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Building Integrity
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Date:  3-6-2018
Number of Hours:  5.00
Manual Reference:  ch 25
Brief Description:  Topside finishing begins

Today leaves me smiling for several reasons. The Top side of this bird has got a LOT more attention then the bottom, so naturally it has been far more contoured and finessed then the bottom side ever was. This means less work and an engine hanging soon!
Trying to map out my work for the next month I decided I would need to tackle the inside of the turtle deck first thing. It would need a bit of filler and more paint before installing the ECU and all those wires. After 2 rounds of black paint were complete, I took my 3M Stikit and block sanded the entire topside of the fuselage using 120 grit. I have rarely used 120 grit but I found it cuts quickly without scoring the primer too deeply and never plugged up the paper either. After blocking her down I went over it all with a course sanding sponge in prep for primer. I then cleaned her all up and went low spot hunting with micro before calling it a day.
Well, in prep for primer I knew I had to tackle another issue that has been annoying me for the last 100 hrs of this birds life. That would be the canopy gap line. When I first finished her, the canopy lines were absolutely flawless, and I worked hard to get them there. However, with the massive plexiglass, the heat and cool cycles cause a LOT of thermal expansion. I've read that it's wise to put your uncut canopy in a heat tent for a day to relieve the internal stresses and get it to settle into it's final position, but I never did. And now, the result is the front lip of the canopy is a huge 1/8" off. The GOOD news is that there is a lot of filler up there, so I will most likely be able to simply sand it down flush. The wife came home and helped me put the canopy on and I got to start sanding away just a bit. WOW, she's losing weight, and no NOT the wife :)
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Block sanding the topside

Block sanding the topside

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low spot hunting

low spot hunting

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2 coats of black inside the deck

2 coats of black inside the deck

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