Tank Attach Nutplates, Left Lower Spar Flange

October 21, 2010

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With the girlfriend gone for the night, I managed to clean up all of the electrical stuff I had out messing around with my wig-wag experiment, and pulled the left spar out of the box. Here it is, in all of it’s golden glory.

Golden Glory!

First step is to countersink the tank (and access plate) nutplate attach holes. First, you have to run a #40 drill through the holes or else the countersink pilot won’t even fit in the hole. Here’s one of my first countersinks on the left spar.

I went back and cleaned this one up after testing with a AN426AD3-11 rivet (-11 because it's easier to get back out while testing countersinks...it's so long you can just push it back out from the back.)

These countersinks are a little better. (The one on the right is a tad deep, but should be okay because these are just nutplate attach holes.)

I left the door to the house open so the pups could come out to visit.

Hey guys (Jack and Ginger).

Hey Andrew, how about one of those artsy shots down the spar after countersinking the nutplate attach holes?

Sure, here you go.

Then, I pulled the K1100-08 nutplates out for the tank attach holes and the K1000-06 nutplates out for the access plate holes, then clecoed one side in, and put the required rivet (AN426AD3-4) in the holes.

Where’s my squeezer?

It's right there on the table, dummy.

Then I squeezed some rivets and removed the clecos.

Squeezed (repeated 41 more times.)

Other side done. (Repeated 41 more times.)

Under the hood, things look good. I still like this new Cleveland main squeeze much better than my economy squeezer.

Pretty shop heads.

Down the row.

I then laid the spar down and saw this guy.

Yikes.

Whoa. Scary.

After a little internet research, I think I’ve figured out he (actually she due to her size) is a red-back.  I’m going to keep looking though. I don’t want it to be a red-back.

1.0 hour. 84 rivets.

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Prepped Right Wing Main Ribs, Clecoed Skeleton

September 18, 2010

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I’ve been at a little bit of dilemmna the last few days trying to figure out what direction to take with the project.

I still have the left rear spar to work on (until the left main spar shows up from Van’s…shipped yesterday…should be here Wednesday), or, I could move ahead with some rib prep on the right wing.

For the sake of  seeing something cool at the end of the day, I think I’ll move ahead with the right wing, and hopefully I’ll be able to get it onto a wing stand (yet to be designed) by the time I can get the left spar caught up to this point.

With rib prep, I’ve decided not to follow the suggestion to do all the ribs at once. I’m going to do them a few at a time to save my sanity.

First thing, let’s find some ribs.

I've pointed out to you before that I am at a little bit of a disadvantage building the right wing first, from the plans that only show the left wing.

Notice here that of the three different kinds of main wing ribs, there are both left and right versions in each of the wings. From what I can tell, the flanges face left or right based on what will be easiest/accessible to rivet.

So here are some main ribs (I count 11 in the picture, there are really 14 main ribs in each wing).

My goal today was to get the ribs clecoed to the spars, so I’m only going to finish what I have to (out of efficiency, not laziness). This means I’m going to edge finish most of each rib, then move on to fluting and flange straightening.

The edge finishing (except the little crevices) only took about 30 minutes on the sanity-saving scotchbrite wheel.

The fluting and flange straightening took 2 more hours, though. Ugh.

I took all 14 right main ribs inside and watched the UNC-GT and the Vandy-Ole Miss games.

Here's a rib, halfway fluted.

After fluting (holes are straight), but before finishing up the flange-straightening (to 90° from the web).

After a little while, my hands were hurting from all the fluting, so I took a picture of what I have done so far.

Looks like 5 done, 9 to go.

My "to go" pile. {sigh}

And after another couple of hours, I had the main ribs edge-finished, fluted, and flange-straightened enough to cleco them to the spars.

I really didn’t think I’d get this far tonight. (I have to keep in mind there is still a lot more prep on the ribs before I can actually prime them and get them riveted to the spars.

Pretty. (Pretty big!)

And of course, here is the obligatory “down the lightening” holes shot.

Every other builder on the plant has taken this picture.

But that’s not all! I have variations on a theme.

It's Ginger!!!

And Jack!!! (I promise he is there, just hard to see.)

After sending the dogs back inside for their Saturday afternoon nap, I just stared at this thing for awhile.

It just looks so cool!

3.0 hours today.

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Low point of the build

August 10, 2010

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Well, today was the low point in the build so far.

I was fiddling around with the empennage, trying to set it up to look like a tail for the “completed empennage” picture everyone posts, and I dropped the rudder.

[horrified silence]

It hit on the bottom aft edge, bounced a little, and then hit in the top rear edge.

Oh god, oh god, oh god.

I was (am) devastated.

First bounce.

Second, and worse bounce.

Top of the rudder, aft, looking forward. Yikes.

After staring at it for a good ten minutes, and flashing through all of the days and hours I put in on the rudder, I finally figured out o could probably drill out all the skin rivets and replace just the skins.

But.

I’ve also always wanted to put the smaller RV-8 rudder back on the airplane, which should save weight and bring the CG a little further forward. I’m going to find a copy of the RV-8 preview plans tomorrow and see how hard it will be to build the RV-8 rudder from what I have.

Here’s the thing that really stings. While I was messing around with the vertical stabilizer and rudder, I was even thinking about how much effort this was for a stupid picture, and that a second pair of hands would be helpful.

The good news I that the wing arrives this week and I can busy myself with the inventory while i think about what to do.

In the mean time, I need a happy picture. How does this one do?

Ginger (some call her "princess"...I wonder why) and Jack, taking over the bed.

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Left Elevator Riblet, Day 2

June 29, 2010

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Captain’s Log: Day 2. Great success with the riblet.

So after yesterday’s wasted (I know, it wasn’t really wasted) time making two FAILURES of riblets for the elevator trim cutout, today’s worked out much better.

I had actually woken up at 3am in a cold sweat; “Oh my gosh, I need to tie the front of the riblet into the elevator trim spar.” (Warning: Cold sweat may be exaggerated.)

Anyway, I got out the jigsaw with a fine metal-cutting blade and found that this technique was far superior to the snips, which leave little ridges along the cut.

So, more measuring, tracing, and drilling/cutting.

This is try #3.

Then, after judiciously edge finishing (which is a must before bending aluminum…ask me how I know.)

Okay, Those bends are pretty good, let's work on the front.

Hey pups! (I took about 15 pictures of them for your viewing pleasure, but this is the only one that wasn't too blurry.) Jack and Ginger, curious about the airplane.

Also, I had picked this surface conditioning kit up at Harbor Freight. 1-inch diameter, and blue is finer (I think) than maroon.

This worked pretty well for quick finishing. I want to try the larger sizes, too.

You can see from the paper template on the right that wasn’t going to tie in to the spar. I cut out the corners on the piece to the left pretty roughly.

Old template on the right, current work piece on the left.

So then I edge-finished and bent the three tabs that tie in to the spar. Because there was a dimple already in the bottom flange of the spar, I went ahead and drilled and dimpled that one ear on my new riblet.

How do you like the nice sharp picture of my set of needle files and permagrit block? (And very blurry pic of my riblet being dimpled. The yoke and die just barely fit.)

Here’s the almost finished product.

It's kind of cute.

So it doesn’t fit “perfectly” in the openeing, but this is close enough that I don’t need to remake it. I’ll tweak it a little and reduce some of those gaps you see in the coming days.

Pretty darn good.

The big gap on the left is actually the elevator skin bowing locally that I need to fix. The riblet is actually straight.

I'm so happy this one worked out.

Maybe later this week or this weekend, I’ll get this tweaked and drilled/dimpled. Then, I can move ahead with prepping the elevator for prime and riveting.

An hour of wuhoo!

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Left Elevator Riblet, Day 1

June 28, 2010

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After the huge success last night, I was ready to move back to the elevator so I could get to prepping and riveting. First thing tonight was to take some small measurements, then transfer some lines to a piece of cardstock to create a template for the riblet I need to create. (Notice the title of the post is …Day 1. There will be multiple days of this dance, unfortunately.)

Here’s my first try at a template, and then the adjusted second try before being cut out.

I don't know why my first try was so big. Must have measured wrong.

Here’s a shot of the space I am trying to fill. It’s not edge finished here, but will be after I get a riblet created.

Left elevator's trim tab cutout.

Ginger was being bad inside, so she was banished to the garage (“go annoy your father”). Ha, little did we know that there was sawdust that she could be rubbing her face in. Serves us right for trying to punish her.

She's not cute at all.

So this is actually my second aluminum riblet after bending one of the flanges up in a vice. I think that edge is too sharp.

It's looking good so far.

But, even though I was really careful to finish all the edges before bending (like I forgot to do on the first one), I still got a crack.

I put a picture of my crack on the internet. Ha.

Even with the crack, I thought I would show you what I intended before scrapping the piece and starting over.

This is the general idea.

But then I got frustrated and just cut the forward part of the riblet off, and put it in place to see what it would look like.

Hmm. This doesn't look horrible, but I'd rather have the forward part of the rib, and the tie-in to the spar.

So, after an hour outside, I have to scrap the part and start over. Boo.

(To be honest, this is the really fun part of building. I get to use my thinking cap.)
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Started Left Elevator

May 24, 2010

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Well, it’s monday. And even though I have a couple things remaining on the right elevator, I am going to follow the flow of the directions and move on to the left elevator before coming back to finish both of them.

In addition to the items they want you to do to both at the same time (roll leading edges, install rod-end bearings, etc.), I’ll have to come back to do three things on the right elevator:

  1. Fix a few over-driven rivets (and a couple that bent over that I didn’t catch at the time.)
  2. Figure out how to add RTV to the trailing edges after the fact (anyone have any ideas?)
  3. Trim down the counterbalance. I elected not to do this on purpose.

Anyway, on to the left elevator. Here’s the obligatory changing-of-the-plans shot.

On to the left elevator (and trim tab).

As I only have about a half an hour tonight, my plan was to just cover the basics. First, lay out all of the left elevator parts.

It doesn't look like a lot of work...

Devinyl the skeleton parts.

This picture is almost identical to the one before it, except for the missing blue vinyl on the skeleton parts.

Then, on to real work…kind of. The manual wants me to attach the hinge reinforcing plates to the spar, then move to the outer ribs.

Here you can see the two outer ribs fluted. I haven't straightened out the rib flanges yet, will get to that soon.

Blah blah blah, assemble the skeleton. For now, I didn’t do any match-drilling. I do that hole-by-hole as I take the thing apart.

This one will be more interesting due to the trim spar.

Finally, I found one more of the stiffener angles. I got that devinyled and then cut from hole to hole to form some of the smaller stiffeners.

More small stiffeners. These go between the main spar and the trim spar (ahead of the trim tab).

With that stuff done, I headed inside and caught someone with their hands in the cookie (doggie-treat) jar.

That bottom shelf has the doggie-treats on it. (We have really patient dogs. /sarcasm off)

Lucky you, I got some video.

Anyway, a short half hour of left elevator prep.
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Right Elevator Stiffener Drilling and Dimpling

April 14, 2010

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Another fairly boring night with right elevator stiffeners, but the end is near (end of right elevator stiffeners, not the whole airplane), so I’ll keep plugging away.

My setup for drilling stiffeners. I used the cordless today so I wasn't making too much noise. I'm almost done with this side.

I matchdrilled every hole except for the last hole (closest to the trailing edge.) Some of these last holes are both pre-punched, and just need to be matchdrilled to final size, and some are missing the holes in the stiffeners. You have to use the skin to matchdrill the stiffener.

Down the right elevator.

I unclecoed most of the stiffeners and then re-clecoed the stiffeners (just at the ends) with the elevator off of the table so I can roll it over to drill.

Ready to flip over and matchdrill those last stiffener holes.

One picture of the last hole.

The hole at the end of the "3" is the one I need to matchdrill.

After that, I used a thick sharpie to trace the stiffeners to help with future devinyling. Then, I flipped the whole thing over to start on the other side. Same process, though.

About halfway done with this side.

Then, uncleco from the table to flip over and get the last hole.

Unclecoing from the last hole.

No big deal for you, but I marked all of the stiffeners correctly. The right elevator in the background is sitting upside-down (I just typed right-side-up, and had to change it. See, I’m still confused). Anyway, the ones on the table are on the top surface of the elevator, but the one in the foreground is marked the top (“Top, A”), but is actually the longest bottom stiffener.

This should be "BA" for "Bottom, A."

After finishing all of the stiffener drilling, I took them inside to deburr. After all of the deburring, I grabbed this shot of the placemat on the kitchen table. (Don’t tell the girlfriend. I got it cleaned up.)

Aluminum shavings galore after deburring. This is kind of a stupid picture, but I already uploaded it, so I'm not going to hold back.

After deburring, I rubbed down the surface that needed to be dimpled, (not the perpendicular surface, and I definitely didn’t do any edge-finishing).

Deburred and scuffed, ready for dimpling.

And I would like to draw your attention to the following three dimples. Don’t they look lovely?

Looks like a professional dimpled these holes.

It was the girlfriend!

Girlfriend dimpling. (She kept giggling after each one. And after each time I said "dimple." There may or may not have been red wine involved.)

Anyway, she made it about 8 dimples before getting “bored” (I think her hands hurt, too). Back outside, I found this little guy.

he's pretty small, but looks kind of scary.

No real identifying marks, but I’m sure someone will be able to help out.

Anyone have any ideas?

As if I hadn’t had enough drama for the night, Ginger came out, grabbed some wood, and took it inside to chew up all over our staircase landing. Here are some of the remnants.

It's better than her eating the window sills. Or the banister. Or our patio chairs. Or my soul.

Anyway, I spent a few more minutes with the Permagrit block rounding the edges of the stiffeners. Next up, edge-finishing with the scotchbrite wheel, scuffing, cleaning, and priming. Then, same dance with the skin and the backriveting!

An hour and a half. Boom shakalaka.

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