The Workshop
 

I spent a good amount of time preparing for the construction. I wanted this to impinge as little as possible on my home-life. So, I opted for a temporary workshop in my backyard. I call it the CAF,(Cozy Assembly Facility). I know it looks funky, but I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I know...It looks like a tent with an a/c unit hanging out of it. IT IS. But it's solid and weather-tight. 20'X22' with a wood floor and walls. It should last the 3-5 yrs it should take to build the plane.( Later note: Going on 6 years now and still going strong. )  Then, I can burn it down if I want, and I'm not out too much money,($3k complete w/air.). I inside walls are plywood and the ceiling is insulated w/styrofoam. Pretty secure. It will serve as a good paint booth too. All it really needs now is a cot for those "not-so-happy" times in the house  (Later-later note: Still strong after 10 years!!!)

Here's a decent shot of the work table. 4'X11' with poplar sides for linearity and stiffness, and 3/4" birch plywood as the top. Expensive, but sturdy and flat. If you have the room, don't skimp on the size. You'll use every square inch. You don't see any now, but soon I'll have electric outlets every 4-6'. Get these: Shurform Planes(long, short, and round for the foam/glass trimming.). Exacto knives. Extra peel ply,(various widths.). I also like the Wiss industrial scissors recommended in the Rutan video.

This is my epoxy station. I decided to go with MGS 335 and an electronic Ohaus scale. I like the idea of the scale because I didn't like the idea of disassembling the pump every so often to clean it. No regrets yet. The epoxy is stored above in paint cans I got from Home Depot connected via brass fittings, valves, and an HDPE hose.Very little smell to the MGS 335. Batches >200g of resin will exotherm if you are a slow worker. ( Later note: I now pour the hardener straight from the cans. No crystalization .)


I wrapped the resin can with two inexpensive heating pads which give me about 115° when set on high. You can see the gas valve I use for controlling the pour of resin into the cup which is placed on top of the electronics scale which is inside the ziplock baggy.  I keep a chart handy, which was made by Larry Wimble, to pour the correct amount of hardener into the cup. I keep a fast, slow, and 50/50 mix can next to the scale to simplify things. I also put a small sheet of AL foil on top of the scale for cleanup

The glass cutting table is at right.

In my hand, you can see I'm using the Dritz electric scissors.  They really are wonderful for cutting glass, especially BID.  They zip right through the material without disturbing the fibers.  To protect them one on cutting wet glass, (yes, you heard me right.  I have been known to cut through five layers of wetted out BID.), I merely poke the blades through the bottom of a medium-sized ziplock baggy.  Cleanup is a breeze.

As an aside, the battery which comes with the unit is not as strong as they used to be.  But you get plenty of power when you use the AC/DC converter to cut anything you'd like.

Had to cut holes in both sides of the CAF (Cozy Assembly Facility) in order to put both wings on.

What will the neighbors say???

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