Chapter 25: Tools, Devices, and Tips


Sanding Boards

Up to this point, I've been generally happy with using a variety of wood boards, aluminum bars, and sandpaper from Lowes to do the sanding work.  A fellow builder recently showed me his 3M Hookit Marine Fairing Boards.  If you've never seen them, they are about 30 inches long and about 4 inches wide.  One board is a rigid board and the other one is made to flex.  But what's really neat is that the very high quality (read: expensive) sanding paper is velcroed onto the boards!    He let me borrow the boards.  WOW, what a difference!   So I went out and bought  my own boards and sand paper.  The boards were not that expensive (about $30 a piece).  But holy cow, hang on to your hat when you buy the sand paper (about $2.50 per sheet).  For me, it was worth the investment after seeing how much better the wings turned out when using these boards.  The picture on the left shows the sanding boards and the 36-, 80-, and 120-grit sheets.  The one on the right is obviously me contouring the wing with the rigid board.

 

 

Canard Sanding Block

I made this canard sanding block to get a very precise finishing profile on the canard.  Walk down the EZ flight line and you'll feel flat spots and ridges on the tops of some canards.  The block was easily made by exactly tracing out the canard profile templates and exactly cutting out the pieces that form the 3.75-inch-wide block.  What you do is place a strip of 4-inch sandpaper inside the block, then sand along the canard.  What could be simpler?  It works!  In retrospect, the block would have been easier to hot-wire out from a block of blue foam, then glass over it.

 

 

Clamshells

I'm not sure if there are official names for these things, but if you're going to finish this airplane, then you must have them!  Fortunately for me, I have a hangar mate, Steve Volovsek, who made these to flip his Long EZ upside down, and right-side up, and upside down, and right side up.  The clamshells were made from 3/4th-inch plywood.  They are braced vertically with 4-inch aluminum angle with holes drilled in them to accept the outboard wing bolts.  A brace, bolted in place to the inboard wing bolt, holds everything steady.  Notice the small wheels on each of the clamshells.  We can actually roll the plane around!  Believe it or not, the clamshells are strong enough to flip the plane with the engine attached!

These pictures were taken in January.  Notice the icicles hanging from the roof.  But I feel rather fortunately there isn't 4 feet of snow.

 

Jigs for Inverted Flight

I made this fixture to mount to the firewall in order to roll the plane around with it inverted.  It attaches to the four engine mount holes in the firewall.  I don't totally trust the fixture so I made two jackstands from 3/4 inch plywood.


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