Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2008 06

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6 Trim lower fuselage moulding port side to marked line and lay it flat on the floor again. Remove cockpit module (serial XS288) and start to mark it up for areas to be cut away. Confusing marks on port side of central tunnel, which PDF manual says are for rudder cable pulley access. Send e-mail to Roger & Neville for clarification. 1012.7
7 Mark up rest of cockpit module cutouts. Order some grit-edged holesaws (for doing corners of cutouts) from Buck & Hickman online. 1012.9
10 Mark up cockpit module edge trim lines. Phone Roger at factory to query some of them, in particular the flange at the top of the tunnel where it meets the firewall. The instructions say follow the edge of the joggle, but along the top that would make the flange much wider. Roger says he thinks the top and side flanges are the same size. Post a query on e-mail list for further reassurance. 1013.3
11 Collect holesaw order (25mm, 38mm, 54mm) at local Buck & Hickman trade counter after finding that website order had disappeared into a black hole. Ian Rickard replies to the flange query saying all flanges should be equal width. Make small ply templates 13, 19 & 27mm wide for marking the hole centres for the corners of the cutouts. Mark all hole centres and mark hole size adjacent as a reminder. Notice that the seat pan holes are not symmetrical port & starboard. Drill pilot holes with masonry drill and drill out all corner holes with appropriate size grit-edged holesaws. 1016.3
14 Cut out all cockpit module holes, mostly with Perma-Grit rod used freehand in Dremel tool. The foam reinforced areas (thigh and headrest lockers) are more resistant to that (perhaps because the foam is melting slightly?) and it's about as easy to do them with a hacksaw blade in the pad handle. Trim outside edges of cockpit module with the diamond wheel in the angle grinder. Start to file down edges to marked lines. Quite awkward and tiring. The cockpit module is much floppier and needs care in moving around as well as support while filing. After lunch take the cockpit module out to the lawn and and continue filing edges. Much easier there with sunshine showing up fine lines better and more room to move around. 1021.2
17 Take cockpit module out to lawn again and finish filing edges. Clean them all up with emery cloth for safe handling. 1022.8
18 Get out 3mm ply sheet and cutting plan. Start to mark ply for thigh support ribs after checking actual dimensions of cockpit module. Cut 1st rectangle 220mm x 330mm (rather than 230mm x 350mm called out). Cut diagonally and trim to fit starboard inboard position. Put cockpit module into fuselage bottom moulding to check how well rib fits against fuselage bottom and as a result trim outer edge a little more. Get parts box 2 out of trailer and find CS04 to check where its mounting holes and the fixings will be. Mark locations approximately on bottom side of cockpit module. The ribs will need to be pretty close to the edges of the locker holes to clear the AN970-3 washers, which won't leave much of a flange to carry the BID over onto (and the manual illustration confirms that). Trim 2nd triangle of ply to fit at starboard mid position. 1025.7
21 Cut a 2nd rectangle of 3mm ply 220mm x 330mm. Cut diagonally to make starboard outer and port inner thigh ribs and trim to size. Cut 3rd rectangle 210mm x 300mm, cut diagonally for port mid and outboard ribs and trim to size. Check actual size of headrest recesses, mark and cut 2 off 3mm ply rectangles 350mm x 220mm and trim them to fit. 1028.3
23 Intended to print out a copy of the tunnel bulkhead shape from the PDF manual but it appears to be missing from that. Check proportions on cutting plan to confirm grain direction. Buy carbon paper (with difficulty - 3rd shop had some). Scan template from printed manual page 11-7 issue 1. Have to do it in 2 sections. Save each as TIFF. Join together using DoubleTake but on saving that changes the resolution to 72 PPI so restore the original 400 PPI of the scan using GraphicConverter. Print on A3 at full size and check that it matches the original by holding up to the light together. Fold along line of bottom edge and align that with edge of 3mm ply sheet. Slide along to minimise waste. Insert carbon paper and trace outline onto ply. Drill inside corners 14mm and 26mm and cut out (using a variety of saws to reach the various shapes). Try out on cockpit module and trim to fit. Consider after reading next steps in manual that I should have left the flap pushrod cutaway intact until after the BID flange was constructed. Will have to put a temporary piece in there to support the BID during cure. Post message to Matronics list about lack of instructions for treating weather side of bulkhead. Get brake master cylinder, pipe and lever out of boxes 3, 4 & 8. Find a piece of mahogany for a handle - needs to be 25-30mm diameter and up to 100mm long. Cut off a suitable length. 1029.4
25 Square up and split the piece of mahogany on the bandsaw. Drill another fixing hole in the lever 60mm in from original. Put cockpit module into fuselage lower moulding temporarily to make space for WorkMate. Put router table on WorkMate and set up to rout out pockets on each half of handle. No 19mm diameter cutter so use 16mm and set fence to give correct pocket width when cut from both sides. Adjust depth of cut on some scrap pieces until satisfied with fit of lever. Now discover a small split along the centreline of the mahogany I had selected, so cut off, square up and split another piece. Rout out pockets and make some final tweaks to depth of cut to get lever just sliding into assembled halves. Drill 6mm through one half of wood using holes in lever as drill bushes. Hold both halves of wood together and drill through both holes 6mm. Choose some M6 x 20mm pan head screws from stock to retain handle. Work out depth of counterbore required and bore the outer side of both handle halves to 11mm, leaving 5mm thickness at 6mm diameter. Apply Evo-Stik Resin W wood adhesive to edges, assemble with screws onto handle, then clamp in vise for good pressure all over joint. 1032.3
26 Take the handle out of the vise and remove (with some difficulty) the lever from the handle. Clean off some adhesive that has stuck to the lever and it goes back in more easily. Swap supplied brake lever for the long one, but first have to make holes circular - there were tiny nibs left from the water-jet cutting. Trim off corners of handle at 45 degrees with the bandsaw. Fit short lever to handle. Mark centre on end of handle and centre-drill it. Fit 4-jaw chuck on lathe and set up handle to run true with short lever gripped in chuck and end supported on tailstock centre. Find a knife-style HSS toolbit with lots of top rake and use it to turn down the diameter to about 27mm. Round the end freehand as close to the centre as possible. Rub down with 800 and 1500 grit wet-and-dry while still in the lathe. Remove from lathe, smooth up top end around centre hole, and coat with danish oil. 1035.1
27 Get box 5 out of trailer and check if I have enough small drawers to individually store all the types of fasteners it contains. Move clecos and some other stuff out of drawers to allow almost all the AN and MS etc fasteners to go in the drawers. Print fresh labels for all the drawers and re-label them, including the remaining unused fasteners from tail & wing kit in sequence as I go. Only the various metric fasteners had to be left out of the drawers, so put them all in one ziplock bag for easy finding. That reduces the amount of stuff in box 5 considerably, leaving reasonably large pieces that are easy to sort out when needed. Re-subscribe to Matronics list using Google Mail address as the list is bouncing my ClaraNET address again.
28 Post again to Matronics list the query about weatherproofing the tunnel bulkhead, and another about the angle of mounting for the brake master cylinder.
30 The e-mail list feedback indicates that the brake master cylinder must be mounted close to the tunnel top, which will leave the filler hole at the low end. Might be helpful to have an extension on the filler hole. Measure the brake master cylinder filler plug and confirm the thread size by tapping a M10 x 1 thread in an aluminium offcut and checking that the plug fits it. Find a piece of aluminium tube 10mm OD which can be threaded and used as a filler extension. Order a M10 x 1 die from Tracy Tools. Buy M6 x 20mm button-head socket screws for the brake lever handle (the pan-head ones I had in stock were Torx security and I want to reduce the number of tools needed) and some small split-pins in case the lever needs to be removed from the cylinder again - likely while arranging the mounting and cutting the slot for the lever.

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