Primed 3 More Main Ribs, Now 7 Done

January 8, 2011

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Today, I worked on ribs R5, R6, and R7. (Remember, this isn’t Vans’ number scheme, this is mine.)

First, I negotiated a larger cleco holder from the girlfriend.  I used to have two containers the size of the left one. Now, I have plenty of room for my clecos. (Until, of course, I have to order 200 more…)

I could fill the one on the right up if I didn't have all my clecoes in the leading edges.

Okay, back to the ribs.

The extra two on the right side needed a little touch-up from some water contamination prior to the first round of priming. Gotta let those suckers dry before spraying.

One hour to prep and prime those 3 ribs. I’m halfway done with the ribs on the right wing. I think I may start riveting the ribs to the main spar as I go to break up the monotony. We’ll see.

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Rolled Left Elevator Leading Edge

July 24, 2010

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Well, today was just a barrel of rainbows and puppy dogs. Lucky me, I got to mangle the project per the directions.

It’s funny. The directions say “roll and rivet the leading edges.”


Sounds easy.

If I were writing the directions, it would go something more like this:

“1. After spending 50 man-hours carefully protecting all of the aircraft-grade aluminum from dents, scratches, and general mistreatment, duct-tape a steel rod to the inside of the leading edges and use ALL OF YOUR MIGHT to roll that sucker around. You won’t be able to make the roll anywhere close to acceptable the first time around, so be prepared to curse and fight your way by hand squeezing the two edges together to get clecos into the holes that have been so generously provided for you.  Then, rivet the two surfaces together, but only after realizing that the clamping force of the clecoes was helping everything line up, so pray that as you set the blind rivet, it will pull everything back to alignment.

2. After riveting, stand back and realize that on one of the sections, you forgot to edge-roll one edge, so there is a slight puckering between two of the rivets, but don’t worry yourself about it too much, because although it will keep you up at night, no one else will see it once the elevators are mounted to the horizontal stabilizer.

3. Stab yourself in the eye with a cleco, and then try not to bleed into the adult beverage of choice that you have now earned.”

There. Wasn’t that fun?

The outboard-most section, rolled and clecoed.

Middle section rolled. You can see how bad my roll is on the rightmost edge. (You can also see how I tape the skin to the steel bar.)

3 of 4 sections clecoed.

I took a break from rolling and installed my rod-end bearings. This tool works great. (I could have made it a lot shorter, though.)

Finally, all the leading edge rivets installed. Time for a drink.

2 stinking hours for this? 22 rivets, one (actually painless) blind rivet needed to be drilled out.

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