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REFLECTOR: Fuselage Leveling
While my brother was in town
this week we decided to level and bondo my fusalage onto sawhorses. Two days ago
we laid up 6 plies of triax to form cradles to go between the sawhorses and
fuselage. They seem to spread the weight of the thing out across a larger area.
Initially the fuselage seemed pretty close to level.. A popsicle stick here and
there and it was pretty close. We found that as we shimmed one leg of the
sawhorses it'd raise the whole fuselage though.. bringing the other side away
from the cradle. So, we bondoed the cradle to the fuselage in a couple places
and placed lead shot inside to help hold the fuselage to the cradles and the
sawhorses. The cradles had already been bondoed to the sawhorses.
---Is the fuselage twisted in cases.. Or is it
basically straight enough that no twisting is necessary to get side to side
leveling without needing to twist it somewhat?
The reason I ask this is simple. As we shimmed
the sawhorses to move the fuselage side to side aprox 1/4 to 1/2 of a degree we
managed to get level readings, really perfect at all the major bulkhead
locations, firewall, canard, inst. panel etc... while at the same time
twisting the fuselage. The left cowl back is clearly higher by 1/2" or more
than the right cowl back edge. This is clearly due to the fact that shimming a
back sawhorse leg on one side raises that side without raising it in the front
also,, causing a clear twist in the whole thing.. I thought we had it nailed
according to all of the levels.. Then I looked straight back from the nose over
my level sitting in firewall position and the left cowl back was sitting much
higher.. Anything from the firewall forward will read level.. But as you trail
backward of the firewall the twist is apparent.
???any observations or suggestions would be
greatly appreciated.. My brother says its close enough.. I'm not so sure... My
real question is, should a twist even occur in proper leveling? and if so,,
should it do that much to the back of the cowl... Putting a level to the back of
the cowl, half of the bubble is outside the line..! If on the average, these
fuselages are that warped that's one thing.. but my gut tells me that we screwed
up.. But the rest is level for and aft and from side to side everything is
level from firewall to canard bulkhead..
I'm still waiting on hardner and a new pump.. (the old hardner
is better replaced.. this was an old kit..) so I have plenty of time with the
Christmas season slowing down UPS to do this part right..
SW Elite RG