Month: August 2015

Applying the fabric

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This weekend I started applying the fabric. The MiniMax 1030 kit included 1.8oz poly-fiber cloth along with the poly-fiber products to apply it. Everyone seems to recommend starting with something small like the fin or rudder so that’s what I did.

I started with the rudder and that went well but I did end up with some bumps where I used too much glue. That was easily fixed with some MEK to dissolve the glue and smooth out our the iron. Speaking of irons, temperature is very important so should you ever do this get a Coverite thermometer. Your local hobby store likely stocks this, if not they are easy to order online.

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Coverite thermometer

After completing the rudder I started on the fin. I took some scraps from the rudder and glued them in the hinge area. Then installed the hinges. This will make it easier to seal the area around the hinges. Wish I had thought of this before starting on the rudder.

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Fabric under hinge

Once the fabric is installed it will not be possible to access the nut that holds the hinge in place. To ensure the bolt does not come loose I put some thread locker on the them and then installed the lock nuts.

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Thread locker

I forgot to get a picture of the lock nut but I did indeed use a AN 365-1032 lock nut.

After covering the fin the hinge area looks nice.

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Rudder hinge

The final fin/rudder look pretty good.

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Covered fin and rudder

I plan to tackle the elevator and stabilizer next.

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Trailing edge reinforcement

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Some past builders have had issues with the trailing edge of the wing breaking glue joints and lifting up when the fabric is shrunk. To avoid this I thought it would be a good idea to reinforce those glue joints.

I started by cutting some RS-1 into trapezoid shapes using the band saw. It took longer to setup the band saw than it did to cut ~50 pieces.

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Cutting trailing edge reinforcement blocks

Those were glue to the trailing edge on both sides of the ribs.

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Trailing edge reinforcement
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Trailing edge reinforcement

Smooth Transitions

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Lots of areas on the wings are uneven by design. When I put the fabric on those areas will create ridges that won’t look that good. I decided to glue on some “ramps” so the transitions are smooth instead of abrupt.

I started by stapling a 1/16″ strip to a board.

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On the edge of the board I stapled some 1/16″ plywood material.

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Placing the first strip on the router bottom puts the side at an angle. Using a flush cut but the ramp was routed onto the plywood.

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I took the long strip of ramp material and cut it into 1/4″ sections.

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These small ramps are glued onto the ribs wherever an abrupt change in height exists.

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Whenever I mix up some glue for something, whatever is left over I use to glue on some ramps.

Left wing near completion

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Just glued the bottom trailing edge of the left wing on. Only five more pieces to go!

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Left wing trailing edge

Compass

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Since electronics can fail when you need them most, mechanical backups can be a life saver.

I did not want to put a compass in the dash since that would place it closer to electronics that will interfere with the compass. Found this pedestal mount compass that will be easy to mount to the canopy deck.

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Pedestal compass

It did require a couple washers between canopy and compass on the right and left screws to account for the curve of the canopy. With the compass installed the dash is looking nice.

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Compass installed

Navigation Tablet

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I purchased a tablet to use as a navigational aid. The free Avare app is one of the best apps for pilots that I have seen so far. Now I just need a mount to hold the tablet.

I glued a few scraps together to make a block to support the mount.

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Block for tablet mount

After locating the position I drilled four holes in the dash.

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Four long 6-32 bolts hold the mount and block to the dash. I purchased this mount from Proclip, their mounts are some of the best you can find.

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Proclip mount for nexus 7

With the mount in place the tablet was attached and Avare loaded.

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MiniMax dash with tablet running Avare