Thursday, February 15, 2018

Section: 12
Hours: 8

After fitting and match drilling the empennage fairing you do a final trim. You must maintain at least 3/16 inch of margin to the center of all the screw holes. A couple holes on one side of my fairing were too close to the edge, so I had to adjust the trim line out about 1/16" in a couple places. That's why you leave a 1/8 inch margin in the initial trim. I used masking tape to mark the required trim line and cut within 1/16" with the dremel. Then I used a long board with sandpaper to sand to the tape line for a nice straight final trim.
After sanding all the edges to the final trim, I rechecked the fit on the airplane and made a few more adjustments in the saddle areas to close all the gaps to less than 1/32 inch all around. Then I applied a half round to all the edges using a sanding block to first apply a 45 degree bevel all around and then I knocked the edges of the 45 bevel off with the sanding block. I did the final rounding using sandpaper held in my fingers. I should mention that I frequently run the shop vac to keep the fiberglass dust from accumulating (did I mention I hate fiberglass dust ?).
The next step is to add nut plates to the h-stab, v-stab and fuselage. I was able to use the squeezer to rivet the nut plates on the h-stab and v-stab. Then, as I was inspecting the fuselage under the horizontal stabilizer, I discovered that I was missing a row of rivets (see felt marker arrows below). I must have mis-read the manual a few chapters back. There was no way I could do all that riveting with the tail feathers in place so I spent the rest of the afternoon removing the elevators, h-stab and v-stab :-( Two steps forward, one step back...

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