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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cockpit Coaming Assembly, 69 hours.

The past two evenings I havent felt like sanding but wanted to get something done. So I assembled the cockpit coaming.
A long time ago I read on a homebuilt airplane website, that when undertaking long projects it doesnt matter how much actual work you do each day, only that you do SOMETHING each day and the project WILL get done...eventually. Its when you go for weeks at a time without doing anything at all that projects like this often get shelved indefinitely. So even if I spent 3 hours in the dentist chair today being poked, proded, drilled and grinded and all I want to do is sit on the couch and eat sugar to re-rot my teeth, I make it a point to at least do something on the project. This is one of those times. It only took about 15 minutes per night, the last two nights and now I have one of the few remaining components completed.

The coaming consists of two 3/8" thick plywood spacers and a oversized drip ring. The spacers need to be glued sandwiched together but must be done so while clamped in place so they cure following the curves of the decking around the cockpit. If you simply sandwiched and glued the spacers and drip ring on a flat surface they would not have any flexibility and you would break them trying to clamp them to the curved deck. In the picture above you can see I put some tape on the deck under the spacers so I wouldnt accidently glue the spacers to the deck yet. I glued and clamped the spacers and left them overnight.

Tonight, I removed the spacers and the tape from the hull and then clamped the 1/8" thick mahogany drip ring to the spacers and it is curing tonight. In the picture above the coaming is resting upside down from how it will be installed on the deck. All I need to do is epoxy a fillet on the underside of the drip ring lip for added strength and the coaming is ready to install.

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