Friday, June 15, 2012

Ch 6: Building the Fuselage Bottom

On to step 3 of Ch 6...the fuselage bottom.  This two-sided canoe-looking thing is going to get a 3rd side to it now.

Framing:  The process starts by gluing 3 sheets of 3/8" PVC foam together so their long enough to go from the F22 bulkhead back to the fwd gear bulkhead.  With the foam laying across the bottom, the edges of much of the interior are marked on the inside of the foam using a sharpie and a wooden frame is built to hold the bottom in its curved shape so it stays that way when you move it to the work bench for glassing the inside.

1x2 frame built to hold the bottom foam in shape.  Pic shows the spacers (white line) discussed below installed for fitting.

In the middle of shaping and installing the spacers
Spacers:  Next, spacers are built from Last-a-Foam to provide some added dimension to the interior.  This is the same process used in Ch 5 when the sides were built...except I'm much better at it now.  My beveled spacers came out more consistent and nicer looking than the ones I made for the sides.  (TIP) This was in part due to a little tool I created to help provide the proper 30 degree bevel.  The tool (below) is just a piece of 2x2, cut to match the 30 degree angle for the spacers, with sandpaper on the face.  It worked perfect.

Once the spacers were shaped, I temporarily secured them with wood screws and checked the fit on the fuselage. (see top pic)  It came out amazingly accurate...only a few small adjustments were made.  Time to micro the spacers down to the PVC foam and prep to glass the bottom.

Onward, cab

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