Chapter 24 – Not much, thank you.

After doing some chores around the house, I had to run out rather unexpectedly mid-afternoon to help some friends that required some of my assistance.  I was out for about 6 hours and by the time I got home it was getting pretty late.

I wanted to get at least some glass “cookin’ in the oven” so I prepped & glassed the 2 pilot seat thigh support ribs on the one side of bare foam that each rib had.

Since I had cut out a small trough in the foam for the beginning of an elongated hole on the left rib, I had to decide whether to fill it back in or leave it.  I decided since I’ll be using wrenches during the installation and removal of the fuel selector valve to fuel pump main fuel feed line, I could use a bit of space between the rib and the line getting installed . . . so I left the trough.  I then angled the sides of the trough sloping inwards, and pressed on with glassing the ribs.

The glassing was uneventful with 1 ply of BID going onto the right rib, and 1 ply of BID on the left.  However, I did use an extra oval shaped ply of BID inside the trough and overlapping up over the edges.

Also, I didn’t micro the insert piece –that I cut out of the right rib– into the rib since I merely wanted to get a ply of glass laid up on it.  The hole that you see above the insert piece is where the right and left fuel sump tank feed lines travers the rib to connect to the fuel selector valve.  Once all is set and I’ve locked in the the fuel system configuration, I’ll micro the fuel lines into the rib and glass the insert piece back into place (unless I choose to glass it in from the get go).

I then peel plied the entire right rib glassed face and the edges on the left rib.  After assessing the layups the right rib looked fine, but the left rib glass was having a bit of an issue staying attached inside the trough.  I have to say, this is when I miss having my vacuum pump set up for vacuum bagging because this is a perfect scenario for using it. Especially since after messing around with it for a bit, I realized it wasn’t going to play nice.

So I pulled out the big gun.  I covered the trough half of the layup with Saran (plastic cellophane) wrap and gently wiggled a small 4-pound sandbag into the trough, which of course overlapped onto the majority of the trough side of the rib.  Sometimes taking this type of action is tricky since there may be an unknown issue that can’t be seen, but I figured keeping all the glass compacted and in place nicely with minimal delams or air bubbles would be worth the minor risk of something going awry.

Tomorrow will also be a light build day, but I do intend to at least get these ribs glassed into the fuselage.


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