Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2004 04

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10 Cut off, face up, drill through & drill out to 8mm, 2 off 17.2mm aluminium spacers.
12 Clear layup table. Find some suitable wood and rebate one length for rudder TE clamp/support. Screw to table with deeply countersunk woodscrews (to allow rebating deeper if needed). Fit plain battens at LE and root. Try some sanding with big coarse block and work up a good sweat. Blue of foam starting to grin through in several areas, and down to glass weave in small patches. Will need some more filling, but not as much as previously feared. 670.1
15 Cut last piece of 1" ali bar into 2 and face up & drill through to make last 2 off 17.2mm spacers. Apply more layers of tape over rudder hinge knuckles. Mark outline of filler low spots and wipe clean with acetone. Mix slow epoxy using 3x peg and add a good 8 doses of Expancell. Butter onto rudder TE and LE low spots. The hot ali channel seems to work a bit better this time. Erect tent and leave to cure about 18:00. Still feels a bit softish at bedtime. 672.2
16 Rudder filler cured OK; turn off heat.
17 Take down curing tent. Sand edges of rudder lightly with coarse Perma-Grit block, and then with large sandpaper splines. Good finish now appearing with the finer sandpaper, but still some pock marks. Sand a piece of chipboard as a test piece, leaving some minor imperfections. Mix 10+1 gm Schwabbellack gel-coat and paint onto test piece with mixing stick. 674.2
19 Gel-coat on test piece appears well cured. Screw it down to the table with well-countersunk woodscrews. Rub down with 240 emery dry on ali channel. Finish feels good. Some surface imperfections have filled, but most still visible. Mix 20 + 2 gm gel-coat and brush on. 674.7
20 Gel-coat on test piece has small patches of uncured "acne". Phone Martin Carolan - he says it's some sort of contamination, possibly from the resins in the chipboard. The stuff in the mixing cup looks perfectly fine.
21 Clean uncured patches of gel-coat on test piece using acetone. Unscrew it from table and rub down other side. Mix 1x batch slow epoxy and spread it on chipboard. Lay on a piece of UNI, wet out and apply peel-ply. Leave to cure in front of fan heater for a while and then in resin cupboard overnight.
22 Mix 1x slow epoxy and add 3.5 doses expancell. File off excess UNI overhanging edges of test piece and remove peel-ply. Spread filler with filling knife. Difficult to finish, as trying to spread a bit into the last pinhole results in lifting a much bigger chunk. Should really have heated the ali channel as for the rudder, but manage to get it reasonably satisfactory without. Leave to cure in epoxy cupboard.
26 Re-drill fixing holes through glassed side of test piece and countersink. Screw down to table again and rub down with coarse Perma-Grit, fine Perma-Grit and 240 emery dry. Mix 25g + 1.5g gel-coat and paint on.
27 Start to rub down test piece with 240 emery dry. "Picking up" rather a lot (ie patches of gel sticking to emery) so switch to wet. Wipe off with damp tissue and then with acetone. Seems to be still slightly tacky in places after acetone wipe. Mix 20g + 2g gel-coat and brush on. Observe later that the deeper areas (eg sanding scratches) seem to stay "wet-looking" longer.
28 Get stainless-steel spoon in charity shop for doling out gel-coat.
29 Rub down test piece with 240 grit wet & washing-up liquid. Still some dimples visible, but carry on with 600 & 1200 grit wet just to see how it looks. Gives very nice surface with good feel. Some dimples not perceptible to touch are visible against the light. Remove from table and dry underside. Damp was starting to get into edge and make them swell; thus around the edges the sanding was starting to go through the gel-coat and into the filler. Screw down again, mix 20g + 2g gel-coat and brush on.

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