I finally got a chance to get back into my workshop for a few hours this weekend and made a bit more progress on the stab. The stab sheeting is done, trimmed, and rough sanded.
I also sorted out the elevator parts and begun shaping the elevator LEs and made up the skins for the elevators. I tried to select the hardest pieces of balsa from my kit for the elevator skins, saving the softer pieces for the fuselage (which will require some tight bends). Unfortunately, the harder pieces were a bit warped, so I may have some trouble with these skins. I will see how they look after cutting to shape, but I may need to dig into my stash of 1/16 balsa and scrap the warped kit supplied pieces.
As an experiment, I tried using Titebond as an alternative to Ambroid for joining the sheeting. While it worked well enough, I found it a bit messy to clean up the excess that squeezes out of the joint. This time, I tried using Super ‘Phatic from Deluxe materials. As Super ‘Phatic is much thinner than Titebond, it is easier to get a thin bead along the joint, and the excess cleans up quickly with one quick wipe with a paper towel. The resulting joint was invisible and strong, so I now have a new favorite adhesive for edge joining. I do miss that Ambroid smell though! :)
Total build hours to date: 24 hours
Well I got just under an hour of workshop time in today and made a tad more progress on the Cessna.
I removed the tabs from the ribs on the stab bottom, rough trimmed the top sheeting, and glued in the cross-grain center section. I’ll be heading off on a business trip in the morning, so no more progress this week :(
Total build hours to date: 20.25
Since I will be using Robart hinge points instead of CA hinges, the next step in the stab construction was to locate and drill the holes for the hinge points in both the stab TE and the elevator LE. I started by marking a centerline down the stab LE and the holes based on the location of balsa blocks installed when assembling the stab.
Looks good, but there were two problems; 1) I did not notice that the ribs in the elevator are offset from the ribs in the stab, so the center hole ended up right on a rib. 2) I used an older twist drill and despite best efforts, I did end up with a small bit of drill wander and some of the holes were not aligned with the center-line. So, plugged up the holes with some scrap balsa glued in with Titebond, and started again, this time with using a sharp spade-point bit.
After getting a good set of (near) perfectly aligned holes in the elevator LE, I clamped them LE to the stab and transferred the holes to the stab TE.
Although holes are lined up perfectly in the TE, when drilling through the balsa blocks, I got a bit of drill wander again (ugh), with on hole exiting above center and another exiting below. It should be good enough though as the LE moves freely when mocked up with the hinges.
Next up is the cross grain reinforcement between the center ribs, and finally the sheeting.
After removing the pins, I added an extra fillet of Titebond around all the ribs, the LE, and the TE.
I will be traveling a bit for work, so it will be a while before I will be able to get to the bottom sheeting. At least it will give the glue plenty of time to dry!
Total build hours to date: 19.5