2005-05-15

7.5 hours

Last night, I spent a couple of hours wet sanding thepanel, ready for when the rub down transfers arrive. They’ve been made now and sent, so they should be here sometime in the week. I’m looking forward to getting them and wrapping up the panel once and for all. I sanded it all over with 2000 grit, removing the risen areas around alll the holes where the paint tends to puddle up. I could polish up the panel now with a paint polishing compound, but I’m going to stick with the satin clearcoat finish.

Today, I went to the hangar and did some lay ups on the centre console. It’s a slow process this. First I laid up all the sides with a layer of E-glass. It seemed to take forever, which isn’t exactly motivating. My order form Aerospace Composite Products arrived, which contained all the stuff I needed to do the structure of the console with. I got some carbon fibre (nice), some 3.7 oz S-Glass, and some Aeromat. The Aeromat is like a honeycomb layer that you can sandwich between lay ups. It soaks up the resin in hexagonal shapes and forms a stiff lightweight part. It doesn’t look like the same stuff Van’s uses on the cowls though. Not sure what that stuff is.

So, here is what I did today. I basically did almost half the carbon fibre today, and will do the rest over the course of this week. Once this has cured, I’ll see how stiff it is. I’ll be putting some ribs in using the Aeromat too, just to help the part stay in shape. I’m hoping to get away with one more layer of S-Glass, and be done with it.

Here you can see the weave in the carbon fibre! Sweet! Shame it’s all going to be covered up with fibre glass! Aparently, carbon eats away at aluminium, so I need to make sure it’s all covered where it’ll come into contact with the airframe parts. Getting down into the console at the front was fun. It’s pretty narrow in there.

Something that surprised me was despite how coarse the weave of the carbon is, it drapes really well. It’ll form into all the corners with ease. I like using this for lay ups, but it’s expensive! It was $42 for a yard of 30″ wide.

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