Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2008 07

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1 M10 x 1 die arrives from Tracy Tools. Cut off about 150mm of 10mm aluminium tube and thread the end using the tailstock dieholder in the lathe to get it straight. Clean it up very carefully using a paper tissue pull-through and try it out on the brake master cylinder - looks OK. Of course it would be better if it was translucent so the fluid level could be seen - must see if I can find some 10mm diameter polyethylene or polypropylene tube. Strip insulation off some solid-core copper wire and pass round the brake master cylinder fork to retain it. Remove lever. Mark up cockpit module for brake master cylinder mounting holes. Cut a piece of wood for a template to set the 15mm inset of the inboard thigh support ribs. Mark the bottom of the cockpit module port and starboard in several places to avoid errors. 1035.8
3 After thinking for a while about how to make a fuselage support, get one of the old doors out of the trailer, with some softwood offcuts. Put down on floor underneath fuselage. Select pieces of wood to support longitudinal curve of fuselage at each end of door (ie front and rear of fuselage). Get door out from under fuselage again, screw on battens and some heavy-duty castors; slide it under fuselage again. While putting stuff back into the trailer, notice the screw-in dog ties that proved just too long to fit in Tim's luggage well. Try bending the top end of one to make it shorter and it's surprisingly easy. Cut off excess (about 150mm). Since it was so easy to bend, maybe the end of the new loop needs a weld to make sure it doesn't open again in use. Fuselage edge is now sitting at about 3 degrees tail-down. Will have to think about easiest way to get it level when needed. As the castors are unbraked, might need to jack the whole thing off the floor with wedges for critical operations.
4 Because there seems much confusion on the e-mail list about whether the cockpit module is reinforced in that area, take pictures of brake master cylinder mounting area and headrest hard-point to show how they look the same when front-lit even though one has a metal insert and the other has not. Mark a centre-line on the firewall and join up a couple of the FS crosses on the underside to give a partial centreline at the tail end of the dolly. Mark centrelines on front and rear edges of dolly and line up fuselage on them. Measure up for wedges to support lateral curve of fuselage. Cut 2 pairs of wedges on the bandsaw; about 1:10 for the front and 1:5 for the rear. Attach them to the end battens with well-countersunk woodscrews.
5 After considering some "clever" ways to do it, decide to locate the fuselage lower moulding on the dolly by drilling through 10mm near the forward and aft ends of the area to be cut away later for the wheel well, and dropping in a couple of M10 coach bolts with penny washers. Find a piece of 17mm ply left over from the garage roof work that can be squared up as a table top to support the cockpit module at a better working height. Find some 12mm ply offcuts to act as leg braces. Not enough wood in garage to act as legs and battens so get a few suitable pieces out of the shed and give them a dose of wood preservative in case they are carrying woodworm.
7 Phone factory about brake master cylinder mounting; they assure me that a just-completed cockpit module has 12 plies of glass in the mounting area and no other reinforcement is necessary. Trim 17mm ply to a rectangle about 890mm x 960mm. Cut 2 of the 12mm ply sheets in half and then diagonally to make 8 triangles for leg braces. Trim 4 battens to equal 400mm length for legs. Screw braces to legs and then to top with more battens.
10 Set up cockpit module on table, firewall end down. Find a piece of melamine-faced chipboard narrow enough to fit between the headrests and long enough to reach the front edge of the cockpit module. This will provide support when it's upside-down on the table.
14 Order CS03, aluminium instrument panels and Mod 70 from Europa factory. Mark some 50mm strips on main BID roll (before noticing that there were some already marked on the end of the offcut from David Corbett). Seems to be no good direction to orient the BID for facing the inboard thigh support ribs. Cut out and tape on a filler piece to the tunnel bulkhead; re-check position for that and trim added piece for good fit. 1036.9
16 Order arrives from Europa. However, avionics panel is short one rather than the full-depth one I ordered. Phone John Wheeler at the factory and arrange to return for correct one.
17 Get CS05 from box 10 and instrument module F14 out of trailer. Measure for the various fasteners needed for potential wing-leveller servo installation. Not all available from Europa so order some from LAS Aerospace. Do some research into anti-vibration mounts. Looks like M4 bobbin mounts would work - should have included some M4 anchor nuts in the LAS Aerospace order.
18 Post incorrect short avionics panel back to Europa with order for extra fasteners etc needed plus Mod 72. Send e-mail query to Ian Rickard about Trutrak servo installation and he sends me a PDF of the draft mod instruction. Send e-mail query to Anti-Vibration Methods about bobbin mounts; they reply later saying they will accept small orders against a credit card. Cut a couple of pieces of melamine-faced chipboard to act as supports for the tunnel bulkhead during the flange layup and cover them with polyethylene sheet to stop the epoxy sticking. Cover the tunnel bulkhead with polyethylene sheet. Start to mark out the triangles for BID for the inboard thigh-support ribs. 1038.1
19 Rivets and anchor nuts arrive from LAS Aerospace. 19C, 70% RH; turn on heaters to thermostat 4. Mark out rest of BID triangles for covering inboard thigh-support ribs (will do both sides to avoid warping). To get good conformity around edges will use BID tape as for other ribs and not take the triangles beyond the edge of the ribs. Mark and cut several pieces of polyethylene sheet with tramlines for 50mm wide BID strips. Lay all BID on to polyethylene sheet and put a layer of polyethylene sheet on the table top under the cockpit module. Check positions of CS04 and associated washers again. Decide it would be safest to clamp them in position as guides while sticking the ribs on with rapid epoxy. Unclamp supports and scuff-sand all bonding areas and all over plywood ribs. Clamp tunnel supports on again and check position. Clamp CS04s to rear face of sea front with AN3-11A bolts and AN970-3 washers in the widest holes of both. Check distance apart - easiest to do against bolts than on central hole - and clamp on firmly. Mix some 90-second epoxy in small batches and stick thigh-support ribs in place, checking with 15mm depth template for inboard ones and with set-square for others. Put a small scrap of about 0.5mm plastic sheet between rib and edge of washer to give a small clearance for the layup. 29C, 39% RH; turn heater thermostats down to 3.5. Mix a peg-4 (75g) batch of fresh epoxy. Wet out a 5 x 50mm-wide piece of BID and paint 4 rib sides with rest. Mix a peg-2 (45g) batch and paint rest of ribs, leaving a small amount over. Add 1 dose of flox and spread into starboard rib edges with a fingertip. Cut off and lay on first 5 starboard rib side BID pieces with some difficulty until I realise after several messy and time-consuming struggles that it's much easier to do each in 2 lengths with a slight overlap at the corner rather than taking it round the corner in one piece. Mix peg-3 (60g) batch and wet out all 4 BID triangles - first one on top of edge tapes, others will be underneath. Do some peel-plying but haven't got time to do it all because epoxy is going off a bit faster than preferred because of taking so much time trying to lay on the tapes in one piece. In retrospect, shouldn't have brought the temperature up so much at the layup stage, just enough to get into the acceptable humidity range would have been enough, and then could have cranked it up more for curing if needed. Mix peg-4 (75g) batch and wet out another 5 BID strips and leave just enough for mixing with 1 dose of flox. Spread it around the edges of the port-side ribs. Cut and lay on the 5 BID strips, leaving 1 port rib to do. Cut last pre-marked 5-wide BID area to make a 75mm-wide 2-ply strip, leaving 2 off 50mm strips. Wet it out with a peg-4 (75g) batch. Cut and lay on rib tapes then cut 2-ply strip to length for each section of the tunnel bulkhead flange. Use some end offcuts of the 50mm tapes to reinforce corners where the 2-ply tapes are not meeting well. Peel-ply the bulkhead flange. 25C, 46% RH; turn heater thermostats down to 3 and leave to cure. 1045.0
21 Phone Anti-Vibration Methods and order 10 off 1111/MF/1 bobbin mounts. Those are the most compliant of the smallest type available. Larger ones such as Superflex would give better isolation but there isn't room to fit them, particularly at the bottom edge. Remove peel-ply from yesterday's layups. Trim off excess glass and rub down all projecting needles where I didn't have time to peel-ply before it started to gel. Trim bulkhead flange to shape and make rudder cable and flap rive pushrod holes to match those in the plywood. Find a wide piece of chipboard to better support cockpit module upside down on table. Mark and cut BID for both sides of tunnel bulkhead and headrest bases. Cut peel-ply for both. Intention is to peel ply interior side of headrest bases so as to avoid any unpleasant surfaces inside, so cut diagonal slits in from corners to allow easy treatment of internal corners. Find a piece of melamine-faced chipboard to do layups on and cover it with polyethylene sheet. 24C, 50% RH; turn on heaters to thermostat 3. Scuff-sand tunnel bulkhead. As this is a non-structural layup, clear out resin pump nozzles and mix a 2-stroke batch of the older epoxy. Wet out BID on one side of bulkhead. Peel-ply, turn over, wet out 2nd side, peel-ply. Just enough epoxy left for a sample. 27C, 43% RH; leave to cure. 1049.9
22 23C, 47% RH. Scuff-sand port headrest floor plywood and bonding areas. Mix a peg-4 (75g) batch of fresh epoxy. Wet out BID on interior side of plywood, apply peel-ply, turn over, lay on BID, start to wet out but not enough epoxy. Mix peg-1 (30g) batch and finish wetting out. Fold back edges of interior peel-ply to clear bonding area and try to position on bonding area. Doesn't work as the weight of the now-soaked peel-ply edges is pulling it off the layup completely. Try taking it off and applying it from within the headrest but that's impossible one-handed with it already wet. Outside again, stipple edges of layup onto cockpit module with brush and peel-ply. Check again inside and there are some areas where the layup is lifting away from the plywood either because of the sharp turn at the forward edge, or where the plywood has been moved slightly to re-position. Not much success in stippling them flat. Add weights to keep it in place, as one corner is tending to lift slightly. Scuff-sand starboard headrest floor and bonding area. Lay BID on polyethylene sheet, then plywood on top of it (exterior side up), then 2nd layer of BID. Mix peg-5 (90g) batch of epoxy, wet out first side, turn whole sandwich over onto another piece of polyethylene, peel off first sheet of polyethylene and wet out interior side of sandwich. Cut a piece of peel-ply to not quite cover all of plywood area and apply it, with a separate tab for easy removal. Keeping the polyethylene in place for easier handling, lower the whole thing into position on the headrest recess. Peel off the polyethylene sheet, stipple down edges, apply peel-ply and weights. Check inside and find one small area crumpled. Stipple it back as well as possible. 26C, 46% RH; leave to cure. Print out wing-leveller crank arm from CADintosh drawing and stick to 2mm aluminium plate with Evo-stik. Centre-pop holes and drill with centre drill. Haven't got a 32mm holesaw in stock to suit CS05 hole. Check finish of a 38mm holesaw hole on a scrap area of plate and it's not as nice as I'd like. Clamp aluminium plate to the lathe cross-slide with an angle plate, line up the hole centre with a drill bit in the chuck and clamp cross-slide, set up the boring head, grind up a new small boring bit with plenty of top rake and bore the hole. Remove from lathe, drill other holes to size (3.2mm and 4.8mm). Hacksaw and file to outline. Soak in petrol to remove paper and Evo-stik. File excess BID off edges of tunnel bulkhead with carbide-grit files. Notice while looking at LAS Aerospace catalogue that they stock rubber barrel mounts very similar to what I have ordered, more expensive but in brass and male-male 8-32 thread - how did I not spot that before? 1057.6
23 Turn off fan heaters. Order arrives from Anti-Vibration Methods. Clamp tunnel bulkhead to flange and drill through 5mm for outer pair of anchor nuts. Remove bulkhead, clamp anchor nuts to flange with short screws. Countersink first pair of holes, dip first rivet in Duralac and set it. It's a bit awkward to get in as I have put the anchor plate a fraction too close to the tunnel wall for easy access with the riveter. Stop and turn up a longer nose extension bush for the riveter; 9.5mm seems to be as long as I can make it and still get a grip on the rivet shank. Set the second rivet and that is a bit easier. Set the rivets on the second anchor nut before I realise I haven't countersunk the holes yet! Drill them out, countersink and set new rivets (still a couple spare). Fit bulkhead with short screws, drill through for 3rd anchor nut, remove bulkhead, countersink, rivet on anchor plate and fit bulkhead again with short screws. Third one doesn't quite reach as layup is a bit thicker there, so use AN525-10R8 with spacer. Assemble CS03 and wing-leveller crank onto CS05 for alignment. Hold in position with toolmakers clamps. Remove from CS05 and drill through rivet holes already made in crank arm into CS03. Clean up edge of crank arm with a file and 320-grade paper on the belt sander. Check again the measurements for the brake master cylinder mounting holes and drill through 2.5mm. Open up to the recommended 5mm, then wonder why not 8mm for the mounting screws. After several checks of the manual, decide to go ahead and open the holes up to 8mm now, as there is no other way to check the exact position of the operating lever apart from mounting the cylinder. Decide to remove the piston, operating rod and spring to allow easier working. (Will have to clean up and re-lubricate very carefully when re-assembling, and if I use the DOT-5 brake fluid, will have to make sure it makes NO contact with any of the parts that might need painting or bonding. Will have to check the list archives for what fluid is recommended.) Mount the cylinder with the button-head M8 screws and washers. Seems to be well-positioned with respect to the underside of the tunnel top. Slide lever into the mounting slot and mark where it contacts the tunnel underside. Drill through 3mm using Dremel to keep exit side of holes clean (slower drills tend to cause untidy edges with slight delamination). File straight with Perma-Grit file. Re-assemble cylinder and check for range of movement. Dismantle and repeat a few times until satisfied that the slot is long enough and not rubbing on the lever at any point. Mark the tunnel position on the lever at full forward; the handle will need to be trimmed to fit. 1061.4
24 Order arrives from Europa factory; the full-depth avionics panel is out of stock and there are several other minor discrepancies. Phone to sort it out but neither Roger nor John is available, so leave a message. Re-check angles for trimming brake handle. Attach it temporarily to a piece of plywood to give a flat surface and straight edge to work against. Set up bandsaw table and fence angles as required for the compound angle cut; set length on handle centreline and cut off bottom end of handle. Re-assemble on brake master cylinder lever and it looks pretty good. The transverse angle is not perfect, but close enough for jazz. Smooth off cut end with several increasingly fine grades of abrasive paper and re-treat new surface with Danish Oil. 1062.8

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