Finished Right Flap!

July 30, 2012

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Well, after approximately 6 months of completely neglecting the airplane, I finally completed another big assembly on the airplane. Here are the gory details.

Yesterday, Taylor and I got all the rib-to-skin rivets set, so today, we finished up the spar rivets and cleaned up a few badly set rivets. Here we are with the every-other method on the lower flap skin (spar) rivets.

Look! no clecos!

Then, we finished getting the two exterior ribs in place. I did make a stupid mistake here, though. The spar rivets are all AN426AD3-4 rivets, and I just continued with that size around the side to the ribs.

Those ribs are SUPPOSED to be AN426AD3-3.5 rivets, so when I went to squeeze the -4s, they all bent over and sheared.

Nastiness here.


After some mild curse words,  some deep breathing, and FIVE drilled out rivets, we realized our mistake and got the correctly-sized rivets in there.

Shiny bottom!

I had Taylor shine up the skins. (By “shine” I really mean “remove all of Andrew’s fingerprints.”)

Shiny bottom skin!

Shiny top skin.

I forgot how much fun it is to finish a big assembly.

It’s a wing!

1.0 hour, counted as 1.5 man-hours. 78 rivets, 5 drilled out.

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Outboard Right Tank Rib Sealed

June 21, 2011

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Me: “Alright, baby. I’m going to go try to build us a good airplane.”

(a few minutes pass…the the girlfriend peeks her head out the door.)

GF: “What do you mean you’re going to TRY to build us a good airplane. You’re going to take me thousands of feet in the air…”

Me: “MILES into the air!” (I interjected, just being a smartass.)

GF: “…and you’re going to TRY!?”

Me: “Okay, okay. I’ll build you a good airplane.”

Well, I guess I better concentrate then, shouldn’t I. First thing tonight, I wanted to work a little on the inboard rib assembly.

Because I don’t have a 9/16″ drill bit (and neither does Northern Tool and Equipment, Lowe’s, or Home Depot), I broke out the Unibit and taped off the 9/16″ level.

I know I can’t punch all the way through the three pieces near the nose of the inboard rib, but if I at least start the three, I can disassemble, then get the last layer by itself.

I love this unibit. I need to use it more.

After chucking it into the drill press and working a little magic, I ended up with this.

This hole was 1/2", and you can see that I was able to get through the first two layers and start into the third with the 9/16."

Apparently I didn’t take a picture of the finished product, so this will have to do.

I quickly mocked up the flop tube just to see where I stand.

This is upright.

This is inverted. Looks like I'll have good fuel flow while upside down.

$10 says my mom reads this and adds a comment: “INVERTED!?”

Here's the other side, and my amazing edge distances. Booyeah.

Okay, I was planning on sealing rib #4 tonight, but I think I heard snoring from upstairs, so I better stick with something less noisy.

How about the end rib? Well. Van’s says to do all the interior ribs, then the inboard rib, then…well, they don’t really say when to do the outboard rib. The only reason I wouldn’t be able to do this now would be something about the vent line, but I can feed that in from the inboard side and then bend the tip up while it’s in place.

Let’s get to it!

First thing, since the outboard side screws into the joint plate on the leading edge, I carefully applied electrical tape where I didn’t want any sealant.

Hard to see here, I know.

Then, I buttered up the rib and 50% clecoed it in place. There are far more holes in the inboard and outboard ribs than the interior ribs.

Also, I drilled, deburred, cleaned, and sealed the T-410(?) reinforcement plate to the outboard rib. You can see the three #30 clecos here.

After some squeezing (no rivets drilled out, but one sitting a little proud…not going to mess with it), I pulled off the electrical tape and snapped this pic.

Uh oh.

I didn’t realize that I’d have to shoot and buck the three #30 rivets for the reinforcement plate. I’ll have to do that tomorrow.

Anyway, here is a gratuitous fillet shot of the interior side of the outboard rib.

I’m not happy with the fillet at the very front, but instead of mixing another batch of sealant tonight, I’ll redo it when I shoot those three remaining rivets tomorrow.

Other that the fillet up front, I am happy with the rest of it.

The lower skin. (I really hope this “no-MEK” thing pays off with no leaks.)

No leaks! (I think the not-100%-perfect rivet is like the tenth one down.) No one will ever notice.

And the upper skin. NO LEAKS!


43 squeezed rivets.

I think tonight was about 30 minutes on the inboard rib, then 1 hour to seal the outboard rib.

I thought I was getting faster at these ribs. I guess not.

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10 Rivets on the Left Elevator

October 10, 2010

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Well, I was outside working on the floors, trim, and shoe molding for the house today, and I had the urge to set some rivets. I got out the left elevator, and located a few candidates.

I had left a few of the trailing edge area rivets unsqueezed on the left elevator, because I didn’t have any way to reach them. now that I have my no-hole yoke, I could squeeze them.

No pictures, but they went in okay.

I moved on to the trim tab, where I squeezed two more on the inboard side, and then decided to try the last 4 rivets of the empennage…the trim tab outboard riblet I made.

3 of them went in no problem. The 4th? Nope. Drilled out twice, screwed up the hole, drilled to #30, used an oops rivet, still messed it up, drilled again, finally set, but it’s pretty ugly. I know it’s not structural, but that in combination with a couple other things means I’m probably going to join the “multiple trim tab” club.


But, the good news? Napa is having a sale on their MS7220 Self-Etching Primer.

[after walking into local Napa store]

Me: Good morning. I am looking for a can of 7220 Self-etching Primer. I usually use about a can per month, but I’ll buy a case if you can give me a volume discount.

Napa lady: No.

[awkward pause]

Lady: But I’ll sell you however many you want at the super sale price of $5 a can.

Me: Whoa! sweet! What’s the deal? Is Napa discontinuing this stuff?

Lady: Nope, they just choose to discount stuff every once in awhile.

[bought two cases]

Anyway. 10 rivets set, 3 drilled out. (This is not helping my average.) Half hour.

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