Lower cowl trimming and shimming

Once again, this is a post covering a few days. I’ve been trying to be productive on the weekends, but it sure is tough after, oh, about 11 AM or so. Anyway, on Sunday I got the upper cowl in place, snugged everything up, and marked the cut line on the lower cowl. Then I made the cuts on both sides and rough-sanded the cut line just to straighten it.

Another thing I wanted to do before really working on the split line was to shim the lower cowl attach to get a nice fit with the fuselage. My rationale here is that adding the shims will probably shift the upper cut edge around, even if it’s just a tiny bit. So before removing the lower cowl for the trim, I took a look at the join along the bottom and sides. The bottom looks pretty good, but on the sides, the cowl sits a little below flush. A bit of probing with calipers indicated that some .020” stock would work for a shim.

Tonight I made the shims, drilled them in assembly with the hinges, and reinstalled them. That was pretty straightforward, but I was a little surprised to see that the cowl still isn’t sitting flush. I’m suspecting that I may have messed up when measuring this. I think tomorrow I might try making a new pair of shims from .025” stock and see if I can get a better fit out of those.

Once I’m satisfied with the shim situation, I’ll be ready to start working on refining that cut line on the lower cowl.

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