Sanding, prepping and shooting the blue trim on the upper wing

June 3, 2012

Again a two day roll up. I continued working on the upper wing trim colors by sanding the areas where the blue was going. There was quite. Bit of area to sand so I decided to let the orbital sander nod the big areas then I hand sanded the small areas and areas near ribs and tapes. I sanded the upper part of the wing on Saturday night but decided I would be up to late to finish and quit early. On Sunday I hit it hard and finishing the sanding and prepping. My wife helped me load the wing into the booth and I measured the area to be painted and mixed paint. The new gallon of blue seems to like water The 3.0 ratio where as the previous gallon like 2.75 to get 21 secs. Oh well word to the wise all ways check the viscosity. Anyway I got the blue shot with no issues and Eve helped me pull the tape. Man, do I have a great wife or what! Anyway I thought it interesting to note that I wrote this post, and posted it all the while sitting up at FL400 on southwest flight heading across the country. Isn’t technology neat these days!


Time spent last 2 days: 6 hrs
Total time spent: 1364 hrs

Top Coat on the engine cowling

April 27, 2012

Today I decided it was time for the engine cowling to go blue.  I finished up the final sanding on the cowling to 320 grit.  The cowling didn’t need primer any where except for where I expanded the left cowling out to fit the engine.  I have been filling and sand for several weeks now on and off.   So I shot a final primer coat on to those parts and then let them dry.  While those parts were drying I shot a first coat of eko-fill on the gear leg fairings.  This really highlighted the pin holes in the leg.  I nearly had to sand most of it off and I will need to re-shoot them.  On Thursday I worked on the turtle deck by sanding the latest batch of clear coat in hopes of filling in some of pin holes.  It sort of works but its a real PITA.  I think I got it good enough and will use primer from here on out.    Anyway back to the cowling.  Once the primer was dry I sanded it down with 320 and then wiped everything real good with 91% alcohol loaded them in to the booth mixed paint and started shooting.  41 min later they looked like this:

The next day I took them out for a photo shoot:

And for all you video folks:

Time spent today 8 hours

Total Time spent 1268 hours

Spraying the 2nd cross coat and priming the left cowling extension

March 20, 2012

Tonight I cleaned off the upper wing and re-hung it in the paint booth and shot the 2nd cross coat. I also shot the lower left cowling extension with the white primer. Not much to else to say.

Time spent 2 hours
Total time spent 1200 hours

Spraying the Upper wing and body filler on the cowling

March 18, 2012

Today I spent a bunch of time working on each cowling. I spent most of the time on the cowling that needed an extension to fix the engine (left side) it took several iterations to get the cowling as smooth as I wanted but I eventually did. I also prepped the upper wing by wiping it with 320 sandpaper to get the bumps off from the brush coats of Eko-fill. I then hung it in the paint booth and sprayed it. I found that one cross coat of the upper wing with the 1.3mm tip 23-25 psi at the gun takes approx 2/3 of the hopper of paint. After it was done and dried I did the initial sanding with my orbital sander and scotch brite pad.

Time spent today 8 hours
Total time spent 1198 hours

3rd X coat on the Istruts, stabs, rudder and elevators starting cowling prep

March 17, 2012

Today I took the morning to go flying with my buddy to work on my instrument rating. This afternoon I started prepping the left side cowling for paint. It will need a bit of body filler as this is the side that I had to widen for the engine to fit. It also has some areas that need some filler to fill in some voids after the molding process. I started by sanding all the gel coat down with 320 to give it some grit for the paint and to also clean it up since it had bugs and other things on it. The sanding worked really well the cowling looks great. After that I re-installed the ladder back into the paint booth and hung the I-struts, right stab, rudder and elevators for their 3rd cross coat.

Time spent 5 hours
Total time spent 1190 hours

Finished up the cowling mod

January 10, 2009

I dug the foam and clay out of the now cured oil cooler hood.  This took a bit I used some acetone to help wipe the clay out of the fiberglass.  I then took some sand paper and sanded down the area where the engine mount could interface and I also sanded down where the SCAT duct attaches since it didn’t quite fit with the several layers of glass was added.   Did some last minute routing and securing of wires and hoses.  I reinstalled the oil cooler with the new hood which took some trimming to get to fit right.   I then double and triple checked everything and I then re-installed the cowl.  As soon as the I got the last screw in the cowl I heard some piter patter on the hangar roof it started raining 😦 so no test flight or ground run today.  Tomorrow is supposed to be cold windy and rainy so I guess the flight and ground run will have to wait.  Oh well.

Time spent today 3.5 hours total time spent 87.5 hours

More little things to clean up

January 9, 2009

I spent the day finishing off the mold for the oil cooler hood.  I was lucky and found the right size foam cylinder for the SCAT duct.  I used some clay to make the radius’s. Most of the time was spent making the oil dip stick door.  I used Tony’s (Wolf Aircraft) advice on utilizing the blank that I cut out for the door for the door itself.  This worked out great.  I added a shim on the piano hinge to make the top of the piano hinge sit flush with the top of the cowl.  I also added a piece of the 0.032 aluminum for the door to rest against and a place for the camlock fastener receptical.  Anyway I am really happy with the door and it is perfectly placed.  I went home later and glassed up the hood with a couple of layers.

Time spent 9 hours total time spent 84 hours

Nick Nack Clean up

January 5, 2009

So Now that I have completed major construction on my cowl i have a bunch of nick nacks to clean up to finish this project. Today I installed the 2 1/2″ SCAT flange in to the #4 cylinder baffle for the oil cooler. I cut the old oil cooler lines down to the new size and reinstalled them. I removed the old 90 deg + 45 AN fittings in the oil cooler and re-placed them with a 90 deg flare to NPT fitting. I drilled a new hole for the #2 and #4 cylinder ignition wires since the 2 1/2″ SCAT flange took the place of the old ignition wire hole. I drilled all the holes for the screw that hold the baffle seal on. I installed a hose clamp for the intake SCAT duct. I permanently installed the exhaust and I re-routed some wires. I have some more things to get done like build a hood for the oil cooler, install the baffle seal material. Permenently install the prop and make an oil cooler access door. But there is no reason why I couldn’t get that done this week and try to fly this sucker this weekend if the weather is good enough.

Time spent today 5.5 hours total time so far 75 hours.

Riviting the Cowling Piano Hinge

January 4, 2009

Tonight I finished up the major construction on the cowling by riviting the piano hinges to the cowling.  I started by setting up the countersink and countersinking the fiberglass.  I borrowed a friends pneumatic squeezer to squeeze the rivits.  That helped a ton and my hands thanked me for not having to hand sqeeze all those rivits. I re-installed the cowling and it looks great.  Just before I installed the cowling I made a template to mark the location of the dipstick door.  I traced it onto the cowling after install and when I have some time I will cut it out and install an aluminum door using some spare piano hinge.  All in all a good day

Time spent 2.5 hours total time spent 69.5 hours

Mounting the Cowling Permenently

January 2, 2009

Today I started off by trimming the spinner back about 3/16 – 1/4″ to help leave a gap between the cowling and the spinner.  I then set off to mount the cowling permanently.  I already have nut plates and holes drilled on the firewall so I needed to transfer them to the cowling.  The only way I can do with is all at once.  So I made 31 transfer tools out of aluminum strips with a rivit on each end and holes drilled on the other side.  I then used a flush screw to hold the transfer tools in each nut plate and use the top side of the transfer tools as a guide for my drill.  I drilled all 31 holes and then countersunk each of them for the tinnerman washers.  This took quite a while once completed the cowling was nice and strong and sitting perfectly where it should with the perfect gap between the spinner and the cowling.  In the last picture I have some paint touch up work to do taking this cowling on and off 100 time I had scratched the paint a little.  Lets be honest with my cowling to paint, my wheel pants to paint, gear legs to paint.  I have some painting projects . 🙂

Time spent today 7 hours total time spent 67 hours