Monday, July 19, 2010

Nerve Wracking

One of the last major fiberglassing jobs was laying up the "Targa" . The clear plexiglass canopy comes from Vans in one piece and Jeff had to cut it in half; the forward half over the pilot/copilot and back half becoming the rear window. The "Targa" is a four layer glass "lay-up" that gets bonded to the plexiglass canopy but not to the rear window. We waxed the rear window and put playdoh in any cracks where the resin might migrate via capillary action. Then I did the lay-up.

Neither Jeff or I slept very well that night worrying about our possibly gluing the canopy shut permanently!! In the morning we went out there and discovered there was no way to get any movement between the canopy and the rear window! I sharpened a wood mixing stick to an sharp blade edge and worked it under the fiberglass and the rear window and managed to get a little bit to "un-mold"; I could see a slight color difference where it became unstuck from the rear plexiglass. So I worked my little stick all the way up and over the rear window working the fiberglass lay-up loose. That done it still wouldn't open. Then we took a wood block and held it up against the bottom of the canopy lifting handle and rapped it a couple of sharp blows with a plastic hammer; both sides. Still nothing. Solid as a rock!! I'm figuring some resin must have got down in the joint between the canopy and the fuselage, but where. It was then that Jeff noticed the canopy hatch was locked! Jeff released the lock and it swung up and open just like it is s'posed to!! E-gad!! 

Ahh!  Perfect!!


  1. Egad indeed! Funny how often things like that happen. Glad it worked out.

    (I was expecting to read, "we had to crack it open with a hammer" ... life is good.)


  2. OMG! Good thing he noticed that. Too funny (as a reader, that it; not when you're feeling responsible for it)!

  3. Too funny! sometimes you just have to remember to breathe and think!