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Monday, December 22, 2014


I got around to sanding the fins. I started by marking a line for the ~10 degree bevel on both sides and a line down the center of the edges I was going to bevel. The real Phoenix has a bigger bevel on the leading edges, but I decided against that for convenience. I attempted to use a palm sander first, but realized that it would take way too long that way. I then tried to use a hand plane. That mostly worked, but it took a long time and the plywood tended to rip instead of slice off nicely. I finally decided to try the vertical belt sander. I didn't want to use one originally because one slip up and the fin is ruined, but it ended up working out. I finished them with a sanding block. I ended up sanding the LE of the tab of the rear fins because there wasn't a good way to avoid that on the belt sander; I didn't do the finish sanding on the tabs of course.

They didn't come out perfect, but good enough. Total time sanding was probably about 10 hours. I can't wait until I have a shop with a CNC router. That would have made this so much easier.

Since the last post, I also purchased centering rings, bulkhead plates, giant rail buttons, and a nose cone from Wildman. I hope I can get this done by mid-January, but it may not happen. Next semester is going to be insanely busy.

Left to do:
  • Cut motor mount tube
  • Make motor mount
  • Install fins
  • Filleting 
  • Build altimeter bay
  • Minor stuff
  • Final primer coat, sanding, then painting

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