This morning I went out to check on the two ribs I had glued last night. The epoxy was set, but just a little “tacky”. It’s pretty cold out in the garage, as the outside temperature has dropped into the 20s and low 30s. I figured it was cured enough to be OK, and pulled the ribs from the jigs so I could compare the first rib out of the new jig to the others. It’s a perfect match, so I set them on the bench and went inside.
A couple of hours I went out again to do some cleanup. I found the two new ribs had pulled apart at the leading edge! The glue was still pliable enough that the “spring” from the wood very slowly (judging by the long strings of epoxy still joining the pieces) pulled them apart from the main spar forward. Fortunately I caught it before the glue had completely finished curing. With some wiggling I was able to remove the geodetics from the capstrips and clean off as much of the excess epoxy as possible without carving into the wood. I put the ribs back into the jigs, and will re-glue them tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I can salvage and repair these two, but if I’m not 100% confident in them they’ll be scrapped.
I really want to figure out an arrangement to steam the capstrips. Soaking in cold water doesn’t really seem to do much good, which is why I had not pre-bent these. Trying to soak them in hot water works for about 10 minutes until it’s no longer hot water. Two out of the six or eight I’ve bent in my former have split during that process.