Chapter 24/25 – Canopy micro finish

While the paint cures on the bottom of the fuselage and its associated components, I started off today by removing the weights from the floxed in threaded baggage pod hardpoints that I installed into the wing bottom surfaces.  It took about 45 minutes total to remove the bolts, gently and carefully pry off the wide diameter washers and then clean up around each installed hardpoint.

With “time on my hands” due to the curing paint, along with fairly nice weather, I decided to knock out some more finishing tasks.  I pulled the canopy out of its storage in the rec room of my house and then taped up the edge to secure the plastic protective covering in place, but moreover to protect the edge of the canopy as I sanded the frame in prep for micro finish.

After a thorough sanding of the frame, I cleaned the surface in prep for micro.  I also added a ply of electrical tape right at the edge of the initial tape… a hack I learned from Dave Berenholtz when he finished his canopy.

I then whipped up a bunch of micro and slathered it onto the canopy frame. Then, after I cleaned up all the tools and put everything away in the shop in prep for closing it up, I carefully pulled the black electrical tape off at a sharp angle to produce a very nice, clean edge on the border between the canopy and frame.

I’ll note that I’m only using a straight traditional micro fill on the canopy frame since I plan on painting it the same blue as I’ve been using on the bottom of the plane.  A restriction that West 410 filler has is to not be subjected to higher heat.  Although I clearly don’t see the medium blue I’m using getting excessively hot, it is clearly not white and thus will naturally have a higher surface temp.  So to be on the safe side I’ll simply avoid using West 410 filler on any of the top center components of the bird.

After the micro cured for a few hours, I then moved the canopy into the shop to let it cure overnight.

Tomorrow will be a lighter build day since I’ll be out for most of the afternoon and evening, but I will still try to knock out as much as I can on the build earlier in the day.

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