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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More Right Flap Work

July 25, 2012

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Alright, another night in the workshop. And, tonight was a super-night. Not because I’m super-rv7-builder (I am), but because my cousin Taylor came over to learn about the airplane.

After a little talking, I put him to work.

First task, empty out the LP4-3s that just arrived from Van’s (my first airplane package in awhile) into one of my empty yellow bins.

Not off to a great start, Taylor.

He quickly started exceeding my expectations though. To get going on this flap, the next few steps are tedious, but the two of us working helped to lessen the pain.

We focused our attention on prepping the right flap lower skin deburring, dimpling, priming, etc.

Here’s the right flap lower skin. Not a really helpful picture. Oh well.

After showing him each of those “d” activities, We stuck the skin outside and proceeded with my new non-psycho masking prime job.

(If you remember from a few posts (months) back, I’m only going to do the straight-line vinyl trick with areas where someone can see. Parts that are closed off will get this treatment.)

Priming along the rivet lines.

Next up, the same trick on the interior ribs.

Deburr, dimple, scuff, clean, and prime.

It started to get dark out, and I needed the flash. Sorry.

Then, so we could end on a high note, we studied the plans a little, read the instructions (a novelty!) and started clecoing everything together to get a sense of how we should assemble this flap.

Here, the ribs and spar are clecoed to the lower skin to lock everything together.

It’s starting to look like an airplane!

Flipped over for some more clecoing.

We decided we could start by grabbing the four AN470AD4-4 rivets at the aft end of each interior rib.

Beautiful! (Stefan, look! another shop head!)

One of Taylor’s (damn, looks better than mine!)

Just to prove he was there, I took a picture of his toes. (And an airplane part.)

Since he was so productive and really saved me some time, I’m going to count his hours as straight hours.

2.0 hours (but logged as 4.0). 4 rivets.

I know 4 hours per week won’t be super speedy, but it’s a hell of a lot better than I did between January and July of this year.

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Vertical Stabilizer Fiberglass Tip

July 24, 2012

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So the other day, one of the people in my household (I’ll let you guess if it was me or not) decided that we better clean out the guest closet before my cousin comes to visit for a little.

“What was in the closet?” you ask…

Well, a whole bunch of airplane parts, including some empennage tips.

So, we shuffled some things around, and cleaned up a little. BUT, I started thinking about where to store these things. It gets pretty hot in the garage, so I told myself that I really only wanted them out there if they were actually installed on the empennage.

Okay, that’s as good of an excuse to do some airplane work as any, so I got to it.

First step, get the VS down from the wall.

Check.

Next step: located VS-909.

Check.

There really isn’t any science to getting this thing drilled. It pretty much fits snugly in one orientation.

As a side note, the front edge of the VS isn’t perfectly aligned with the edge of the front of the tip, but I am a fiberglass master (by “master” I really mean “worked for a sailboat shop when I was a teenager, so I’m not afraid of a little shaping.”) I’d rather install the tip along the ridge meant for the top of the VS and adjust the front of the tip than the other way around.

After a few #40 holes:

It’s attached.

Then, I started digging back through my hardware bins (and this blog) to remember how I was going to attach these.

It all came flooding back. Yes, I’m going to attach them with #6 screws. (Insert long never-ending discussion about whether to make them removable.) I like the idea of eventually putting a camera in the VS tip, so here I go…)

I marked up a few .025″ strips of aluminum sheet, and cut them out.

This is from the “trim bundle.”

Then, clamped them in place.

Cleco clamps in action.

Some holes drilled, along with a #6 nutplate to help drill the attach holes.

I drilled the middle hole, clecoed in the nutplate, drilled one of the leg holes, stuck a rivet in there to hold its orientation, then drilled the other leg’s hole.

(Removed the cleco for the sake of the picture.)

After that was complete, I realized that I really wanted to sand off the gelcoat before priming etc, and that I better wait to rivet in the nutplates until that’s done as well.

For now, I turned my attention back to the VS, where I needed to enlarge the attach holes to make room for the #6 dimple die.

A quick search on the iphone…

Thanks Reiley.

I went searching through my hardware bins…

It feels good to have these open again.

…found a #28 drill, then drilled, deburred, and dimpled the four holes on each side of the VS top.

Without starting some sanding and countersinking, I think I’m stuck for a little.

Just some sanding and countersinking before I can screw these in temporarily and hang it back up on the wall.

Good night, and within a week of the previous entry. Sweet!

1.0 hour.

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