Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2021 07

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2 Remove the nylon line and the patch piece from the starboard door frame. Check what length of screw will be needed later and select a M4 x 30mm pan-head.

Hacksaw off about 6mm of 10mm hex aluminium bar. Chuck it in the lathe and face off. Centre drill, drill through 3.3mm and tap M4. Turn down to about 7.2mm to fit the pre-preg patch, for about 2mm. Remove the resulting shouldered washer from lathe. Degrease the pre-preg patch.

Assemble patch, shouldered washer & screw, attach nylon line and try to drag the whole assembly through from the latch hole. Alas, not enough clearance past the shoot bolt guide. Drill a 3.2mm hole in one end of the patch, feed the nylon line through from the upper hole, and attach the patch using that new hole. Fit the shouldered washer to the patch with a dab of Shoo Goo to keep it in place. Drag that assembly round to align with the faulty hole and fiddle with the nylon line to position it. After a few attempts, get the screw started in the shouldered washer and wind it in so the patch is brought up close to the inner surface of the frame. Cut off the nylon line.

Mix a batch of 5-minute Araldite. Spread it between the inner surface of the door frame and both wings of the patch, using a very small spatula. Once satisfied with coverage, tighten the screw to press the patch against the inner face of the frame, adjusting to keep the hole centred.

Once the epoxy sample has cured, loosen the screw and wiggle it gently to detach the shouldered washer from the back of the patch. Remove the screw and retrieve the shouldered washer by rolling it around to the latch hole.
3 Degrease a couple of stainless M5 rivet nuts. Mix a small batch of 5-Minute Araldite. Apply it to the inside face of the door frame around the prepared holes. Coat a rivet nut lightly with epoxy and set it in the upper hole. Small cracks appear in the gel-coat, but nothing to worry about. Coat and set the 2nd rivet nut in the lower hole (with the repair patch) and that goes fine. Wipe off excess epoxy. Re-fit the latch cover - all holes align.

Prepare to re-fit port door. In the hardware bag for it are 3 off AN525-10R10 and one bent AN525-10R12. Return one AN525-10R10 to stock and get out 2 off AN525-10R12. Check locations to best suit the variously-bent washers and fit the screws through the hinges. The fit is good enough to allow starting each stiffnut without needing a screwdriver on the screw-head.

Re-fit roof panel.
29 Offer up the card template of the cover to the top of the fuel filler. It is slightly short on the aft face. Hold in place and run a big felt-tip pen along it to show the correct profile. To trace the curve I thought I'd use the Flexicurve but it's not in the office drawer (with slide rules etc) where I expected to find it - all that has been moved somewhere else to make room for printer paper stock. Use tracing paper to capture the shape and transfer that to a piece of card. Cut the card to shape and tape it to the template. Check for fit and make some small adjustments elsewhere until satisfied with fit.

Cut off the top flange of the plastic box as it will not be needed. Drop the plastic box inside the template and trace the template outline onto the box. Start to cut off the waste with a padsaw, keeping well clear of the marked lines on the initial cut. Consider that the MiniTool jigsaw would be best for following the shape at the bottoms of the cutaways but can't find the ordinary blades for it - only several diamond-coated blades for composite work. Instead just use the hand fretsaw which is conveniently fitted with a spiral-tooth blade for cutting in any direction. Cut out one of the side openings with it but part-way through the next cut the blade breaks.
30 Check fretsaw blade stock and I have a few of the spiral-tooth blades. Order some more on eBay.

Fit a new spiral-tooth blade in the fretsaw and complete the cut to remove the remaining waste. Deburr the edges and offer up to the fuel filler to check the fit. Trim in small increments where needed with snips, which leaves a clean edge with no swarf or burrs. Drill and punch internal corners to prevent stress-risers. Trim and check repeatedly until satisfied with fit. Wipe off the cutting marks with acetone.
31 Need to make some angle brackets to secure the fuel filler cover to the fuselage side. Find a couple of pieces of steel angle suitable for making bracket layups on. Cut out some pieces of polyethylene sheet to work on, and a couple of pieces of peel-ply. Cut 3 pieces of BID about 200mm x 60mm from the offcuts and lay them on a polyethylene sheet. Mix a peg-2 (36g) batch of Ampreg 21 (which is far too much - out of practice with layups!) and wet out the 3 pieces of BID, laying them on top of each other. Lay a piece of peel-ply on top and then a piece of polyethylene sheet. Roll it out a bit to squeeze out excess epoxy. Turn the whole stack over and peel off the polyethylene sheet, adding a layer of peel-ply before replacing the polyethylene. Roll again. Lay the whole sandwich on the inner face of one steel angle then push the 2nd angle into it to form the layup into a right-angle. Clamp the angles together at their ends and support on a block of blue foam with a VEE cut in it. Spare epoxy warming up now so to prevent exotherm runaway pour it into a flat lid. Take that and the layup assembly in to the boiler cupboard to cure overnight.

Prop the starboard door open with a length of aluminium tube from the stock pile. Carefully check the location needed for the hole in the frame lug to accept the ball fitting for the gas strut. While keeping the hole position sensibly clear of the outer edge of the lug, make sure that the strut end will not be too close to the frame. Mark chosen spot with a square awl (remembering that the door frames don't like centre-pops) and drill through 2.4mm, keeping as square to the lug as possible by eye. Observe by the swarf that the lug has an aluminium core. Vacuum up the swarf. Before enlarging the hole for tapping, look for the M5 check nuts. According to the journal, they were in box 5 until transferred to the 18 litre Really Useful Box (RUB) on 2018-11-20, but I can find no sign of them in the RUB or in any of the other storage boxes in the garage.

Look on the Europa factory website for spare M5 jam nuts but it seems that they no longer publish a spares list and there doesn't appear to be any way of ordering spares through the website.

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