February 3, 2021
Coated the inside of the lower cowling with epoxy / acetone mix (50/50). Prepared the roll bar brace for installation. I had to pull a string through it for the canopy latch switch and I had to feed the compass light wires through it.
Shannon came out and helped me rivet most of the top fuselage skin on. We didn't finish before she had to leave but we got enough of it done so that I could install the roll bar brace and wire up the compass light and canopy latch switch.
Installed the foil heat sheild material on the inside of the bottom cowling.
I kinda messed up on the wiring that runs down the center of the firewall and back across the floor. The radius of the bundle was too tight so I had to do a little more fiberglass work on my little cover to get it looking decent. We'll see how it turns out.
I cut out the upholstry for the top of the glare sheild, sanded the area where I was going to spray glue. I had to mask off a bunch of the plane to put this down. Ironically I had decided to put down cloth to keep from having to mask everything off. I glued the cloth down and I think it will look fine.
I used a soldering iron to cotterize the edges of the upholstry on top of the glare sheild. I also used the soldering iron to poke the holes up through the skin where the GPS antennas will mount, and mounted the GPS antennas. I put the windscreen on and screwed it down along the roll bar and permanently installed the little clips that hold the front and sides down.
Shannon helped me finish the top fuselage skin. That's the last big piece of aluminum. It was a real pain. I'm glad that I made a point of leaving plenty of room to reach up from under the panel to get to those rivets. The map box really got in the way and I wound up having to put in one blind rivet.
Figured out the line for the fiberglass on the windscreen, and put some electrical tape on it. I also made up some microballons and put some filler between the windscreen and the fuse skin to smooth out the transition for the fiberglass that is coming soon.
Finished riveting up the canopy. WHOOOPPP!! I really didn't think I'd ever get that thing finished but it's done, it didn't crack and it fits pretty well. Vern came over and helped me get the windscreen ready to fiberglass. We sanded the filler, the plexi and the fuse skin. I wound up moving the tape a little bit because I had gotten some filler up next to it and couldn't clean it up without hurting the tape edge. No sense in getting this far and not doing it right. We decided that I didn't have the right epoxy (I have the fast West Systems and we need the slower 207 stuff) so we postponed doing the layup. The canopy rails moved a little when I had them off for painting the cockpit last year so I piddled with that a little bit and I also added some more filler to a few low spots on the windscreen transition and also on the blind rivets holding the aft canopy skirt. I cut a bunch of strips of fiberglass cloth in anticipation of "The Layup".
Finished wiring up the GPS antennas.
Today I needed to get ready for Vern to come over and finish the fiberglass on the windscreen. I sanded on the filler that I put on the windscreen last time and finished masking everything off. I swapped out the hardener pump on the West System epoxy and did a couple of layups on the empennage tips to make sure that I had all the fast hardener out of the pump. I figured while I was messing with the tips I'd keep it up so I spent the rest of the day doing that.
Fiberglassed the windscreen today. It's off to a real good start. Vern did a fantastic job so I don't think that we'll have to spend much time sanding it.
Spent the day working on the empennage tips. I mounted the Vertical Stabilizer on the plane temporarily so that it would be easier to work on. I discovered that the rudder bottom that Van's sent with the kit doesn't fit. It interferes with the tailwheel spring. I cut a chunk off the bottom of it and fiberglassed what amounts to a flat spot in the bottom of it to clear. It turned out okay, I guess.
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