Building up a test tail cone

It’s exciting to finally be building a piece using the created Zephyr molds! This first piece will be for use in the workshop. I’m also using this build to try out my thoughts on the final lay up. May have to add some here, or less there…..

I’m doing the lay-up in a lot of stages, and letting things cure to past tacky before moving on to the next stage. And only one or two stages at a time per mold piece!

I started by making up a putty using polyester resin and fiberglass microspheres. Smooshed that in around the access panel areas. This is to insure there are no air bubbles between the gel coat and support, preventing cracks or breaks. Don’t forget, what you are actually looking at is the back side of the gel-coat.


Once that was cured I layed on a square of CF, with a piece of peel-ply fabric over the top. Moving forward on this tail cone I’ll be using epoxy resin for all the stages.

In the photo below I’m adding a reinforcement layer at the leading edge, since that will take the abuse of taking tail cone off and on over time. The carbon fiber on the right side will be added as reinforcement layer on the mounting area for rear lights. The lighter colored area between the CF pieces is the access panel, with the CF piece I just added. The peel-ply fabric gives it that smooth finish.


I’m putting on pieces of breather/bleeder cloth (the white fabric you see) to help suck up any excess epoxy resin. I am trying to limit the amount of resin I apply. Turns out the breather/bleeder is very rarely needed.


I set up my cure box again, and I’m putting these pieces in the cure box for a couple hours at 130 degrees F; I feel that gives me a stronger end result. But I needed more horizontal space inside, so I re-purposed this wire shelving unit:


This morning I assembled the lower portions of the mold, and added reinforcing strip down the middle. Also mixed up chopped graphite with resin and pressed into that very narrow area of the tail mold, to give it a more rounded surface that would be easier for lay up of CF next. (photo is before application)


And my order from FibreGlast finally arrived, shipment was delayed while waiting on back-ordered items. I’m going to finish making the tail cone and nose cone pieces, before moving on and using the new supplies.


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