Thursday, May 29, 2008


I'm almost done with the last bulkhead of chapter 4! I've finished the firewall except for the last layer of bid on the fwd side, and cutting the temp firewall (which might wait until I'm in ch.6).
I cut the firewall out of 1/4" birch on Monday night, and cut and installed the 1x1x1/4" alum. inserts for the engine attach points on Tuesday night/Wed. early a.m. How early? Ask Julia - the power tool section of the project (cutting the alum., cutting the holes for the alum.) didn't wake her ~ forgetting to close the garage door and lightly tapping the hard points into the birch however, did. Sorry! To ensure a good bond with the birch, I sanded the aluminum with 60 grit sandpaper and epoxy to prevent any oxidation before installation and fiber glassing.
Here's the 4 piece section of the firewall with alum inserts installed:

And a detail of the alum. inserts:

For the 14 blind screws, I drilled the holes after glassing one side and cut a countersink:

I did diverge slightly from the plans after reading about problems of having the screws turn later on. After looking at either cutting a cross shape into the screw head or installing piano type wire inlaid into the screw head and birch, I decided on the cross shape.

Here's what it looked like:

And after installation with flox:I should be able to glass this side this afternoon before I go to work as my wife has a wedding rehearsal to run tonight. Chapter 5 will have to wait until the 6th of June however, as I start my week on tonight. If I finish up the firewall tonight, I'll probably post the requisite "all bulkheads together and in position pic.


Well, I guess that I didn't keep things as updated as I meant to. 1 post at the beginning of may, and now one at the end. Again I have been working on things, but simply not posting. Some small boring things that don't warrant photos, much less a post, such as finishing tracing my firewall drawings, sanding, and reading.

I did manage to finish F-22 and the doubler though.

F-22 with doubler installed:

Glassed and waiting for cure:

Here's a close-up of where F-22 and the doubler meet:

And finally, F-22/doubler completed. I've been sanding off the excess fiberglass and I'm afraid that it is all over the bulkhead here. No, my bulkhead is not full of air pockets!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Aft Gear Attach Bulkhead

I completed the aft gear attach bulkhead. Here it is ready for glassing:

And glassed:

I'll try and do better about keeping my blog updated in a more timely fashion. On the plus side, I've started a new 7 days on - 7 days off shift which should allow me more time to work on the aircraft. On the minus side, I've started studying for my dispatcher license and that will take up a good deal of my time in the near future. Minus being that I'll have less time to work on the aircraft, getting my dispatch license is definitely a good thing overall. Just have F-22 and the firewall left in chapter 4. Hope to complete that next off week (I start my on week tonight) and get things prepped for Ch.5.

Forward Gear Attach Bulkhead & F-28

I've completed the forward gear attach bulkhead and F-28. I traced the outlines for the G.A.B. hardpoints onto the solid fiberglass from the plans and cut them out using the router attachment a fiberglass cutting bit for the dremel. It wasn't easy and I ended up cutting close to the trace lines and then sanding w/ 36 grit sandpaper to fit. Worked well, just took a while.

Here are F-28 and the upper portion of the forward GAB and F-28 ready for glassing:

The upper and lower sections will be joined later. Upper portion of the forward GAB completed:

The lower section of the forward GAB ready for glassing:

And completed:

F-28 completed:

IP Complete

I realize that I haven't posted in a while, but I have been working on the aircraft. The IP is complete now. I finished glassing and then added the stiffeners. Here you can see them cut and laid out. I might add that I shortened the vertical stiffeners when I realized that they were too long:
I used 2x4's to hold the pieces in place while 5-min epoxying them into place:

All stiffeners in place w/ micro along the edges:

For the electrical conduits I would glass first the single ply on the upper surface, allow it to cure, and then do the 2 plies for the conduit itself as shown below:

Finally, the IP completed: