Zephyr nose cone molds

As I write this, it’s mid November 2020, and the country is heading back into a Covid shutdown, voluntary at this point but….

I finished the work on the WAW wheel pants molds, and Dan C did get a chance to test them out a few days ago….. didn’t give any appreciable improvements that he could tell. He’ll give them more trials later, but it’s disappointing to here. On my first try on the wheel pants I got similar results, very little speed increase. Oh well.

But completing the WAW wheel pants meant the WAW could move out of the shop and I gain more work space for the Zephyr.

I moved the plug off the table into suspended slings so I could have full access to the nose cone. I’m molding the heel pants as part of the nose cone. Katanga builds the WAW using 2 parts for the nose cone, upper and lower. I opted to make my mold in three parts, concerned that the combination of heel bumps with the curvature of the sides would make the molded part very difficult to remove from the mold.

I spent a bit of time deciding where I wanted the longitudinal parting line. Starting with the top of the mold, four coats of release wax were applied.

Then I cut and shaped pieces of polypropylene sheet to match the body, and attached to the plug by gluing small blocks of foam onto the plug.

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The vertical line on the left marks the end of the nose cone. Once I had the plastic strips all in place, I used molding clay to finely seal things to the body, and taped off seams with flash tape. Once that was done, two more coats of release wax.

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I masked off the surrounding area to minimize any orange gel coat overspray.

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This time I remembered to add some registration dots along the edges, three on each side of the nose. These will insure the upper and lower sections align.

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After letting a misting of PVA dry, two coats of orange tooling gel-coat were sprayed on next.

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I switched back to making the molds using fiberglass mat instead of carbon fiber. I love the light strength of carbon fiber molds but it’s too easy to have air bubbles under the gel coat that cause problems for me later. With fiberglass mat it becomes translucent once it’s wetted out with resin, and then I can use a roller wheel to remove the bubbles.

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Then, on to making the second part:

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And ready to make the third part, but got held up a bit, ran out of resin…. 😦

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2 thoughts on “Zephyr nose cone molds

    1. the registration dots are sprayed over with the orange gel coat, and then overlayed with 2 or 3 layers of fiberglass mat. Once that part of the mold is cured, I remove the polypropylene plastic. Then I dig the molding clay out of the dots. When I apply release wax on the next section, I make sure to get release wax down into those dots. Spray orange gel coat into the depression, and lay up the fiberglass mat. Hope that makes sense….

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