OK. Forget about all that stuff I said on the first page about fabricating the tank from aluminum. I decided that I'm having sooo much fun with fiberglass that I'd construct the tank out of fiberglass!

The owner/operator of a local composites company (Scion Industries) was nice enough to give me a bunch of blocks of hi-density foam. I glued the blocks together to form a big block approximately 20" x 20" x 20". I then cut tombstone-shaped panels out of hardboard to act as templates for the forward and aft ends of the tank.

I cut as much away as I dared using a regular cross-cut saw.

You can see that the foam tank is starting to take shape. I guess I don't have a picture of it, but I made my own long sanding board out of a 2 x 4" piece of scrap lumber. I just used Elmer's wood glue and glued a strip of 80 grit sandpaper to the edge of a 30" long 2 x 4. I went back and forth between the front and back templates to form the rounded shape of the tank. It was a mess and time-consuming, but it turned out nice.

I intentionally made the new tank mold somewhat longer than the original tank. My hope was that I could increase the size somewhat to increase my fuel capacity.

I used a Roto-Zip tool to cut the hardboard where I wanted the inset for the panel instruments. After that, I just used the crosscut saw to remove the foam.

As you can probably tell from looking at the picture, I've made the cutout a little deeper than the original tank in both top-to-bottom and front-to-back dimensions. I don't want the tank to be a limiting factor for whatever I may someday want to put in the panel.

I temporarily removed my instrument panel to do a test-fit of the tank mold in the fuselage. I had the stick cut and angled back away from the fuel tank so I was hoping to bring the fuel tank back parallel with the spar bulkhead.

Long story short, It just didn't leave enough room where I was comfortable getting my big feet in and out from underneath the tank with the tank sticking out directly above the spar. You'll see in later pictures that I ended up making the mold [plug] almost identical in size and shape to the original aluminum fuel tank.