I’ve been foiling my Project Cedrus with Lift wings for almost 3 years now. I don’t foil nearly as much as I would like to, but I’ve assembled, ridden, and travelled with the wingset enough to notice that over time, the connection to my mast has started to feel a little loose. While the adapter is anodized aluminum and manufactured to very tight tolerances, over time the resin in the fuselage can abrade due to sand or other wear and tear, resulting in a tiny bit of play between the mast plug and the fuselage. When it’s not a tight fit, this generally results in increased bending load in the fasteners (which should really only expereince tension) and can noticeably affect performance/control of the foil. Discussing the issues with Josh @ The Foil Shop in Seal Beach CA, this issue is not unique to Project Cedrus adapters. Having assembled many OEM foils from all brands, Josh has experienced loose fitting masts or even some that don’t fit into their supplied fuselages when new. Carbon or aluminum, this is a tolerence issue, and not related to wear, but evidence of the issue.
A couple times I have suggested to my clients to explore liquid shimming materials to get the perfect fit. Basically you coat the adapter in a release agent, and then mix a 2-part compound (epoxy, vinyl-ester, etc) and pour into the fuselage to let it fill any cracks and gaps after the mast is inserted. But this is messy, and over time may suffer the same wear as the original surface. It was Josh who reccomended aluminum foil tape, commonly used in the HVAC world. Thank you Josh!
The tape comes in different thicknesses, the roll I have is less than 0.1mm thick. In my case, a couple strips applied to the side of the adapter has resulted in a nice tight fit. Adhesion is great, this stuff sticks well in cold/wet environments. Before buying tape, you could try shimming with simple aluminum foil to get a sense of how much thickness you need, and then buy the closest fitting option. You will need a micrometer or calipers to measure accurately, so it may be easiest/cheapest to just buy thin and apply a few layers if needed.
Applying tape the to Lift Adapter
This will work with all tapered style mast interfaces prevelent in the industry these days. Lift, SPG, Unifoil, and F-One to name a few. Parrelel faced connections will also work well shimmed, but you have to ensure enough clearance to insert the plug into the fuselage so you can’t get quite as tight without the fasteners tightened. Try to keep the tape on the flat surfaces only, and not wrap around corners as it’s the flat surfaces that distribute the load between the joint. If small corners get tight it can accelertae abrasion and wear.
Small strips added to an F-One Titan Adapter
I want to reiterate that even new, OEM assemblies can suffer from loose or overly-tight connections. These are classic manfuacturing challenges, and can be caused by tools (extrusion dies) wearing out with time, molds changing shape or size with temperature, small changes to the composition of raw material, or anodizing/coating variance. It’s the primary reason that all connections to Project Cedrus mounts and custom fuselages are simple flat surfaces relying on friction and tension of fasteners to keep everything tight. Fortunately, this is an easily solved problem and don’t hesitate to reach out to Josh or I if you need any help!