Some Right Leading Edge Work

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since my last work on the airplane.

Taking care of this little puppy (trying to find him a home) has taken its toll on our schedules and ability to sleep at night. Also, I’ve been busy at work logging time in something a little bigger than an RV.

Anyway, back to building.

I spent a few minutes taking some time to get reoriented. I couldn’t decide whether to work on the leading edge light or start working on ribs. The plan is to get the right leading edge assembled, then get back to prep on the left wing to catch it up.

I spent some time deburring, dimpling, and scuffing the joint plate, then focused on the inboard leading edge rib.

Crap. These holes are too close to the web.

Crap, I didn’t have it positioned properly when drilling.

There's no way I'm going to be able to dimple these holes.

The most important part of this picture is the sad face.

Time to order another part (along with rudder skins, maybe.)

After wiping the tears off of my cheeks, I moved on to the leading edge light hole. I knew over the last few weeks I needed to figure out a way to clean up the leading edge landing light holes, so I went to Northern Tool and bought a $25 angle die-grinder and a few accoutrements to go with it.


Looks fancy.

I plugged it in and gave it a go, and was very happy with the die grinder, but it wasn’t what I was looking for for the leading edge holes.

I broke out the jigsaw (gasp!) and put a fine tooth metal cutting blade in.

Carefully, I enlarged the leading edge hole right on the line, and spent a few minutes cleaning up the cut. It needs some more work, but it’s okay for now. This was a lot faster than trying to do it with a file.

Right leading edge after cleaning up my jigsaw enlargement.

Finally, I pulled out one of the other leading edge ribs and prepped it (deburr holes and edges, dimple, scuff, etc.)

For the dimpling step, the nose of my economy squeezer sticks out a little further than the female die, so I used the regular grinder side of my bench grinder and ground it down a little.

Now it won't scratch the web of the ribs as I dimple.

Here's one leading edge rib prepped.

I still have a few (a lot!) more to do (including some nutplate attachments for the outboard two ribs for the light bracket), but then I’ll get the leading edge prepped and maybe get one of the big pieces put together. That will make me happy.

I’m going to work over the next few weeks to put in some more regular airplane hours. I need to keep moving if I’m ever going to get it done.

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