The Case of the Missing Scarf

November 12, 2012

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Today, I had a day off work. This was excellent news because:

1) I needed a day off work.

2) The airplane needed me to have a day off work to get some stuff done.

Really, there are only a few things left on the right wing before I can call it complete and catch the left wing up. The lower outboard skin, inspection covers, pushrods, and wingtip. I’ll probably wait until both wings are complete to do the pushrods and wingtips.

That leaves the skin and the inspection covers.

Here’s the lower outboard skin, just kind of hanging on the wing (makes for good storage).

Also, You can see I kept my extra pieces of blue tape here while I finished the inboard skin.

After pulling the skin off, I realized that I already prepped the skin through deburring and scuffing the inboard side. Nice!

Already scuffed. (If you look at the date of the linked post, it was February….of 2011. Ouch.)

I guess you also get a closeup.

Anyway, I got the C-Frame out again and dimpled all the holes.

I did not dimple the wingtip attach holes. Haven’t even thought about those yet.

After dimpling, I cleaned the skin, took it outside, and got it primed between rain showers.

Back in on the workbench, it’s drying.

I still like doing the blue vinyl stripe trick.

While the skin dries, I went ahead and deburred and dimpled the rear spar. I was so lazy when I did the inboard wing, I only deburred and dimpled the holes required to get that skin in place.

Dimpling…done.

Then, I did the same deburr/dimple trick on the remaining spars.

You can see my conduit and wire-pulling string, also.

I guess this is another angle.

Okay, primer is dry. Let’s pull off the blue vinyl before getting the skin in place.

One bay.

All the bays. Man, those clean lines look good.

Oh, almost forgot to mention. Anytime you have a lap joint with two skins, don’t forget to use the edge roller to put a little kink in the edge. It helps lay the edge down when the two skins are pulled together.

My edge roller.

Here’s a good shot of how the skins lay on top of each other after rolling a bit of the edge.

Nice seam there.

After that, I didn’t think there was anything else before getting started. (I’ll come back to this.)

Getting the skin clecoed on.

After getting the first bay riveted, I realized I had forgotten to bevel the two skin edges like I had on the upper skins.

So, here’s my plan: leave it alone. The  amount it sticks up is minimal, and the bottom of the wing is less critical than the top (so says physics). I’ll either remember on the left wing, or do it the same so they are symmetrical. I’m going to go talk to our super-smart aero guys to see if there is any real concern.

After the first bay…

Then, with much straining, pulling, pushing, stretching, etc. I managed to get the second bay done, too.

To help you see what I’ve completed, I pulled the blue vinyl off where I’d finished.

It looks soo good.

Counting rivets, that two at the top is a “carry-the-two.”

So. 3.5 hours, 107 rivets. Not bad.

Taylor, get your butt over here so we can do some more.

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Three Eighths of a Hooray!

November 8, 2012

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Well, I feel like it was only a few posts ago that I had the ceremonial “changing of the environmental control system” in the garage.

Alas, it was cold yesterday in the garage, so we (yes! Cousin Taylor’s back to help!) decided to perform the heater ritual. Ah, the sweet localized warmth of the heater.

We were kind of elbowing each other out of the way all night to stand in front of it.

Last time Taylor was helping, we were just squeezing rivets on the flap.

This time, I needed his help shooting and bucking. Instead of just blasting off, we did about a 15 minute lesson.

I made him go through the whole routine:

Measure and Mark (see picture below), Drill, deburr, dimple…

Carefully marking a new hole on my practice piece.

Then, I shot one rivet, and then I made him do it alone, then we did a third one with him shooting and me bucking.

All three were perfect.

Since I’m so skeptical, I didn’t want to start into the bottom skins with only one teamwork rivet under our belt, so I drilled a few more holes and we shot the rest. They all ended up perfect, but we got a good feel for communication, etc.

I find it useful to explain that we want about 10 “hits” (although they happen so fast you can’t really count them) in about 1-1.5 seconds.

If some where a little light, I was able to ask for “4 more hits” or “6 more hits,” and he always delivered the perfect amount of additional shooting. Can’t ask for anything better than that.

We ended up setting the rest of the rear spar, rib, and main spar rivets (including about 8 that I couldn’t reach alone yesterday) and then 15 more on the flap brace.

For one of the “hard to reach” rivets, I was laying on the ground with my whole arm in the inspection port. I got my arm in there, then had to shift my whole shoulder into the port. Not comfortable, but we got it done.

Here’s the after shot.

We were too busy riveting to take any during pictures.

After getting the whole inboard skin done, we just had to peel off the blue tape.

You know, to give you a good reflection of my work benches.

1.5 actual hours, with 2 people. 3.0 build hours, 63 rivets.

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This is Not a Cry for Help

November 5, 2012

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No, I have not started cutting.

This is just me (and my hairy arm) working on getting some more of the right inboard bottom skin riveted.

Hairy arm!

Yup, it’s officially three days in a row!

I have to admit, though, that it’s a lot easier when you have all the rivets preloaded, and all you have to do is start banging away on them.

Tonight, I actually got two more bays done, in just 30 minutes. I couldn’t reach 5 of the rivets, so I really will need some help.

From this angle, the 5 rivets can only be reached from below, and my arm wasn’t long enough for both bucking and shooting. I’m sure I can get these with two people.

53 rivets in 30 minutes. Next time, I’ll probably be able to knock out the rest of the inboard skin, then start prepping and riveting the outboard skin. Wuhoo!

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Some More Right Wing Lower Skin Riveting

November 4, 2012

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Well, I decided that with an hour to kill this afternoon after the Bears game (they whooped up on the Titans), I would go outside and see if I could do something productive.

I managed to get a few more rivets set in the bottom skins.

Let me apologize in advance, the pictures are in a weird order.

First up, I peeled back the skin to make sure I could get to the rivets I was interested in. But also, AND THIS IS KEY, you have to make sure that once you set those rivets, you won’t back yourself into a corner where you can’t reach another set of rivets, so I checked (what I’ll call) “future” rivets.

Basically, I reach through the lightening holes and then up with the bucking bar.

I can reach both sides for about 4 rivets before I have to reposition a little.

Also, be sure to be carfeul with the skin. Even the manual warns about creasing it.

After spending so much time cleaning, I was amazed at how quickly the workbench started filling up again.

I’m going to make an effort to keep everything clean at the end of each work session.

After 30 minutes of (loud) shooting and bucking, I called it quits on the loud stuff for the day.

I did the last wingwalk rib, and the main and aft spar rivets just outboard of that rib. I colored the heads black where I set them, just to help me count. This was 40 rivets.

Since the skin doesn’t have to be peeled back as much anymore, I set another 13 rivets of the hinge. (I’m getting good at installing and removing the flap. Not that I have to, I just like to store it on the wing. Seems the safest there.)

I also pre-loaded the next bay of rivets.

If you’re counting ribs, I am now halfway (4 of 8) done with the lower inboard skin. It’s going to get easier moving outboard, too.

I like seeing the clecos slowly disappear.

1.0 hour. 53 rivets. It’s not really a streak until it’s three days in a row, so don’t jinx me.

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Started Riveting Right Flap Hinge to Wing

November 3, 2012

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Whoa. He’s back. Again. I know the updates have been few and far between, but please rest assured: I have not been working on the airplane without updating the site. I guess that’s not a good thing either…

I spent a few hours today cleaning out the garage and reorganizing a little.

Much better. (Sorry, you don’t get a “before” shot.)

Then, I decided to work on the airplane. Since I haven’t coordinate the cousin to come over and bang out some of these bottom skin rivets, I figured I could rivet the flap hinge up until it prevents me from bending back the skin.

It should be just a couple rivets.

I do need to trim the one side of the flap hinge, though.

You can just barely see that I made a mark on the hinge.

After removing the flap.

Here’s the trim line on the outboard side of the hinge.

This is pretty self-explanatory.

This one, too.

Oh yeah, I needed to smooth out the eyelet remnants where I had snipped them off to make a centrally-inserted set of hinge pins. See this post for more.

All smooth.

Looks pretty good on the outboard side.

Same on the inboard side.

Let’s get to riveting. The rivet callout here is an AN426AD3-4.

I love these yellow bins. Highly recommended for your project.

I didn’t really feel like getting out the rivet gun (and I can’t use my no-hole yoke because the eyelets get in the way), so I made it work with my economy squeezer.

An action shot!

After 8 perfect rivets, I couldn’t help but take a picture of some shop heads.

Look at how perfect that guy is!

0.5 hour. 8 rivets. Again. Not bad for not working on it in 2 months.

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Finished Right Lower Skin Wingwalk Ribs

August 28, 2012

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Not much excitement today, just a few more rivets on the lower inboard right wing skin.

I was riveting solo today, so not many pictures either.

Here’s one of a couple shop heads. Not sure why I even took this picture. Maybe to show you that I was using some black felt to protect from dropping the bucking bar.

Boring picture, anyone?

After reaching in, under, and around the wingwalk ribs, I got all the rivets set.

And, I’m prepped for some duel riveting. Maybe tomorrow?

0.5 hour. 32 rivets. Not bad.

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More Right Lower Inboard Skin Riveting

August 15, 2012

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Today, while waiting for the DirecTV guy to show up (insert long story here about how I took the whole afternoon off to cover his time (12-4pm) and then he didn’t show up until 5:30pm), I ended up taking some time out for the airplane.

Taylor and I riveted six rivets on the inboard edge the last time he was over. It turns out, I really needed to bend the forward edge of the skin “up” in the picture to reach the aft row of rivets.

So, I drilled out three of the rivets, and was able to reach in from just below the main spar (bottom of these pictures) to buck the top row of rivets.

After setting the top (aft? oh man, we’re going to have trouble communicating with our different frames of reference) row of rivets, I worked down one rivet at a time for the two middle wing-walk ribs. (The inboard or left rib can be squeezed at the end, and the outboard wing-walk rib can be bucked by reaching from outboard after the wingwalk ribs are done.

Here’s the top row riveted.

To help me know where I was, I colored each rivet black with a magic marker after setting it.

After an hour, I made it about halfway down the rib.

From here on, I won’t be able to peel the skin back from the bottom anymore, but I should be able to reach in through the inboard rib, where the lightening holes are now big enough for my huge biceps.

1.0 hour, 33 rivets. 3 (originally perfect) rivets drilled out due to lack of planning. Boo.

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Started Riveting Right Lower Inboard Wing Skin

August 12, 2012

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Well, we had a great day today. Taylor was coming over for our usual family dinner on Sunday night, and I conned him into coming over at 4pm instead of 6pm.

A few small things on the list before starting to close up the right wing.

First, I had Taylor start on the deburring and dimpling of all the ribs and rear spar.

It’s tedious work, and someone has to do it.

In the meantime, I got the hammer out and continued using the c-frame to finish dimpling the inboard skin.

Nicely dimpled skin.

Taylor and I traded (to help with the boredom of deburring), and I sent him outside to prime.

He got SOME of the primer on the skin. (Just kidding, it looks great!)

Then, I clecoed the flap hinge on the flap brace and countersunk the flap brace. There is absolutely NO guidance here on how to finish the three layers (flap brace, hinge, and lower skin). I followed the same process as I did on the actual flap. Dimple the skin, countersink the flap spar, and don’t touch the hinge. Worked well, here, too.

Also, I marked the hinge for trimming.

Last up, I needed to run some string down my snap bushings for future wiring.

I used a long piece of hinge pin, and taped some string through it.

This worked great for me.

After all three were done.

Finally, with nothing else to do (after thoroughly cleaning and inspecting each bay), we started clecoing on the skin.

We carefully reread the directions to make sure we were going to rivet in the right order.

1) Rivet along the rear spar toward the tip (for one “bay”) and halfway forward along the rib.

2) Start on the second bay in the same manner, then come back and finish the first rib to the front spar.

We only had 5 minutes left until dinnertime, so we got the first 6 rivets of the first (inboard) rib squeezed.

I need to do a lot of blog reading to really feel comforatble proceeding in the right order.

Still, 6 rivets is better than zero.

4.0 hours. 6 rivets.

Oh, and then for dinner, these are tomato, spinach, and feta stuffed burgers.

Mmm.

With homemade pasta salad and some grilled asparagus.

So delicious.

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Started Preparing the Right Wing Lower Skins

August 5, 2012

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Well, after a busy morning at the SCBC, I did get an hour in on the lower right inboard skin. I’ve decided to go ahead and close up the right wing before proceeding. A lot of people wait until much later in the project (which the instructions say you CAN do if you want), but everyone who waits says there is no real benefit to waiting, so I’m going to go ahead and get them closed up now.

First, I pulled the skin off the wing, and then got to work. I spent about 30 minutes edge finishing, then another 30 dimpling about half the skin with the c-frame. (No, I didn’t forget to drill or deburr, I had done those previously.

This picture is from after edge finishing, but before dimpling.

After I finish dimpling, I’ll prime the inside surface. Then, I’ll deburr and dimple the wing ribs, and rear spar, but I’ll need to remember to countersink the flap brace.

1.0 hour.

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Finished Right Flap!

July 30, 2012

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Well, after approximately 6 months of completely neglecting the airplane, I finally completed another big assembly on the airplane. Here are the gory details.

Yesterday, Taylor and I got all the rib-to-skin rivets set, so today, we finished up the spar rivets and cleaned up a few badly set rivets. Here we are with the every-other method on the lower flap skin (spar) rivets.

Look! no clecos!

Then, we finished getting the two exterior ribs in place. I did make a stupid mistake here, though. The spar rivets are all AN426AD3-4 rivets, and I just continued with that size around the side to the ribs.

Those ribs are SUPPOSED to be AN426AD3-3.5 rivets, so when I went to squeeze the -4s, they all bent over and sheared.

Nastiness here.

Ahh!

After some mild curse words,  some deep breathing, and FIVE drilled out rivets, we realized our mistake and got the correctly-sized rivets in there.

Shiny bottom!

I had Taylor shine up the skins. (By “shine” I really mean “remove all of Andrew’s fingerprints.”)

Shiny bottom skin!

Shiny top skin.

I forgot how much fun it is to finish a big assembly.

It’s a wing!

1.0 hour, counted as 1.5 man-hours. 78 rivets, 5 drilled out.

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