|August 5, 2004
The last piece of fiberglass on the empennage that needs real work is the lower rudder tip. Today I smeared a thin coat of filler over the tail light swell in the rear of the fiberglass tip to cover some pinholes scratches. I laid out the attachment rivet holes, marked and drilled them. I used 1.5 inch spacing as opposed to the call out in the plans for 2 inch spacing because I don't want any flexing under the paint.
Holes drilled and the piece clecoed in place.
Again with the theme of no flex under the paint, I used some T-88 on the well sanded aluminum attachment rails.
Another smear of T-88 on the fiberglass. This will bond the fiberglass to the aluminum so there won't be any flexing between the rivets and, hopefully, no paint cracking.
I countersunk the rivet holes and C-4 blind rivets did the attachment work. Of course, glue oozed out everywhere. I guess one smear would have been enough.
I was running out of energy and didn't realize it when Bill appeared with this great sandwich. Fresh tomatoes and lettuce from the garden and some smoked turkey. I take back some of the bad things I said about him yesterday :-)
Back to work! I laid out the glass fabric I decided to lay up over the seam between the fiberglass and aluminum on the lower rudder tip. I hadn't planned to glass this area, but the gaps were just too big for my comfort. It's only an appearance issue, but....
Fiberglass is setting up, so on to something new. I am measuring out the aileron push-pull tubes. I'm jumping ahead a little, but this is a simple task I can get out of the way now.
I cut the tubes about 1/32nd longer than spec to allow for some smoothing and deburring. I rinsed the inside with acetone and pulled a scuff pad through a few times. When I thought it would stick, I mixed up some etching primer and swirled it around in the tubes (with the ends plugged) until I was sure it was well coated on the inside. Here is a pic of the still-wet primer reflecting light down the length of the tube on the inside. You can't really tell, but in person, you would easily be able to see any missed spots. This worked really well. Since the tubes are sealed up with a bearing on each end, they could corrode without the primer and you'd never know.