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Good fiber alignment in repair. Small piece first.
Bad fiber alignment in repair. You put the big piece first and all the fibers in your repair laminate have to follow the angle of your grind across the depth
of the repair. Instead of being in the same plane as the fibers in the original laminate, they are at an angle to it. When the laminate flexes the forces will be unevenly distributed. When cured in cross section instead of looking like a series of flat plates on top of each other, each ovelapping the other and in the same plane as the original material, you will get what looks like a series of bowls nested inside each other. It's not as strong or as easy to fair that way.
I'm guessing the WEST guide is saying to start with big piece first on a fresh structural laminate, not a ground out repair, which is correct also from a fiber alignment viewpoint.
Sure is tough to try to make a pencil sketch here...