Today I started off by knocking out the final fitting of the landing brake on the bottom of the fuselage, in the depression I created with the micro around the perimeter of the landing brake.
I first temporarily mounted the landing brake.
Here’s a gratuitous shot from the aft side.
My initial main focus was on the front edge, where the landing brake interfaces with the bottom of the fuselage. I worked on this interface for nearly an hour.
After getting the front edge of the landing brake interface with the bottom fuselage micro fill or sorted out, I then dialed in the left, right and aft sides of the landing brake. There was a good little bit of a ridge on the fuselage on all sides, so it took another good 45 minutes to sand it down and fair it all in with the existing micro fill.
Here’s a shot looking aft after I dialed in the seam elevation of the micro fill around the perimeter of the landing brake.
The landing brake interface with the bottom fuselage micro fill was the last item on the list that required finishing before I was cleared hot to epoxy wipe the bottom of the fuselage, nose and strakes.
After vacuuming and blowing off all the dust with filtered high compressed air, I then taped off the front edge of the strakes . . .
and the top edge of the fuselage and nose, to allow for a bit of bare micro fill for transition with the new micro fill when the plane is back upright and I finish all the topside surfaces.
I then started the fairly lengthy process of the epoxy wiping the bottom of the fuselage, nose and strakes. The following pics are after round 2 of wiping on a thin coat of pure West epoxy (with 206 hardener) ala the Corey Bird finishing method.
And this shot is many hours later, after I finished later in the evening. Normally surfaces would get 5 coats, or wipes, of epoxy, but once the scratches and holes are filled in, there is nothing for the epoxy to really “grab” onto on the vertical side surfaces. Since the surface was looking nice and filled, and a lot of epoxy was ending up on the strake and/or floor, this was one of the main contributing factors for me stopping at 4 wipes total.
Here’s a shot from the firewall, looking forward at the bottom of the fuselage.
And a good shot of the nose. These last 2 shots were taken many hours later, when the epoxy was virtually cured.
I’ll give these epoxy wipes a couple good days to cure, then start sanding it all down, including the wings. Tomorrow I plan on working on the bottom cowling, and the nose gear fairing and doors.