“Those Days”

Today was one of, “those days.” I got home late enough last night that it really was this morning. I didn’t get out to the shop as early as I would have liked because not only did I need the sleep, but I had to play plumber.

The water heater decided to start leaking yesterday while I was on a trip. Luckily, Kevin caught it before it did any damage. After consulting with my brother in law, Adam, who really is a plumber, I was briefed on how to change the pressure relief valve to solve the problem. It didn’t take terribly long to do, but here is the culprit. Years of build up on the probe and valve that caused it to stick open.

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When I finally got to the shop, I started by sanding on the control surfaces. Even though primer sands very easily, I have to admit my fun meter is pegged with the whole, “slop it on, sand it off, slop it on, sand it off,” routine.

I am questioning why I am going to such detail with this round of primer. I have previously made the decision I am going to fly the airplane in only primer. I am quite certain I will have to make modifications or adjustments to the airplane during flight test. These modifications would require me to sand into a fresh, time consuming, and expensive paint job. Seems sacrilegious.

The down side of this plan is primer is porous and will absorb contaminants that will degrade the bond between the primer and eventual paint. If you simply paint over primer that has been exposed to contaminants, you will end up with fish eyes and peeling paint. So I will have to sand some amount of primer off and go through all of this joy again. So why am I trying to perfect this sacrificial round of primer?

At least for now, I have decided that I am going to try to get the surface perfect, but allow some “ugly spots.” These are areas where the structure has a high spot and the darker color shows through the thin primer area. If they really end up bothering me, I can always go back and add more primer. For now we are going to press forward. The spots bother me, but so does all the work I have left to do.

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As far as control surfaces go, the elevators are now to contour, and smooth. They do have a few ugly spots. The rudders are smooth and have some areas that do require more primer, but I’ll touch it up when I am priming something else. The canard top side is completely done including the center canard cover fairing.

Then it was time start contouring the epoxy wipe on the fuselage. I’ve said it before, but epoxy wipe sands like concrete. It takes forever. I was able to sand a bit more than half before dinner. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish the sanding and be ready to start priming.

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After dinner was supposed to be the excitement for the day with one little extra job that should have been fun. I received my prop yesterday from the freight haulers. A Catto 3 blade with nickel leading edges. The crate was damaged, but luckily the prop wasn’t.

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I figured it would be exciting to hang the prop and see it in it’s new place of work. So I uncrated and got all the fasteners and crush plate out. Cleared the bubble wrap from the hub area and put the prop up to the prop extension.

To my dismay, it is the wrong bolt pattern. It won’t fit. There is no way to use this prop with my prop extension or crank shaft. I had only one loud word to say, and for the sake of print I will quote by replacing with the Mormon swear translation, like my friend Wes would. “S-U-C-K!”

Long story short. This is not a new prop, but a used one. It was used on a Long Ez for a short time before the previous owner decided on a different prop. A friend stumbled upon it and coordinated a very good deal for me.

I was excited about the stellar deal for the prop I lusted after and that met the size Catto recommended for my application. I was so exited, in fact, that I asked all the right questions, except the most important one. That most important question is, “is it SAE1 or SAE2?” My crank shaft and prop extension is a 2, and the prop is a 1.

I think I’m going to have to buy a new prop. Good news is, I know I can sell this for what I paid for it. Bad news is, a new one is spendy. No pictures of the prop as we are not really on speaking terms, and I never fully took the bubble wrap off. SUCK!

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