This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
February 24 2016 2.5hrs - 2667.0 total. Cut some laminate strips to correct width
and length and glued in place as beginning of BH on port side in front of door. Skin
piece I'm using to get the outside profile of the laminated BH correct is not strong
enough to keep the laminates deflected enough, so had to make a clamping form
from a piece of plywood. Glued the laminated ply mast base piece onto the
fiberglass base piece. Used some of the left over glue with some micro to touch up
the tip of the mast. Continued making more of the laminates for the port BH.
February 25 2016 2.5hrs - 2669.5 total. Cut more laminate strips to width and
length and glued in place on new BH. Glued in blocking made from a couple of
pieces of laminated ply at top of BH.
|Gluing the ply laminates onto
the fiberglass mast base.
|First three laminates on the port
BH forward of the door.
|Clamping form on outside of temp skin
to get BH laminates to hold correct
shape while the glue dries.
|5 more laminates on the bottom, 3
in the middle, 2 ply pieces in the top.
Bottom and top laminates done, still
need more in the center section.
February 26 2016 3.0hrs - 2672.5 total. Spent about 2hrs today (not counted in this log) at a couple of paint shops discussing FS
(Federal Standard) and BS (British Standard) paint codes and how they compare to the colors available for the type of paint I want to
use. My friend has spent a considerable amount of effort tracking down the correct colors and I want to see if I can get the paint I
use to be as accurate as reasonably possible. When I got out into the shop this evening I went ahead and removed clamps and sanded
down yesterdays glue job. The ply skin piece is no longer needed to hold the shape of the laminates, so removed it. Made up 5 more
laminate strips for the mid area of the BH - two of which overlap the stringer and run up to the bottom of the canopy rail. The BH
reduces in thickness from 1" to about 3/4" so had to taper two if the laminates down to nothing on one end. Found that the ply
blocking pieces at the top that were glued in yesterday slipped around a little so made up a small shim to glue in an sand to correct
shape. Once everything was dry fit, glued it all in place.
February 27 2016 4.0hrs - 2676.5 total. Sanded down and shaped the tip of the antenna mast from where the filler was applied
earlier. Cut and sanded mast base to final shape. Went to the store and bought some SS CS #10-32 screws for the mast base. Marked
centerline, located, drilled and countersunk mounting holes on base. Aligned and taped base in place on fuselage and drilled holes
through fuselage skin. Decided to make backing plates, rivet the nut plates to them, then glue them onto the inside of the fuselage skin.
This will add reinforcement to the skin and make it easier to get the nut plates in there. It'll make them a bugger to get out of there, if
they ever need to be replaced though. Removed clamps from yesterday's laminates glue job and sanded down excess glue and prepped
for last full length laminate. Made up laminate strip that goes all the way from the floor up to the bottom of the canopy rail. The
bottom of this BH is where the rear wing spar will attach with a couple of steel brackets.
|Dry fitting 5 new laminate
strips, two with tapers, on top
of the three from yesterday.
|After dry fit, new laminates
being glued in place.
|Dry fit of last laminate. Goes
from floor to canopy rail.
|Mast base sanded to final shape.
Mounting holes drilled and countersunk.
|Backing plates drilled and counter
sunk. Will cut them into strips later.
February 29 2016 2.0hrs - 2678.5 total. Glued last laminate in place on BH. Put a coat of sealer on the backing plates for the antenna
mast and loose fitted rivets till the glue dries. Made up a bracket to hold antenna mast in place and spent quite a bit of time making sure
it was exactly straight. Put base on fuselage, held in place with bolts then glued mast onto base. It will still need a couple of layers of
fiberglass around the base to really lock it in place. Plans call for a large fillet, but the original was a long mast that protruded through
the skin here, so it had completely joints. Think I'll go with very reduced radius corners. Talked to paint shop and Stewart Systems on
the phone for a while today. I'm planning to use Stewart water based system for fabric covering on the control surfaces. But I'm not
sure which I'll use for paint. Advantages to using Stewart are water based, so less toxic and easier cleanup, no smell, etc. But local
paint shop is local and easier to deal with, and are interested in the project and very helpful. Still have some time before I have to
decide. Also received paint chips in the mail from my friend who is acting as my "tech advisor" to keep me as accurate as possible,
especially on the paint. These colors look great! Getting exciting to think about painting, also a little intimidating as I have almost no
experience with it.
|Backing plates with sealer
and rivets loose fitted.
|Last full length laminate glued
in place on port side.
|Mast being glued onto base
while held in place with bracing.
|Paint chips arrived from
my technical advisor.
March 2 2016 2.5hrs - 2681.0 total. Removed clamps from laminate strip and sanded down glue joints. Cut stringer out of area
where door will go. Sanded down flush to BHs. Got out small belt sander and sanded down upper portion of new BH where
blocking slipped in glue job a while back. Found a piece of 3mm ply large enough and in proper grain orientation for door. Cut to
rough shape and clamped in place. Installed nut plates and riveted onto the backing plates I had made up and sealed a few days ago.
After riveting, cut them apart and sanded down corners. Removed antenna mast from fuselage. Looks great and is very strong.
March 5 2016 2.0hrs - 2683.0 total. Had dropped off the paint chips at the paint store earlier in the week. Went and picked up the
sample paints they've mixed up along with some painting supplies today. Color match looks very good. Started working on the
cockpit door. Have sides and bottom of door ready to go. Still working on the exact sequence of assembly as I'd like to glue the skin
on the door before I cut the canopy rail loose from the fuselage to be sure the skin curvature is correct.
March 6 2016 5.5hrs - 2688.5 total. Prepped area around door for gluing in door pieces. Taped a strip of 1/16" ply on the inside
surfaces of the for and aft door jamb to create the needed gap. Taped a piece of piano hinge onto the bottom hinge plate, then covered
all around the door area with duct tape to prevent epoxy from sticking. Clamped piece of skin in place over door area and glued door
frame members to the inside of the skin as well as gluing the skin to the outside bottom of the canopy rail. Once this dries I'll need to
cut the canopy rail to get the door out. Sanded back the paint a little around the holes for the antenna mast base on the inside of the
fuselage in prep for gluing. Glued all six backing plates in place. They are held in place for gluing with the base mounting screws
covered in mold release. Will need to break them free before the glue sets completely.
March 7 2016 2.5hrs - 2691.0 total. Removed staples from door, and screws from nut plates early in the morning. In the evening,
after the glue had set completely, cut the door loose and popped it out of the duct taped areas. Removed tape from fuselage and
cleaned up residue. Cut skin off bottom of door, sanded bottom of door to correct profile. Cleaned up edges of canopy rail where it
had been cut. Sanded all surfaces just glued on the door, cleaned up glue joints a little. Cut a piece of piano hinge to correct length.
Fits perfectly. Spent some time filing the edges and corners, then dry fit with door and realized its too narrow of hinge stock. Need
it to be about twice as wide. Started making the door gussets. Dug around for 2mm scrap. Finished the first one up.
March 9 2016 1.0hrs - 2692.0 total. Made the remaining three gussets for the door. Dug out the rough door hardware to see how it
March 10 2016 2.0hrs - 2694.0 total. Made up the 2ea 3/8" reinforcing ribs that go on the inside of the door skin. Sanded internal
edges to round radius to be more like original sheet metal ribs. Sanded all interior surfaces of door and especially the glue joints to
prep for gluing everything in place. Made up little plates that hold crowbar brackets. Went and picked up some new hinge material.
Cut to length and cleaned up ends, put radius on corners. Dry clamped everything in place on the door to plan how to do glue job.
March 11 2016 3.5hrs - 2697.5 total. Glued all wood pieces of the door in place. Spent about 2 hours (not counted here) driving
around looking for the fuse clips to hold the pilots escape crowbar. Wasn't able to find anything. Maybe I'll make a more accurate set
of clips myself. Started cleaning up the metal door latch pieces. Went and got a set of springs for the door latches. Glued retainer
piece into place on aluminum extrusion.
March 12 2016 1.0hrs - 2698.5 total. Removed clamps from last night glue job. Continued to work on door hardware, sanding, filing,
and de-burring pieces. Broke one of the retainer pieces loose that was glued yesterday. Will need to re-glue it. Spent some time
looking up the parts that I'll need to order to finish up the door.
March 13 2016 4.0hrs - 2702.5 total. Sanded on the door a little. Mounted antenna mast to fuselage to verify witch screw length to
use. Was going to paint the nut plates on the inside of the fuselage, but did some measuring and even though its in the correct
location in reference to the original, it might be too far forward for the canopy to open all the way. Measured and cut the canopy rails
for both sides. Spent some time studying the plans of the canopy and windscreen to be sure I get the rail on the door properly. If the
mast is in the way of the canopy, I'll just cut it loose and move it back on the existing base. Moving those nut plates now would be
very difficult. It might only end up needing to be about a 1/2". Started making up blocking to fill the canopy rails where the aluminum
extrusion doesn't go. Sanded back skin overlapping canopy rail slot so I could get the blocking and rails in place. Trimmed the skin
back on the fore and aft of the door - almost to final size. Still a little over sized till the fuselage skin is installed - then I'll cut it to final
size. Made up a strip of 3mm ply to shim the bottom of the door hinge. Will need to glue it in, then sand it to the needed taper to get
the hinge to sit properly. Ordered the rod ends for the door latch assembly.
March 14 2016 1.5hrs - 2704.0 total. Sanded the skin back out of the canopy rails on the SB side. Also sanded back skin piece
sticking forward of the pilots BH on the SB side to be flush with BH. Dry fit the canopy rail for this side and the blocking pieces from
the other side. Thought about trying a small section of primer. Took about a 1/2 hr to get the lid of the activator portion of the
primer. Almost destroyed the can doing it. Have it resealed as best as possible and inside a zip-lock bag for now. Rechecked the
instructions and definitely need to wait till I can do this outside. Its been in the plus teens and twenties outside for the last few days,
but occasionally up over 32. Should be able to try it soon.
March 16 2016 1.0hrs - 2705.0 total. Went and bought a tap and dye set to thread the rods for the door latch mechanism. Tried it out
on a piece of 1/4 steel rod. Made up canopy rail blocking pieces for the SB side. Spent some time tweaking the fit on all four pieces
of rail blocking - two on each side. Labeled and marked in prep for gluing. Double checked the position of the rail on both side in prep
for cutting the port side rail where it goes over the door. Started prepping to mount rail pieces into the canopy rail slots. Ordered
some original Spitfire hose/wire bundle clips to use for the door crowbar from www.spitfirespares.com.
March 17 2016 4.0hrs - 2709.0 total. Rod end forks arrived. They didn't fit too well so ground two of them down a bit and ground
back the shaft on the brass latch pieces to accommodate them. Then realized the holes for the clevis pins are too large. Went to the
local parts store to see if they had smaller ones. They had one. Bought it and ordered three more. Had to buy some smaller steel rod
and a smaller dye. Got out all the metal parts for the door latch and ground and sanded them to size. Sanded and wire brushed all
surfaces to prep for primer paint. Shaped handle to correct profile. Filed down the brass pieces a little more to get a smoother action
on those parts. 5 minute epoxied the retainer piece back into to place that I popped out last week. Located and drilled mounting holes
for handle pivot base and both latch enclosures. Hung all parts up to prime them. Sanded some more on the door in prep for a second
coat of sealer and to finish shaping the gussets to final shape.
March 18 2016 5.5hrs - 2714.5 total. Sanded a little more on the door. Put a heavy coat of sealer on all surfaces of the door except
the external skin. Put heavy sealer into both canopy rail slots where the aluminum track will go. Glued in the four pieces of blocking
for the canopy rail slots. Glued in shim plate for hinge on door sill. Applied heavy sealer coats to the new laminated rib just if front of
the door. Laid out for port storage compartment door. Trimmed back existing skin. Starting working on backing plates. Cut a piece of
hinge to correct length, sanded and shaped.
|Backing plates with nut plates riveted
on. Starting to cut them apart.
|Stringer removed from door
area. Skin temp clamped in place.
|Starting to rough in the door.
|Door frame members glued to skin.
Skin glued to bottom of canopy rail.
|Nut plates for antenna mast base
glued to inside of fuselage skin.
|Inside of door. Fore and aft
skin not trimmed to size yet.
Starting to make gussets.
|All four gussets ready to be glued on.
Laying out rough door hardware.
|Dry clamping all the door pieces before
gluing. New hinge piece shown at bottom.
|All wooden door pieces glued on.
|Retainer pieces glued in place.
|Inside view of the door in place.
Working on the canopy rail.
|Canopy rail trial fit. Rail blocking dry fit also.
|Starboard side canopy rail dry fit along
with blocking pieces from port side.
|Cut threads into steel rod for
door latch mechanism.
|Door handle ground and sanded to shape.
|Starting to work on port cargo hatch.
March 19 2016 9.5 hrs - 2724.0 Long
day today!! Sanded down the door hinge
plate shim and also ended up sanding an
angle into the bottom of the door frame
to allow hinge to close. Aligned, marked,
drilled and countersunk holes in hinge.
Dry fit hinge and messed around till it
aligned properly. Cleaned glue from
corners of canopy rail grooves and dry
fit rail track. After getting door aligned
and track dry fit on port side, marked
and cut canopy track at door. Went and
got some press in nut inserts, over-sized
the holes in the door, used five minute
epoxy to seal, then pressed in nut inserts.
|Door mounted on hinge,
canopy track cut.