Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ch 7: Contouring the Fuselage Top

She's back upright again and now it's time to get the sides ready to glass.

No...not the saw...
First I made room for where the canard will go by cutting out the the fuselage forward of the F28 bulkhead and across to the cutoff tabs on F22.  Cutting on your fuselage is a little nerve just doesn't seem right.  :-(    I used 3 different saws for the big crosscut saw, a mitre box saw, and a small drywall saw.

Ready for a canard now.  Note the square top edges
 of the fuselage sides as compared to the pic below.

It was actually much easier than expected and it came out great.  It will really look great when there's a canard mounted there!

Sanding forms for the
3 templates

Shape it up...
Next is the contouring of the top sides.  Just like I did on the bottom, I built a sanding form for each of the templates used on the top.  I started at the back with the D-D template then focused on the C-C template which is used from around the IP all the way to the seatback.  Once the C-C work was near perfect, I moved up to B-B and then to A-A.  I think doing it this way (back to front) helped me blend the curves along the sides pretty easy.

After getting A-A, B-B, and C-C  blended well, I then went back to the aft section between the seatback and the firewall.  I thought blending this section was going to be much harder than it was.  It's a long distance and the two templates are very different.  I first picked a point at the back where I wanted the shape to match the D-D template completely.  The plans say just ahead of the spar cutout...I chose a point a few inches aft of where the doubler starts.  Then I drew a line from the blue/white foam join line at the seatback to the D-D point I chose.  This forms a bit of a long triangle on the side.  Then I simply used my 22" aluminum Perm A Grit sander lengthwise to gently sand nice blended corner using that line as a guide for the blue/white foam join line.  I think it looks great.
A gentle blended shape from the seatback to the firewall

Port side rinse, wash, repeat on the starboard side
 Onward, cab

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