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Sunday, March 20, 2011

One step forward, two steps back

Well we got a great day of work in on 53T today.  We moved the glider over to the new garage on Friday but yesterday we didn't have a chance to get any work done out there.  It was cold, rainy, and windy.  However the wind flipped around to the south today and brought 80 degree temps that could not be resisted!

My first order of business was to get the new top stringer installed.  The old one was removed as it was pretty warped and generally made the glider look lousy.  We ripped a new piece a few weeks ago off a long board of Douglas Fir.  It didn't take too long to get it trimmed to shape to fit nicely into the glider.

I worked out a scheme to get the important parts clamped into place.  Harry and Sue stopped by to look over some stuff on the NG-1.  So that was a bit of a delay as we got one of the NG-1 wings unloaded from its trailer and did some inspecting.  Then I got back to work epoxying the stringer into place.  It went very smoothly with no real issues.  I could tell it was a lot warmer as my cup of epoxy started curing very quickly!  I'm not used to that after working with the West System in colder weather.  Guess I might have to go get some slower hardener...

Here the epoxy has cured, Leah is in the background cleaning all the dirt and grime out of the left wing.  It was a job that was really needed and greatly appreciated.  With some water and Murphy soap the wood is looking brand new!  We did find some additional damage from the mice nest that was in the left wing however.  In wing bays 12, 13, and 14 there is damage to the forward spar.  Apparently mice have a taste for aircraft quality spruce. 

We are not Mickey fans around this house.  We much prefer Goofy since he was a glider pilot.

So here are some pics of the damage.  Will have to check with the local experts on the best repair route for this.  Might have to remove the skin and do some scarfing. We'll see.

This is the damage in Bay 14

Bay 13

and Bay 12

Other work accomplished today was hanging the tail from the ceiling which will make it a lot easier for me to remove the rotten wood back there.  Leah did get the left wing cleaned up really well which is great.  I also did a bunch of cleaning up and sanding where the center section meets the fuselage.  I also added some poly-fil filler to a couple stringers that had gotten damaged when we removed the fabric.  I'll be doing more poly-fil work to fillet the intersection between the wing root and fuselage in the next couple days.  Other main short term goals are to get the rotten wood cleaned out of the tail and get the right wing cleaned up. 

The blog should be much more active now that the glider is here at the house, so keep checking back for updates!

1 comment:

  1. Formbee's furniture refinisher works better than murphy soap to clean up old varnish.

    Tom D.