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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Prepped Left Aileron Parts

September 29, 2011

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Well, the guilt of not working on the airplane very much recently finally got to me and I had to do something.

As it turns out, I got the rest of the left aileron completely deburred, dimpled, edge finished, and scuffed, which means next session will be prep for priming and final assembly after that.

Here’s a shot of the aileron main skin, after deburring, scuffing, and dimpling.

Nice dimples, right?

Not sure why I took this shot, but I had to break into my next pack of maroon scotchbrite. I cut them up into ~3 inch squares to work with.

This is good stuff. I wonder how much I've bought so far.

Then, I repeated the process on the spar, and finally the leading edge skin. In addition to the fingerprints, I also used my edge-forming tool to make a slight bend in the edge.

This helps the skin lay (lie?) flat against the other skin. You’ll see.

Sorry for the bad picture, but it's hard to get a good angle where you can actually see the bend.

Here’s the edge forming tool.

It might be time for new wheels. I think these are worn out.

After the edge was formed, I put the leading edge skin up on my bending brace because it is a good place to hold it, and went down the row with the hand squeezer with some dimple dies.

Action shot!

Halfway through, I noticed my blue-tape-on-the-die was wearing out, so I removed it.

Of course, I tried a few dimples again without replacing the tape, and I got circles.


So, I replaced the tape, and got nice dimples again.

Circles on the left, no circles on the right.

Here's a new piece of tape. No more circles.

1.5 hours. Next up: cleaning, priming, and final assembly!

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Started Prepping Right Leading Edge

March 25, 2011

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Jeesh, I can’t seem to get a minute away from our third puppy to head outside and do any work on the airplane.

Tonight, finally, during halftime (go UNC!) and just after the game (wuhoo UNC!), I managed to go outside and do a couple things.

I didn’t want to do anything major; I really just wanted to go out there and get back up to speed. I’m kind of in the middle of rib prep on the leading edge, so I disassembled a few of the leading edge ribs and worked on what I labelled R3, or the third rib from the inboard side.

After deburring (back up, looks like I forgot to matchdrill some of the holes….sigh). Okay, after drilling, deburring, edge finishing, and scuffing, I now I have two right leading edge ribs ready for primer.

R2 and R3 (my numbering) ready for primer.

After pulling out the rest of the ribs (including the two outboard-ish ribs shown below), I went ahead and drilled pilot holes for the nutplate holes that are needed for the leading edge landing light installations. I had previously marked these while they were assembled with the leading edge using the provided template.

The two outboard ribs, now with pilot holes drilled for the bracket (the two small holes just above the lightening hole).

So here’s my thought. I really hate rib prep, so I’m basically going to do one at a time, then get it installed in the leading edge. To do that, I’ll need to prep (deburr, dimple) and prime the appropriate parts of the leading edge, and prep one additional rib. Generally, you want the surrounding structure in place for whatever you are riveting. Hence the need for the “next” rib to be clecoed in place while you are riveting a particular rib. If you don’t have the next one in place (have everything perfectly aligned), then the final structure may not be aligned. Make sense? No? Oh well.

So, I put the leading edge in my cradles and got to work with deburring. I got all the exterior holes deburred, did some edge-finishing with my permagrit block and my edge deburring tool and a scotchbrite pad, then started deburring the interior before my hand got tired.

Leading edge during some prep.

Oh, and out of laziness, I screwed the right tank loosely into position instead of taking it back upstairs. I think it’s going to be awhile before I get back to working on it.

It kind of has a funny shape with no ribs in it.

It was a short night, but got me back into the mood, so I’ll call it a success.

1 hour.

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Stall Warning Access Panel Work

January 4, 2011

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Well, I was able to spend a short half hour in the garage tonight. Last time, I ended up working on the access panel for the stall warning vane. I figured getting that prepped, primed, and nutplated would be a nice short task completion.

Here's the doubler, dimpled (for #6 screws) and scuffed after running the edges through the scotchbrite wheel.

I finished the edges of the cover, too, and dimpled for the #6 screws. The other side of this plate is devinyled and scuffed, but I’m leaving the vinyl on this (the potentially polishable) side.

Ready for priming.

See, I told you the other side was scuffed.


While the primer was drying, I did a little edge finishing of the stall warning vane mini-rib.

Scuffed, but I still need to edge finish in all those crevices.

After the primer dried on the doubler, I set some NAS (oops) rivets with some dimpled nutplates.

20 rivets.

I didn't tighten these down at all, just threaded them into place.

Of course, I had to cleco tonight's work back into the leading edge.

A half hour, 20 rivets.

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Right Elevator Skeleton and Stiffeners

April 9, 2010

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Sorry for the tardiness on the commentary. Here it is.

I decided after riveting the trim reinforcement plate that I will stick with the right elevator for now. Of course, here is the obligatory plans picture.

On to the right elevator.

Instead of following the directions to start in on the stiffeners, I sorted through my lower workbench shelves and pulled out the parts for the right elevator skeleton. I just laid them on the (very dirty) workbench and grabbed this picture.

Right elevator skeleton, ready to rivet. Just kidding.

First up, prepare the two end ribs (edge finish, then flute).

Here they are (E-703 and E-704), sitting nice and flat with each other.

I can’t remember why I took this picture. Maybe after I removed the blue vinyl?

right elevator spar.

Then, it’s time to match-drill the two end ribs together.

The two end ribs clecoed together for match-drilling.

After that, they want you to cleco the two end ribs onto the rear spar. You can see some misalignment here.

See the spar flange hole and how it doesn't line up with the counterbalance rib?

Here's the other side, still not aligned very well.

After some manipulation via fluting and flange straightening, I managed to get everything lined up and match-drilled.

Here's my 12" bit, doing what it does best.

Here’s the outboard assembly after match-drilling.

Ready for disassembly.

Next, they want you to cleco in the counterbalance skin with the counterweight.

There's the right elevator counterweight.

I read on some other builders’ sites that it was difficult to cleco the counterbalance skin on the rib assembly. I didn’t have too much trouble, but it was definitely easier to work front to back.

Counterweight clecoed in.

Next (before going back to the counterweight for drilling), I clecoed on the inboard rib. These are matchrileld to #40, then dimpled and set with flush rivets on the front web of the spar. The reason? The elevator horn must sit flush on this surface. You’ll see later.

E-709 Root rib clecoed on.

Now back to the counterweight. Van’s wants you to matchdrill these to #12. I started with a #40 and worked my way up, blatantly ignoring the advice to use drill lubrication. Of course, I broke 3 bits before I subdued my own stubbornness and moved on to something else.

Broken bit, I need to get some Boelube.

I managed to get some locking needle-nose pliers around the bit and back it out slowly.

Anyway. I moved on to the skeleton.

Here's the skeleton clecoed together and match-drilled. You can see where the elevator horn will sit flush on the spar web necessitating the flush rivets between the spar and the root rib.

Then, I spent a little time inside on the stiffeners. I just rough cut them with snips to the general size.

These are for both elevators, some of these will be cut down further for the smaller required stiffeners between the trim spar and main spar on the left elevator.

2.0 hours today.

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