Stay the Course

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Today was 4 or 5 hours of sanding the epoxy wipe, and it sands like concrete! If I didn’t have such good results with the epoxy wipe on the cowl and landing brake, I would abandon it. But trust me, it is worth it. The landing brake had zero pin holes, and the entire bottom cowl had 3 or 4.

The most tedious places to sand are the little radii where the strake meets the fuel sump and fuselage side. I am using a four inch long quarter inch dowel with sand paper wrapped around it and am able to get a 3/4 inch stroke. It is hard on the hands to get much done in those areas.

Luckily, Ryan has been helping me with the sanding, and has been doing a very good job with the contouring. It is nice to have someone to socialize with in the Garaggio, as well as all the help. It also keeps me more motivated and focused on task. All in all, great things.

There is about another few hours of sanding required on the epoxy wipe, then I should be able to start priming the fuselage. I think I may be able to start the priming on Tuesday. We will see.

After we were sick of sanding raw epoxy, we prepped the gear leg fairings for filler. I measured 3.5 Inches up the gear strut from the ‘top’ of the tire and placed a wrap of tape there. This area will be where the wheel pant intersection fairings will be, it is left without fill for a future structural bond. We also cut strips of sheet wax to go in the seam between the fuselage and gear leg fairing. This sheet wax will prevent bonding the two together, as well as keep a consistent width, parallel seam.

Then the normal routine of mixing and spreading epoxy ensued. I did try something new, a suggestion from Terry Schubert. I used a hair dryer on the low setting to heat the blade of the putty knife I was using to spread the micro. The little added heat helped the micro to flow better and keep it a bit less ‘viscous.’ It is certainly worth the admittedly awkward coordination exercise to get a more consistent fill application.

Additionally, we sanded a bit more on the landing brake primer. It will certainly need another contour coat. The cowl is ready for one too, so we washed and rinsed both of those in preparation for priming first thing tomorrow morning.

Here are the photos, enjoy.

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