Pre-Cover Prep for the Fuselage

February 7, 2019

Well, it’s been almost a month already. Boy does time fly when you realize there’s still A LOT of prep work before covering can begin.

Since I’m using Oratex, every little bit of what’s being covered needs to be perfect - or at least as perfect as I can manage. The reason - Oratex is thin and heat shrunk, so every little bump and crease will show.

I decided to take the time and smooth out every transition and every bump and every rivit. Lots of superfill, some hysol and lots of sanding by hand required. A few coats of primer and it’s ready.

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Oh yeah, also fabricated a small plate for the bottom where the header tank is accessable for the fuel drain. This gives me a nice solid location for the fabric to be glued to and the ring plate to sit against.

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After that, everything was cleaned up really good with acetone to prepare for the Oratex.

Now, the scary part… cutting the Oratex. At something like $199 a yard, you only get one chance so you better make it right. What I did was take the 20 year old poly fiber roll that came with my buy and used it to template the sides bottom and top of the fuselage. Hopefully this is fool proof right?

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After fitting the template and checking and re-checking, I made some cuts. I opted to start with the bottom first. It looked like it would be the easiest. It’s the flattest, no compound curves or anything to stress me out more than I needed.

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The template was cut out and ready to go - but not today.

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