Cowl Trimming, part 2

Hours Worked = 7.75

Picking up where I left off yesterday, I began by making sure the rear edge of the top cowl was perfectly aligned to the rest of the plane, and then I match drilled the cowl to the cowl hinge.

Next, after a lots of back and forth getting everything lined up, I did the same thing with the bottom cowl. Lots of duct tape was used during this process!

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With the top and bottom cowl attached to the fuselage by their back edges, the only remaining edge was where the two halves meet. To make this line perfectly straight, I used a laser level that I shot from across the room. The thickness of the laser beam was about the gap I was looking for between the halves. So with the laser as a guide, I first drew the cut line, and then actually made the cut on the top cowl first. I aligned the cut line to be as close to the bottom edge of the top cowl as possible, while still maintaining a straight line. This would ensure that there was enough material between the halves.

Once the top cowl line was trimmed, I once again turned on the laser and made sure it was still aligned with the now cut upper cowl. Then I put the lower cowl on with it overlapping the upper cowl on the edges. The laser then showed me exactly where the upper cowl edge was, and I drew my line and made the cut. A quick pass with a long sanding block and I had perfectly straight parallel cuts that matched up perfectly.

I then repeated the process on the left side of the plane.

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Next, I made up the hinge material that will join the top and bottom cowls together, and match drilled the hinges to the lower cowl.

And finally, I started match drilling the right side upper cowl hinge. However, after I finished, I realized that I had way too much gap between the two halves, because I used too thick of a spacer while match drilling. I need to order a new piece of hinge so I can redrill the upper piece a little tighter…

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Three steps forward, one step back. At least it’s still progress!

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