Lower left wing covering and rib stitching

February 26, 2012

This weekend I decided to get back to covering the lower left wing. I started off by pre-gluing the edges of the wing where I would be attaching the upper surface of fabric. I draped the fabric on to the wing once the glue dried to the touch. I rough cut the fabric to shape and positioned it straight on the leading edge and tacked everything down with my iron. Once I was finished with attaching the fabric I brushed the glue down in to the joints and wiped away the extra glue. After the glue dried I did the initial shrink to 250 deg f. I flipped the wing over and brought the lower side up to 300 and repeated for the upper and then repeat both again to 350 deg f final temp. After that was done I pre-punched all the already drilled holes through the I-strut bay and the wing walk for the rib stitch. I then marked all the stitch locations and pre-punched all the rib stitches. The next day I applied the re-enforcing tape, however I realized I was running out and I only had enough for 4 ribs. I made an emergency order to aircraft spruce for more re-enforcing tape which sucks because it is $57 per roll and I didn’t need much to complete the other 5 ribs plus the two ribs on my vertical tail. Oh well. Anyway I was able to stitch the 4 ribs that I had enough tape to complete.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time Spent: 1108 hours


Applying Ekofill to Stabs, Elevator, Rudder and Lower right wing. Starting the fabric on the lower left wing.

February 12, 2012

Spent Friday afternoon, a very small part of saturday and a good chunk of Sunday applying Eko-fill to the horizontal stabs, elevators, rudder and lower right wing. I started finish Ironing the rest of the surface followed by a throuough cleaning of each surface with the Eko-clean followed by a rinse.

****IMPORTANT NOTE: I want make it a point to all that read this that the Terry Cloths that Stewarts recommends are NOT to be used atleast from Lowes or Advanced Auto. They leave little invisable fuzz balls on the wing. This is a takeaway from the lower side of my upper wing. I have found that jersey cloths from Lowes are just as inexpensive and DON’T leave little fuzz balls that you can’t see until you apply the first coat of Eko-fill.

After I switched to the Jersey cloths all I was left with was a beautifully smooth surface ready for spraying without a rough sanding required. Anyway I applied the first coat of Eko-fill friday night to one side of all the surfaces. Saturday morning I flipped them over and applied the first coat to the other side of all the surfaces. Sunday I applied the second part (to make 1 cross coat) they dried fairly quickly and I was able to flip them over and coat the bottom side to finish them off.

After that was all done I started prepping the lower left wing for fabric. I sprayed the wing with compressed air while wiping with a clean jersey cloth to get it clean. I then marked and drilled the stitch holes through the I-stut section and wing walk. I lightly sanded the holes to “debur them” I also vacuumed them out to get all the tailings out. Finally I pre-glued the areas for the bottom side of fabric. After that was dry, cut and trimmed the fabric to size and ironed it down to the glue. After I got everything sitting pretty I glued them down with the Eko-bond. Once everything was dry I did the initial shrink to 250 F.

Time spent (3 days): 10 hours
Total Time Spent: 1100 hours

Covering the I-struts and finish ironing the lower right wing tapes

February 9, 2012

The last two nights I spent a few hours covering the one of the I-struts which didn’t take too long mostly just waiting for glue to dry but it is covered much the same way as anything else I have covered before. Tuesday night I covered half of one of the I-struts and the tonight I covered the other half. So now it is just waiting on finishing tapes. While I was waiting for glue to dry I directed my attention at getting the lower right wing read for the its first coat of fill. First thing that needed to be completed was to finish iron the tape edges to make sure they are staying down. I cranked my iron to 275 or so to make them nice and flat and soften that glue. I found that 275 seems to work best to get them to stick and stay down nice and smooth. You do have to be careful as to not shrink the tape so I have heard but I haven’t had any of those problems yet. So Tuesday I finished Iron the top of the lower right wing and tonight I did half the finish ironing of the bottom half of the wing.

Time spent last two days 4 hours
Total time spent 1090 hours

Right lower wing and Rudder Finishing tapes, sealing the balsa near the hartwell latch

February 5, 2012

Today I spent most of the day working on the finishing tapes on the right lower wing and rudder. But before I did all that I coated the balsa wood with some epoxy to seal the area before I rivet it on. I started by installing the rib tapes on the rudder and followed that up with installing the right lower wing root rib finishing tape. I then installed the trailing edge tape and the aileron cove tape. After that I installed the reinforcing patch for the the area around the rudder drive arm and hinge. I then installed the rudder trailing edge tape and leading edge tapes. After all that I cut a custom 4″ bias tape for the lower wing tip tape. I finished everything up installing the aileron to see about gaps and all looks good. So the rudder and the lower right wing are ready for final iron on the tape edges and some ekofill.

Time spent today: 8 hours
Total time spent: 1086 hours