Chapter 21: Making the Cap Strips

I decided to follow others by glassing cap strips onto the tops of the ribs and bulkheads.  Although there are no known fallacies with the plans method (stacking flox alone), builders feel the cap strips increase the surface contact area for adhering the top strake skins to the ribs, and also reduce the chances for leaks.   

Please note that this process is NOT in the plans, and it does add several cure cycles and several days to the strake construction process. Although I have presented this process on its own web page, you must have completed the top jigs to hold the top into shape while the cap strips are installed.  Reference the next web page for that.

First Day:


Second Day:  

Third Day


Fourth Day

Fuselage Cap Strips

I'm not sure if I missed something in the plans, but I was very uncomfortable with simply floxing the top skin to the fuselage in the rear, inboard fuel bay.  So I created a cap strip with a 90-degree bend in it by glassing a 3-BID tape over a foam form.  I removed the form after cure.  This cap strip serves the same purpose -- to provide support for the skin, and more importantly, to create surface area to prevent leak points.  The cap strip helps to perfectly seal the join between the strake skin and fuselage by preventing the flox from running down into the fuel bay and away from the join during cure.