Airframe Composite Curing and Post
I designed and built this after
purchasing the highly recommended Shadow
Aero / Shadow Composites
video sets on composite construction for
rocketry. I have not seen Dave Triano's plans and I tend to design and
build myself (unless stumped) but from his previous work I'd recommend
purchasing his curing oven plan set if you have any reservations about
your abilities or material selections.
You may also want to view my Airframe
page for the jig and techniques used to
produce tubes for this oven. Also my Propellant
and Composite Post Cure Oven
page for a related oven.
The dimensions are nominally 12" x 12" x 6' which allows a four foot
tube on a five foot rod and an extra foot for the heat source. It
surprisingly rigid as foam and tape construction and very lightweight.
If I'd used my usual 3/4" plywood construction techniques it'd be 50
lbs. As is I think it'll handle my intended tube production rate. A
friend has leftover 1/4" junk wood pallete slats from a bandsaw crate
that I may frame it with for a tad extra durability without much weight.
Well, I need to get a page out, so for
now it's on to the pictures :)
As built. 12" x 12" x 6' Built from a single sheet of 3/4" R-Matte Plus
3 insulation board. The variety you want has the factory foil facing on
Tubes in the oven. Picture from my Reinforcing
I built a small shelf on one end to support the ends. it's a doubled up
section to give some extra support for tube rod fit. I also doubled up
the foil tape in the area at shelf level so that the tube wouldn't
puncture the foil lining during normal use.
Heat source end support. Note the improvised wood block. I had a free
standing bridge across the side, but the heat loosens the adhesive and
when I inserted the tube the wieght popped the support out. I will
either use a sparse inverted V support or put a rod of EMT or phenolic
The kitchen Polder oven thermometer can handle the temperatures, and is
useful for setting temperature alarms and also timing durations at
various temperatures. You can see it's still set for a 250F heat shrink
tape set run.
How do you attach hinges to crumbly foam board? with lots of surface
area and PL-Premium polyurethane construction adhesive. Use no other.
Regular duct take will be a gooey mess. This Foil Sealant tape is great
stuff. I wish I knew about it 20 years ago! It's heavy metal foil with
an adhesive. No cheese involved. And relatively inexpensive at about
$6-$7 per roll. From better home centers or your friendly HVAC supply
shop (Tell them you're building a Epoxy Composite Post Cure Oven and
they'll be suitably impressed - even if you don't have an account with
This is my insulation board of choice. More stable than the pink foam,
particularly for the higher temperatures involved. And the right
version of this comes with a foil lining on one side. The foil lining
is key and you don't want the hassle of foil lining yourself. You might
have to call around to find this, but it is worth it. I used 3/4" and
wouldn't mind finding it thicker (up to 2" I think is available, though
harder to find.).
1500 Watt Space Heater
Router Speed Controller.