Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2000 12

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Photos of glass and resin cupboards

day notes hours
2 Mitre plastic curtain track to length for upper support of resin cupboard heater cover and fit. Cut cover to size (with mitred corners and finger holes for lifting out) from ply sheet that was HP packing case. Remainder will just about make doors, if a little extra width can be provided by lipping. Find a couple of pieces of mahogany, clean them off with the hot-air gun and scraper, and smooth them with the power plane.
5 Make resin cupboard doors using 5mm ply from HP packing case & 6mm ply recovered from guest bathroom, with more 22mmx44mm framing and the mahogany rebated to form the closing edges of the doors. Chamfer mahogany at front of meeting edge.
7 Fit resin cupboard door handles, hang doors (including making router hinge jig for 4" hinges and planing up a batten to mount Record clamp heads on). Plane doors to fit along meeting edges. Fit catches. Fit foam sealing tape around front edges of cupboard where door meets. Power up heater and with the thermostat set to 20C it gets up to that quite quickly in the pump compartment; the "external" sensor in the upper storage side shows about 16C. Wind it up to 25C and the results are 25C & 20C, which is quite acceptable, I think.
16 Now that the resin cupboard temperature seems to have stabilised in all 3 compartments, move the resin & Redux into it from the airing cupboard. Start to check over & clean up the resin pump. To get at the hardener container outlet valve for de-rusting, remove it with a 1/2" AF box spanner (I'll need a 5/8" AF for the resin side). Remove operating lever to release both pistons. This avoids having to dismantle anything that will disturb the calibration, as Duncan claimed it was set OK before it left him (naturally I will be checking it anyway). Find O-rings (white PTFE) are located in notches in the pump bores, not on the pistons as I had expected. Wonder how to get them out without damage to ring or bore, and what to clean them with. Instructions say any solvent may damage rings, and that as well as resin/hardener, they may be lubricated with silicon or automotive grease. Both of those latter sound like bad things to have in contact with the resin! Pistons have some gungy residues on the skirts and a little rust on crowns. Will try acetone on them after de-rusting crowns. External areas of the hardener valve clean up OK on the wire-brush wheel, although I can't get at the stem. No loose flakes there anyway, just slight discolouration. As it doesn't seem to be a brilliant mating surface, wonder if I should lap the valve on its seat with some grinding paste — that might require releasing the staked-on nut for thorough cleaning afterwards, but would mean I'd get a chance to clean up the stem also. As with the acetone leak past the O-rings, it may not be an issue with the relatively high viscosity of the resin components.
18 Order 5/8" AF box spanner at Buck & Hickman. Notice they have jerricans on display, but they are £40 each. Take salesman's advice & go to MASH at Innsworth where I get a 20 litre ex-WD one marked "Diesel" for £5 — with what smells like some diesel still in it! Check again contents of Graham Singleton's tailwheel control mod kit and find there are some discrepancies with the parts called out. Will e-mail him to ask for clarification. Looking more closely at the CS29 supplied from Europa I see that it seems to have been incompletely welded - will have to ask Anna about that, and about getting instructions for the original installation using CS29 as Graham's instructions assume you are starting to modify an already built aircraft, and do not indicate how to install CS29 or how to attach the pushrod ends, etc.
20 Collect box spanner from Buck & Hickman, but find it won't pass over the non-return valve in the bottom of the resin container to reach the securing nut. Would probably have been OK if I'd chosen a 5/8"x3/4", as that would have had a larger tube than the 5/8"x9/16". Look at deep sockets in Halfords. They only have deep inch AF in sets, at over £25. I know Machine Mart have them much cheaper, but it's further to go. Wonder if a metric one would be near enough. It would need to be 15.875mm — but the standard sizes are 15mm & 17mm. Then I notice that the deep sockets for "10mm spark plugs" appear almost exactly the size I need. Take one and it's perfect — don't even have to remove the rubber insert. Remove resin container & clean up valve. Clean up pistons; the resin one is somewhat scarred by rust marks but may be usable. Re-assemble pumps, with a trace of silicon sealer on the outlet taper threads, and 3-in-1 oil on handle joints. Notice when showing resin cupboard to Wilma that there is some damp, & black mould, inside the top RH corner of the RH door, and on facing parts of cupboard. Not sure of cause (has a rodent urinated on it?) but apply some woodworm treatment which normally kills everything.
21 Resin cupboard still showing some signs of dampness at top RH corner. I don't remember anything like this before I put the resin in there. Maybe it's condensation because of poor seal. Note slight dampness around left door hinges also. Probably need to sink hinges a little deeper so that foam tape gets properly compressed.
23 Engaging brain better and examining the evidence more carefully, it appears that the inside of the resin cupboard just hasn't dried out yet. The hygrometer shows about 80% when first put in there today. I hadn't bothered to check the humidity, thinking that temperature was the important thing. But of course it would not be good for the opened containers, and especially the vented pump reservoirs, to have it too humid in there. I'm guessing that in fact the foam tape was sealing all too well rather than not well enough, with the result that the internal moisture could not escape as readily as from the glass cupboard. The double-skin construction would have made it much slower to evaporate out through the sides, too. So, remove the tape along the top and sides of the cupboard front, to provide an escape route for damp air. When it goes back, it will be routed inboard of the hinges so that they are all on the cold side — originally it was bridging the hinges, but the greater mass of the knuckles out in the cold meant that the whole hinge was staying quite cold and thus the part of it inside the foam became a focus for condensation. Humidity drops to about 60% later in the day. The glass-cloth cupboard door is cupping so that there is a gap at top centre between it and the cupboard. Re-site one of the handles there and remove the other one. Plug the redundant fixing holes with dowels. Add a strip of foam tape along the top mating face of the cupboard to prevent dust etc falling into the cupboard.
27 Resin cupboard humidity down to 42%. Shorten glass cupboard broomshafts to give minimum protrusion beyond end of cupboard. Make a thermal barrier for the front end of the garage by pinning up to a joist a floor-to-ceiling sheet of polyethylene, several sheets of bubble wrap with small overlaps at the joins, and another sheet of polyethylene outside to keep it in place. Add foam tape down sides of glass-cloth cupboard front. Put rolls of glass-cloth on broomshafts and unwrap. Fill hardener reservoir & prime pump. Quite a few small bits of brown grot coming out on hardener side. Fish out most of it before returning hardener to reservoir. Fill resin reservoir and prime that pump. It comes out clean. Check ratio with electronic scales. Cumulative weighings over 8 strokes give a mean ratio of 3.84, with individual ratios within the range +0.42% to -0.64% of the mean. This was done out on the bench, at 21C and 44%RH. Need to check it again after the pump and contents have settled at the 25C temperature of the resin cupboard.
29 Do another resin pump calibration check, and mix the resin & hardener this time to see if it will cure even with slightly incorrect portioning. Pour it out onto a polyethylene ice-cream box lid. Seems to stay liquid/tacky for quite a long time, even though it is inside the resin cupboard, but eventually goes off well, with nice hard top surface. The outdoor temperatures are going well below freezing overnight, and the heater is struggling to keep the storage side above the 15C minimum.
30 Replace foam tape at top & sides of resin cupboard, which should reduce heat loss problems overnight. Do 4 more calibration runs.

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