November 20, 2008
Tonight I spent about an hour sanding down the filling of bondo and in some more severe areas the microfibers and epoxy. The expoxy takes some time to sand but really comes out well once all the hard work is put in. I sanded until it seemed unreasonable to continue then I added somemore bondo to continue filling it takes a few layers of bondo and Sando 🙂 before it it nice and smooth. I then will fill it with a couple of coats of filling primer to finish it off ready for paint.
Time spent 1 hour total time spent 26 hours.
November 19, 2008
Today I spent some time using micro fibers and epoxy filling some of the bigger holes in the cowling patch I also used some Bondo to fill the pin holes and to help level some of the not so smooth surface. The extra layers of glass on the inside came out well and really stiffened up the patch a whole lot.
Time spent 1 hour total time spent 25 hours
November 18, 2008
Today I was able to inspect my handing work in the morning since I brought the cowling home to let the epoxy cure in the 68 deg house rather then the 30 deg hangar. It turned out pretty darn good, but the truth will be found out as soon as paint get on there. So after work I stopped by the house on the way to the airport to pickup the cowling. I got it to the airport and started in on cutting the inside out with an angle grinder cutting wheel. I got the first two pieces out and started getting the clay out of there. I then carefully continued cutting the inside back to the edge to get all the clay out. I did all that and then sanded the inside to get all the clay out. As a final cleaning I used acetone on a rag and wiped the inside out. All said and done it was basically free of clay like it was never there. I then sanded the out side of the new patch and it seems to smooth out all right but will need some filler for the pin holes. I fit it back to the airplane and was shocked how well it fit to the fire wall now that nothing is blocking it and there plenty of room. I took the cowling back home again and laid two more layer in the inside for more support.
Time spent 2.5 hours total time spent on the mod 24 hours.
November 17, 2008
Well I was so pissed off about the cowling and frustrated that I didn’t go to the airport yesterday and gave myself a day to figure out what to do about the cowling. It seems that my airplane is either off by a 1/4″ or the cowling is not quite right. Either could be true and the airplane isn’t going to change very easily and so far I can’t find out where the engine is on wrong or the fire wall isn’t right or what. I do know Kevin Kimball has stated that an aircraft built to 1/4″ is as good as another problem is the cowling just doesn’t leave room for 1/4″ of issues. I knew at this juncture if I wanted the cowling on the plane I would have to do a little surgery. I was really trying to avoid any surgery since the cowling has a very nice finish of gel coat but it just had to be done. I stewed over how to do this all day Sunday and finally came up with a solution this morning. I decided to use modeling clay to build out the bulge of the cowling and match the profile the best I could. Tonight I did just that. I used some poster board and taped it to my fuselage to transfer mark the cylinder heads exact location on the outside of the cowling so I could start with the clay. I then started laying the clay and shaping it to match the contours the original bulge for the cylinders. I bulged it out about 3/8″ which will give me about 3/8″ or maybe a bit more room between the cylinder heads and the cowling so that will match the other side. It’s not the best solutions but it is the best solution with still keeping the cowling. I finished the clay and then used my angle grinder and removed about a 1″ wide strip of gel coat passed the clay for the fiberglass to adhere to. I got everything done and two layers of 9 oz cloth laid tonight. Tomorrow I will cut the inside out and remove all the clay and lay to more layers of cloth on the inside for more structure if necessary. We will see. Below are some pictures.
Time Spent 3.5 hours total time spent 21.5 hours.
November 15, 2008
Today I was determined to figure out where and why the cowling was fouling on #2 and #4 cylinder. Basically the left side of the engine doesn’t quite fit. The cowling is very tight already and the right side has about 3/8″ clearance from the cowling the left side is zero. I spent about 3 hours trying to measure and figure out a way to make it not foul but left the airport very frustrated.
Time spent today 3 hours. Total time spent on the mod 18 hours.
November 14, 2008
Today I spent the better part of 3 hours finishing the drilling on the bottom piano hinge and trimming the cowling some more for a slightly better fit on the aircraft. I have removed and reinstalled the cowling probably 30 times now. I am never satisfied with the fit until it is perfect. Right now I am battling the left side of the engine rocker covers are hitting the cowling a bit. Below are a few pictures after I decided to wheel the plane out of the hangar for some overall shots.
Time spent 3 hours total time spent on the mod 15 hours
November 14, 2008
I spent the some time after work working on the cowling since my order from Spruce came in last night. I received my piano hinge for joining the two cowling halves. I chose to spend the extra money on the extruded piano hinge which is a fair bit stronger then the rolled piano hinge. I marked out 1 inch on either side of the joint. and then marked out the rivet line. I plane on using countersunk 1/8″ rivets to attach the piano hinge. I marked both sides out and used 1 inch spacing for the rivets. I drilled out the top side using packing tape to hold both halves together. Below are some photos.
Time Spent 2.5 hours total time spent 12.0 hours