Water level: When marking your waterline on the fuselage or leveling it to install the gear, don’t use S-H’s string method. Make a water level out of 1/4 inch clear plastic tubing. It is much more accurate.
Overhead projector: For those of you who may have difficulties drawing the waterline: position an overhead projector on the side of the fuselage, about 15 ft away, using the fuselage as a screen. place a rule on the glass of the overhead projector: voila,you get a perfect line on the fuselage, you have only to move the rule to get the shadow aligned with the reference marks on the fuselage; This is an aircraft painter trick, to draw the stripes. Too bad , I discovered it too late, only when I got my aircraft painted.
Quick waterline reference: There are times after the GlaStar/Sportsman is complete that a quick reference to the waterline is needed. The first will be when weighing the completed airplane for weight and balance and there may be other times such as installing floats. A quick and easy way to identify the waterline is to make a trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy two, four-foot lengths of 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 1/16″ aluminum angle. It does not need to be structural angle. Even steel angle would work, but just harder to cut. When you establish the waterline during construction, place the angles at the marks you made near the forward cabin doors. One on each side, and cut the angles to fit inside the door joggles. Drill one #40 hole through the angles into the door joggles so that the angles can be held in place with clecos. Remove the angles and store them a safe place in the shop or hangar until needed. When needed, just peel back the rubber door seals and cleco the angles in place. Put a level on the angles, both span wise as well as fore and aft.