Preparation for Left Elevator Skin Riveting

July 21, 2010

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Now that my #10 dies are here, I can proceed with the counterbalance skin and preparation for riveting.

This is how #10 dimples are supposed to look.

No cracks!

After beveling the exterior of the counterbalance skin, drilling the two fairing attach holes (that will be doubled up with the elevator skin) to #28 and dimpling to #6, I threw the counterbalance skin and the little trim riblet up on the priming table, opened the garage door, got the respirator out, and shot these two with primer.

Primed.

After that was done, I clecoed the counterbalance skin in place and riveted the two rivets on each side that can’t be reached after the skeleton is inserted.

There's a nice lap joint there that could have used some edge-rolling, except I FORGOT TO EDGE-ROLL, EVEN THOUGH I JUST BOUGHT AN EDGE-ROLLING TOOL!

The two rivets in question on the top.

Nice shop heads.

And two more on the bottom.

Then, before inserting the skeleton, you loosely place the counterweight in position and partly insert the two screws.

Okay...

Then, I riveted the little riblet I made to the trim spar.

Skeleton, ready to be inserted into the skin.

Closer look.

Of course, I then realized that I needed that area open so I could attempt to buck the four rivets outboard of that point. Drilled out that rivet.

At least I remembered to put some RTV along the back edge of the stiffeners.

After that, I got the skin clecoed on.

It's looking like something that slight resembles an airplane!

Another angle.

I’m kicking myself for not edge-rolling that one lap joint. I only remembered that I didn’t when I woke up in the middle of the night. My two options are to leave it, or drill out 4 rivets and edge roll. Maybe I’ll rivet the rest of the joint (two more rivets), then decide whether it is bad enough if the edge picks up at all. I don’t think it will, but I’ll start there so if I have to take it apart, it will only be a few rivets.

1 hour. 4 rivets, one drilled out.

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Started Prepping Left Elevator Skeleton

July 2, 2010

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Even though it was my day off, I spent the day trying not to get stung by bees (mowing the forest behind my fence) and meeting the girlfriend for food. After that, I managed to waste an hour or so installing a fan in the garage. Recently, it’s been brutal in the garage, so this morning, while I was walking around Lowe’s, I saw a small ceiling fan for $17. I couldn’t say no. It was harder to install than our nicer fans inside (no little quick-disconnect fan blades or anything), but in the end, it makes me cooler in the garage (double meaning intended).

Huzzah!

Okay, back to work. I think you guys might have seen this picture yesterday, but here it is again…the little riblet I made after drilling.

Looks good. I am proud of this little guy.

Then, I moved over to the spar. These four holes get countersunk because they attach E-705, but the elevator horn has to sit over the rivets but still flush against the forward face of the web.

Beautiful countersinks.

While I had the countersink cage set up, I pulled the trim tab spar out of the elevator and started on it.

Countersink the top flange, dimple the bottom flange.

Aren't these countersinks nice?

After countersinking, both the tab spar and the left elevator main spar were scuffed (more), edge-finished, and then got a trip inside to the sink for a quick rinse before coming back outside to eventually get a coat of primer.

I'm getting close to riveting something, watch out!

Anyway, two very productive hours, and I think I can rivet some reinforcement plates tomorrow if I want. Wuhoo!

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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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