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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Up Late

Last night I left work a litte early and got to work prepping the fuselage.  First was the final shrink at 300ish degrees and I must say that it shrunk up very nicely. With that done I went over the edges and tapes and stuff with the little iron and worked as many wrinkles and bubbles out as possible.  There were a few that gave me a little trouble but other than that it looks pretty good.  I guess practice really does make perfect, I keep getting better and better at getting decent results.

With everything ironed i cleaned and rinsed the fabric and started brushing EkoFill on the fuselage.  Things were moving along but its a slow process and then Nick showed up!  That was great as I did a little prep work on the elevator while he brushed ekofill and then i started to work with my own brush on the fuselage.  We worked away for a while making good progress and then Leah showed up!  All right! Now the three of us were making handy work of the fuselage and I was encouraged that we actually would finish it that night.  Nick eventually had to leave and there was just a bit left on the fuselage so I let Leah finish and I brushed wood sealant on the elevator.  Soon the fuselage was done and the sealant dry so we cut a piece of fabric and started brushing glue on the elevator.

Covering the elevator actually went really well. I was able to wrap it in one continuous piece of fabric and was happy with my cutting and ironing abilities in making it look decent.

Tonight we'll have to shrink the elevator, clean, rinse, and prime it. Also I believe everything will need a light sanding before spraying primer.  Otherwise we'll be cleaning and taping and getting ready for spraying primer tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Right Wing

Last night Leah and I got out to the gliderport after work and got to work.  There was just a little glueing left to do on the wing roots and we needed to run tapes along the intersection between the root and fuselage.  Neal, Charles, and the usual cast were out at the gliderport enjoying a nice, but windy, day.  A few people were flying the 2-33.  We also brought the horizontal stabilizer and elevator out so that I could start working on cleaning up the horizontal and covering the elevator.

I got right to work going over the right wing with the iron trying to find any wrinkles or bubbles and get them knocked down before it is too late.  With that complete Leah got started with the primer and I went to put myself in line to fly the 2-33.  I needed to get current as I may have some rides to give this weekend.  I had a little time before they were ready for me so I started working on the wing roots.  I was just starting to put the tape on when it was my turn to fly so I went out and did 3 pattern tows just before sunset.  It was great!  I can't really remember the last time I flew a 2-33 from the front. The tows went well and I made nice landings and pretty soon the glider was put away and I was back to work.  I finished the tapes while Leah finished the bottom of the wing.  The Pate boys all stopped by to check in on progress before they left.

With the fuselage tapes done I got to work with Leah on the top of the wing.  It went very smoothly as we brushed and brushed to our hearts content.  Harry and Sue stopped by on their way home from work to inspect and seemed to approve of what we've done so far.  Had a nice chat while we finished up the brush work.  Then I worked some bubbles out of my new tape and called it a night.

Tonight I'll do a final shrink on the fuselage and go over everything one more time to make sure everything is as smooth as possible and then we'll get to work priming the fuselage!  Hopefully I'll have some time to work on the elevator as well.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Great work weekend

First - big thanks to Leah, Neal, and Nick for helping so much this weekend.  Friday night leah and i worked from 9-1:30.  Yesterday I put in something like 15 hrs, and today was 10.5 hrs.  Well over 50 man hours into the project this weekend and I wouldn't have gotten very far if it wasn't for my friends.

A little repetition here but I'll add some pictures.

Friday night Leah and I worked on the left side of the fuselage.  Had some major frustration that I fixed on Saturday morning.  It was kind of a rough start to the weekend actually and at 1:30 AM we threw in the towel.  Here is Leah putting glue on the fuselage:

Saturday morning after breakfast I worked on the left side nose some more and got the massive wrinkles out.  It was a close one and still not perfect as I didn't have a lot more shrink left in the fabric to get a tight surface.  But we carried on the right side of the fuselage.  It went MUCH more smoothly than the left side.  Neal was hanging around along with a bunch of guys at the gliderport.  Several showed up to assemble the club Grob, a few people were out flying in the strong Kansas wind, and others were working on their own aircraft.  All told 15 or so people probably stopped by to check out our progress.  Here is the fuselage with the left side covered:

Pretty soon we had the right side on and Nick had showed up to help which was great.  We started to work on the last major piece, the top.  It went on really easy, no compound curves like the nose!  By midnight everything was glued and I had done a little bit of tape work on the nose, so we called it a night. 

Today the goal was to finish the fuselage and start priming the wings.  Leah and I decided to divide and conquer so she started working on priming the rudder and ailerons and I hit the fuselage.  I needed to make some reinforcements around the nose area where most damage happens on out landings.  Also I ran a tape down the skid and along the belly to the tail, and along the upper longerons.

Nick got to work on the wing roots and did a GREAT job getting the fabric to lay nicely in the curve between the fuselage and wing.  By 8 PM he had the tops and bottoms covered and looking very very nice!

Harry and Sue stopped by and inspected our work although when I offered harry an iron he didnt take it :)  Nice to see them though.

Leah did a good job getting the control surfaces primed and about 6:30 we started on the wings.  Neal had helped me with an iron and went over the top of the left wing looking for any wrinkles.  We decided it was good enough and started brushing.  By 8 the cross coat was finished so we flipped the wing.  I gave it a good looking over with the iron and then we got started.  Clean, Rinse, and then went crazy with the brushes.  Right around 9 PM we were finished and called it a weekend.

Tomorrow Leah will work on brushing the other wing while I finish iron the fuselage and get it ready for prime.  I'll also hope to do some work on covering the elevator (finally!).  Then Tuesday I hope to start priming the fuselage and finish the elevator.  Maybe by thursday and friday we can do the spray coats of primer and then next monday topcoat!

Mid weekend update

Friday night Leah and I got a late start and worked really late and ended with the left side of the fuselage tacked in place but some massive wrinkle issues in the nose.  This morning with a little sleep I was able to take care of the wrinkle problems and we finished glueing the left side on.  Then to work on the right side which, with a little experience, went a lot smoother.  Nick came over, and he and Leah put the top on while I worked on some inspection holes and tape on the nose.  So the glider is basically covered at this point but we still need to shrink the top, finish taping the skid and belly, reinforcing the lower nose area, burning in drain holes, and cover the wing roots.  So tomorrow I'll get started doing that and Leah will start EkoFilling the control surfaces and maybe the wings!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Glider moved

My garage is empty for the first time since we started.  Tonight Neal and I moved the fuselage and wings out to his shop.  He's got a paint booth about the size of my garage set up inside it!  So starting tomorrow night we'll work on covering the fuselage and putting EkoFill on everything, then painting.  Leah, Nick, and I will all be working through the weekend to get as much done as possible, then we'll be out there every night next week getting the topcoat on. Here is a picture that Neal took:

Good news in the Cherokee world.  Den Barton emailed today with a report on his progress on N10124, the original Cherokee RM.  He has finished the open cockpit canopy.  Looks really nice!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Is that Nitrous?

Tonight I just a had a few little things to work on.  First Leah and I did a little rearranging so I had a little more room to work on the fuselage.  Then I got to work on some more cockpit related stuff.  First I mounted the Microphone.  Ended up screwing it into the canopy rail up by the instrument panel with mic extending back towards where my head will be.  Then I hooked up the antenna and radio and tuned in a local AWOS so I could test the speaker volume.  I couldn't remember how loud it was and that made a difference on where it was mounted.  Turns out it is plenty loud so I mounted it under the dash up in front of the stick (WELL in front of the stick).  This should work out nicely and be out of the way.

Next Nick and I soldered the microphone wires back into the radio wires.  That went pretty smoothly.  We also cut out about 10 feet of extra wire which will be nice to not have to worry about.  Once we finished that it was time for me to head to the YMCA with Leah.

Quote of the day goes to a neighborhood kid who stopped by while we were working. Leah fielded his questions while Nick and I were working.  Typical what is that? who built it? stuff like that.  Then he spots the oxygen bottle and says "Is that Nitrous???"  classic :)  I told Nick I should get a NOS sticker to put on the glider.  Maybe it'll make me go faster.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oxygen Bottle in!

I didn't get a lot done this weekend but made a little progress.  Friday night it snowed and Saturday was pretty cold.  Leah and I went to a Monster Truck rally and then took a nap.  As a result we didn't make any progress on anything.

Today though it was warmer so I got out to the garage in the afternoon.  I had bought some 1" square aluminum tube and 1" strap for the oxygen bottle mounts.  So I spent a little time measuring, cutting, sanding, drilling, fitting, trimming, and bolting.  I also had to trim the seat bottom so that I can remove the clamps.  In the end everything is bolted down and fits.  I took special careto make sure that everything clears the stick and control cables.  It's all good.  I also dug up the old brackets used to locate the battery along with the velcro to hold it down so I re-installed the battery too.  It's looking good!

Supposed to warm up over the next few days so maybe we'll be glueing fabric on the fuselage soon. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We're Famous!

Today in the EAA Hotline, there was this tidbit:

NAFI member Tony Condon of Wichita, KS is actively restoring a 1964 Cherokee II sailplane. This past weekend, he and his wife and a couple of friends covered the wings. But Tony doesn't get the "POTW" nod just for making good progress and involving his family and friends in the project (though we love to hear that) ... Tony also shot a great time-lapse video of the process that he shared on our forum. Seeing it at high-speed like this almost ... ALMOST makes it look easy, and it's sure to be an inspiration to anyone facing a covering job. See it here.


I did a little work in the garage this afternoon, mostly concocting a location and method for mounting the oxygen bottle.  I also bolted in the seat bottom and actually sat in the glider.  Without the shelf and without a seat back it was actually really comfortable!  I'll have clearance under my leg for the bottle and it will stay clear of any possible stick movement.  I got a 1" square aluminum tube at Lowe's to make the mount.  The O2 bottle clamp will bolt through the square tube and through the floor of the glider.  I also got a 1" wide 1/16" thick strap of aluminum for a backup under the nuts.  This should be good enough to hold the bottle in place.  But i found out that the old jigsaw that I have is...old, and the motor made funny smells and it really didnt have enough power to cut. And I didn't want to make a 3rd trip to Lowe's in one night plus it was getting about time to go to a movie with Leah. We saw Alice in Wonderland which was quite entertaining.

Wichita is under a Winter Storm Warning tonight and tomorrow.  Fun.  Supposed to be cold and windy so I will work on covering the elevator tomorrow.  Hopefully back to the O2 Bottle on Sunday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fuselage ready

Beautiful weather in Wichita today, temps were over 65 in the garage after work today!  I got to work on the fuselage first, brushing Stewart's Wood Sealer on everything that I've sanded.  So now all of the longerons, stringers, and plywood covering is sealed up and ready to be covered.  I also hit some of the cockpit area with Stits Epoxy Varnish.  I covered the area where I cut out the shelf as well as a coat on the spars and around the canopy rails where it was pretty obvious the old finish was wearing down. I also reattached the rudder return springs and the pitot tube/fresh air vent.  So now I'm ready to put fabric on the fuselage whenever weather allows.  Tomorrow is supposed to be warm but im not sure it will be warm enough for long enough and its supposed to be COLD on Saturday.  I want to make sure the glue has a chance to cure, so maybe next week.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warm again so I think I'll work on some cockpit stuff.  Need to put the seat in along with figuring out a mount for the O2 bottle and get the battery holder back in.  Then maybe i should actually sit in the glider and see what I need to do about a seat back.  Could always work on mounting the radio speaker and mic too.  They used to be on the shelf.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Fuselage and Wing work

I finished up a little touch up sanding on the veritcal stabilizer tonight.  Also I got the canopy hinges and latch plates bolted in place.  I still need to re attach the rudder return springs and air vent/pitot tube.  Something to do tomorrow I suppose.  Then I ran all over the fuselage with a little shop vac and got all the dust and dirt cleaned off of it. There was a lot!  After that I hit it with a rag and cleaner and cleaneed everything the fabric will touch.  So, I believe that the fuselage is basically ready for fabric now. I just need warm enough weather for it, which could be coming tomorrow and friday.

Then Leah and I put the left wing in an engine stand and I started working on it.  I used some fine grit sandpaper to clean up some areas where glue had built up and then went around the wing with the hobby iron to smooth out any bubbles.  There were a few.  Left wing is looking good so I'll probably try to do the right wing tomorrow.  Depending on how warm it gets tomorrow and friday I may try to glue some fabric on the fuselage.  Otherwise I'm sure I'll find something else to do.  Saturday is going to be cold so I'll probably work in the apartment and cover the Elevator.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fuselage continued and a Cherokee on display

A little progress made tonight.  Sanded the rest of the paint off the vertical stabilizer and did some work getting the canopy hinges back in place.  Also made a few runs to Lowe's and took my trailer back out to Harry's.  So a little progress tonight but not a lot.

I got an email today about Cherokee RM N3034 on display at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. Say that 10 times fast.  They have a new display titled "Sky Sailing" that features Sailplanes, Hang Gliders, and Paragliders.  The Southwest Soaring Museum in Moriarty has loaned them N3034 for the exhibit. It looks great!

Balloon Museum Website:


Fuselage prep

Last night i started working on getting the fuselage ready for fabric.  A long time ago, we sanded all the stringers and longerons and stuff but there was still some paint and fabric on the wing roots and rudder area.  So I got to work sanding.  The wing roots went pretty easy with no real problems.  The rudder on the other hand was a pain.  The rudder is skinned with fiberglass and just painted over that.  Sanding all that paint off was a slow process.  At 10:30 I had the left half finished and called it a night.  Leah and I did move the wings back into the garage so we can prep them this week for EkoFill.  I was hoping to get all the sanding done on the fuse before moving the wings back in but oh well.  We'll get some plastic sheets to cover them up best as possible.  They'll have to be cleaned before EkoFill anyway.

We have a little warm weather this week so I'm going to try to do wood sealant on the fuselage outer areas and varnish where I cut out the shelf.  We'll hit the wings with some super fine sandpaper to clean up some glue residue and go over them with the iron to clean up any remaining wrinkles or bubbles.  Then they'll be ready for the first brush coats of EkoFill when weather allows. 

The new Bungee Cord's are here!  I've got an article in there detailing progress made on the Cherokee.  The article marks progress made up through mid February.  I've done a lot since then!  I really enjoyed the magazine, lots of good articles and nice pictures.  Both Harry and Neal had reports, Harry about the VSA Rally in Wichita last Fall and Neal describing Vintage glider performances last summer in the Kansas Kowbell Klassic straight distance contest.  I flew the Cherokee 80ish miles while he put something like 156 miles on his Ka6.  I believe that flight was good for second place, beating an LS-3 and Nimbus.  That flight also won Neal the annual Wooden Wings award given to the longest distance flight in Kansas to a wood wing sailplane. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cherokee Updates

I got an email from Dennis Barton the other day concerning his work on N10124. He has finished installing a TE probe and is almost done with the Sport Canopy.  N10124 was the first RM model, built by Terry Miller and the Ree brothers.  The Ree's also built my glider and later built a Tern and Pioneer II.

N1073 is in Ames, IA now, rescued from its fate as part of the garbage heap in Essex, MD.  Matt Michael drove 2200 miles last week to get it to his house. Sometime in the next month or two when we both have some free time we'll get it to Wichita and I can see what kind of condition it is in.  Matt did report that all of the glue joints in the fuselage are bad and will need replaced.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pictures and video

OK Nick got his pictures uploaded here:

And here is a youtube vide of us covering the bottom of one wing:

Work Weekend

Here is a short summary with a few pictures of the work done this weekend.  I'm still waiting for Nick to send me a bunch of really good pictures from his camera as well as a short video. 

Friday Leah and I gathered supplies to be able to mount my wings to a couple of engine stands that Harry had at his shop.   We figured this would be a good way to control the orientation of the wings while covering them.  Jesse came down friday night and by then Harry was ready so we went out to the shop with the trailer and wings and worked.  Drilled some holes in the big chunks of aluminum angle that i bought, which worked out really well. 

We were finished around 11:30 and had the wings and everything else loaded up and were out the driveway around midnight.  I'm curious what Nick's neighbors were thinking as we were unloading wings in the street at 12:30 AM and carrying them into his back yard, dropping them down a sort of dugout area and into his basement.

Saturday morning we started working on the bottoms of the wings.  I knew the general Stewart's process from doing the control surfaces but had never covered anything nearly as big as a wing before.  We started out by cleaning the wings with the heavy duty cleaner, and then painting glue around the perimeter of the wing and along each rib.  Then, with the glue somewhat dry, we laid the fabric in place over the wing and used the iron to re-activate the glue and set the position of the fabric.  This worked like a dream.

We glued 3 inches either side of the leading edge and along the root and tip and both side of the trailing edge.  The fabric laid in place pretty well.  We would heat the leading edge in place first and then work the top of the leading edge in place.  With the rest of the fabric blanket free to move there were very few issues with wrinkles.  Then we'd attach the trailing edge, root, and tip.  Then flip the wing over and do the top of the leading edge and the top of the trailing edge.

I usually tried to keep my little hobby iron at about 250 -300 for this work.  It's a bit challenging for it to hold a really constant temperature though.  With the perimeter of the fabric blanket tacked in place we brushed glue through the fabric and then wiped off the excess to complete the joint.  Then we heated up the Cheapest Iron At Wal Mart to 250 degrees for an initial shrink.   This was mostly to get the major wrinkles out of the fabric, not to tighten it up too much.  Then with the fabric slightly shrunk we went back to the hobby iron and set the glue on the ribs. Then brushed glue through to ribs and wiped off the excess.  This seemed like a good time to go to the glider club meeting so we did.  When we returned we glued in a couple of inspection rings and called it a night after a couple Leinenkugel's. 

This morning we got back to work around 10 .  First thing was to do the final 300 degree shrink on the bottom. I wanted the glue on the ribs to be good and dried before I tried to shrink up the fabric too much.  There is a bit of concavity to the airfoil on the bottom and i didn't want any fabric pulling off the ribs.  It shrunk up really nice with no issues.  Then it was on to work on the top.  Pretty much repeat the process for the top but it went a lot smoother cause we had experience.

So there you have it.  Tomorrow we'll bring the wings back to the garage.  I'm hopeful that weather will allow us to brush on a cross coat of EkoFill primer/UV block this week sometime, along with getting the fuselage prepped for fabric.

I've got a bunch more pictures on the way from Nick's camera along with a time lapse video of us putting the bottom fabric on the right wing. The video turned out really, cool, I'll probably post it on YouTube.

Short Update

Today we cleaned the wings, glued the lower fabric to them, shrunk it a bit, and added inspection rings.  Seems pretty easy, only takes once sentence but it was a good day of work.  We got a lot of pictures and a cool video, will post it when we get them downloaded.  The fabric looks great on the bottom of the wing and we'll knock out the tops tomorrow.  Pete says we should be calling this work weekend Akasegeflughzeugneubespannung so we will.  Will update again tomorrow night!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Work Weekend

Last night about midnight we were moving the wings into the basement.  After breakfast, Akasegelfleugzeugerholt begins!  I'll be sure to post an update tonight.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Trailer ready

Last night Leah, Harry, and I finished up the last bits of aluminum covering on the trailer.  It was a bit cold with occasionaly snow flurries but we finished drilling holes, clecoing, unclecoing, cleaning, caulking, clecoing, riveting, unclecoing, and more riveting.  Now it should be nicely sealed up and ready to store the glider. 

Tonight we will haul the wings out to Harry's and work on mounting the wings to an engine stand at the root and a pivot at the tip.  Then the whole works comes back into town to a friends basement for fabric. Jesse is coming down tonight to help out and we plan to spend all weekend working on fabric on the wings. Cleaning, glueing, shrinking, more glueing.  Should be fun! 

Matt is headed back to Iowa with N1073.  He reports that the glue joints in the fuselage are in bad shape.  Not sure what kind of glue it was.  Wings seemed OK but hard to tell since they are covered. I'm hoping to get the glider to Wichita soon and have a good look at it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wings Ready

Last night Leah and I got a lot of work done on the wings. I got a couple 2x4's and made another stand for the root of the wings, so that I could have both wings standing vertically on my workbench.  Then I took the old wingtip fittings from the trailer and screwed them down to the other bench so that the wingtips would be suspended and we could work on the leading edge.

Leah cleaned all the dust off the wings.  Then we got started brushing on the Stewart's Wood Sealer to the plywood leading edges and ribs.  She did the right wing and I worked on the left.  It went on very nicely and we were done in time for supper.

After supper the sealant had dried and we put the wings back in the cradles.  I did some sanding on the wing roots.  I needed to clean up the epoxy job on the new plywood as well as clean up some old paint on the other wing.  With that done i cleaned all the dust up and mixed up some of the Stits Epoxy Varnish.  Stinky!  I brushed two coats on each wing root as well as the new wood in the fuselage.  Checked in on it this morning and it looked great!

Tonight I just had one thing left to get the wings ready for fabric.  Needed to clean up and prime the aileron hinges.  So, I did.  Of course, spent more time taping than spraying. 

Tomorrow and Friday (if there is no rain) I hope to finish up riveting on the trailer and get some wing stands set up.  Friday we'll move the wings over to a friend's basement to do the fabric work this weekend.  Hopefully if we get some time during daylight that is rain free we can assemble the glider for a quick photo.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Work

Saturday was a bust for work on the Cherokee.  I did take Leah's (empty) trailer to Kansas City and handed it off to Matt Michael.  Sometime later this week he is going to take it to Baltimore to pick up N1073, a Cherokee II project.  I'm not sure what kind of condition it is in but am hoping it is not too far gone and can be saved.  I'll be sure to make an update when I know more.

Sunday turned out to be a good work day.  First I did some sanding on the filler area on the right wingtip.  The bottom skin turned out fine and is nice and smooth now.  I did more sanding on the top and of course hadn't added quite enough filler onto the second coat.  It looked something like this:

So I mixed up a little more filler and covered the gaps.  That has now cured and needs sanded smooth. We'll see how it turns out.  Then the right wing will be ready for sealer and then fabric.

That only leaves the work remaining on the left wing.  The only repair that was needed there was to replace a portion of the plywood cover on the root rib.  I spent a lot of time being very careful with the chisel and removed the old plywood without damaging the rib or the skin.  No small accomplishment, I think.  Then it was off to Harry's. 

We picked up my trailer and once there started working on fitting some bent aluminum pieces over the front edge of the trailer.  This will cover a gap and seal up the trailer.  A couple hours of fine tuning the shape and drilling holes and everything was more or less cleco'd in place.  And then it started to sprinkle.  So I borrowed the jigsaw and cut out a rough shape for my new root rib piece and headed back to town. Will have to rivet another day.

Back home I spent a bunch more time shaping the plywood to fit well.  Sand a little off the edge, test fit, sand a little more. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Finally I had a good fit.

I mixed up some epoxy and gathered my clamps.  Before too long the plywood was securely in place and the epoxy was curing.  There are 2 AN-3 bolts that go through an L bracket between the spar and this plywood.  I dug through my bag of bolts and found a couple new nuts and bolts.  Then for the hell of it I replaced 4 other similar bolts on the root.  Can't get to the front 2 bolts since the entire leading edge is enclosed.

This morning I went out and checked on the plywood and it looked like it was cured very nicely.  Just will need a little sanding and it'll be ready for Varnish.


Plan for the week is to get the wings ready for fabric.  Right now they are covered in dust.  I need to clean them up and then brush Stewart's Wood Sealer on.  I think I'll use some of the Stit's Epoxy Varnish on the new plywood on the left wing.  Then it will be time for fabric.  Might as well varnish and seal the wood on the fuselage while I'm at it.  Need to get a little warmth in the garage to make that happen though.  A friend is loaning me his basement for doing the fabric work.  Plan is to move the wings over there on Friday and spend all weekend working. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Work Update

We've been working the last few days.  Yesterday Leah and I did a bunch of sanding on both wings.  First we cleaned up the ribs on the left wing.  Then I got out the electric sander and cleaned up the balsa wingtips and the airbrake which still had some stubborn paint on it.  Then we switched out the wings and I did some more cleanup sanding on the right wing.  Eventually we had enough and the atmosphere was getting a little fuzzy with all the dust floating around so we called it a night.


If Mary Cowie is reading this that VSA sweatshirt that I bought at the convention is perfect for working in the garage this time of year.
Tonight I finished up a little more sanding on the right wing including (sound familiar?) the balsa wingtip and airbrake.  With that finished I went back to work on the left wing, working on removing the plywood that covers the root rib.  The old wood is really in lousy shape and has to go.  So out came the saw and chisel.  But first I was smart enough to trace a rough outline onto the new Mahogany plywood that I have so I can make a new piece.  Right now it looks something like this:


Still need some cleanup work but I have to have something to do tomorrow.  After a short break to watch some TV I went back out to do a little filler work.  I have Poly Fiber SuperFil which is really good stuff.  It's a 2 part epoxy filler and is super light. Something like 3.8 lbs per GALLON.  I mixed up a little bit and smeared it on a few places on the right wing.  The biggest area was on the new plywood.  After my epoxying job the other day held down with 500 bungee cords it was looking OK but not the best.  The main problem was that while there were a couple ribs on the outer edge there was about a 12 inch gap until the next inboard rib and between me not getting the plywood bent quite enough and the bungees maybe squeezing too tight the plywood flattened out a little.  It looked like this once I finished sanding around the edges:
You can't really see the problem in that picture.  So, armed with my bucket of filler, I started slopping it on.  I figure might as well just build it up and then sand it down to the proper shape.  We'll see what it looks like tomorrow.

On the Cover

My March 2010 Soaring magazine just showed up in the mail, and Dean Gradwell's Cherokee II is on the cover!  I am attributed as taking the picture but I think that Harry Clayton actually took it. Don't know for sure since we both were using the same camera.  As far as I know this is the first time a Cherokee has made the cover of Soaring since 1962!  Here is the picture:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sand Sand Sand

We're making good progress on turning the wings into sawdust.  Both wings leading edges and ribs are sanded.  Tonight we finished up the left wing.  Also sanded the paint and fabric off the balsa wingtip as well as the airbrake.  Then switched it back out for the right wing and cleaned up a few other places along with the area around the new plywood pieces.  They look pretty decent.  I will need to do some filler work to get the profile just right and looking really great but what the heck.  I've got a few other places on the right wing that need filler.  Hopefully we can start working on that tomorrow after work.

I also need to start removing the plywood covering the wing root tomorrow.  that should be exciting.  I took a brief look at the fuselage tonight and came up with a prelim idea on how to mount the oxygen bottle.  .that will require some more attention. later.