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05-30-2005 02:32 AM egg -- flanges2
Photo 1 is a closeup of an air pocket in the flange, after being attacked
by that handled rasp shown in the previous entry. This will let epoxy resin
get in there and add some strength to the spot.

Photo 2 shows the layout of the layer of 7.5 oz. fiberglass cloth on the
body flange. A layer of 4 oz. was cut to go over that to provide a smoother
surface. After both were cut, the pieces were laid out close by, in the
same sequence they would be saturated and stuffed back into the flange.

The epoxy resin and hardener I used have few health warnings and don't even
require "hazardous material" shipping. That's one big reason I chose this
over the polyester resin and methyl ethyl ketone catalyst. That stuff is
just nasty. Rubber gloves are a must, as well as eye protection, old clothes,
good ventilation and an ability to hurry calmly. A person would have to
be a completely brain-dead, slobbering idiot to mix and work this stuff
while wearing a tee-shirt, shorts and flip-flops.

I had lots of latex gloves, some brushes, a couple of mixing cups, some
stirring sticks, a 3 oz measuring cup and a 1 oz measuring cup left over
from the "gallon starter kit" I bought from when I bought
all the materials for the main shell of the egg. I only had to buy 1 qt
of resin, 1 pint of hardener, 1 yd each of 7.5 oz and 4 oz cloth.

The mix ratio of this epoxy is 100:27 by weight or 3:1 by volume for resin
to hardener. I kept everything separated: the 3 oz measuring cup and the
stirring stick (actually a tongue depressor) used to scrape it out never got
near the 1 oz cup or its stick. Neither was allowed to touch any part of the
mixing cup or its stick. My gummy gloved fingers had both on them, of course,
but I only handled the outside of the cups and one end of each stick.

After stirring the mix for 1 minute (instructions), I brushed a coat of
the mixed resin onto the flange, then on the backside of the first piece of
7.5 oz. cloth, flipped the cloth and tucked it into the inside corner of
the flange with my fingers and a kind of stippling of the end of the brush.
Repeat for each piece, then repeat for each 4 oz piece, then fight air
bubbles until giving up. It could not be squeegeed.

I got pretty good at doing that tv surgeon kind of glove removal thing; never
got the resin on my hands and ended up with the gloves inside out in a wad.

Photo 3 shows the reinforced resin flange, right after lay-up.

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  [Entry #33]

05-30-2005 02:27 AM egg -- flanges
After cutting out the lid and getting most of the rigid foam off the flanges,
there was some clean-up and shaping to do. Photo 1 shows a closeup of one
of the resin ridges that caused trouble when separating the lid. I broke the
wire I used to slice the foam every time one of these ridges was encountered.
The keyhole saw with a fine-toothed blade had to be snaked from the outside
kerf to the inside and cut the ridge without making a mess of the edges of
the fiberglass.

Photo 2 shows the tool I used to hog the rough resin off the flanges. I don't
even know what it's called; maybe some adaptation of a farrier's rasp. It has
been in my woodworking shop for at least a couple of decades. It's very
aggressive and worked well on the epoxy, being easiest to control with a
pull stroke.

Photo 3 is the block sander used to smooth the rough saw cuts on the edge of
each fiberglass layer. The sandpaper on it is cloth-backed and made for use
on large industrial belt sanders. I think it's 40 grit. Lasts almost forever.

(click photo to enlarge)

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  [Entry #32]

05-28-2005 04:47 AM egg -- separated
Photo 1: two pieces

Finally, the thing I've dreaded doing is done. The lid has been completely severed from the egg. It looks like some demon elf house or a turtle suit. Every place where the foam was glued it was a pain. The resin got between the glue and foam and created internal ridges that the wire couldn't cut. I had to stop and use the saw blade at the crazy angle between inside and outside cuts to get through those ridges.

That's not my road barge in the background.

Photo 2: lid flange closeup

The foam was cut square to the inside surface and scraped off the inside surface of the outside laminate (that sounds stupid).

Photo 3 shows the foam removed from the flange on the body.

(click photo to enlarge)

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(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #31]

05-28-2005 04:23 AM egg -- cutting 3
The inside cut was worse than the outside because the concave surface meant fewer teeth on the saw were engaged with the thin edge of the epoxy/fiberglass laminate. Photo 1 shows the deed done. Note also that I've written a reminder to myself on both lid and body of where to put the hinge.

I'm tossing in photo 2 to show my crappy garage and working area. At least I don't have to put up with what CruisingRam does, see "Crappiest garage ever!"

The doors were once the exterior doors and the space beyond has been taken over by my son's weightlifting stuff. Without a crowded mess, I couldn't work.

Photo 3 shows a blatant disregard for intellectual property and callous infringement of MI2600's tool patent (see ). I have some doubts about his patent, though, because there is probably some prior art. These are the tools I used to cut the foam between the inside and outside cuts in the fiberglass. That hook on the end let me snake the wire through the outside cut, put a little twisting pressure on the wire and go fishing for the inside cut. When the hook popped up like a little flag in the kerf, I grabbed with the needle nose pliers and began working it around.

(click photo to enlarge)

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  [Entry #30]

05-28-2005 03:56 AM egg - cutting 2
Why couldn't I pick something simple for my first fiberglass project, like a box or something?

Photo 1: rounding the corners

Cutting around the corners was nerve-wracking. I have no experience with this stuff and kept expecting it to shatter or crack. The saw had to be brought up to perpendicular to the surface in order to turn the corner and that meant only 1 or 2 teeth at a time were engaged. The point of the blade is made for piercing so there was always the possibility of stabbing through the inner layer. The foam at its maximum (at the glue joints) is less than 3/4" thick. At each corner, I pinched the blade between thumb and forefinger very close to the surface and forced tiny bites.

Photo 2: marking the outside cut on the inside surface

This shows my grand, high-tech, scientific method of transferring the outside lid cut to the inside: a trouble light on the outside, a permanent marker and me, on my belly reaching in to make a shaky line where the light came through. Hey, it worked. The foam had to be coaxed out of the cut with the point of the saw so the light could shine. Its thickness made it so light had to shine directly into the cut to be seen on the inside, so I laid the trouble light (florescent, about 12" long) on two bricks to be on the level you see. The side and front marks were done with the light in one hand and marker in the other, in a scratchy hug of the egg.

Photo 3: layout of the inside cut

More high-tech tools. A flat washer for a 3/8" bolt looked to have the right outside diameter for the intended flange on the lid. The hole was a convenient place for me to stick the tip of my finger while sliding the washer from one spot to another to mark. Hey! Don't be looking at those resin pools and air bubbles! Look at the dotted line. Now it's a matter of connect the dots or cut on the dotted line.

(click photo to enlarge)

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  [Entry #29]

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