Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2004 09

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August and September 2004 seem to have been rather barren months for Europa building work. I'm still concerned about getting my flight medical re-instated, and when motivation is thus depressed, it's easy to find excuses not to work on the aeroplane.

There certainly seem to have been plenty of excuses; a trip to Ipswich for the Memorial Meeting of an old Friend, at the same time picking up some support work needed on the FileMaker Pro room lettings database I left behind there; taking & writing minutes for the PFA* AGM & NC; hospital, optician and osteopath appointments; acting as Supporting Friend to an applicant for membership at the Quaker Meeting; chasing service work on the car, video recorder, cameras and other appliances; meetings with the structural engineer about the house subsidence and the needed tree work; a talk at the PFA* Bristol Strut supporting David Joyce and Nigel Charles; and lecturing at an Air Scout camp near Pershore.
[* The Popular Flying Association (PFA) became the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) on 2008-01-01.]

At the same time much Europa Club work has been needed - the financial collapse of the factory has prompted more people to see the merit in becoming Club members, so I've had more applications than usual to process; I've also sent out, and dealt with responses to, the usual annual mailshot to late renewers; and have got all the forms filled for a new Club bank account.

The problem of getting the more sharply-curved parts of the rudder sanded smooth without cutting through the gel-coat has also been frightening me off a bit; it seemed for a while that every time I painted and sanded, the thin patches came up nearly as bad as the last time. However, having at last screwed up the courage to try spraying rather than brushing, that seems to be the answer.

day notes hours
30 Clear up north end of trestle table to make room for spraying near the big extractor fan. Fit PCL male bayonet to Zip gun, and change plastic pickup tube to a longer one with a fishmouth cut in the bottom end. Rub down a few areas on the rudder root that still look uneven. Wipe down with acetone. Put on trestle table, supported on upturned old mixing cups for good access. Put on gloves and charcoal mask, and turn on fans at both ends of garage. Mix 10g + 1g gel-coat in a Zip gun paper cup; it barely covers the bottom! With compressor output regulator set to 40psi (2.8 bar), spray onto the rubbed-down patches with a good overlap. Covers quite evenly, and not hard to control. Clean gun easily with paint tube dipped in acetone. Bare patches still grin through, but use floodlight on floor to help see where to spray 2nd coat, with another 10g + 1g mix, about half an hour later. 3rd coat similar, about 3 hours later. Can now see new coverage OK as the texture changes where the spray lands. The edges of the sprayed area seem to feather out OK, with no hard-looking edges visible. 721.4

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