My Taylorcraft restoration project,  G-BREY
Page 3, July 2003 - October 2003

Go to page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

by Robert Lees

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

Search this Restoration page for: Use <ALT+S> for next entry. 
This only searches this page! For other pages, use the "Search" feature in the left hand nav bar or use the page search function for that page.

July 2003 Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

Some other things have got in the way of rebuild progress, including a trip to Alliance 2003, and preparation for a trip to Australia, where 12 members of our flying club will be touring Queensland in C130's.

SlipRolls1.jpg (30316 bytes) I decide to remanufacture the boot cowl (between the doors and  firewall), but I need to remake the slip rolls I acquired with longer rolls).  More on the sheetmetal work later.
RichardBoyer.jpg (45020 bytes) Richard Boyer from Texas spends a day at Leicester.

fus-fabric32.jpg (54485 bytes) fus-fabric33.jpg (45070 bytes) fus-fabric34.jpg (28743 bytes) After my Inspector signs off the work to date, prep work commences for the fourth and last side of the fuselage.  A cleaning of the gluing surfaces using panel wipe, and then the laying up of the covering.
Pencil lines are used to mark where the final trimming of the fabric is to go, and as before, each cut line is pre-treated with a thin coat of adhesive prior to the cutting to prevent the edges unravelling.
fus-fabric26.jpg (33974 bytes) The aft end goes on well.  There is no need to try and keep the fabric taught, in fact I put effort into ensuring that it remained slack during the process.  But the forward end again looks like an old lady's baggy knickers...
fus-fabric27.jpg (40833 bytes) fus-fabric28.jpg (39774 bytes) fus-fabric29.jpg (38751 bytes) ...but with care, all edges are glued down and...
fus-fabric30.jpg (45924 bytes) fus-fabric31.jpg (39980 bytes) ...after taughtening with the iron, looks good!   But many hours are spent getting the seams smooth.  Time spent here will pay off in the final finish. Note the pencil lines still showing.  These will not bleed through the coatings. But do not use felt pens!
The pink colouring in the right hand photo is the pre-treatment of the steel fuselage frame showing the manual carefully!
fus-fabric35.jpg (52679 bytes) fus-fabric36.jpg (44880 bytes) "Pink Goo" Poly-Brush is liberally applied by brush.  The drips are in fact on the inside of the's quite important to brush each face when horizontal so that drips remain on the underside.
fus-fabric37.jpg (21911 bytes) The top rib of the fin gets rib stitched... fus-fabric38.jpg (21295 bytes) ...and then the reinforcing tape is soaked with Poly Brush.  Note that there is no cord visible connecting each stitch...this passes inside the fin...follow the manual!
fus-fabric44.jpg (21323 bytes) A finishing tape is applied and ironed smooth.
fus-fabric39.jpg (22826 bytes) Inspection rings are glued in (note the pencil ring showing where the Poly-Brush is to be applied for attaching the doily.... fus-fabric40.jpg (27739 bytes) ...and here are the doilies applied...exactly as per the manual. 
fus-fabric41.jpg (25192 bytes) I also put a ring on the underside near the aft end...I may never cut it out, but access back there might be useful in the future.

August 2003 Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

Aus2003_419.JPG (54024 bytes) Aus2003_457.JPG (91359 bytes) Much of August was spent on a fantastic flying trip around Australia.  12 of our flying club members flew around Queensland in six 172's for 16 days on a guided tour with GOANA Tours.
Not the same as a Taylorcraft, but very suitable for this trip.  I even found some foot rests in the cabin!
Aus2003_468.JPG (30858 bytes) Aus2003_484.JPG (58580 bytes)

Back to Taylorcraft stuff.......

fus-fabric45.jpg (27635 bytes) The reinforcing gusset over the rear windows is installed as one piece, covering the aperture, so that later overspray will not get in to the painted interior.  It will be removed after all the painting is complete.
pencil-lines2.jpg (81370 bytes) pencil-lines3.jpg (24487 bytes) I made a little tool to help me mark the finishing tape pencil lines....
fus-fabric42.jpg (32782 bytes) ...and here's the fuselage side with reinforcing tape locations pencilled up and the first brush coat of pink goo applied.
fus-fabric43.jpg (30442 bytes) Applying the tapes is a lot easier using an old credit card to squeegee the pink goo through and provide a smooth finish.

September 2003 Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 

Floorboards2.jpg (34063 bytes) New floorboards made, using the old ones as a pattern.  5-ply, 6mm-thick Baltic birch ply used.
Floorboards1.jpg (83908 bytes) Applying a pre-set bend to the ply required soaking in water and using weights to form a curve until the wood is dry.
Floorboards3.jpg (51541 bytes) Floorboards4.jpg (53036 bytes) The boards are secured with load-spreading countersunk washers, recessed into the surface of the wood, and a new central aluminium strip to cover the join.

Further fuselage fabric work:

fus-fabric46.jpg (32096 bytes) Applying a pre-coat of pink goo to the marked-out tape lines, in this case the tapes over the belly stringers.  This ensures proper adhesion of the tapes.
Each requires marking out, pre-treating with pink goo, and after allowing to dry, applying each tape using a liberal brush-coat of goo.  After a further drying period, tapes are subsequently brush-coated again with pink goo.  I can only re-emphasise how you must follow the Poly-Fiber manual exactly.
Note the squeegee residue from applying the longeron tapes...this irons out using a hot 350F iron now, before the first spray coat of pink goo is applied.
fus-fabric47.jpg (30368 bytes) fus-fabric48.jpg (33498 bytes) fus-fabric49.jpg (30267 bytes) A selection of views of the tapes all applied.  
In the centre photo, the tape between the forward stabiliser tube & lower tailbrace wire attachment point is there because the original fabric didn't have a tape, & the fabric cracked along that line.
Note that I have yet to make an aperture frame for access to the top elevator horn. These will be made soon, it is important that the fin fabric be taught before these are cut out.
fus-fabric50.jpg (33936 bytes) fus-fabric52.jpg (39886 bytes) fus-fabric51.jpg (41532 bytes) The last photo shows the underside of the tail (where the leaf springs bolt to) left open for ventilation. The long bolt & hex spacers are used to keep the tail off the ground.
Note the dollar-patch just forward of this bolt, this will become a drain hole ahead of the tailspring attachment bulkhead.

I make new aluminium frames for the elevator inspection panel.  These frames will be fabricked to the fuselage.

fus-fabric63.jpg (34911 bytes) fus-fabric53.jpg (28042 bytes) fus-fabric54.jpg (75843 bytes) The inside contour is marked out, and two holes drilled to form the interior curves.
I use wordworking bits to cut large diameter (up to 32mm) holes in aluminium, I relieve the flat cutting face so as to cut a circular disc from the material.
The line between the two is scored through, using a sharp implement.
fus-fabric55.jpg (36009 bytes) fus-fabric56.jpg (21755 bytes) The middle comes away, leaving the frame.   This is alodined and then pre-coated with pink goo to ensure proper adhesion of the fabric.

fus-fabric57.jpg (32486 bytes)
The frame is glued on.  Note the lines marked out for pre-coating and placing the fabric doily...

fus-fabric58.jpg (30844 bytes)
...and the doily duly placed.

fus-fabric59.jpg (36692 bytes)
No, it hasn't split...I've cut the diagonals with a knife...
fus-fabric60.jpg (32819 bytes)
...and then trimmed the loose bits...
fus-fabric61.jpg (35638 bytes)
...and folded these flaps inside the fin and glued them for additional security.
The white lined paper is used to prevent glue drips from falling on to the opposite side of the fin.
Helps with the photographic detail too!

The iron was used to re-taughten the fin fabric, it went ever so slightly slack on cutting the opening out.  But tightened right up again at 350 degrees F

fus-fabric62.jpg (57212 bytes) By the way, I keep my little 1/2" glue brushes in a tall thin sealed glass jar (in my case a soy-sauce bottle) with a little MEK in the bottom, this keeps the brush from drying out.
Photo also shows the ubiquitous Sharpie pen, invaluable for marking out aluminium.   But NEVER fabric.
scotchbrite1.jpg (54834 bytes) And all my aluminium work is finished using a Scotchbrite wheel attached to my bench grinder.  This finishes off edges very well, smoothing and deburring,  Available from good suppliers, or ask your local RV builder where he gets his. Gloster Air Parts if you are in England.

While I deliberate spraying the fuselage (and making a fan extractor), I continue with other work:

elevator-trimtab-cutout-correct4.jpg (28850 bytes) The cut-out for the pitch trim tab in the left elevator was always out of kilter...the trim tab stuck out about 3/4" from the trailing edge of the elevator, and the left elevator was a different size& shape to the right...
elevator-trimtab-cutout-correct1.jpg (80728 bytes) elevator-trimtab-cutout-correct2.jpg (74445 bytes) elevator-trimtab-cutout-correct3.jpg (48389 bytes) ...and required the repair of another previous repair to put right.  This necessitated moving the trailing edge tube 3/4 inch aft so that the line of the trailing edge matched the aft line of the trim tab.  My finished repairs are untidy, but only because of the attempts by persons unknown years ago to do a bodge job.  Should look alright under fabric.  At least it is structurally OK.
spraying-parts5.jpg (47095 bytes) A couple of weekends of beadblasting sees the two gear legs and the collection of tail components (here is two stabilisers, two elevators and a rudder) cleaned up and in etch prime.
spraying-parts3.jpg (100983 bytes) Stabiliser etch primed after blasting......and then epoxy primed. spraying-parts4.jpg (96764 bytes) NOTE:  you must provide a mechanical key (by sanding) to the etch prime if overcoating with the epoxy more than 12 hours later. spraying-parts6.jpg (23823 bytes) well as the gear legs.  The fabric support wire was bowed, but was straightened by cutting one end and re-welding.
spraying-parts7.jpg (58275 bytes) The two elevators and a rudder hang up to dry.   The white epoxy primer was tinted with a little bit of black, to make grey, so that on those items requiring a top coat in white, I can see where the paint has been applied...
spraying-parts8.jpg (32929 bytes) ...and those bits that will not be hidden by fabric I have top-coated.  As well as the hinge points, the rudder horn on the rudder gas also been top-coated.
extractor1.jpg (52309 bytes) extractor2.jpg (58781 bytes) extractor3.jpg (45936 bytes) I have borrowed an extractor fan from friends at the Club...and modified it to fit inside a box, with 12" diameter inlet and exhaust hoses which connect to circular flanges made on my new set of slip rolls.

October 2003  Click on the thumbnails to enlarge, use the browser's Back button to go back. 
I decide to fabricate the aft rotate jig.  Since it's been sitting on the front rotate jig for over a year, the addition of the aft one will enable the fuselage to rotate like a pig on a spit.

aft-rotate-jig1.jpg (76824 bytes) aft-rotate-jig2.jpg (46776 bytes) aft-rotate-jig3.jpg (51604 bytes) Components are made up, and where appropriate, bolted up prior to and during welding.  I use some old AN3 bolts, tack welded underneath the flat plate.  They do not support the weight..they are for location only...
aft-rotate-jig4.jpg (50420 bytes) ...and it is important to ensure that the fin top will miss the floor when deciding the height of the upstand...
aft-rotate-jig5.jpg (39659 bytes) aft-rotate-jig6.jpg (46883 bytes) aft-rotate-jig7.jpg (50017 bytes) ...and on assembly, the whole fuselage sits in neutral balance; with nothing to prevent rotation (apart from the un-clamped rotation clamps), it will turn on my fingertips.  How I wish my barbecue spit would work as well!

gear2.jpg (38215 bytes) gear3.jpg (38171 bytes) The gear is temporarily put on to ensure that there is no interference with my fabric, and to position the gear bumpers for screwing on.
Note in the left hand photo that the exposed areas have been gloss-coated in white.
oiling1.jpg (24196 bytes) oiling2.jpg (33410 bytes) The undercarriage, stabilisers, elevators and rudder, after the paint has cured, are internally sealed.  A messy but necessary task.  Note again the gloss top coat.
The left photo shows the reinstallation of corks to seal the stabilisers, well, any old excuse to have a bottle of the red!

stab-fit4.jpg (45882 bytes) But what's this?  My saucepan holder is back in the kitchen... stab-fit5.jpg (48484 bytes) fact I am drilling the holes for mounting the stabilisers to the fuselage stubs (which were welded up a long time ago because they were so out of shape.  I need to do this now before spraying of the fuselage starts.
StabAttach1.jpg (43881 bytes) StabAttach2.jpg (35318 bytes) The two pictures here show the original holes that were welded up due to elongation.
stab-fit6.jpg (34024 bytes) I use the stabiliser jig that I made some time ago, to ensure that the elevator hinge line is true.  The top wires take the weight. stab-fit7.jpg (35168 bytes) After lining up the stabiliser using the jig, and by levelling the fuselage fore-and-aft as well as laterally, and by taking measurements from the top and bottom of the fin to the stabiliser tips, I can be confident of correct alignment to drill the mounting holes.  These are drilled to size in small increments before using a reamer to AN3 size.  I am using cling film to keep drilling oil off the fabric.
stab-fit8.jpg (43506 bytes) Here's the finished product...holes reamed to 3/16".
fus-fabric64.jpg (32385 bytes) Masking off prior to spraying...quite a job to mask off the complete interior that I had previously sprayed, this became a subject of debate as to whether it was a good idea to spray the interior first...too late to worry about now!
A selection of masking products used...cling film for the front fuselage, Kraft Paper for the interior, whatever came to hand.
The last job before spraying.

There will be a short delay to the remainder of this month's reporting.  I am now ready to start spraying the fuselage, and spraying of the Poly-Brush coats is not terribly exciting, and does not warrant the publication of photos.   Just before reaching this stage, I have been carrying out further ironing, smoothing, and cleaning processes to get the fabric as good as I can (you cannot heat-smooth enough).
When I get to the silver, then I will get back with an update...

edit: here we are:-

fus-fabric65.jpg (39485 bytes) fus-fabric66.jpg (31658 bytes) After spraying two coats of the pink goo (Poly-brush) as per the manual, I spray the first coat of silver.  Here's two views of the first coat, and it shows every imperfection in the previous sealing pink goo coats.   I had a few minor glitches, but now rectified.
fus-fabric70.jpg (43583 bytes) Here's a nice little stirrer that Aircraft Spruce do for mixing, and for stirring up the mud from the bottom of the gets right underneath the rim (as the bishop said to the actress)...
fus-fabric71.jpg (52934 bytes) ...(and the pouring lids are very useful too)...
fus-fabric69.jpg (63222 bytes) fus-fabric68.jpg (38972 bytes) ...but after stirring up the mud, I did what the manual says, and took the cans of paint to the local DIY centre and borrowed their paint shaker...but after you stir up the mud from the bottom, put the little metal lid clips back on...many places require them for security of the lid.
Filtering the silver is also important to keep the large chunks of aluminium from the fabric.  This filter here is so blocked that the last dregs will not strain through, this despite shaking in the local DIY place.
fus-fabric67.jpg (40305 bytes) Any sanding required (and I sanded each coat of silver) needs to be done wet.  Fresh water with a little washing-up liquid is the best, but requires proper rinsing and drying with paper towels to minimise residue.

Next stage, white top-coat! Go to page 4 of restoration (Nov 2003 - Mar 2004)

Go to page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Other restoration photos Home