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Date:  1-15-2016
Number of Hours:  6.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  Overhead cont. 3 smoothing

Smoothing is complete, at least as far as I am going to take it. Since I plan on covering the finished product with some type of automotive fabric, a flawless surface is not realy required. Shape and conture are critical to an asthetic appearance, but small imperfections will not be seen since there is no light reflections from the surface.

I really struggled until I decided to use plain old bondo. The epoxy, even with micro is hard to sand and takes two days to cure for each coating. Bondo sands great, and is ready to sand in an hour or two. Since this is a plug, ne reason to worry about shrinkage or outgassing. Now for laying up the mold.

While I wait for additional supplies from Aircraft Spruce to arrive I started work on the A pillar covers. In order to clean up the appearance of the A pillar and to provide a clean way to bring wires up top (without going all the way around back) I am forming fiberglass A pillar covers. With great help from this thread on VAF http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?t=44856 as well as this build site http://www.ez.org/pages/waynehicks/chapter_25.htm. Both give great advice.
So here is the process I am using:

I form 2-3" wide blocks of 2" thick pink (Home Depot) foam to near net shape with bandsaw and various sanders, fastening them in place with double stick carpet tape working my way up the A pillar. Once all are roughed in, I take them all off laying them in order. Next step is to cover the pillar with a layer of packing tape. The blocks go back in with a dab of 5 min epoxy on each joint. I am careful to place the epoxy near the back surface so as not to make hard spots that will make trouble for later sanding. Next I shape and smooth with a 4 1/2" grinder with a 36 grit sanding disk. It will take foam off at an amazing rate. When I get to within 1/16" or so of my target, I go to hand sanding, again with a 50 grit fixed to flat boards of various shapes and sizes. Finially with 120 grit.

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smoothing complete

smoothing complete

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