Day 34 - Tapes and reinforcing gussets.      Hours today: 18      Hours so far: 342

More covering, fitting tapes and gussets.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

The fabric has now been ironed to 350 fahrenheit, most of the lumps and imperfections have been smoothed out and it's time to tape. First, apply a coat of Polybrush - this changes the fabric into a more rubbery finish and seals the weave. The reinforcing gussets are next - I used a plastic cup for a template for the discs. Apply a coat of Polybrush, let dry, apply a second and while it is wet, put the gusset on. Using a fairly dry brush, work the Polybrush through the gusset from underneath, finally brushing out any ridges or bubbles. This picture has the edge tape too, over the gusset. The fabric is loose around the hinge point - I'm not worried. An iron at 225 fahrenheit will soften the glue and stick it down again.

Then the tapes - on any area which may suffer from increased wear. I used one length of tape for this one, wrapping it around the trailing edge. The two ends were cut with pinking shears, and they will be covered by the leading edge tape. Tapes will overlap each other, so in places they may be 3 or 4 thick.

Finished tapes. The leading edge has a curve in it, I used bias tape which is easier to shape. I've tried to get straight tapes by following (soft) pencil lines and also with careful laying down of the fabric. It's fine... from a distance! Any imperfection becomes magnified with every extra layer, so now I wish I had spent even longer preparing before starting to Polybrush!

Thinking ahead - a card mock-up of the instrument panel. The main instrument is a Stratomaster Ultra L (available here although Terry sourced mine for me). I reckon these glass panels are trustworthy enough by now, and this unit has many advantages, not just its light weight and price (when compared with individual instruments). It logs flights, sets parameters and alarms, as well as having every instrument you could want. The blue blobs are switches above fuses, the larger blob is for the key switch. This panel is subject to change!

Covering is getting easier all the time. I can see a huge difference between the first and the last things I covered. It just takes ages! Next page