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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. 

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