Once you’ve located the baffles all you have to do is sand them down to exactly match the upper strake skin. You start by working from the outside in, so you get the bulkhead nearest the wing root to match the wing properly. Again, you have to repeatedly check that the wing still at the correct incidence and that the plane is level. I ended up sanding all of my baffles a little short so I could get them perfect by taping the mating areas on the top strake, level micro-glass on top of each, and the mash it down to get it spot-on. Here’s a shot of the layup process.

And here’s a shot of the leading edge clecoed tight into position and the top weighted down to squeeze the schoomey level.

As I said, this does not do this multi-week period justice. Next we need to Jeffco the tank to seal it up. Jeffco is a funny substance, an thick grey epoxy that is still surprisingly runny. It sets up fast, except when you want it to. We spent the better part of a day just doing the pilot side tank, and ended up applying it too think because we over-estimated the ‘tackiness’ of the Jeffco when we began to apply the second coat. We did mix a fair amount of Cabosil in with the Jeffco, which makes it a little thicker (to stick to the sidewalls), and reportedly lengthens the cure time somewhat. This stuff stinks and will give you a headache, and gets very warm. All and all, this is a great 2 person job. Oh, avoid surprises and plan to ruin a set of clothes.

Pilot Rear Bulkhead Layup

Baffle Layout

Pilot Baggage Area Fuel Bulkhead

Baffle Layups

Pilot “Mouse Holes” for Draining/Venting

Micro-Glassing the Pilot Baffle Tops

Pilot Fuel Tank Jeffco Sealant


Posted By: Brett Ferrell
Saturday November 2nd, 2002 at 12:48 PM

Categories: Strakes
Tags: Building Fuselage Strakes

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