This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
September 17 2015 2.0hrs - 2472.5 total. Glued backing plates onto skin piece
while it was held in curved position with clamps. Received an artificial horizon from
an e-bay.uk auction I bought a few weeks ago. I've been told I can get it repaired?
Will have to check into that.
September 18 2015 4.0hrs - 2476.5 total. Removed clamps from doubler rings.
Sanded down all glued surfaces and joints. Ground down internal ring diameters to
be flush with skin. Sanded all smooth. Put two coats of sealer on inside skin
surface. Glued skin piece in place on fuselage.
|Reinforcement backing plates
glued onto skin piece.
|Artificial horizon from ebay.uk
Its not too clear in the photo,
but it does say MK 1B
|Last piece of belly skin glued in place.
September 19 2015 2.0hrs - 2478.5 total. Removed straps and staples from yesterday's glue job. Trimmed away extra extruded
epoxy and partially sanded some of the joints. Put two coats of paint in inner skin surface. Removed masking tape from area now
enclosed by latest skin piece and masked off all openings in preparation for trimming back skin overhang.
October 10 2015 2.0hrs - 2480.5 total. Trimmed back overhang from last piece of skin. Sanded down a couple of the skin scarf joints
that I'd filled with extra epoxy. Researched what the fairings look like between the elevator and fuselage. Trying to decide if I'm going
to make separate fairings from fiberglass that screw on, or just fillet the joint.
October 11 2015 1.5hrs - 2482.0 total. Spent some time looking at photos of original spitfires and have decided to create a fillet joint
around the horiz stab to fuselage joint, rather than creating a separate fairing piece. Mostly because it would be nearly impossible for
me to get all the needed nut plates installed inside the stab and fuselage to hold the fairings in place properly. Also, the fairings edges
are not very pronounced on the original Spitfire. Some of the skin panel joints on the original are more visible than these fairing joints,
and I'm not worried about them. If I decide I really need the fairing lines to show up later, I could always simulate them with paint.
This will be faster, easier, lighter and create less drag than building and screwing down a set of removable fairings. Masked off and
installed the SB elevator hatch cover on the SB side of the vert stab. Masked off the access panel holes and installed the fin fairing in
preparation for starting on the SB horiz stab fairing.
October 12 2015 1.5hrs - 2483.5 total. After looking at the joint between the horiz stab skin and fuselage skin it looks like it will flex
quite a bit if not tied together. If I put a large fairing made of epoxy in here with no reinforcement, it would probably crack. I
researched how boat builders handle these type of areas with the thought that I could use fiberglass to reinforce it. Even so, it still
needs a nice previously faired surface to apply fiberglass. Decided that I need to stabilize the joint by putting in some wood strips to tie
the two skin surfaces together and will add a large glue fillet over that. May apply some fiberglass strips for additional strength later.
Sanded back about 2 inches on bottom SB side of stab and fuselage to prep for glue. Cut a couple of strips of spruce and sanded to
about 1/4" square cross section. Trial fit.
October 15 2015 2.5hrs - 2486.0 total. Went and bought a really nice orbital sander and a smaller, lighter, belt sander. Started
prepping all the skin joints on the SB side and bottom (top side as it is now with the fuselage laying on its port side) to be filled with
micro balloons and thickened epoxy. It will be easier to sand this down smooth, then top coated with epoxy. Had a nice long phone
conversation with Steve yesterday and discussed various options for finishing the skin and painting. He's going to get me the details on
the glue (I think its a polyester epoxy) that is used with extremely light and thin fiberglass, about 1.5 to 2oz fabric for the finish, just
under the primer and the paint.
October 17 2015 3.0hrs - 2489.0 total. Went and bought an adaptor for the shop vac to allow it to connect directly to the new orbital
sander. Had to spend some time modifying it to get it to work, but now it works great, is easer to hold on to and - no dust! Sanded on
the glue joints for a while.
October 18 2015 4.5hrs - 2493.5 total. Finished sanding all the glue joints on the SB side skins. Also sanded all previously sealed
external surfaces on the SB side with coarse paper to allow for bonding with new glue. Glued the small 1/4" x 1/4" reinforcing strip
under the horiz stab. Mixed up a big batch of thickened epoxy and added quite a lot of micro-balloons and spread this over most of the
glue joints that needed filling. Still have a couple more to go, and will still need some additional fill on some of the others.
October 19 2015 2.0hrs - 2495.5 total. Sanded down all the filler that was put into the skin joints yesterday. Also sanded down
reinforcement strip to prep for glue adhesion. Still have a couple of spots to fill some more as well as the top starboard side. Need to
make up and install reinforcement strips for top side of horiz stab.
October 23 2015 1.0hrs - 2496.5 total. Made up a small strip to finish reinforcing strip. Used very small batch of 5 min epoxy to glue
it in place. Planned out initial size and shape of fillet. Made up a scraper with two different radiuses to help in shaping the thickened
epoxy. Laid out and taped out area.
October 24 2015 2.5hrs - 2499.0 total. Sanded small strip glued in yesterday. Used small pointed dremel grinder tool to remove shine
from last couple of areas in the cracks of the strips. Mixed up large batch of thickened epoxy and micro balloons and applied to
previously prepped area under SB hoirz stab. Rough formed it into fillet. Used small amount of left over epoxy on a couple of the
remaining skin joint areas. Made up some reinforcement strips for top side of SB horiz stab in preparation for forming fillet on that joint.
|SB side of fuselage and top of horiz
stab starting preparation for fillet.
|Dry fitting 1/4" square strip
on underside of SB horiz stab.
|Sanding all the scarf joints to
prepare for filling and leveling.
|Reinforcement strip being glued
under horiz stab on SB side.
|Filler applied to joints.
|After sanding down the first
application of filler.
|Small strip glued in on right.
Tape laid out for fillet.
|First whack at trying to make a
fairling/fillet out of epoxy and micro.
|Making up reinforcement strips
for top side of SB horiz stab.
|Strips glued in on
top SB side.
|After sanding it for a while. Its
going to need another layer of filler.
October 29 2015 2.5hrs - 2501.5 total. Sanded down contact ares on top of SB horiz stab and glued in the reinforcement strips.
Used up extra thickened epoxy in some of the fuselage skin joint areas. Sanded on the lower SB fairing for a while. A few low areas
and air bubbles, also the leading edge fairing portion are all going to require a second layer of filler, then a top layer of epoxy to seal it
all up. Not sure if I want to cover it with a piece of fiberglass or not. Strength isn't needed here and I don't need the weight. Will
probably try to go without it and see how it goes.
November 2 2015 2.5hrs - 2504.0 total. Sanded fillet some more and feathered the edges into the tape. Removed tape and sanded
any hard edges created by tape edge. Cleaned it up overall and sanded out any shiny spots in prep for next layer. Sanded down
strips glued onto top of stab. After comparing to photos of actual fairings, decided to removed enough material from these strips to
allow a fairly small fillet here.
November 4 2015 1.5hrs - 2505.5 total. Measured, marked and taped off both top and bottom of SB stab junction with fuselage.
Ready now for another layer of filler on bottom and first coat on top. Hooked up the orbital sander and sanded down areas where
extra epoxy had been applied as filler on fuselage skin joints.
November 7 2015 2.0hrs - 2507.5 total. Mixed up a large batch of thickened epoxy with micro. Applied straight, thin epoxy first,
then applied thickened. Put a layer over the existing fillet on the bottom of the stab and a first layer on the area on the top of the
stab. Piled a lot of material out in the front to have something to sand down to the desired shape. Not going to try to get it to match
exactly, but will try for a similar shape. These fillet are far less critical than the wing fillets in contributing to accurate overall
|Strips sanded down enough to allow
small fillet to be applied over them.
|Photos of a MK-IX from the Monforton book . Once again, can't praise this book highly enough for the amount of
detail it shows. You can see how there is a much larger fillet area on the bottom forward section wrapping around
the nose of the stab than anywhere else. The critical shape, to me, is the top forward section.
|You can see where I've piled a lot of
extra material on the lower forward
area to try to match the original.
|First layer of filler on top of SB stab.
|Finished shaping SB fillet.
November 8 2015 4.0hrs - 2511.5 total. Sanded down fillet. Was able to use Dremel tool with a grinding wheel for some shaping,
but had to do most of it by hand. LOTS of sanding!
November 9 2015 3.0hrs - 2514.5 total. Sanded down last couple of spots on SB side skin. Rolled fuselage over onto SB side.
Masked off areas that would let dust into inside of fuselage. Started sanding port side glue joints. This side has not had anything but
extra thickened glue applied. Will need to get all the joints sanded to remove shine then go back and add filler as needed.
November 11 2015 2.0hrs - 2516.5 total. Finished sanding down all the skin glue joints on the port side. Next step will be to fill with
November 12 2015 0.5hrs - 2517.0 total. Marked all the spots where filler needs to be applied.
November 14 2015 1.5hrs - 2518.5 total. Mixed up a batch of thickened and micro epoxy. Applied fill to about 80% of the places I'd
November 15 2015 1.5hrs - 2520.0 total. Sanded down all the areas where filler was applied yesterday.
November 22 2015 2.0hrs - 2522.0 total. Mixed up some thickened micro and finished applying filler to remaining 20% plus applied
second layer where needed on first 80% area. Had a blob left over so started forming horiz stab fillet at leading edge.
November 23 2015 1.5hrs - 2523.5 total. Sanded down areas to be glued. Finished shaping pieces. Glued reinforcement strips in
place on bottom of port horiz stab.
|Fuselage rolled over onto SB side.
|Starting to sand the port
side skin glue joints.
|Finished sanding port side
glue joints. Ready for fill.
|2nd layer of fill on some
and first layer on others.
|Starting to make reinforcement strips for
bottom of port horiz stab fillet. Extra micro
used at leading edge to start forming fillet.
|Reinforcement pieces glued in place.
November 24 2015 2.5hrs - 2076.5 total. Put first layer of filler on fillet area. Sanded to
shape. Will need another layer. Finished sanding all fuselage skin glue joint filler.
|First layer of filler sanded to rough shape.