Getting going on the horizontal tips

So it’s been another batch of cold days, which has kept me from really getting into any work, but I did find time a couple nights ago to pick up some actual body filler to use for pinhole filling and other minor touch-up work. Tonight I made the first use of that by mixing up a small batch and using it to restore that groove I accidentally cut in the rudder tip. Also, another nice touch with the filler is that it sets up a lot faster than micro – the touch-up I did was sandal within an hour or two. That, in turn, allowed me to get my sanding done a lot sooner, and I even shot a light coat of primer just to get a better look at any imperfections. The whole piece needs maybe one more overall sanding and another coat of high-build, but I think at that point these will finally be ready to rivet.

In the meantime, I got back to work on the horizontal tips. The stab tips that I drilled last time needed to be trimmed to length; I made some starting marks last session and tonight extended those around the pieces and got them rough-trimmed and sanded to shape. A test-fit on the actual stab allowed me to finalize the shape and check fit against the elevator tips as well.

Next I worked on cleaning up the elevator counterweights. These are going to get wrapped in fiberglass, but before that can be done the shape needs some fine-tuning to match the counterweight skin. I spent some time working on those with a file, giving them some nice rounded edges, as well as a little inset compared to the counterweight skins, to allow for the eventual glass layup.

Then it was time to prep the elevator tips for glassing in the counterweights. As provided, these pieces are a bit long, actually extending past the counterweight itself. Some trimming is required here before getting to the glassing; here you can see the mark I made about 1/4” back to use as a trim reference:

After extending that line all the way around, I trimmed the tips, then went to work sanding a nice taper to the cut edge. This taper will allow for a good solid scarf joint with the glass plies I’ll be adding:

Now that the counterweight is exposed, I can also see that I’m going to want to work on the stab tips a bit too. The gap is nice in the skin area, but tapers a bit with where the actual weight is. I suppose I could trim the counterweight a bit, but I think it’ll be easier to get a nice edge by working on the tip instead. I’ll be wanting to get that done before I go to work adding glass here.

Also, I still need to drill the elevator tips to the elevators; obviously I’m going to want those clecoed in place before I start adding glass plies. Having the whole thing move around wouldn’t exactly make for a nice shape…

The good news is that it’s warming up again this week, so the weather should be good for getting this glass work done.

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