windshield. Even when you do have shrinking and stretching tools there is a lot of taking it apart of putting it together. Make a template from a piece of paper for cutting the blank strip from flat stock. Or buy the part prebent. Make the inside piece first then the outside. Start fitting it to the center of the windshield first, working your way outboard. A small adjustment in the center make it move a lot further out. Make sure that it fits correctly before drilling any screw holes. If you have a metal working buddy, have him supervise the job. It's not difficult just time consuming and can be frustrating even when you know what you are doing.
    N1PA
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  15. #15

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    What is everyone using for a stretcher/ shrinker?

  16. #16
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I use a bead roller for stretching. Like this:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    These dies are changeable.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	39280Use two flat rollers for "stretching". This will stretch the aluminum by squeezing it thinner leaving a smooth surface.
    These are commonly used Shrinker/stretchers: https://www.harborfreight.com/metal-...set-68897.html The stretcher pulls the metal apart and leaves deep groove marks which need to be removed. It can also break your part unless the material is soft. I prefer rolling the material flatter. The shrinker also leaves marks but not as bad as the stretcher.

    This video will give you an idea of how it works. Bear in mind that this fellow is working sheet steel not aluminum. Those dies do not have a radius so could cut the aluminum ruining your part. The dies which he is using will work as a stretcher for your windshield retainer strip.
    N1PA

  17. #17
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have a shrinker and stretcher like these but they are on stands with a foot pedal. They can be locked in a vice and hand operated especially on light, soft material like the windshield retaining strip.
    https://www.eastwood.com/shrinker-st...xoCjc4QAvD_BwE
    Steve Pierce

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  18. #18
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    I cut the curve out and start with my tipping die in my bead roller, then I go to the shrinker/stretcher. I make them in two pieces and splice in the middle. If you are unfamiliar with a tipping die you can see them at www.hoosierprofiles.com. Best die sets for anything on the planet.
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  19. #19
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    If you stick a chunk of sand paper in the jaws, the stretcher/shrinkers still work fine, but don't leave the marks. I use a combination of them, english wheel, and roller with tipping roll, as well as some other rolls, and a soft rubber bottom roll.
    John
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