More cowl shaping

This is yet another multi-day post, actually covering a few work sessions over the past week or so. The basic deal is that I’ve been working on sanding and shaping those cowl corners, generally working in fairly short sessions because it’s been in the 90s almost every day. However, tonight things cooled off nicely and I had what was actually a fairly pleasant work session.

I’m pretty happy with how the corners have shaped up, though there’s still some fine-tuning I want to do, plus the usual pinhole filling to take care of. But I think I’m at a point where I won’t need to to another layer of micro and another round of shaping, which is a win all by itself. Here’s a look at the right corner, showing a void (“pinhole” just doesn’t cut it here) that I uncovered:

Most of what I worked on tonight was the prop spinner area, where I slathered on a ton of micro a while back. Initially I had the idea of sanding that in place, using sandpaper glued to pieces of aluminum, to ensure nice spacing from the spinner backplate, but previous attempts at that were…let’s just say not fun. Instead I worked on shaving down the micro to get it roughly to match the lower cowl, then hung the cowl on the plane again to check the fit. It’s actually looking pretty good, but I think I am going to revisit my sanding-in-place approach to get the cowl-spinner gap fine-tuned the way I want it.

Once that’s done, I think my next move will be to lay up the flange where cowl mates in the spinner area – this will effectively lock the cowl halves together so I can finalize the corner shaping. Right now, the cowl halves can move laterally relative to each other, which makes the corner shaping a bit imprecise.

I’m also considering adding flanges where the corners mate, which I’ve seen other builders do, but I’m not entirely sure it’s necessary, plus I think it might be kind of a pain to deal with in close proximity to the backing layups for the cowl pin covers. So I suspect I’ll end up not doing that, but you never know what strange decisions I might make down the road…

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