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Cozy Mark IV : Time and Expenses

This page will detail the time and money spent building my airplane; this is basically my builder's log.  In calculating time, I'm including time spent studying the plans, setting up the workshop, etc., even though these hours aren't directly spent in construction.  (Though I don't count time spent maintaining this website or taking pictures.)  The line items for each section should make it clear what the time was spent doing.


Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 9 Chapter 13 Chapter 17 Chapter 21 Chapter 25
Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 10 Chapter 14 Chapter 18 Chapter 22 Chapter 26
Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 11 Chapter 15 Chapter 19 Chapter 23  
Chapter 4 Chapter 8 Chapter 12 Chapter 16 Chapter 20 Chapter 24 Totals

Chapter 1

# Item Date Cost Time Comment
1. Plans 8/11/03 $500 0 Worth every penny.
2. Reading chapter 8/20/03   .25 Quick read.
n. Total   $500 .25  

Running total: Time = .25, Cost = $500


Chapter 2


Chapter 3

# Item Date Cost Time (hrs) Comment
1. Insulation 8/19/03 $46.96 4 Install fiberglass insulation in garage workshop.
2. Reading chapter 8/20/03   1 About 1/2 through, and I can tell I'll need to spend LOTS more time studying!
3. Update plans 8/22/03   3 Updated the plans with changes from newsletters 73 and higher.
4. More garage work 8/23,4 399.88 17 Hung drywall in the garage, built the 1st 1/2 of my jig table.   Finished a careful read of Chapter 3.
5. Finish jig table 8/25   4 Built 2nd half of the jig table, and put them together.  I now have 2 6x4 tables on rolling casters, that can lock together to make a single 12x4 table.
6. More garage work 8/27 205.66 3 Installed fluorescent lights, a clock and thermometer, and did some tidying up.
7. Hot box 8/29   1 Built a hot box to keep the epoxy resin and hardener in.
8. Garage 8/30-9/1 101.64 30 Finished mudding and taping the drywall, put up primer and white paint.  Put up some pegboard. Actually, my wife did most of the work mudding, taping and painting, roughly 17 of these hours.  Ordered supplies and Chapter 4 from Wicks!
9. Work area 9/2 130.20 5 Built a 2nd work table, and generally organized the work area (hung tools on the pegboard, yadda yadda).  A while back I bought some West System epoxy hand pumps, expecting to cut the tube length down to get the correct ratio.  A quick check with water suggests that the volume is correct.  When the epoxy gets here I'll use a digital scale to check the weight ratio of resin to hardener.  I'm planning on using MGS 335 epoxy.  The expense today was for materials for the 2nd table, a digital scale ($30 at office depot), peg board pegs, MEK, and other oddments.
10. Templates, etc. 9/4/03 45.29   Went to Kinko's and discovered they have a large format copier that can also reverse images.  I used this to copy and reverse the 8 bulkhead templates from chapter 4, for a cost of $1.50/page.  I also bought some plastic to protect my bench from epoxy, proper grit sandpaper, and a few other tiny items.
11. Practice piece 9/8/03   2 Made the 10x16 practice lay-up.  Will weigh it tomorrow.   The plans said this should take me 30 minutes, but it took 2 hours.  But I also spent time fitting my West System epoxy hand pumps to the MGS epoxy containers, putting away all the materials that arrived today, that kind of thing.  It should go faster in the future (I can only hope!).
n. Total   $929.63 70 hours  

Running total: Time = 70.25, Cost = $1,429.63


Chapter 4

# Item Date Cost Time (hrs) Comment
1. Chapter 4 materials 9/8/03 769.98   This is the shipment from Wicks of the chapter 4 materials, plus other supplies I'll need.  These include things like rubber squeegees, paint brushes, gloves, epoxy hardener and resin, etc.
2. Front seat bulkhead 9/8/03   1 Cut the foam for the front seat bulkhead, tapered the edge, and epoxied the foam pieces together.   I toyed with the idea of using my miter saw to cut the angle, but ended up doing it by hand with a hand-held saw blade.   Pretty good, not perfect.  (This is homebuilding, I guess.)
3. F22, F28 9/9/03   11 Glassed the fore side of the front seat bulkhead.  Cut out the F22, F22 doubler, and F28 bulkheads from the templates.  I had a hard time understanding the instructions about the F22 doubler.   If it hadn't been for the pictures at Rick Maddy's website, I would have been completely lost.  Did the glassing of F22 (including the doubler) and F28.
4. IP 9/10   5 Cut and glassed the instrument panel.  The top corners don't look the same as pictures I've seen on other people's websites, but I know I cut along the template lines.  Hmm.  Trimmed the glass on the front seat bulkhead.
5. F22, F28, front seat, landing gear bulkheads 9/11   16 Woke up to a cold Colorado morning!  The garage was 60 deg F, so I headed out to Lowe's and bought myself a space heater.  I also got a jig saw that can cut at 45 deg angles, to help with the front seatback.

Today I finished glassing F22 and F28, boy was that a lot of work!  I also did the cuts on the side of the front seat, did the flox corners and finished the glassing.   For the landing gear bulkheads, I did the 22-ply hard point.  It was the end of a long day when I finally went to bed around 1am.
6. IP, Landing gear bulkheads 9/12   6 The temp in the garage this morning was 70 deg F, so the heater is doing its job!  The forecast calls for snow in the next couple of days, so we'll really put it to the test.  I trimmed the glass off F22 and F28.  I was able to trim through the thick glass on F22 with an exacto-knife.  It wasn't easy, but the cut came out nicely.

Also glassed the 2nd side of the IP.  I realized I forgot to cut out the heater holes, so I cut these with a jig saw before glassing the 2nd side.  I also cut out the templates for the landing gear bulkheads, traced them on the foam, and cut out the shapes. 
7. IP and hardpoints 9/13   1 Trimmed the glass around the 2nd side of the IP, and cut out the landing gear bulkhead hardpoints.
8. Landing gear bulkheads 9/17   4 Glassed the fore sides of the landing gear bulkheads.  I ran out of BID!  I still have to glass the aft faces, and the firewall.  I have been careful about not wasting it, and saving all my scraps.  Totally bummed, this means I can't finish this chapter until I order the next batch of supplies.
9. Firewall 9/18   5 Cut out the temporary firewall.  I also did some additional weatherproofing in the garage, as the cold season approaches in Colorado.
10. Firewall 9/19   4 Cut out the permanent firewall from the spruce.  I'm not sure how I'm going to cut the aluminum block into 1" squares (I don't have a band saw, and I don't want to go buy one if I can help it).  I also built a cabinet to keep the glass cloth in.  We sold a freezer we had been keeping in our garage, and this cleared the space for the cabinet.
11. IP, firewall 9/20   2 Cut out the stiffeners, 5-minute epoxied the pieces together, and cut out the BID from scraps.  I also used the jig saw to cut the 1" holes for the engine mounts in the firewall.  I practiced on a scrap piece of spruce first, and I'm sure glad I did!
12. Firewall 9/21   1 I bought a vice grip, and used it to hold the aluminum block in place while I cut it with a jig saw.  I got very nice 1" squares from this, which I then installed in the firewall.
13. IP 9/22   1 Glassed the horizontal IP stiffeners.
14. IP 9/23   .5 Glassed the vertical IP stiffeners.
15. IP 9/25   .5 Cut out the UNI for glassing the remaining bulkheads (still waiting for more BID to arrive, should be here tomorrow).  Ground a flat edge on the blind screws; set out all the pieces that still need to be glassed (landing gear bulkheads, firewall).  Sanded down the IP stiffeners.
16. Landing gear bulkheads, firewall 9/26   4 The BID is here!  I cut out the BID sections for the remaining bulkheads, and set right to glassing.  I finished the back sides of the landing gear bulkheads, both sides of the firewall, and installed the blind screws.   Left everything overnight to finish drying. 
17. Firewall 9/27   .25 Knife trimmed the firewall pieces that were glassed last night.
n. Totals   $769.98 62.25 hours  

Running total: Time = 132.5, Cost = $2,199.61


Chapter 5

# Desc Date Cost Time (hours) Details
1. Jigs 9/19   1 Traced out the jigs on the pine board.  Looking for a way to get a smooth curve on the first jig.
2. Jigs 9/20   1 Used a piece of cardboard to get a smooth curve, with my wife's help.   Traced the curve on one, cut it out, and used it as a master for cutting the other three.  All jigs are now cut.  I never was good at doing jigsaw puzzles, and even though I thought I had figured out how to to get all the jigs from the 2 8' pine boards, it turns out I didn't.  I had to form one of the short jigs from two smaller pieces, 5-minute epoxied together.  Hopefully that'll be okay.
3. Longerons 9/27 $386.79 4 Materials are here!  Nailed the jigs to the table, epoxied the longerons together and clamped them to the jigs.  While it was curing, I cut out the stiffeners and doublers, and then floxed them to the longerons.  The whole assembly is now drying.

Also, an event of note: I received my permanent private pilot's license from the FAA today!  It's a plastic card (like a credit card), with nice pictures of the Wright brothers on it. 

4. Fuselage sides 9/28 9.30 5 Took down the longerons and longeron jigs.  Cut out the hardboard and foam to size, installed the fuselage side jigs (I used angle brackets, not bondo), nailed the hardboard to the jigs, and 5ME'd the foam to the hardboard.  Doesn't sound like much, but that was a lot of work!
5. Fuselage sides 9/29   5.5 Cut out the fuselage spacers, micro'd them into place.  Spent a lot of time working on the angles, and worrying about how to cut the electrical conduit (since there are no dimensions in the plans).

Oddly enough, my plans had two Chapter 5 - Page 3 pages. 

6. Fuselage sides 9/30/03   12 Sanded out the control stick and fuel gauge depressions.  Sanded and contoured all the spacers.  I stapled some sandpaper to a thin scrap of wood, and ran this all along between the two fuselage sides, to get a nice even finish there.

After double-checking everything (including the fit of the longerons: A-OK), I was ready to glass.  But I couldn't easily handle the task of rolling out the glass cloth.   My family came to the rescue!   Alec was in charge of mixing epoxy and slurry, and Amy helped applying the slurry, laying out the glass cloth, and applying the epoxy.  It took us about 4 hours as a team; I am sure it would have taken me several more hours if I had done it all by myself.  I have the best family ever!

7. Fuselage sides 10/1/03   2 Trimmed yesterday's UNI.  Floxed the upper longerons into place.   Floxed one lower longeron into place.  Applied one ply BID over the exposed foam in the electrical conduit.
8. Lower longerons 10/2/03   3 I realized this morning that the lower longerong I floxed into place had slipped out of position by .5" on one side (the side that should be 17.25" is now at 17.75").  After getting advice from the builder community, I used a hand-held hacksaw blade to separate the longeron from the fuselage side about 10" deep, and re-floxed the longeron in position.  All dimensions are now correct.

Floxed the other lower longeron into place.  Floxed the lower longeron doublers into place.   Applied the 4-plies UNI across the upper longerons.

9. LWX, LWY 10/3/03   4 Trimmed the cloth off the 4-plies UNI.  Installed LWX and LWY on both sides.  I had used my table saw to cut the angles on LWX and LWY, and I realized that this reduced the size of the pieces by about .25".  I used a scrap of wood to make an extension for these pieces, which now fit correctly into position.  It was a pain.  I was worried about LWX/Y not fitting into place, but before floxing them down I realized that the dimensions are given from the inside of the upper longeron, not the top of the fuselage side, and when I made that correction they suddenly fit.  Duh!

Tonight I made the 2nd part of the electrical conduits and 5ME'd / taped them into place.  I also cut out the foam to fill the section between the lower longeron, LWX/Y and the firewall.

10. LWX/Y 10/4/03   1 Installed the foam over the conduits, filled the cracks with dry micro, and let it dry overnight.
11. LWX/Y 10/5/03   1 Glassed over the conduit area with the 6-plies of BID.  I waited too long before knife trimming, so now the cutting is going to be much harder.  :(
12. Finish sides 6/11/04   3 Cut the fuselage sides to 101.75", cut out the main spar holes from aft side.  Ready for assembly.
n. Totals   $396.09 42.5  

Running total: Time = 175, Cost = $2,595.70


Chapter 6

# Desc Date Cost Time (hours) Details
1. Preparing for assembly 6/11/04   2.25 Fit F22, IP, front seat and temp FW to the sides.  Cut holes in temp FW for longerons and LWY.  Drew lines on sides for bulkheads, drilled holes for nails to hold 'em in place while it all dries.  All the parts are now ready for assembly.
2. Build frame for assembly, flox bulkheads to fuselage sides. 6/17/04 54.89 5 Built the frame, attached temp FW to the frame, trial fitting, and finally floxing the front seatback, IP and F22 to the fuselage sides.   The expense here was for the lumber (also for saw horses), and a 12" long 1/4" drill bit.
3. Cutting glass cloth 6/18/04   1 Cut out all the BID to tape the fuselage sides and F22 reinforcement, and the peel ply.  Ready to go!
4. BID tape 6/19/04 10.80 5.25 Taped the front seat back, IP and F22 to the fuselage sides.   Still need to do the F22 reinforcement.  I ran out of BID, so I may be done for a while until I can order more materials.
5.       1 Installed the F22 reinforcement.
6.       1 Did some trimming of the LG bulkheads so they'd fit in position, and generally got stuff ready to install them in place.
7. Aft LG bulkhead 6/22/04   4 Installed the aft LG bulkhead with flox and bid tape.   Cut out the 4 8-in squares to use as the guide for the 1/4" holes.  I had a problem with F28, it was .5" short.  Following Nat's (and others') advice, I cut it in half and installed a .5" foam extension, and then glassed over it.
8. Fore LG bulkhead 6/23/04   3 Installed the fore LG bulkhead (bottom part) and F28.
9. Fore LG bulkhead 6/24/04   1 Drilled the .25" holes through the fore/aft LG bulkhead hardpoints.  Installed top part of the fore LG bulkhead with flox.
10. Fore LG bulkhead 6/26/04   1 Installed the 3-ply UND and 2-ply BID tape to the fore LG bulkhead.  We also turned the fuselage upside-down and put it up on the saw horses.
11. Fore LG bulkhead 6/27/04   2 Installed the 6-ply UND and 2-ply BID tape to the aft side of the fore LG bulkhead.
12. Firewall 7/1/04   1 Cut out the holes to position the lower part of the permanent firewall.
13. Firewall 7/2/04   1 Floxed the lower part of the permanent FW in position.
14. Center Keel 10/1/04 692.05 3 Traced out pieces on .25" low-density foam, cut out BID and UNI, ready for glassing.  The expense here is for Chapter 06 AND 07 materials, and re-stocking supplies (epoxy, gloves, cups, yadda yadda).
15. Center Keel 10/2/04   2 Glassed center keel pieces, and cut them out.
16. Center Keel 10/4/04   1 Cut out the .25" birch plywood triangles.  It turns out that Wicks failed to include the small sheet of aluminum for the valve bracket.   I called them, and they're sending me the bracket, but now I'm just waiting for it to get here.
17. Center Keel 10/24/04   .5 Cut out the fuel valve bracket from the aluminum.
18. Center Keel 10/25/04   1 I put it off as long as was practical, but I finally had to get myself a drill press. Drilled the holes in the fuel valve bracket, and bent it to a 3/16" radius. Also spent some time assembling the keel.
19. Center Keel 10/26/04   1.5 Floxed the spacers in the keel, put the two triangle sides together, and floxed the heater conduit together.
20. Center Keel 10/27/04   5 Cut out the seatbelt rod and fitted it to the duct, and cut out the beveled fuel hole. Expanded the slot in the front seat back to allow the duct to fit. Added the 7-plies of UNI over the duct, 2 plies of BID over the duct and one side of the keel. Trimmed.
21. Fuse bottom spacers 11/26/04   4 Cut out the fuselage bottom, drew guide lines from inside the fuselage, and made the jig.  Cut out templates for the spacers, and used this to cut out the spacers from .75" foam.  The 2'x4' sheet of foam for this purpose isn't enough, but I had enough (barely) from scraps to make all the spacers.  Micro'd them in place.
22. Fuse bottom 11/27/04   1 Cut out the glass cloth for tomorrow's glassing.  2 plies BID overall, 1 additional ply aft.
23. Fuse bottom 11/28/04   6 Glassed the fuselage bottom, covered with peel ply, and left it to cure.
24. Fuse bottom 11/29/04     Trimmed glass on bottom, floxed bottom to fuselage and weighted down for cure.  Cut out BID tape for next step.  Damn, I'm short on BID!  I could scrape together scraps, but then the joints would be a patchwork, and since we're talking about the joints between the fuselage sides and bottom, well, something tells me I'd rather have this done RIGHT and WELL, rather than piecemeal.   First not enough foam for the spacers and now not enough BID for the tape?! 
25. Fuse bottom 11/30/04   2 Started taping fuselage bottom to sides.
26. Fuse bottom 12/4/05 46.73 6 Finished taping fuselage bottom to sides.  The expense here is for some 2" and 3" BID tape from Wicks, as well as some additional flox.
n. Totals   804.47 61.5  

Running total: Time: 236.5, Cost = $3,400.17


Chapter 7

1. NACA scoop 12/1/04   3 Created template for NACA scoop, outlined on fuselage bottom, cut out foam, trimmed to shape, and micro'd foam to fuselage bottom.  Cut out the wooden braces for the LG bulkheads and floxed in place.  Cut out the foam to go on the outside of these braces, but did not micro in place, as the braces' flox was still drying.
2. NACA scoop 12/2/04   4 Micro'd the foam to the braces.  Cut out the braces that go between the FW and aft LG bulkhead.  Floxed in place, added 2 plies BID, and micro'd 2" foam over them.  Now, in order to finish the scoop you're supposed to use 3/8" PVC foam in the space between the FW and aft LG bulkhead, but I am out of this kind of foam.  First I didn't have enough foam for the spacers, then I didn't have enough BID for the taping, and now I don't have enough foam for the scoop.  In all fairness, I believe that this last shortage is my fault, for not saving the scraps from the fuselage bottom.  But to be short for three separate things in the space of a couple of days, well, grrr.  I've got two separate orders in at Wicks to send me more stuff, and now I'm just fiddling around until it arrives.

I also prepared the 22" sanding block today, in preparation for sanding down the NACA scoop.

There are a bewildering number of details that the plans are silent about, or that you have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out.  For example, the horizontal braces between the FW and aft LG bulkhead.  The dimensions in the plans suggest that one side is essentially square, and the other is angled to fit up against the side braces (where the bevel is).  But, the square side cannot actually be square, it has to be angled to fit the line of the NACA scoop.  If you cut the things to the dimensions in the plans, they won't be long enough.  So the plans say to trial cut from foam first, but they don't explain why.  Elementary, my dear Watson.  Okay, then, you put the 2" foam on top of them, but the plans don't say anything about shaping this foam down to the contour of the bulkheads.  You have to notice in the pictures at the end of the chapter, where there's a reference to this.  So many of the little mistakes I make that I have to go back and correct could have been prevented by a little more clarity in the plans.  I'm being as careful as I can be, but often I don't realize I've made a mistake until I'm past it.  Sometimes it seems to me like the plans are written for someone who already knows how to build one of these things, and the plans are there just to remind you of the major steps, without worrying about all the little details.

3. NACA Scoop 12/11/04   .5 Cut out and installed 3/8" PVC for the rear part of the scoop.
4. NACA Scoop 12/21/04   4 Sanded down 1/2 of the scoop, cut out the ridge for the LG cover.
5. NACA Scoop 12/22/04 91 6 Sanded down the other 1/2 of the scoop, cut out the aluminum inserts and floxed them in place.  The cost was for a band saw, which turns out to be an essential piece of equipment; and a surform plane.
6. Sides 12/23/04   4 Shaped the tapers on the sides by the FW.  Started the 45-deg cut along the bottom of the fuselage sides.  I made a 12" long blade for my jig saw from a band saw blade to make the cut.
7. Sides 12/24/04   6 Finished the 45-deg cuts, did the hand cuts, and sanded and shaped the fuselage sides, on the bottom.
n. Totals   91 27.5  

Running total: Time: 264, Cost = $3,491.17

Totals

Hours: 264
Cost: $3491.17


Copyright (c) 2003, d'Armond Speers
All Rights Reserved
Last modified: Friday, December 24, 2004