Prepped and Primed Left Elevator Skin

July 11, 2010

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Well, after an exiting morning with the South Carolina Breakfast Club, I was fraught with motivation. (I don’t know if I am using “fraught” correctly…)

Next thing on my long laundry list of things to do on the left elevator is to prep the skin for riveting to the skeleton. First thing, I got out the soldering iron and pulled off some more of the blue vinyl. While I was at it, I pulled off the blue painter’s tape I had been using to protect the back-riveted stiffener rivet lines.

All that shiny aluminum really makes me happy.

Then, on to deburring. I deburred both exterior sides of the skins, and then moved on to deburring the interior of the skins. I follow very closely with my maroon scotchbrite pad to help me remember where I have deburred (you can easily tell the difference between a deburred hole and one that has yet to be deburred…I am more using the scotchbrite pad as an excuse to give my fingers a rest…it is hard spinning that drill bit over and over and over).

The background holes are #40 (3/32") and the foreground holes are #30 (1/8"). I drilled these holes to #30 now because I don't want to wait until after the skin bending (at which point I won't be able to deburr them). Also, having the holes to final size will help with the annoying pop rivets that go in them.

Next up, dimpling the skin-to-skeleton holes. I scuff the interior of the skins before dimpling, because it is easier to scuff without dimples getting in the way.

I use my masking tape trick on the male dimple die, and I get ZERO circles around the dimples. So nice.

All holes dimpled.

Time to move on to edge-finishing. This little 90° corner is a tough one, but I think this ended up nice.

Edge-finishing.

After edge-finishing, I cleaned up, wiped everything down with MEK, and primed. Fast forward 30 minutes later, and now I get to pull the vinyl out of the skins (I’m trying to remind myself constantly to not forget the RTV in the trailing edge of the elevator bend before riveting.)

I probably add some time to the project by masking all of this stuff off and priming just the contacting surfaces, but I think it looks great (no one will ever see it) and I think I'm saving weight. Maybe not, but I sleep better because I do this.

It looks so good. I love this part of a subassembly, I'm getting close to riveting!

Last, but not least for the day was to prep and prime the two outboard ribs. These fit back to back and support the counterbalance and counterbalance skin.

On the priming table after getting a light coat of self-etching primer.

3.5 hours today on the project, but I’m only logging 3.0 here. See here for the other 30 minutes.

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Primed E-709 Root Rib Right

May 3, 2010

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Well, after a few days of no work, then a few more of yardwork, and a few more of more no work, I made it into the garage tonight for an hour of work. Now that summer is approaching, the garage is getting a little humid. I’m going to start thinking about buying a portable air conditioner.

Tonight’s main task was to get any piece of the right elevator ready for assembly. E-709 (Root rib right) seemed to be a good candidate.

On the right, my trusty scotchbrite pad. In the middle, E-709 (Root Rib right). On the left. Well. You may call that beer. I call it "delicious."

Anyway, after deburring and scuffing, I broke out the #40 tank dies (understructure, so I want the dimples slightly deeper) and did all but the aft two holes on top and bottom.

Dimpling.

For my hard to reach places, I use a steel bar with a countersunk hole in it, put the hole of interest on top, and put in a sacrificial rivet to use as a male dimple die. Then, I grab a flush set, and push the rivet into the hole in the steel.

Getting ready to ghetto-dimple.

Here’s a closeup of my steel bar for you to admire. The hole on the right is what I use for these tasks.

The hole on the left is useless, since I drilled it too far away from the edge of the bar. Dumb me.

Anyway, here’s a shot of one side of the E-709 after using this technique.

The bottom dimple is from the tank dies, the top two are with the rivet trick. Not perfect, but not bad for the hard-to-reach area. Based on my experiences on the rudder, the skin will sit just fine in these dimples.

Off to the paint-shop. And by paint-shop, I mean “a piece of cardboard on my trash and recycling bins.”

Up with the garage door for ventilation and on with the respirator before shooting the first coat.

While that dried, I snapped an action shot of me devinyling the inside of the skins. I also deburred all of the exterior sides of the recently drilled holes, but didn’t get to the insides, I’ll do that as soon as I get back into the shop.

Oh man, those stiffeners and rivets look nice.

Here are both interior sides done. (And by “done” I mean “done devinyling with just the parts I’m going to deburr, scuff, dimple, and prime.”) The rest of the vinyl will come off just before riveting, and will reveal nice untouched (and unprimed) alclad.

Pretty pretty.

Crap, I forgot to take a picture of me shooting primer on the other side of E-709, which is the entire basis for the title of today’s post. If you feel shortchanged, feel free to complain.

One hour.

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