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How To: Make Scale Windshield Frames

This technique is an updated chronicle of my strange “How To” regulating skinny 1/32 in. plywood for creation 3-panel frames to reason transparent windshield panes. The opening print is of my comparison Stearman and it shows how a finished frames demeanour when finished. Come behind mostly as we will be updating this post as a project goes along. Let’s get started.

(Above) Here is the old wornout transparent cosmetic folded windshield we am replacing on a Ziroli Stearman PT-17. As we can see, it’s seen improved days.

(Above) Use a aged windshield as a beam to make a new paper  template.

(Above) Use a pointy X-Acto Knife and cut your template out. You can overlay it in half along a centerline of a front mirror to make certain it is even all around. This is critical if it is to fit in place accurately and demeanour scale.

(Above) Place a template on a square of 0.030 inch. G-10 fiberglass material, use a excellent tip pen and snippet it out, so we can cut a support vacant out. we use a excellent tooth bandsaw and a belt sander to well-spoken all a edges. G-10 fiberglass element is accessible from

(Above) After a vacant is cutout and sanded smooth, use a straightedge and a scriber (or a back edge of a X-Acto blade,) and clerk a hook line in a dual places where a vacant will be focussed to form a frame. Important! Do not clerk all a approach by a material, we only wish to moment a element to form a pointy bend.

(Above) To forestall a lines from enormous all a approach by supplement some masking fasten to a lines before bending.

(Above) Flip a vacant over and place underneath a straightedge. Now delicately lift a vacant while requesting vigour down on a ruler. As shortly as a element cracks, stop lifting.


(Above) Here a support vacant is prepared to be trustworthy to a bottom piece. Do not flex a moment bend lines as they will eventually will break. We will request glue to set a hook angles once it has been connected to a base.


(Above left) Before we can make a base, be certain to silt a area smooth  where a aged windshield was located. A severe aspect will forestall a new windshield from wise into place properly.   (Above right) For a bottom use 0.015 in. G-1o square and fasten it down firmly over a fuselage so it sets down accurately to a figure of a cockpit area. Also now is a good time to pull on a centerline to assistance with alignment.


(Above left.) Before gluing a support vacant to a bottom with Zap middle CA glue, use 220 courage sandpaper and roughen a aspect of a base.  (Above right.) Work solemnly and core a vacant in a correct postion. Tack glue during the bottom of a core support and afterwards hook a side frames into position. Check a fixing and if all is true and uniformly formed, supplement some-more glue tacks and strike with some Zip kicker. Apply a skinny even stone of glue to sign all joints and afterwards run beads of glue on a inside (and a outside) of a moment bends. Here a vacant has been glued into place.

(Above) The best approach to make certain a windshield is trustworthy properly, is to steer down a length of a fuselage and make certain a tip of a vacant is parrallel with a plane gash and a support is centered on a straight fin.

(Above) Remove a fasten and lift a windshield from a fuselage. You’ll notice that a enite public is now really unbending and binds it figure nicely. Start slicing divided additional element regulating a aged span of emporium sissors.

(Above) Use a pen and pull a outline of a bottom support creation it about 1/4 to 5/16 in. far-reaching depending on what looks scale! we use a belt sander to figure a bottom and afterwards use 220-grit sandpaper to well-spoken a edges. Take your time and be gentle, we can still mangle a public if we are ham fisted during this point!.

(Above) Here a bottom has been made and sanded smooth.


(Above left.) Using a outdoor dilemma as a guide, symbol a inside edges of a bottom with a excellent tip marker. Typically we make a bottom between 3/8 and 1/2 in. far-reaching depending on a distance of a model.  (Above right.) Use a Motor-tool and a medium-size harsh bit and delicately mislay a entrance element from a middel of a base. As before, use sandpaper to figure and well-spoken a bottom strip.


(Above left.) With a prosaic sanding bar and excellent sandpaper, silt a glue beads over a moment bends until we have smooth, figure dilemma edges. If we find voids, supplement some-more glue and silt again. (Above right.) To make a bottom strap request masking fasten to a support and symbol a top dilemma regulating a reduce bottom dilemma as a guide.


(Above Left.) Here a fasten has been cut to figure and we am regulating JB Weld as a filler element to form a fillets. (Above right.) Here we have churned a filler element and regulating a throw square of balsa we have practical it to a reduce joint.

(Above.) we use a length of  KS 3/8-inch-diameter coronet tube to form a concave figure of a filler material. Again, work solemnly and if we disaster up, re-apply some some-more filler and try again. JB Weld sets really solemnly and it is really forgiving.

(Above) Now use some H2O and your finger tips to smooth and widespread out a filler. If we do a good pursuit here, no sanding is compulsory for a well-spoken finish!

(Above.) OK, mislay a masking fasten and let a filler element heal overnight. Now, go forward and make a second windshield regulating a same technique.

(Above Below.) Here’s a integrate pix of a made windshield assemblies in place on a Stearman.

I also threw in an old scale pilot figure (1/5-scale) for distance reference. As we can see, a bottom support fits snuggly down on a aspect of a fuselage. You can possibly glue it into place with Zap CA or, do as we do and only hook glue it with a integrate drops of glue and afterwards supplement tiny screws to reason it in place. With a screws, we can simply mislay a windshields if indispensable for repairs or if we are going to veneer a fuselage, (which is what we will eventually be doing here.) Small screws are accessible from and from

The subsequent stairs will be slicing a vacant panels out,  painting, adding a transparent window panes  and attaching a finished assemblies to a fuselage.  Here’s Part 2 :

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