14th February 2012

Lay on, sand off

Hours: 9.5 | Posted in Cowling & Baffles, Electrical, Gear & Fairings

More fun with cowling to start the day: added some glass to a spot in the nose of the upper cowling that was thinned out by sanding, and laid up a couple plies at the sides of the oil door (+ peel ply).  Took the extra epoxy and squeegeed it on the inside of the top cowl.

Taking a break from fiberglass work, I filled the brake system with fluid.  This was pretty easy with the use of the brake bleeder tank I picked up from ATS, which came with the correct bleeder fitting for the calipers.  I filled up the tank with fluid, attached a NPT-to-hose-barb fitting to the brake reservoir in place of the cap, with a clear nylon tube to the empty fluid canister, and pumped away.  Once a stream of uninterrupted fluid had flowed out of the reservoir, I switched sides and repeated.  No leaks apparent, but I still need to climb in and test the system under pedal pressure, as well as check the operation of the parking brake.

Back to work: spent considerable time sanding down the fillet of Sika at the canopy base.  I decided to do a layup of glass here, for a number of reasons.  To enable that, I pared down the Sika fillet, exposing some plexi above it, and some aluminum below it.  Scuffed everything up well, and laid out edge lines with electrical tape.  I cut a ply of “Rutan Bid” glass cloth, and a ply of a cloth with a tighter, denser weave to place on top of that; both were curves cut on a bias, for a smooth fairing with no ply overlaps.  Mixed a batch of epoxy with added black colorant, and laid up both plies of glass, plus a layer of dacron peel ply.  Today was the first I’ve used the peel ply, so we’ll see tomorrow if I did it right.

One more little item on the list, plugged into the VP-X and updated it to the latest firmware version.  The cheap USB to RS-232 converter I bought for $9 is junk and won’t install on my computer, so I haven’t been able to service the APRS unit.  I’ll borrow the one from work that I was using before, and find a better one to get for the shop.

Also looked at the fit of the Crow crotch straps, which look like they’ll fit into the brackets without trouble.

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