Primed and Started Riveting Right Rear Spar

September 12, 2010

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Well, after a $15 stop at Napa ($10 for primer, $5 for sensor-safe RTV), I got back to work on the rear spar.

I spent a lot of time just kind of staring at everything today. The instructions are careful to point out that at the inboard part of the spar (where the reinforcement fork is), you can’t reach the spar flange holes with dimple dies for later dimpling, so you should do it now.

With that in mind, I wanted to make sure I got everywhere that may need dimpling later, so I also dimpled above the two (middle and outboard) doublers. You can see in this picture (the middle doubler) where I decided it would be a good idea to dimple (drill, deburr, then dimple, of course) the flange holes. I did this for both the spar and the doubler plates, which also have flanges on them.

The middle spar area, shown after drilling, deburring, and dimpling the flange area.

Same thing here. Also, I dimpled the 4 outboard holes (instead of countersinking), per previously approved builders who have talked to Van's.

I got back to thinking about the tank dimple dies, and whether they were really helping with skin-to-structure attachments. The idea is the the tank dies (which are deeper to account for pro-seal while riveting the tanks), when used on the skeleton, allow the regular dimple in the skin to sit better once riveted.

I got out some scrap, dimpled the “skin” with regular dies, and dimpled the “skeleton” with one tank and one regular die.

You can see on the left, those are the regular dies. The ones on the right is a regular die sitting in a deeper tank dimple. The tank dimples didn’t help anything sit better, because they were both fine.

A little blurry, but the "skin" sat equally well for both set of dimples.

The tank (deeper) dimple is on the right. You can see I'm not having any "seating" issues on the left.

Anyway, I think I am going to go back to using the regular dies on everything. Enough about that, though, let’s prime!

The rear spar components, getting primed after some more edge finishing, washing, drying, and positioning in my wood floors boxes.

Also, I went back and masked off the spar where I had countersunk.

Some of the nutplate attach rivets are not as flush as I would like them to be. I may get a rivet shaver and shave some of these down and reprime. We'll see how the tank skin sits on them.

Back on the rear spar, I posted a couple pictures of my edge finishing procedure. First, use the Permagrit block to smooth out the tooling marks. This picture is the resulting burrs that need to be deburred.

The permagrit is great, but it does leave some pretty decent sharp edges.

Then I used my “v” deburring tool to knock off the 45°.

After this, I usually use a scotchbrite pad to smooth everything out.

After blowing the aluminum dust off with shop air and a good wipe-down with MEK, I took the spar outside so I could paint the grass with my overspray.

I think this is the second side. Only one bug landed on my spar. I left him there for now. (He may be my first passenger.)

After a few hours, I returned out to the garage (workshop/mancave) to do some riveting.

First step: Ignore Van’s suggestions to tape off all of the holes that don’t get riveted now. (I know the warning bells must be going off right now, but it all worked out fine. Just have to read the plans carefully.

I left clecos in all of the “do not rivet now” holes. 6 regular AN470AD4-4 rivets on the left, and some AN426AD4-4 (I think) rivets in the dimples on the right.

SEP 14 UPDATE: WHOA! Those 4 on the right can’t be set now, because the W-712 outboard rib will get riveted to these holes, too. Glad I didn’t get to happy with the rivet squeezer.

These 10 can be riveted now. (Sep 14, 2010 Update: Nope. Just the 6 on the left can be set now.)

Same exercise here. Only 5 rivets can be set now.

I didn't really mark anything here, because I didn't really start on riveting the fork on yet. Next post, I'll be very careful about what to rivet.

Then, I actually started riveting. I love my new Cleveland Main Squeeze. Squeezing these An470AD4- rivets is so easy now.

Here are the 5 shop heads from the middle of the rear spar.

The same 5 from the manufactured side.

Oh, and I did 6 more at the W-707F doubler plate, but forgot to take pictures. 11 total. Also, I was mixing this and house projects over the course of a few hours, so I’m going to estimate it was about 2.0 hours today.

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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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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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