This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
January 23 2016 4.0hrs - 2610.5 total. Decided to re-pour the lead weight
including some additional lead. Dumped all the lead shavings from drilling and
shaping along with the new lead and the existing big nose piece into the melting pot
and re-melted it all together. Poured it into the mold again. Was hoping that the
mold would have dried out by now, but it still boiled like crazy. New piece is a little
larger and a little more dense. Cut back the wood on the rudder horn another 1/2" or
so to accommodate it. As with the last pouring, this shape is a little wrong because
of the 1/4" ply. Started shaping the lead a little by beating on it with a big hammer.
Works pretty well. Sanded areas on rudder horn in prep for gluing lead in place.
This whole counter weight process is sure taking a lot of time!
|New, larger nose piece starting to trial fit.
|Starting to shape it a bit with a hammer.
January 24 2016 4.5hrs - 2614.5 total. Continued to shape lead piece with large hammer, then switched to smaller hammer for finer
shaping. Made up some blocking from 5/8" ply to go aft of the lead piece and bond to the wood their. Made it a fairly snug fit. Used 5
min epoxy to tack it in position on aft of lead piece while holding it in place. Once it set, drilled and screwed it in place on aft of lead
piece. During the process, broke off another brass screw, so decided to go with SS after all. Had to make a trip to the store to get
them. Mixed up a batch of regular slow epoxy, painted all contact areas and poured some inside screw holes. Installed screws, then
mixed thickener into epoxy and glued lead piece, including blocking piece, in position on rudder horn. Used thickened epoxy to seal up
and cover the porous portion of the lead. Am planning to build up the nose area about 1/4 to 1/2 inch with epoxy and filler to give it a
better profile math to top of vert stab.
January 25 2016 2.5hrs - 2617.0 total. Sanded down glue over lead and the rest of the nose horn. Laid rudder on its side, clamped
down, and drilled holes in bottom of horn up into lead piece. Counter sunk holes and threaded SS screws in place. Will glue them in
next time I mix up some epoxy. Tried fitting rudder onto fuselage to get an idea of how much material needs to be added to the leading
edge to get it to match the vert stab. Need to extend leading edge forward at least 1/4". Removed rudder and clamped to bench in a
vertical position. Mixed up a batch of thickened epoxy and micro to a consistency of thick frosting. Stapled a piece of wood covered in
duct tape to bottom of horn. Spread thickened epoxy onto nose of horn.
January 27 2016 1.0hrs - 2618.0 total. Started sanding and shaping first layer of filler. Will definitely need another layer to get the
shape right. Tried it on the fuselage to check the profile. Still needs some more.
January 29 2016 1.5hrs - 2619.5 total. Preparing for 2nd coat of filler. Don't like the way the skin on the port side bulges out. Cut
away the bulgy part and scarfed the remaining skin in prep for skinning the entire port side.
January 30 2016 4.5 hrs - 2624.0 total. Cut a piece of 1.5mm ply for skin on port side of rudder horn and top of rudder. Scarfed
where needed. Glued in place. Also glued in the two SS screws that come up into the lead nose piece from the bottom. While glue
dried, trimmed large piece of 3mm ply for most forward section on the SB side of the fuselage. Clamped to bench and scarfed.
Scarfed existing skin on fuselage. Started sanding back painted and glued areas on fuselage in prep for gluing this skin piece in place.
January 31 2-16 4.0hrs - 2628.0 total. Finished sanding all the contact areas and scarf joints for new piece of fuselage skin. Dry fit in
place and parked areas for glue. Its going to be a big glue job - didn't want to do it today. Started sanding down glue joints on new skin
piece on rudder horn.
|Glued in position, still need to drill and
install screws from the bottom.
|Was planning to continue to shape with
hammer, but might be OK the way it is?
|First coat of filler. Will probably
take 2 or 3 coats.
Starting to sand first layer to shape.
|Bulging portion of the port skin cut
away. Scarfed for new skin piece.
|New skin piece being glued on.
|Sanding the scarf joint into the 3mm
ply for the forward fuselage skin.
|The area where large skin piece will go.
Starting on the scarf joint on the left
side of this shot.
February 3 2016 1.0hrs - 2629.0 total. Sanded down outside edge glue joint on new skin piece on rudder horn. Sanded quite a bit
more on the filler on the nose. Still lots more sanding to go.
February 5 2016 1.0hrs - 2630.0 total. Would like to get the rest of the fuselage skin glued on. In planning for this, its difficult to tell
if it will make it very difficult or impossible to reach certain areas after the skin is installed, so I spend a lot of time trying to figure out
if there's anything I need to get done before the skin goes on. One item is the top fuselage light. Looked it up in reference books,
marked position and drilled hole for wires. Will need to make a small base for the light as it has a flat base and the top of the fuselage
is curved. On the original Spitfire, just the lens protruded through the skin, and it was slightly larger than this light I have. I could make
a small fairing for it, and it would look more like the original that way, but I think the base in the light I have is a heat sink? I need to
check on this before I bury it inside a fairing.
February 6 2016 5.5hrs - 2635.5 total. Measured out 3 strands of 18gauge wire and a piece of small spiral wrap. Drilled hole between
baggage compartment and fuselage interior for wire. Went to the store and bought a variety of small SS screws. Drilled holes and hand
threaded in a # 8 x 3/8 SS screw for each of 5 cable clamps. Ran wire through spiral wrap and clamped all in place the get exact
positioning, then unwound spiral wrap from main wiring harness and re-wrapped to include this new bundle. Pulled out screws and
wire from hole so they can all be sealed the next time a batch of sealer is mixed. The whole time I was working on the wiring I had
the light powered up and strobing away to see how hot it would get. It does warm up, but never so hot I couldn't hold it. Figure it
will better to not enclose it in a fairing. Traced base of top light onto 1/4" ply scarp and cut and sanded to shape with about a 1/2" lip
around the edge. Sanded concave shape into bottom so it will rest on top of curved fuselage.
|View from port side showing location
of light and area I want to skin over.
|Detail of light and hole for wires.
|Adapter plate made from
plywood - dry fit.
|Adapter plate and light being dry fit, aligned and marked.
|New wires in small spiral wrap
coming down and wrapped into
larger bundle going forward.
|Adapter plate glued in place.
February 10 2016 1.5hrs - 2637.0 total. Sealed the 5 screw holes and the two penetrations made for the wiring for the top light.
Glued light adapter plate onto top of fuselage.
February 11 2016 1.0hrs - 2638.0 total. Touched up paint around screw holes and hole into baggage compartment. Final routed and
mounted wire in place with cable clamps. Did a little light sanding on the light base. Disassembled light and removed base to figure out
how to mount it.
February 12 2016 1.5hrs - 2639.5 total. Decided to make the mounting base as small as possible. Used belt sander and took it right
down to the fuselage skin so there's nothing much of it left except some thickened glue and some small shim like wedges. Its
centered perfectly and exactly level. I still wish the light didn't have the big aluminum base. Hopefully I can paint it and it won't stand
out so much, Aligned light base on fuselage, marked location, drilled holes for mounting screws. Hope to glue on big skin section on
forward SB side of fuselage tomorrow. Sanded back inside of scarfed skin area a little, prepped areas for gluing. Marked outside of
skin piece with longeron and BH locations to aid in locating staples.
February 14 2016 6.0hrs - 2645.5 total. Glued big piece of 3mm skin on forward SB side of fuselage. Was able to use staples to hold
it in place while glue dried - no clamps. First time thats happened. Found where one of the screw holes for the top light missed the
top longeron so made up a little piece of blocking and glued in place next to the longeron for the screw to go into - when I get around
to mounting the light. Started laying out for the antenna mast. Drew out a template of the base. Positioned and traced onto top of
fuselage. Covered area with 2mil plastic sheet. Made up 4 layers of pre-preg 6oz cloth and laid in place on the plastic. Got up at about
2:00am and pulled out all the staples. Some of them were starting to stick. Had to dig 2 or 3 of them out.
February 15 2016 7.0hrs - 2652.5 total. Added 2nd layer of 4 pieces of 6oz cloth to antenna mast base. Laid out, cut out, and sanded
to shape mast form ply core from 1/16" ply. Cut out foam strips that are glued to mast form. Started gluing them in place. Spent quite
a bit of time laying out the locations for the ribs inside the cockpit area as the are critical to the positioning of the door, canopy and
windscreen. Stuck the ribs for the forward SB skin section in place for dry fit. Made these long ago. Will need to tweak them a bit to
get them in place. Fiberglass dried enough for scissor trim. Trimmed back second layer of glass on mast base. Started laying out for
skin on port side aft of door. Plans call for skin to land on BH with only about 1/8" of contact. Don't like this so decided to add some
extra material behind BH for skin to bond to. Made cardboard template, transferred to scrap 1/4" ply. Cut and sanded to shape.
Prepped area for gluing.
February 17 2016 1.5hrs - 2654.0 total. Removed clamps from foam form. (Say that three times fast!) Trimmed to rough shape with
band saw, then continued shaping with 60 grit sandpaper on sanding block.
|Sanded base down till its basically
just a couple of shims now.
|Light base and lens dry fit on
new minimal platform.
|Maybe when the antenna mast is in front
of it, it won't look so out of scale?
|4 layers of 6oz fiberglass laid
over outline of antenna base.
Last piece of fuselage skin on the SB side. Held
in place while glue dries entirely with staples.
|Adding some extra material for
skin to land on behind door.
|Dry fitting ribs into forward
SB inside of skin.
|Form for antenna mast. Starting to glue
on foam that will be shaped and
covered with fiberglass.
|8 layers of 6oz cloth, rough
trimmed to antenna base shape.
|Finished shaping mast form foam.
|Checking how the antenna
mast looks in place...
February 20 2016 4.5hrs - 2658.5 total. Checked the shape of the mast against some period photos and decided it need more taper on
the aft side, so sanded it to better shape. Glued in BH widening strip on backside of BH-11. Sanded down external side of last large skin
glue joint and used extra epoxy, with some micro added, to fill the joint some more, and to fill in staple holes. Made up a piece of 1/2"
ply to go on top of port mid main longeron where door hinge will mount. This will reinforce the area and allow me to put screws into
this plywood and not have to drill into the longeron to mount the door hinge. Picked up the door latch hardware from the machine
shop. It still needs a bit of cleaning up and a couple of holes drilled, but I've got all the parts that I need, except a couple standard parts
available from regular sources. Checked some more photos and noticed that the base for the antenna mast is much too thin. Cut two
pieces of 1.5 ply to rough shape. Will add them to bottom (or top?) of fiberglass base to get correct thickness.
February 21 2016 3.5hrs - 2662.0 total. Sanded down BH widener strip that was glued on yesterday. Glued door hinge plate onto top
of mid main longeron. Glued the two ply antenna mast pieces together and clamped under fiberglass on top of fuselage with straps so
they will dry to appropriate bend. Cut two pieces of 6oz fiberglass. Coated foam antenna mast core with micro slurry. Pre-pregged the
fiberglass then wrapped it around the mast.
February 22 2016 2.5hrs - 2664.5 total. Sanded down fiberglass joint and pretty much all over the antenna mast. Turned out pretty
good except the tip which will need some filler and additional work. Removed mast base laminates from straps. - turned out fine. Still
need to laminate onto fiberglass base piece and trim to shape. Sanded down door hinge plate. Clamped and stapled a piece of skin just
forward of the door location on the port side to allow surface to lay up laminates that form rib here. Covered skin former with duct
tape, marked width of laminates. Sanded contact areas on longerons in prep for glue.
|BH widener strip glued in place.
|Rough door latch hardware
fresh from the machine shop.
|2nd layer of filler on scarf joint and most
of the staple holes filled on new skin piece.
|Door hinge plate glued in place.
|Two pieces of 1.5mm ply laminated
and clamped in place. Fiberglass
base has duct tape on contact
surface to prevent sticking.
|Antenna mast with two
layers of 6 oz cloth.
|Prepping to put in laminated rib
just forward of door on port side.