This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
March 20 2016 7.0hrs - 2731.0 total. Another long day! Located drilled and
counter sunk the holes in the rail track section that goes in the door. Installed 6x32
nut inserts in door for these mounting screws and glued in place with 5 min epoxy.
Counter sink tool will not fit into canopy track so had to find a drill bit with a flat
blade to form counter sink. Aluminum is so soft it worked fine. Ground down the
portion of the nut inserts that protruded through into the canopy rail slot on the
door so the track could seat properly. Located and drilled mounting holes for
remaining three sections of canopy rail. Dry fit nut plates on each of these holes.
Drilled and installed mounting screws for each nut plate. Outside temp finally got
above 32F for the first time in a couple weeks so was able to take all the door
hardware outside and give it a good coat of primer. Put a coat of black satin
topcoat on the handle. All other pieces got two coats of RAF interior green.
Painted inside of door with two coats of green as well.
|Counter sink bit won't fit
through rail track. Had to use
drill bit to form counter sink.
|Inside of door and hinge painted.
March 21 2016 2.5hrs - 2733.5 total. Replaced one of the nut inserts for the track in the door and re-glued it. Touched up the paint on
the door and painted the new rib forward of the door, as well as touching up several other areas. Final mounted the door latch
enclosures. Had to grind down the heads of the screws a little to get the brass latches to slide over them. Waiting for the rod end forks
to arrive so the door mechanism can be finished up. Measured for length then cut off all of the mounting screws for the nut plates for
the rail track. Will need to seal all the mounting holes and screw holes for the rail track. Sanded down the inside and outside faces of
the door sill hinge plate. Sanded a slight radius corner on the inside edge for future comfort.
March 23 2016 2.0hrs - 2735.5 total. Sanded the inside surfaces of the skin around the port cargo hatch in prep for gluing in the
backing plate. Put a heavy coat of sealer on the door sill hinge plate and on the bottom of the door. Touched up sealer on inside of all
canopy rails. Sealed up the holes for the canopy rail nut plates and glued in the nut plates and mounting screws. Used extra sealer to
put a heavy coat on the outside skin of the door. Spread the remaining on part of the forward fuselage skin outside surface. Was
hoping the remaining door hardware would have shown up by now? Maybe tomorrow?
March 24 2016 1.0hrs - 2736.5 total. Remaining door hardware came in today. Mounted hinge onto bottom of door and mounted door
to fuselage so I could determine how the latches will align. Discovered there should have been a spacer behind the door latch
enclosures of about 1/8". Will need to fabricate those. Tried to make a very short piece of threaded rod to hook the rod end forks for
the door mechanism back to back. Had a heck of a time with it and it finally broke on the dye. After getting it out of the tool it dawned
on me that all I needed was a piece of threaded rod. Found a bolt of the right size and cut off the head. Works great!
March 25 2016 5.0hrs - 2741.5 total. Received the wire bundle clips from Spitfirespares.com. They look like just about the perfect
size for scale sized crowbar clips. Determined that one of the metal fitting from the machine shop was bent in the wrong place. Wire
brushed off the primer and paint, heated it up with a torch, flattened it out and re-bent it in the correct location. Sounds simple, but
took about 3 hours to get it to the needed shape and cleaned up and ready to be painted again. Trial fit the latches and found they need
spacers to get them to the right depth. Made up spacers for each latch. They're ready to be sealed and glued in place. Started making
up a new piece of skin for just behind the door. Laid out and rough cut to shape. Dry fit and pinned. Traced and marked longeron
locations on both side of skin. Scarfed the needed location on existing fuselage skin. Scarfed joining surfaces on new skin piece.
|More door hardware mounted. Set
door in place to see how it looks.
|A couple of the nut plates on the
back side of the canopy rail.
|Here's the inside of the canopy rail.
You can see how I had to cut the nut
plate screws off so the rail track would
sit flush inside the rail.
|Dye, broken attempt at a double ended
threaded rod, threaded rod in place in the
forks, and a bolt like the rod came from.
|Reformed latch plate on
forward side of door.
|Starting on new skin piece behind door.
Have to use creative wedging for dry fit as
no way to clamp the top or leading edges.
|Smaller cable bundle clips compared
to photos from the Monforton book.
|Clip after cleaning, priming
and one coat of paint.
|Back side of handle ground
down and re-painted.
|Skin piece glued in place.
March 26 2016 7.5hrs - 2749.0 total. Finished prepping new skin piece and fuselage for glue job, then glued new skin piece in place.
Glued new backing pieces for latch enclosures onto door. Ground down back side of door handle to allow it to accept rod end forks.
Cleaned up, primed and painted door handle. Cleaned up, primed and painted the two pipe clips. Also primed the metal piece I had to
reform yesterday. Located and drilled brass door latches to accept rod end forks.
March 27 2016 5.5hrs - 2754.5 total. Removed staples and clamps for yesterday's glue job. Put two coats of paint on rail track nut
plates, fuselage door hinge plate, bottom of door, and backing pieces for door latch enclosures. Mounted door hardware onto door,
including springs and rod end forks. Made up short threaded rod for aft latch connector. Mounted door back on fuselage and aligned
door latch catches. Marked and drilled hole for aft catch. It came out right under the edge of seat back reinforcement rail, so had to
make a little piece of blocking to hold the nut plate. Sanded receiving area and glued in blocking piece with 5 minute epoxy. Drilled full
size bolt hole through blocking then dry mounted nut plate and drilled and dry fit nut plate screws. Marked and drilled holes for forward
latch catch. Over-sized holes, filled with 5 minute epoxy then pressed in nut inserts. Dry fit forward catch plate, marked top hole
location, removed catch, drilled and countersunk hole. Still need to drill and install nut insert for this hole on top of forward rail.
|Door with completed latch
mechanism and everything
painted. Looks pretty good!
|Forward latch catch dry fit.
|Aft latch catch and bolt head - dry fit.
|Back side of aft catch bolt. Had to
make up blocking to hold nut plate.
|Blocking for nut plate sealed and painted.
|Inside of new skin piece painted.
March 28 2016 2.5hrs - 2757.0 total. Removed forward door latch catch, touched up primer coat. Drilled hole in top of rail. Coated
inside of hole with 5 min epoxy and pressed in nut insert. Re-installed forward door latch catch. Final adjusted door latches and
installed cotter pins in latch end fork clevis pins. Sealed aft latch catch bolt hole with 5 min epoxy. Put two coats of paint on inside
surface of new skin piece and nut plate blocking. Removed, sanded and primed small connecting rod in door mechanism, applied one
coat of paint.
March 30 2016 3.0hrs - 2760.0 total. Put 2nd coat of paint on rod. 5 min epoxied the nutplate screws in place for the aft latch catch.
Put two coats of paint on the nutplate. Final adjusted the aft catch position and final adjusted the latch rods and forks, for and aft on
the door. Loose installed the center cotter pins. Also final installed nylon spacer, washers and lock nut on handle shaft. Door is
finished now except for the crowbar. Started working on cargo bay hatch. Marked and trimmed back new skin piece in hatch area.
Had to do lots of cleanup on the inside surfaces of the skin around the hatch as there are scarf joints in the skin in several places. Cut
back the skin at the top where the hinge is recessed in. Marked, drilled and countersunk fuselage part of hinge. Drilled stringer where
hinge attaches and dry installed screws. Made up a couple more back plates. Need to scarf the three back plate pieces together.
March 31 2016 3.0hrs - 2763.0 total. Went to the aircraft parts store and picked up some #6 screws with correct 100 degree
countersink. Also picked up some Stewart Systems fabric glue, an iron and a laser thermometer for covering the tail surfaces with
fabric. Replaced the screws in the door hinge - both sides and the ones I just put in the port hatch cover hinge. These work much
better. Removed forward latch plate and door in prep for adding skin pieces below and forward of the door. Had to use a jack to lift
the side of the fuselage clear of the tabletop bracing so skin can be put in place. Spent quite a bit of time going through the plans and
photos of other Tally-Ho projects trying to figure out how the piece of skin that goes over the top of the fuselage over the control
panel fits, is shaped, and the correct dimensions. Decided to just go ahead and skin up to the bottom of the canopy rail and add the top
piece later. Dug out a fresh piece of 3mm ply and clamped in place to start laying out to be marked and cut to size. Determined where
front edge of door should be, marked on forward rib for skin piece positioning. Will need to trim forward door skin back a bit to
April 1 2016 1.5hrs - 2764.5 total. Marked and rough cut skin piece. Had to trim a small section out of the skin to get it to fit all the
way down within the bracing. Got skin piece aligned to final position and put in two pins. Marked for more trimming.
April 2 2016 2.0hrs - 2766.5 total. Had skin piece on and off several times getting it final aligned and trimmed for gluing. Had to cut
away part of the tabletop bracing to allow it to be installed without binding. Sanded all the contact surfaces on the fuselage and
removed some extra material on the forward end of the port canopy rail. Sanded entire inside surface of skin in prep for gluing.
April 3 2016 2.0hrs - 2768.5 total. Worked on cargo hatch backing plates. Sanded inside of skin surface and removed some excess
glue from previous scarf joints. Marked and glued in lower piece of backing plate. Used extra thickened epoxy to seal up staple holes
on last skin piece and to fill gaps in exterior scarf joint from 2mm to 3mm skin.
April 4 2016 3.5hrs - 2772.0 total. Removed clamps from yesterdays glue job on the hatch back plates. Re-traced location of
longerons etc. onto inside surface of large new skin piece, removed from fuselage and traced onto outside surface as well, to help
locate staples. Put two heavy coats of sealer on inside surface of skin piece and loaded up fuselage and skin contact areas with
thickened epoxy. Clamped and stapled in place. Bottom edge started to pull loose so had to add straps and extra clamps to get
everything to stay in place. Have been dreading this one, it was one of the largest pieces I've done, and the 3mm is very stiff and
fights the curve. Used somewhere between 15 and 20 batches of epoxy. Glad its done! Now just a little piece under the door, the
port hatch cover, and all the fuselage skin is done! Oh - and the little piece over the control panel... Still have some work to do on the
control surfaces before I can cover them too. But still...its been getting warm outside. I should be able to try out the primer in a few
April 6 2016 2.0hrs - 2774.0 total. Removed staples from glue job yesterday morning. Today removed straps, clamps etc. Trimmed
off skin that protruded past firewall. Trial fit door and sanded down forward edge of door skin to fit to new skin piece. Temp
mounted door in place and started laying out for next skin piece that will go under the door. It was 53degree outside today, so propped
open the garage door, setup a fan and tried out the primer. Cut a small piece of the super light fiberglass cloth, prepped the top of the
SB horiz stab, mixed up the primer, laid down a coat with a foam roller, applied the cloth, rolled it into the primer, then mixed up
another small batch and applied it over the top and rolled it in.
April 8 2016 7.5hrs - 2781.5 total. Sanded down the primer with 240 grit. Is very smooth now, but I think it needs another coat to
fill in where I sanded through on the high spots. Measured, marked, cut out and scarfed new skin piece for under the door. Scarfed
joining skin areas on fuselage. Sanded all contact surfaces in prep for glue. Marked inside and outside surfaces to locate glue, staples,
clamps, etc. Pinned and dry fit piece with clamps and straps in practice run for glue. Measured, marked, cut and rough sanded to
shape new skin piece for over the top of the instrument panel and under the windscreen. Its a pretty tight curve and with this thick
3mm ply I'll need to steam it to get it to bend enough.
April 9 2016 7.0hrs - 2788.5 total. Sanded inside of new skin piece. Covered inside surface with two coats of sealer. Glued in place
on fuselage. While it was drying, measured, marked and cut a piece for over the instrument panel. Steamed and put a nice curve in it
with a strap, then removed from steam and clamped in place on fuselage. Might need to steam the edges a little more yet. Got the
elevator down from where it was stored. Cleaned it off, had quite a bit of sawdust on it. Spent almost an hour trying to get it in place
through the slot in the vert stab. Can't get the control horn into position. Still don't have it in there yet.
April 10 2016 7.0hrs - 2795.5 total. Removed staples, clamps and straps from yesterday's glue job. Sanded down most of the glue
joints from new skin piece. Kept sanding - lots still to go. Got most of the glue joints on newer piece behind pilots seat. Trial fit door
and had to grind and sand some of the glue out of the door opening. Sanded down skin that overlapped into track area on piece behind
door. Also had to grind out a little glue in the corners to get the rail back in there. Dry fit the port track pieces in the fuselage and in
the door. Ground down some of the overlap skin in the bottom longeron to allow the fuselage to sit back down on the worktop
bracing. Removed jackstand from port side. Got out the tailwheel, inflated the tire, installed tailwheel fork and tire onto strut. Removed
jackstand from under tail wheel and set fuselage on tailwheel down onto workbench. Tried to get the elevator into the vert stab slot
again and gave up. The horn is stuck on the elevator because back when I originally put it on there I had covered it with mold release
and pressed it into a thickened epoxy bed to create a nice surface for it to rest on, then it was supposed to pop off after it dried with
the mold release so it could removed and re-installed as needed. The problem is that I could never get it off. I had resigned myself to
it being on there and added more epoxy fill and fillets all around. Now I really need to backtrack and get it to come off like it always
should have. Had read that you can heat up cured epoxy with a soldering iron and it will soften enough to allow a part to be removed.
Decided to give it a shot. Used an old soldering iron and scraped the fillets and other fill from around the horn. Took a long time but it
actually worked! Got the horn of the elevator, and on the inside surface there's still a nice layer of mold release!
|Aft latch catch final installed
and latch position adjusted.
|Starting to work on port
cargo bay hatch.
|New piece of 3mm ply loose
clamped in place. Starting to
layout for new skin piece.
|New skin piece trimmed, pinned
and ready to be glued in. Clamped
door in place to see how it looks.
|Overview from other side with door
and new skin temp clamped in place.
|Lower piece of backing plate
glued into port cargo hatch.
|Inside of new skin piece being glued on.
|Outside of new skin piece.
|First try with the primer...
|After sanding it down.
Needs another coat.
|Dry fit and practice clamping
new skin piece before gluing.
|Piece for over the instrument panel
steamed and clamped to cool.
|Skin under door finished. Canopy
track and door trial fit.
|Elevator horn removed! Thick layer
of mold release still present.
April 11 2016 2.5hrs - 2798.0 total.
Weather was nice today so propped open
the garage door with a fan on high and
primed a large section on the SB side of the
fuselage. Hung the elevator - sans the horn
- onto the tail and tested the swing.
Monforton book says +28 -23 degrees of
travel. Looks like I'm getting close to 30
each way now, but very tight clearance
that I'll loose with fabric covering and
paint. Will take some fiddling to get the
|Primed large section on SB side.
Elevator in place for clearance testing.