Chapter 6
Fuselage Assembly


Well, I finally got up the guts to glue this thing together in such a fashion that it actually looked like something someone might sit in someday. The sides fit with the bulkheads with minor trimming. I used the threaded rod method, which worked very well, and was cheap. I buttered the ends w/flox, and placed them in as per plans instructions. I then placed peel ply in all the joints with a swipe of epoxy to minimize sanding when I get around to taping them . The Smart Level came in very handy during this phase, and even if I never use it again, it will have been worth the money just for the ease of level and peace of mind knowing everything was D.N.O.

Here is a shot of the fuse flipped over with the SB brace installed. Everything has matched-up well so-far.

This is how the fuse looked before the bottom was installed. Everything has been pretty-much according to plans.

Up to this point, assembly has been pretty much according to plans. I spent a lot of time on the details prior to assembly... Like making sure all the little blobs of flox and what-not were ground off. I had to make 2 attempts at the seat-back brace because I neglected to make reciprocal sides..Start over dummy! At this point, I invested in a table saw. Man, it sure makes nice straight cuts and angles easier. Wish I had it earlier, although it does seem weird firing this noisy, powerful, and dangerous machine to zip through stuff you could cut with a butter knife. Another tool I acquired at a garage sale is a Wizard,(battery-operated dremel tool), which came in real handy for cleaning up rough edges.

Here's a shot of me in dust duds preparing the fuselage for installation of the bottom. Note the Smart-Level in the foreground. I've used it quite a bit to verify level, plumb, and no twist. The peace of mind I've gotten from this tool sure has been worth the price! Another thing.. this is the point where I get introduced to the consequences of not using eye/skin protection during sanding/grinding with power tools. The dust you get from this stuff is soooooo fine, you don't see it unless the sun hits it just right. My shop has no windows, so I got to feel it. Skin itched for a day or so, and my eyes were mildly red/puffy for three days. Lesson learned

Planning/rehearsing this step came in real handy here. Make sure you use plenty of flox before setting it on. You can always take the excess off, but its a pain to fill in dry areas.

Builder Hint: Get yourself a cheap set of kneepads from Cheapo Depot. Scooting around on your knees under the fuse taping and filling makes short work of knee skin.

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