I noticed that when I re-installed the oil filler access door, the door fiberglass piece no longer fit perfectly flush. Apparently, once the 6-inch square piece of fiberglass was liberated from the whole of the cowling, it tried to return to a more relaxed "flatter" state. I slathered the entire door with a light coat of filler and then block sanded the door so that it was flush again.

Not a big deal, but it was another of those things you don't anticipate that can turn a seemingly simple task into a little more time-consuming task.

I finally trimmed the nose of the cowling to it's final size and shape. The cowling comes from Mustang Aeronautics with a little extra flange around the nose opening. Little stuff like this make me excited to think I'm down to the detail work and that I may actually finish this some day!

This turned out to be a boneheaded move. I figured it would be nice to put a little bulkhead in the front of each cowl cheek. I was even considering putting a trap door in the left hand side to store an extra quart of oil or polishing supplies for fly-ins. Not completely a dumb idea, but I blew it in the execution.

I failed to consider that the final radius of the cowl cheek opening wasn't perfectly defined until it was mated with the fuselage. I used resin and flox to install these bulkheads with the cheeks laying on a table--not installed on the airplane. Needless to say, the now-fixed radius no longer fit the cowling. I ended up cutting these out and grinding the flox flush.

The oil filler access door is re-installed after being filled and sanded into submission (flushness?). I think it's going to turn out looking pretty nice.

Since I'm no longer going to have a bulkhead sealing off the cowl cheeks, I decided I should finish the insides of the cheeks so that they won't absorb dirt and grease. The cheek on the left has been filed with a first coat of light filler to fill the fiberglass weave. The technique is to use a squeejee and apply only enough filler to fill the weave. You then sand to remove any ridges and then apply one more coat of the filler. After the second fill/sand process, you should be able to prime with a good filler primer and have very few pinholes. Any remaining pinholes after priming are easily identified and filled.

Time to prime. We had some unseasonably fantastic weather last week (March 19, specifically) so I declared last Thursday "Priming Day." I'm not real particular about the priming setup because everything gets wet-sanded at a minimum. This arrangement would obviously be way too dusty for finish paint.

As a bonus, you can also see the fuel tank is taped off for a little primer. Only the front face of the fuel tank is visible when it's installed, so I'm only going to finish off the front part. That's why it's all taped off. I took special care to tape off my valve and electric pump on the bottom and the fuel cap and fuel sender on the top.