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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fabric off Rudder

Today I called Doug at Stewart Systems and did a quick run through on the chemicals that I should need for the project. I ordered the first batch. Wood Sealer, Cleaner, Glue, and the UV Protection/Fill. I will wait to buy the top coat until the next paycheck clears the bank.

Got home from work and took a few final pictures of the rudder. There are a few drain holes near the bottom and I wanted to be sure document their location. Got some shots of both sides and then it was time to pull out the knife.

I made the first cut and then started to remove the fabric. Came off very easily. It appears there are some sort of fiberglass strips that the builders put over the ribs, likely to give more area to glue to. Used a couple wrenches to remove the Rudder Control Horns and the fabric came right off, no problems at all.

This is the first time the wood as seen the light of day since 1972. It is gorgeous. Took a good look over everything and didn't find any unexpected problems. I knew that I was going to need a little work on the top of the rudder. A few years of trailer rash had banged it up pretty good. I'm pretty sure Stan Hall had this in mind when he called for a Balsa cap on the rudder. It's soft to absorb dents and easy to replace. Looks like there is also some residue from earlier fabric on there too. Shouldn't be too big of a sweat to get it taken care of. I'll have to have Harry and/or Neal take a look at it to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Tomorrow hopefully getting the fuselage in the garage and starting to take the fabric off it. I was really happy with how easy the fabric peeled off the rudder. Once I get the chemicals I will start prepping the rudder for new fabric. Gotta watch my Stewart Systems DVDs too!

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