Chapter 6 - Rick's Airplane
Chapter 6
Fuselage Assembly
  firewall and frame          firewall and side  
Temporary Firewall on a square and level bondo'ed to floor fueslage jig. Fuselage side mounted to firewall with counter balance weights on jig.
  f22 side and firewall          f22 f28 instrument panel  
F22 begins to go into place. Clamps used to help keep things straight and level while glassing parts.
  landing gear sump          landing gear sump2  
My landing gear area is to become a sump tank.  I'm using infinity retracts. All of my bulkheads are 4 inches wider than the plans.
  landing gear sump 3          support map fuel sw  
Landing gear area modified to be used for fuel sump tank. No landing gear. My map pocket and seat support area are 1 inch wider.  Fuel valve shown.
  3 way fuel vale          sump pic 1  
Three way valve (left tank, both, right tank, and off.  Later removed. Outer shell of center fuel sump tank.  When complete it holds 4.75 gallons.
  fuel sump 2          seat back  
Fuselage sides together.   Level  front to rear and side to side. The seat back is back one inch from plans.  Heat duct one inch wider.
  instument panel          fuselage bottom waiting for it's bottom :)  
Heat duct connected to instrument panel. Leg holes are 2" wider each side. Fuselage sits bottom up on sawhorse stands awaiting the bottom.
  on jig ready for bottom tracing.          tracing complete  
Bottom panels formed on jig to be place on fuselage and traced. Bottom has been traced onto the foam.  Measurements checked.
  bottom foam shaped          Bottom floxed and weighted on.  
Foam shapes microed onto foam bottom and held in place by weights, finishing nails and clamps.  I then microed and glassed the whole bottom. I strengthened areas where you would stand when climbing in the plane with fiberglass mat. The bottom is floxed onto the fuselage bottom and heavily weighted with bricks, heavy wire spools, weights, and car jacks.
  Things I learned:

Measurements should be as accurate as possible.  A 1% accuracy is good enough.  Don't sweat being off an 1/8 inch over a 10 foot length. Don't let the perfect get in the way of the good enough. Wipe off any excess micro or resin where it is not needed.  It's easier to do that than to file and sand later.  Denatured alcohol works well for cleanup. I learned to heavily weight the bottom on to gaurantee a good bond across the whole bottom.  It makes it nice.  I saw this on another site first. I spent lots of time on the seat back support.  I didn't like fuel lines in the cockpit.  I eventually removed the fuel valve.  I think it was unsafe where it was. I learned there are some opinionated people on the user groups that may be wrong.  When I wasn't sure,  I asked many people then formulated my answer. Paint brushes can be used again if I wrap them in saran wrap and place them in the freezer.

The most important technique I learned early on is to make bid tapes on foil.  I learned I can save them in a freezer and use them when I need them. The aluminum foil helps mold the glass in the shape it is needed.   The foil easily peels off once the tapes are pressed into place.  I can draw lines on the foil with a pen before applying the fiberglass and resin.  I can use that line to cut my tapes to the desired width once they are wetted. I cut the tapes with a "pizza" knife.

I also learned of the importance of using peel-ply on every part.  I found some great low cost fabric at the fabric store that works great. (Dacron) The peel ply helps hold the glass/resin in place, it helps you not have too much resin on the part, and after the glass is cured it peels off easy and leaves a nice finish.

JD Newman of Infinity Aerospace was way helpful with hints and tips to do better glass work.  He covers some of this in his retractable landing gear installation video.