Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Well, the Weather Is Different

After my last post, the weather has continued to deteriorate.  The temperatures have been nice both for living and for getting fiberglass work done during the day, but it has been overcast with random rain showers, fog, and mist.

I've done my best to get some work done in between the worst of it, but it continues to be slow. After attaching the foam and channel to the top, I hand-sanded the foam so it matched the curve of the PVC post and would allow the heavy fiberglass fabric to curve around the edges. I'm using the heavy 1708 fabric to cover as much of the structure as I can since it creates a strong laminate without too much bulk.

On one day I cut a couple small pieces of cloth to glass in part of the structural beams and wire chases. Just as I added the catalyst to the resin and started mixing, the rain came.  I managed to get them done without getting anything wet, but cutting any more cloth or trying to do any more work would likely result in water contamination.

Today we got one more piece in place and then it started to rain again. So, at this point, we have the beams and chases about 70% glassed in place.

The shaped partially glassed beams hiding from the rain under the tent.
One evening after the rain let up, I tried shaping one of the cut PVC pipes to match the curve at the front of the top.  A few readers had recommended, either via blog comments or private messages, that heat would work to bend the stubborn PVC.  They were right, heat does make PVC soft enough to bend. I was able to curve the C-shaped pieces but it wasn't easy and I didn't get the curve quite right.  The heat gun makes the PVC very flexible, and if I wasn't careful, it would flatten or fold or warp. And did I mention that when it is in this state, it is a bit hot to touch? I'll need to come up with some sort of jig that can hold the C shape and form the proper curve in order for this to work...but I have high hopes that it will.

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