How To: Large Composite kit | Composite Canopy | Composite Cowling | Composite Wheelpants

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Make your own composite wheelpants

If you're new to composites, something small and easy, like wheel pants, are a good way to start. Here's how to take a piece of balsa and make some really beautiful wheel pant plugs and molds, suitable for production.

The first step is to make a drawing at actual size. It doesn't have to be too fancy, as long as the exterior shape is right. In the image below, you can see (in frame #1) that I've shown the area you would normally have to have clear, if you made an actual wheel pant out of wood. You'd either have to try and hollow out the block, or you could build up the wheel pant with several layers of wood, carving away those in the center. You'll notice that when we make a plug for composite wheel pants, none of that is required. Your plug can be solid.

Pretty simple here... Start with a saw, and end with sandpaper.

The duct tape mentioned above (not shown here, since it's on the bottom part of the plug) is simply there to catch any epoxy that might drip to that side. A good laminating epoxy gives you a great finish, and longer working time than standard "hobby" epoxy. The recessed part of the wheel pant at the axle location was made by countersinking the depression with a large drill.

Do it again...

In this case, the finishing work went very fast, due to the simple shape.
After priming with Duratec, it was sprayed with a hardened PPG automotive paint.

It's a good idea to make sure your parting board fits your part. (!)
I simply traced the original drawing onto acrylic, and cut out the outline.
If small adjustments need to be made, you can do that with sanding tools and/or a Dremel tool.

For more information on composites, including making molds from these plugs, see below...

How To: Large Composite kit | Composite Canopy | Composite Cowling | Composite Wheelpants

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NOTE: I am not at liberty to redistribute any of the documentation used to build any of the 3D models on this site.