Chapter 4 Building Log

 6/6/08 - I received my chapter 4 orders from ACS. Over the next few days I build a glass cabinet and epoxy stand that placed the hardener and resin pumps at the same elevation with just enough room to get a full pump stroke with a cup placed on the scale.

 I opted for the scale at this point for economy.  I may choose to go with the ratio pump later, but for now I would rather spend my money on materials.


6/10/08 - I finished glassing the front of the seatback and stayed up late enough to get the knife trimming done before heading off to bed.


6/15/08 - I prepped the back for glassing and my son helped me with the floxing, foam slurry and glass wet-out steps.  It does go much faster with another hand.


6/17/08 - Trimmed the seatback and cutout the slots in the center of the panel.  It feels good to have the first part officially done.  The lighter areas shown in the photo below is micro slurry that I put on too thick.  It does not seem to affect the panels strength, but I will ask my tech councilor when he is over for an inspection.

I have not had any luck getting in touch with an EAA tech councilor, but with the meeting coming up on the 19th hopefully I can set something up then. I have sent a few emails to Gary Hunter, but I guess he is a busy man. As a side note I was able to reach him on the 18th and put my name in his hat for a visit in the near future.

6/20/08 - It turns out tha the patterns I printed for F22 & F28 were not to scale and I had already cut out F22 before I figured it out. So I reprinted them at the proper scale and after cutting up F22 (to add and remove material as required) I am back to the proper shape. I also cut out F28 and cut the first layer of glass for the aft faces of both.

6/21/08 - Completed the aft face lay-ups this morning of F22 & F28. Started cutting out the IP Bhd while it was curing. After the panels cured I trimmed the edges slightly and cut most of the glass for the fwd face lay-ups. Also planned my chapter 5 order.

6/22/08 - Completed the fwd face lay-ups of F22 & F28. I am curious how my finished weights compare to the others out there. In the hope that I can find out if I am using too much epoxy and should spend more time stippling to bring the epoxy up through the layers to wet it out rather than adding more.

6/23/08 - Rough trimmed F22 & F28. I will have to pick up the Fein tool, which will make this task alot easier. I dont seem to be around for the knife trim stage. I also weights F28 at 10.3 oz, which seems to be about average from the weights I spotted online.


6/24/08 - Finished shaping the Instrument Panel Bhd (IP Bhd).

6/25/08 - Glassed the rear of the IP Bhd.  Tried the Plastic ‘Peel Ply’ method and was not really impressed, though I may have not done it right.


6/26/08 - Nick Uglioni was over for a visit while buying Cozy IV N199V from a guy at KSGR and took a little time to inspect my work thus far.  He noticed that I had a few dry spots in my lay-ups that I had thought were just not completely filling in the weave of the cloth.  Though he also said that the IP Bhd is being cut full of holes and this will not affect it adversely.


6/27/08 - Connor and I glassed the front of the IP Bhd and it came out much better.  I am also leaving the final trimming on all the bulkheads I have done until I can pick up the Fein tool.  I don’t seem to be able to time the knife trim stage and this way I do not have to worry about it.

6/29/08 - Laid out at attached the stiffeners to the IP Bhd.  Also did the 22 bid layout for the Landing Gear (LG) Bhd hard points.


7/3/08 - Glassed the bottom of the IP Bhd horizontal stiffeners and both sides of the verticals.  Noticed that the LG Bhd hard points were only 0.21” (average, varied +- 0.02”), so I added 3 more bids to them to get them to 0.25”.  5 minute epoxied the hard points to the Fwd LG Bhd.

7/4/08 - Prepared the LG Bhd’s for glassing and cut the cloth for one side.


7/5/08 - Glassed fwd side of LG Bhd’s and then knife trimmed.  Its certainly easier if I can catch the lay-ups in time for knife trimming.  Then while preparing the aft side for the identical lay-ups I noticed that I am almost out of the slow hardener and don’t think I will have enough to complete the LG Bhd’s.  So I went ahead and placed my order for the fuselage sides (chapter 5) and included 2 quarts of the slow instead of 1 of each.  I am stuck until it gets here, but will get the Firewall Bhd cut and ready for glassing as well.  I still need to get the wire channels epoxied onto the IP Bhd stiffeners as well.

7/7/08 - My band saw belt broke and I spent this evening changing it out and cleaning it up.


7/8/08 - Cut out the firewall and used it to trace the temporary firewall shape.

7/10/08 - I finished shaping and cutting out the temporary firewall.  The recommended ¼” ply is very flimsy so I installed a few wood stiffeners with screws to keep it in line during assembly of the fuselage in chapter 6.  Found out that my Chapter 5 order from ACS has been backordered and hopefully it will ship soon as I am running out of things to do waiting for my slow hardener to get here


7/12/08 - Installed the first cable tray to the horizontal IP Bhd stiffener lay-up.


7/13/08 - Installed the second cable tray the horizontal IP Bhd stiffener lay-up.  Floxed the aluminum engine mount supports into the firewall.  Glassed the aft face of the Firewall Bhd and had a pretty bad reaction to the epoxy.  I had experienced small warts on my fingers earlier and was not worried, but this time I had trouble breathing and that scared me.


7/14/08 - Saw my doctor about my reaction and he gave me an inhaler for allergies and suggested staying away from epoxy until I improved and then improve the protection I used.  I noticed that just walking into my shop the day after a lay-up caused me slight difficulty.


7/15/08 - Got lots of responses from my post to the email list on how to protect myself.  I basically am taking a 3-pronged approach.  First I will set up multiple fans to improve the ventilation.  Second I will double glove, with butile as the first layer, and no barrier cream.  Third I will never glass, sand, or trim without wearing a respirator with a good set of filters.  If this does not work than I will try changing the epoxy I am using.


7/16/08 - prepped the Firewall Bhd and machine screws for floxing them in place.  With fans, double gloves and the respirator I did not have a reaction, though I did not sling any epoxy so tomorrow will be my first test.

7/18/08 - Floxed the Firewall Bhd screws in place tonight.  Only spent about 15 minutes with the respirator on and did not notice anything.  The longer lay-ups on the back of the firewall will be a better test of my resistance to an allergic reaction with my improved safety plan in place.


7/22/08 -I was able to glass the fwd face of the Firewall Bhd today.  With double gloves and the respirator I have not had any adverse reaction yet.  I will be returning the new gallon of MGS for Pro-Set epoxy to try to minimize my risk, but am trying to use up the last of my first gallon of MGS with fast hardener.


** I completed the Landing Gear Bulkhead aft side lay-ups as well.  The only notable item here is that I did not micro the foam prior to wetting out the glass so I am not sure if this will be OK or not.  I noticed this before it started to set so I left the lay-up really wet in hopes that it may compensate for my screw up.  I will have to run this by my tech councilor when I see him.

8/2/08 - Over the last week I received my West 105/209 epoxy (on Marc Z’s suggestions) and returned the MGS that I had received.  Work stalled waiting on this and a short vacation that the family took.  I am essentially done with Chapter 4 except for trimming and I am waiting until I can afford the Fein “super tool” as it will make the job easier than the dremmeling that I have been doing.