Drilled E-701 (Left Elevator Skin) to Skeleton

June 17, 2010

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Wow, it’s been a week since I’ve worked on the airplane.

I have an excuse, though. I’ve been installing wood floors. Here’s the living room, almost done.

Anyway, if you remember from the last post, I had the left elevator skin clecoed to the skeleton. I went ahead and match-drilled the skin to the skeleton. Instead of using my cordless drill (because it’s quieter), I broke out the air drill and went to town. I love the way that thing sounds.

Forgot to charge the camera battery, so it charged while I drilled.

After matchdrilling both sides, this picture is me in the middle of removing all of the clecos.

Then, because I felt like I would be short-changing you if I didn’t have two pictures for you, here’s another one.

After disassembly.

Here’s the catch, though. I have a lot of thinking and pondering to do about some things.

First of all, I am planning on cutting off the elevator tab (and elevator) bent ears and just making a rib out of them. Jason Beaver did it pretty successfully here and here, so I’m basically going to copy him.

The question is whether to prep and rivet the left elevator now, the cut off the “ears” after riveting, then try to fabricate a rib, matchdrill, dimple, prep again, etc., or should I re-cleco everything together and do all of that fabrication now.

Many people use blind rivets for the extra tab fabrication, but I think I am going to try to use solid rivets. I have had some success in the past with solid rivets in tight spaces using a special bucking bar (namely, the end of a BFS (“big-freakin-screwdriver”). The question will be about dimpling.

Also, I can probably cut the ears off, but leave a little extra material. I need to make sure I line up the cuts on the elevator and tab to minimize the gab between the two, and I don’t want to cut to much off of either side. Maybe I’ll mock them up, cut one side to where I think it should be, and make sure the other side can be cut more precisely to match the first cut.

Also, many people use blind rivets for the four trim spar rivets on both sides (per the plans), but I think I can assemble in an order that allows me to use solid rivets, especially since I’m going to cut the elevator bent tab ears off; I should be able to reach in there with a bucking bar.

See how much thinking I have to do?

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More Drilling, Deburring, Scuffing and Dimpling

May 9, 2010

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After we got back from my first Pilots N Paws rescue, I was excited to keep working on the airplane.

I needed to start on the tip rib and counterbalance rib, so I needed to get the holes in the counterbalance to final size (#12, for a An509 screw).

I had some trouble awhile back with drilling the counterbalance holes to final size, and I don’t have any boelube, but i figured any lubrication would work better than none, so I poured some air tool oil into the holes and tried again.

This time, it worked much better. (I still got stuck a few times, but I didn’t come to a grinding halt like I did last time.)

Here's the counterbalance after drilling to #12.

I clecoed the counterbalance skin back onto these two ribs, inserted the counterbalance, and matchdrilled through those to make these holes in the ribs.

Nice job with the blurry picture, right?

Next up, deburring.

There's my trusty deburring bit.

Then scuffing.

Bottom rib (counterbalance rib) is scuffed.

After deburring and scuffing the tip rib, I dimpled all but the last 2 holes on the top and bottom of the rib.

The two non-dimpled holes are not shown here. I'll have to get the countersunk steel plate out to get those.

Next, I clecoed the counterbalance skin on the right elevator skin and marked with a permanent marker where I wanted to scuff and prime. Some of the edges here have to be broken to make the skins seam from spar to coutnerbalance skin a little smoother. More in a later post.

Above this line, the right elevator skin overlaps, and will need a coat of primer.

Then, out with the trusty blue tape.

Taped and ready for scuffing.

Then, I pulled out my #8 dimple dies (don’t have #10 dies, which are the correct dies for a #12 hole and AN509 screw) and dimpled the counterbalance skin. The countersinks on the right are the correct size. I need to figure out how to dimple the skin on the left a little more.

After this shot was taken, I screwed the correct screws into the assembly and tried to tighten them down to dimple more, but I didn't want to strip anything, and it wasn't really going to work.

I’m going to research how people did this without #10 dies later.

No rivets set, but a good hour on the plane.

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