00 Shop Prep

This entry is part 2 of 28 in the series 00 - Prep/Logistics

For the past two weeks I’ve been working on the annual of the Cessna and getting the shop ready so when the plane arrives I can start working on the plane.

One of the things that I need is a heated epoxy cabinet. The epoxies that will be used need to be stored at a relatively narrow temperature range. I knew this, but I thought that since the shop is heated, I wouldn’t have to worry about that. When I was in Florida, the shop I was working in kept their epoxy in a heated cabinet. And that was Florida! If the epoxy gets too cold it becomes thick and doesn’t flow very well.

I had originally planned on building a cabinet, but while shopping for the heating parts at the local home improvement store, I ran across a simple cabinet for $49.

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I lined the inside with 1/2″ foil faced insulation.

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Then I installed a thermostat and a single fixture for an incandescent light bulb. I was going to put in two fixtures, but I wasn’t sure if I needed two so I decided to put in one and add the second if required.

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To maintain about 70 – 80 degrees, the 75 watt light bulb is on about 15% of the time.

During construction, I’ll need to retract the landing gear from time to time so I’ll need some way to support the plane. The front will be easy since a sawhorse will fit under the nose perfectly. For the back (under the wings) I could use Airplane Jacks, but they’re rather expensive since they’re designed to work under different types of airplanes. While I was down at the factory, I saw a couple different types of fabricated jacks. So here’s what I did:

I went to Harbor Freight (I’m really starting to like that store) and picked up a couple 6 ton hydraulic bottle jacks.

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Once it’s completed, the airplane will only weight about 2,000 pounds so I don’t need that much capacity, but these jacks had a longer throw than the 2 ton jacks and they only cost $12 each!

Then I had to make them work for the 37″ – 42″ span under the wing. So I used some leftover 1/2″ plywood from when I built the shop and made a base.

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With the jack on top, it’s the correct height to raise the wing. I haven’t decided how I’m going to secure the jack to the top of the stand. I’m thinking something along the lines of lag bolts with fender (wide) washers around the edge.

Now I’m off the New York City for a week to teach an ACCS class. Then I’m in Downtown Chicago for a week teaching an ICND1 class. After that, I’m hoping the airplane will arrive.

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