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Covering the Rudder Continued



8 August 2012: The rudder tip is faired and varnished.






9 August 2012: I begin covering.








Not much to show for 3 hours of work. I may be making this more complicated than necessary. After pre-coating the leading edge with Poly-Brush I wrapped the fabric around it and put a one-inch glue line at the rear edge of both sides. This left the middle unattached which was necessary because there were wrinkles. Heat shrinking took care of the wrinkles. I then coated the leading edge with Poly-Brush.

I've been waking at 2 am for many mornings thinking about how I would do the bottom of the rudder. The photos show what I came up with. The next couple of days will prove me right or wrong.




  10 August2012: No problem! I have one side covered.








I ended my day attaching the other side to the leading edge.








12 August 2012: I've been told that I need more pictures of me in my kit log. In spite of the fact that I hate looking at photos of myself. Here I am with my freshly covered rudder.








Of course I have to mess up the looks with the pink stuff. All the hyperventilating about how to do the bottom was completely unnecessary. It was a piece of cake.







13 August 2012: Chord-wise finishing tapes. I only had time to do one side.







16 August 2012: I knew I could do it! I applied a single piece of bias tape from the bottom, along the trailing edge, to the top.







The tape at the top. If I attach a uniform width the bottom edge will not be parallel with the other chord-wise tapes. I attached a 6" tape with a narrow glue line at the center of the top, folded, and trimmed.





Done! All that's left is a little trimming and heat smoothing.









Preparing the Fuselage for Covering



 19 August 2012: More Super-Fil! I closed some gaps around the tube that accommodates fixtures that support the wings when they are folded. A close look reveals slag that needs to be reamed away.





Covering the Fuselage



25 August 2012: For the past few days I was only able to do sporadic work on the kit. But I did get the belly ready for covering.





I first glued the fabric along a narrow line on the top. This was after trimming to about a two inch margin. If you look at the far side you can see that used masking tape to prevent gluing more than I wanted.




I trimmed further to a margin of 3/4" and made relief cuts around the welds. I have very little left to do before heat shrinking.





26 August 2012: Heat shrinking! Always magical.








Shrunk to 250. I'll wait to do the final shrinking when all the fabric is in place. I didn't cut the slots for the tabs and the header tank quick drain until the shrinking was complete. Also I had pre coated the flange with glue and, once the fabric was in place, I activated the glue by soaking a little solvent through the fabric.




A quick call the my brother and I had the labor to turn the fuselage on its side.







1 September 2012: I'm not going to cover the vertical stabilizer while it's on its side. But this position affords me an opportunity to do a bit of fairing. Once again I used masking tape to dam the Super-Fil. As usual I sand away far more filler than I leave in place.

I spent the rest of my time preparing the gluing surfaces on the right side of the fuselage for the fabric.




2 September 2012: I've masked the edges so the glue will only take hold along the top.





The fabric tacked in place along the top.





Yes, I know! I've covered the window with fabric. I want the fabric texture to continue around the window. I'll cut the center out later.

 I've trimmed the edges before completing the gluing.




 3 September 2012: Gluing complete! This is the point where I worry whether the iron will make everything taught and smooth.





No worry! The iron, once again, does its magic.





A detail! A case of laying awake in the middle of the night thinking about particular task. I thought of a lot of ways to attach the fabric to the tail of the fuselage, none of which I used. Sometimes It's best to wait until the task is at hand and then figure it out.




 6 September 2012: Once again I offer my brother a beer. If only he helps me turn over the fuselage.





7 September 2012: I tack fabric to the left side.





 8 September 2012: The left side is complete! (I'll have to give my brother a call.)








Installing the Static Ports



9 September 2012: We're upright!





I using the pitot-static hardware from Avery Tools. I flush riveted the static ports to aluminum plates that act as gluing surfaces. If you look closely you can see the hole on the side of the fuselage where the static port will emerge.





The static ports glued in place with Poly-Tac. I'll let the glue cure for a day before installing the tubing.





 14 September 2012: I know it's asymmetrical! It's what the tubing wanted to do.








Covering the Fuselage Continued



15 September 2012: Laying the fabric, tacking it in place, and completing the glue joints. I have to admit that I had doubts about whether the heat shrinking will work.





It worked! It took about an hour fiddling with both irons.






20 September 2012: The last item to be covered. The vertical stabilizer.








With all the clutter my old camera sometimes can't figure what to focus on. Tomorrow I close the tail.








 21 September 2012: Everything is covered! On to coating with Poly-Brush and applying finish tapes.







 22 September 2012: Once again belly up. Also a coat of Poly-Brush.





 23 September 2012: Brain Teaser! I spent quite a lot of time working out how the finish tapes should be laid and in what order. When I had something of a plan I drew the layout and pre-coated with Poly-Brush.





 27 September 2012: Finishing tapes! More needs to be done.





 30 September 2012: The last couple of days have been busy. Linda and I flew the Cessna to Lantana on family business. In the time I had left I finished taping the belly, turned the fuselage on its side, coated the right side with Poly-Brush, and began applying finishing tapes. You can see folds on the tape at the forward part of the opening. These will easily smooth out with the iron.




 4 October 2012: Only had a couple hours today. Enough time to apply one tape and heat smooth it.





6 October 2012: Working the tape around the door frame. A photo story.





 11 October 2012: I begin taping the other side.





12-14 October 2012: Taping the left side is complete. The fuselage is, once again, upright with very little left to complete the covering.

It's still hot in Florida. I'm going to wait until the weather breaks before painting. Meanwhile, I'll begin work on the instrument panel.




 18-19 October 2012: What's this about? To provide access to the rudder pedal bolts I had drilled holes in the firewall overlap. (Explained Here!) Over time I've been thinking about dirt, dust, grease, and mud finding its way through these holes and into the space under the floorboards. As a way of preventing that I covered the overlap with fabric. If I ever need to access the bolts I'll cut out the fabric over the holes. It's much like installing an inspection ring but not cutting away the fabric and installing the plate until you actually need to.




The covering is done, the shop has been cleaned, and I'm ready to tackle the instrument panel.





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