Dennis Alm created this beautiful enclosure for his StarCruiser.
References say it all, as Dave LaCombe gave me this quick story about that enclosure. "Dennis, my brother and I were out last Sunday on White Bear Lake, the largest lake in the metro area (11 mi. of shore.) When I met Dennis in the middle of the lake, my brother jumped out and said "screw this, I'm riding in that!" He didn't, but it sure looked warm. He did a mighty fine job, and I love the garage door latch. It's the perfect touch. Dave"
I used Tuffak polycarbonate sheet made by Atofina. I have a local dealer that can get whatever I need. I used 1/8" for the windshield, 1/16" for most of the rest of the body and door, and some 1/32" on the difficult areas. The thinner materials can be cold formed with no problem. Heating, without properly drying the 1/8" sheet, will produce small bubbles. They have a web site: http://www.atoglas.com. It was easy to cut the thin sheets with large tin snips. I used my saber saw, Rotozip and a plasic blade for the 1/8" sheet. The frame is standard 1/2" electrical conduit that was bent and welded together.
I've had a few request on how the enclosure was built.
Following are some photos of the basic frame without the longitudinal
The two clamps in the rear view have been dropped as they weren't need and just got in the way. I've also included the pictures of my very large conduit bender. It's a piece of plywood cut to a slightly smaller radius to allow for spring back, a piece of pre-drilled square tubing, and some bolts. The black roller is a caster wheel that has been grooved to the size of the 1/2" conduit. The third bolt in the photo rides on the plywood for stability and proper spacing of the roller.
The last picture shows the method I used to mark the conduit arcs for cutting.
The 'visor' thing is to fill the gap between the windshield and the body of the cockpit. I couldn't get the 1/8" polycarb to bend very easily with the heat gun, so I cut off the excess. I had a piece of 1/16" from another area that was almost the exact shape, so I finished cutting and sanding it, added weather stripping to the bottom side, trimmed it with some door edge moulding, screwed it on and siliconed it.
After the pictures were taken, I cut some air relief holes in it. I wouldn't have had this gap problem. if I had shaped the first piece of conduit a little more carefully. But I think it looks kind of retro, so I like it.
It's fastened to the hull with 4 lag screws. I embedded plywood pieces in the top rail so I would have something to fasten to. Plus the windshield has 13 screws to help out. Didn't move a bit on Saturday.
The enclosure did decrease the output thrust some. I don't have any hard data, we only putz around a little to get a feel for it. The best part is, we are warm and dry! It was patterned after Verdon's and I thank them for allowing me to get some excellent ideas.
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