Monday, May 16, 2011

Time for some fuselage sides...

The 2nd step in Ch 5 is to re-align the jigs to build the sides.  This time the jigs will be turned vertically in two rows per side to allow for the proper compound curvature of the sides.  Below you can see the setup.

TIP:  I used a chalkline to mark the centerline of my workbench and then used two 2.5" blocks marked with a centerline to get the center jigs lined up and 14.5" blocks for the outer two jigs.  14.5" is derived from the distance between the outer sides of the inner and outer jig (16") as called out in the plans, minus the thickness of the two jigs (1.5" total).  You can see both blocks, the 2.5" in the center and the 14.5" in the back to the left, in the picture to the right.

I followed the plans method of using Bondo to secure the jigs to the table.  This was my first time using Bondo and it was very easy.  If you haven't used it, mix up fairly small amounts at a time as it starts to set up to a rubbery state pretty quickly...similarly to 5 min epoxy.

TIP:  Change the order of the process in this step and wait to secure the jig to your table until you have shaped the masonite and foam for the sides first...that is unless you have more work space than most of us.  Once I had the jig up and Bondo'd to the table, I had no good place but the garage floor to layout those large pieces, get the foam glued together, and then cut out.  Had I done this first, I could have used the work table and then put the jig up.  Instead I had to revert to the garage floor.  Some builders have secured the jig together in a frame so it could be moved but I didn't plan on moving it until I was finished so i didn't go to that trouble.

Here are the two jigs set up complete with masonite to help make the curve and the matching foam to start the the fuselage sides.

After getting to this point, you now start the process of cutting and carving foam spacers to provide a more convex shape interior to the fuselage.  This last picture below shows how it looks as the micro on the last spacer is drying.  The many clamps are there to hold the foam in it's shape as it curves around the bottom curve of the fuselage side..

Near the front, you can see sharpie markings in a circle.  This will be carved out and nicely sanded to provide additional movement room for the control stick.  Ultimately I probably wont need it because the Cozy Girrrl Strakes modification I intend to take advantage of will have this area mostly cut out providing complete freedom of movement for the stick.

The sharpie marks in the rear (you can just barely see) are marking where the Vance Atkinson Fuel Sight Gauges will go.  This area will be carved out as well but the gauges will not be installed until Ch 21.  I intend to have electronic fuel probes as primary fuel level gauges but the sight gauges will serve as a nice backup.  Almost ready to glass these puppies.


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