Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2001 08

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3 Phone Marineware to see what's happened to the peel-ply tape order; they say they'll check & get back to me.
7 Phone Marineware again, after having checked for no charge against credit card. They say they can only do 75mm at present, but they'll charge for 50mm & send it off pronto.
8 Remove 150mm fan from garage north end wall and knock out hole for 20" RS fan from Carl Pattinson. Fit and test; it doesn't seem to vibrate excessively despite what Carl had claimed.
9 100m roll of 75mm peel-ply arrives from Marineware.
10 Fit outside louvre cover on 20" RS fan. Trim polyethylene curtains at bottom and sides to allow more air through & prevent them billowing quite so much.
11 Bring a few more card tubes down from loft for rolling glass onto. Tidy and clean up layup bench. Split about 2m of 70mm peel-ply tape down the middle to get enough 35mm tape for the TE joggle and use part of the other half for the closeout ribs. Cut off over 2m of peel-ply sheet and split into 2 widths each of which will just cover one face of the flap. Try a dry run with the UNI on the starboard flap underside. Starting from the root end, one of the lines on the cloth needs to be just aft of the LE corner. Decide to lay the cloth (untrimmed) on the micro slurry and wet through after cutting off parts for other layups. The humidity with the big fan going is hovering around 70%, so turn on one fan heater. That brings the temperature up from 20C to about 22C and the humidity down to around 65%. At about 15:00, unstick the hardener valve & mix 3 strokes resin with 3 doses of flox and one of Cabosil. This fills the flox corners at the flap rib with very little to spare. Mix up 8 strokes of resin with 4 doses of micro and paint on. Barely covers at first, but when squeegee'd there is plenty spare. Perhaps the slightly lower working temperature than some of the previous days is making the resin a bit stiffer. Lay on first part-layer and trim off the big triangle for the second layer (which goes back on the card roll) and the small triangle for the tip end of this layer. Not too much difficulty getting things reasonably well aligned, including the joint at the edges which I was a bit worried about getting right. Mix 8 strokes of resin and brush it in. Need another batch to cover full area, can't remember how many strokes. Some stippling needed to get rid of bubbles, particularly on the TE joggle and the flox corners at the rib. Squeegee out, perhaps more than needed considering that there is another layer to go on. Spend a long time checking correct orientation of second layer. My directions of layup do not match those in the diagram, so I am having to mentally transpose everything. Why didn't I do the first layer the same way as the manual? Need to re-roll the cloth onto another card roll so that the straight edge, not the point of the triangle, comes off the roll first. Some care needed to avoid the odd resin splash on the table while doing this. At last get the second layer positioned, and the edges work out very nicely with minimal trimming needed. Mix up 9 strokes of resin and brush it in. Need another small batch again. Squeegee and put on the peel-ply. Erect tent and leave to cure about 19:00, feeling rather tired! At about 23:30, turn off heater. Temp is up to about 35C and humidity down to below 40%. 79.8
13 Take off curing tent. All seems well, but some edges appear to have sagged more than preferred. Is this the result of the slightly higher curing temperature? Peeling back the peel-ply at the ends reveals a few small light speckles; will need to check with Martin if they are OK. Take off the jig block and remove epoxy dabs. Chisel the splashes off the bench - the wax makes it easy, mostly. Trim off the layup edges with the small diamond wheel in the angle grinder (very easy to follow correct line when lit from below) and file down flush to the foam. Check the alignment of the lower jig blocks - they will also need to be shimmed to get correct washout as the basic angular difference end-to-end is less than a degree. Saw off the TE support block. Peel out the TE peel-ply, and the bits on the end ribs covering the TE (must remember not to do that next time). Sand down the foam to correct TE profile. There were some leaks of resin near the TE; need to think about how to limit that on the port one. Peel back the LE peel-ply and file down the edge of the layup to blend it with the profile. Cut out the centre rib flox corner chamfers. 84.1
14 Clean up the layup bench and re-wax. Move the port flap and its jig blocks to the foam storage area so it's less likely to get kicked and damaged. Spend some time looking for a good piece of aluminium angle/extrusion to use as a straight-edge. Mark the position of the lower support jigs for the starboard flap, epoxy them down with the TE straight and shim the leading edge to get 1.4deg washout and the LE straight. Epoxy the flap in position and weigh down. Put the weights on scrap foam strips, not direct on the flap, as I'd earlier noticed that the lead was getting too hot to touch when left in the sun. Cut UNI to length, rolling onto card tube as I measure, which keeps it much tidier. Mark main fibres at 340mm from edge as before. Without thinking, split another length of peel-ply tape before I remember that I'm NOT putting peel-ply on the TE this time, I'm making a bond! Anna replies to my e-mail query about stage 2/3 collection saying it's already being made and they are expecting me to pick it up in September! 87.0
17 To make the trailer interior more accessible for working on, move some of the wood out and stack it under polyethylene cover by house wall. Store wing dollies and tailplane holders etc in garden sheds. Chuck oak blocks from parquet floor in bin - cleaning the tar off them is just too big a job to make them worth keeping.
18 Remove weights from flap. Again sand down area where TE support block was, as there still seems to be a slight hump at the tip end. Roughen TE for bonding, and file/chisel out some crumbly bits of flox/foam where there were gaps between rib and foam at joint. Attach peel-ply tape to closeout ribs with double-sided tape. This time, trim double-sided tape so it doesn't overlap edge of rib. Mark lines at 30deg to LE. Spend some time putting screws in wall to hang thermo/hygrometers on until needed for curing tent. Ambient conditions about 20C & 60%, so run the fan heater which brings it up to about 25C and 56%, even with the big extract fan running. Dispense 4 strokes resin and after mixing decant about a quarter of it off. Add about 2 and a half doses of Q-cell to make almost dry micro and patch the dings and scratches. To remainder of resin, add 3 doses of flox and 1 of Cabosil and make flox corners at rib. Mix 8 strokes of resin and 4 doses of Q-cell for micro slurry. Paint on and squeegee off. Roll on UNI for 1st layer. Seems to go quite well, but after cutting off piece for 2nd layer and triangle for corner of 1st layer notice that although the main fibres are pretty straight, the cross-weave is not, and this twist has resulted in the offcut to complete the 1st layup being only just long enough to reach the LE at the corner where it abuts the main piece. Decide to add triangular patch of UNI about 200mm on long edge to give full LE wraparound in this area. Wet out with 3 batches of resin; 8 strokes for each half plus 3 for the LE. Squeegee lightly. Re-roll rest of UNI onto another tube to get the straight-cut end outwards and roll on. Took less thinking about how to orientate it this time. However, cross-weave was off at quite an angle and so took a lot of positioning and re-positioning to get it anywhere near right. Also the cross-weave was not taut in many places so there were longitudinal ridges which had to be flattened by lifting and pulling cross-wise. In future might try unrolling the point of the triangle first, as I know where it's supposed to go now and that might allow better control of the cross-weave. Even better would probably be to have an assistant so the whole thing could be kept straighter and tauter as lowered on. Resin starting to stiffen by now, so accept it as is and wet out with another couple of batches of resin; 8 and 6 strokes, I think. Put on the peel-ply and erect the curing tent about 19:30. At about 23:30, check conditions in the tent (30C & 40%) and turn off the fan heater. 93.0
21 Take down curing tent. Break flap off jig blocks. Peel peel-ply around edges, and there seem to be quite a few of the short whitish streaks I'd noticed on the other side. The peel-ply has not been pressed on firmly enough under the LE so there is a lot of lumpy resin there. In future, it would be better if there was more room under the LE for both wetting out and applying the peel-ply. Take it to Martin Carolan & he says it's OK; the whitish marks are where the resin has not penetrated and wetted-out absolutely every fibre, and this is to be expected with this cloth. Other slight lumps where cloth was not flattened perfectly because the resin was going off will be covered by the filler. Other resin lumps can be filed/sanded down. Some patches where peel-ply has not wetted will need extra work to make ready for filler. Trim raw edges with angle-grinder & 100mm diamond wheel, and file & sand down flush to foam. Round TE corners slightly. Put starboard flap into storage area and bring port flap and its jig blocks to layup table. Find a piece of plywood that looks a good size for the jigs required to locate the flap metalwork. Scrape resin & hot-melt blobs off table, re-wax and polish off. 94.8
22 Put the last 2 boxes of oak blocks from the trailer in the bin. Machine Mart still don't have the underseal gun in stock and don't know when they will get it, but Bell Tools say they have one in stock. It's slightly more expensive, but it's available!
23 Buy underseal gun at Bell Tools and air-hydraulic pop riveter with mini-oiler at Machine Mart. Assemble connectors and test. Need to get some decent jubilee clips as hose connections seem a bit slack. Phone Roger Huttlestone and get info about fitting door to trailer.
25 Do dry assembly to test positions of hinge parts for trailer door. Looks fine with door inner surface aligned with floor, rather than with angle part as Roger advised. Spend some time looking for a decent bit of hardwood to fill the gap between door and floor. Drill hinge angle and floor rear angle for M6 fixing bolts. On checking position of door flange on hinge flange, I find that it will have to go where Roger advised, as there isn't enough depth on the door flange to do otherwise. Change the bolt holes anyway, making a total of 10 instead of the 8 as original. Mark out and drill door for ventilators (large holes only part-way through). Position and fit door bolts. Set up on blocks and fit to trailer. After thinking again, change M6 bolts to M8 on the angle parts; there are fewer of them than on the door flange, and the guide holes were drilled M8 already. Get Wilma to run pen around inside of door for seal position, and mark for bolt holes. Drill roof for bolt holes and find they fit well.
27 Mark out and drill for trailer front ventilator. Forget I only meant to have 3 rows, so will have to fill the pilot holes on the bottom row with silicon. Finish off vent holes in door from other side. 25mm Forstner bit getting very worn-looking after 44 holes. Cut pieces of stainless steel sheet off one of the parts salvaged from Millenium Restaurant skip. Fold to fit over skin at door bolt hole position, and drill for bolts and rivet fixings. Get Wil to help close me inside the trailer to re-check the door closed position, and draw new line with red pen, which turns out not quite parallel to the previous black line. Work out where seal support has to be for proper seal compression. Clean up areas where ventilators will go and apply silicon to flanges. Rivet in place, having some difficulty with rivet gun. Rivet door-bolt reinforcing sheet to roof. After taking riveter apart and adjusting, discover that the rivets Roger supplied, although fitting in a 4.8mm hole, have a stem which fits correctly in the riveter nose for 4mm rivets! Clamp up and start to rivet door-seal support strip in place. Get starboard side and most of roof section done before it gets too late to continue (light and compressor noise).
28 Cut trailer door-seal mounting strip to length and finish riveting it on. Apply more silicon to join line. Drill cross holes in ends of door bolts for padlocks. Try door seal in position and cut to length. Apply silicon to door seal slot and fit, closing door to apply pressure. Needs quite a push to get it closed now. Start to look at rules for where lights need to go, and wonder if I need to have side repeater lights, as they seem to be required on any trailer over a certain length. Maybe the repeater lights on the mudguards fill that role, although they also seem to not quite comply with the rules for positioning. Cut piece of chamfered mahogany to length for threshold and skim 3mm off thickness with power plane to match ply floor level. (Done on layup table with bench stop temporarily clamped in place. Unfortunately not fully awake when attaching dust bag to power planer and on first pass realise too late that the chips are being ejected to the side without the bag; ie all over the table & the port flap which is sitting there awaiting attention! Will need quite a bit of cleaning-up.) Rivet threshold strip in place. Take fuselage dolly to Kemble with Tim and put G-BZTH on it without too much difficulty. Will need to ask Roger Huttlestone again about the restraining hardware. On each side of the dolly there is a turnbuckle with a hook that doesn't seem to fit onto or reach anything sensible. There is also a pair of loose steel strips with pins that seem to match the rear wing pin sockets, complete with pip pin holes, but when inserted there, the other ends of the strips don't line up with any part of the dolly.
31 Phone Roger Huttlestone about trailer lights requirements and how to restrain fuselage to dolly. The long steel straps are indeed supposed to fit the rear pin sockets, and be bolted to the sides of the dolly. However, some inspectors did not like this method, so the turnbuckles with hooks are the alternative. They hook onto stainless fishplates mounted under the nuts on the seat-belt bolts. After much head-scratching about positioning, rivet number-plate, rear light clusters, and rear reflectors to trailer door.

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