I think it will be difficult to install the carpeting in the luggage area after the fuselage side skins are installed, so I’m taking advantage of the easy access I have now before I continue with building the center fuselage.
I’m continuing to use the high-density foam insulation from Aircraft Spruce to keep the cabin warm and quiet. The first step is to cut the foam to size. Once again, I recommend using a rotary wheel cutter, it slices through the foam (and carpeting) cleanly and easily, just make sure to use it with a metal edge like a ruler.
Since the luggage compartment doesn’t have an inner skin, I’m applying foam to the inside surface of the outer skins, and then applying the carpeting over the foam. The foam has its own adhesive backing, but for the carpeting I’m using 3M Super 90 spray-on contact adhesive. It’s similar to the popular Super 77, but is rated for a wider temperature range, so that (hopefully) the carpeting won’t start peeling away once my plane sits out in the sun! The spray works just fine for bonding the carpeting on top of the foam, by the way.
For Super 90 to be effective, it must be sprayed onto both surfaces that will be bonded together. For the carpet pieces, that’s pretty easy, but for the surfaces in the plane, that’s a little trickier. I’ve had to mask off sections, a little bit at a time, to make sure I spray just the contact surfaces. This was especially true in the small area next to the parachute box. Because I knew access would be tight here, I actually put the carpeting in this area last week, before I installed the upper skins of the rear fuselage. I used masking tape and craft paper to protect the surfaces where I didn’t want glue to land. Despite my precautions, I still had an occasional over-spray. I found that the SEM Solve surface cleaner that I use for prepping the skins prior to priming works really well to clean up the glue, and doesn’t discolor or damage the carpet.