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Preparation

General advice on building your kit aircraft.
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Preparation

Postby Admin » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:48 pm

Originally posted by Andy Silvester

During the interminable weeks of waiting while your kit is shipped (!), get as much preparation done as possible, so that you can get into the build soon after delivery. If possible, try to get your build manual early and familiarise yourself with the contents. As for your workshop, give it a good clean - out and if you can, upgrade the lighting and power with plenty of strip - lights and extra sockets for power tools. Also, paint the walls and ceiling white to provide as light an area as possible. This will definitely help if you plan to prepare the aircraft for painting (filling / primer ) and also the top - coat if you are capable. If you are building in the UK during winter, some extra heating and insulation in your workshop will help, too, as well as keeping the humidity levels up to acceptable levels for epoxy work. Clearly, all workshops are different and your build inspector will advise.
Get a large roll of bubble - wrap packaging sheet (1.5m x 15m) from your local garden centre or packaging company (cheaper). In low temperatures, you'll use this to create an insulated 'tunnel' by draping it over the work you've bonded / flocked and, with the careful application of warm air from a fan - heater, you'll easily achieve the 20°C (or so) you need for a good epoxy cure.

In preparation for lots of bags of small parts, construct a 'wall-board' to which you can pin / hook the bags, in the order of build sequence. For the larger, bulky items, prepare as much shelf - space as you can and also some shelf - brackets (only) in pairs to rest long items like elevator, flaps, etc until you need them. Doors can also be hung on these. Keep an out-of-the-way area clear for windows and other fragile parts

Some builders are choosing to have all their aluminium parts anodised in a colour of their choice when the kit arrives. (I didn't, but I admit it does look good!). Bear in mind that some parts will require small 'adjustments' which may mean re-anodising afterwards. If you prefer the natural look, you can get a nice 'brushed' finish by rubbing with a ScotchBrite abrasive pad. Try different grades on bits of scrap metal first.

If you're going to do any painting, try to keep as much off the floor as possible, so that you can vacuum / sweep the place out thoroughly to minimise dust before the job. I found it helpful to hose - out the workshop floor at this stage!

It's a good idea to get extra insurance for your kit during the build, to cover any risks (fire / damage / theft, etc). Most aircraft insurers will quote and (having spent all that money on the kit) it's worth - it for the 'peace of mind'.

tunnel.jpg
Tunnel
tunnel.jpg (7.23 KiB) Viewed 1051 times

wallboard.jpg
Wall Board
wallboard.jpg (9.44 KiB) Viewed 1051 times
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