Last of the Left Flap Fabrication

October 30, 2011

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Well, I haven’t worked on the airplane in a week. Bummer. I’m never going to finish at this rate, so I need to start getting my butt in gear and start working again.

One notable thing from this week…it got cold.

So, I fished out the space heater, and put my VORNADO up on the shelf.

See you next spring, VORNADO!

Okay, let’s talk about why we’re all here…AIRPLANE BUILDING.

Previously, I had matchdrilled the flap brace, but didn’t drill any of the nutplate holes that are required to hold the rod end in place.

I disassembled the inboard rib and supporting braces from the rest of the spar/skins.

Ready for more drilling!

Per the instructions, I enlarged the aftmost doubler hole to 1/4″ and temporarily bolted in a nutplate.

It was hard to hold for the picture, hence the gap.

After drilling the two #40 nutplate attach holes, deburring, and a little countersinking (only on the left, aftmost hole) you end up with this:

That's an Oops rivet

Next, I needed to trim down one of the angles (you can see it sticking out too far in the picture above). Here it is after trimming.

Sharp edges, time for some deburring!

I fired up the scotchbrite wheel and got to work on those angles. After a few minutes, I ended up with a nice, smooth assembly.

Looks like I did a little dimpling on the rib, too.

With about 10 minutes left until bedtime, I decided to get the lower spar countersunk. The dimpled skin sits in these countersinks, which leaves the flap hinge unaffected underneath (well, above in absolute terms).

Just like a few other places in the kit, Vans suggests using the flap hinge as a countersink guide to make sure the holes are square.

Every other hole, pre countersinking.

I guess this is a closeup pre-countersinking.

Yup. That's a countersunk hole.

And finally, an AN426AD3- rivet sitting a little deeper than flush (intended) in the countersink.

1.0 hour of fairly boring flap work, but now I get to actually start preping stuff for priming and assembly.


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Dimpled Right Tank Skin

June 4, 2011

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Well, Andrew went shopping today!

It’s been brutal in the shop, so I put up the electric heater I had on the bench and put in its place this new VORNADO. For such a small package, it does a pretty good job of moving air. You have to have it pointed right at yourself though.

The VORNADO. (insert ominous music here)

Also, I bought the craftsman circle cutter for the large 6″ holes I need in the fuel tank inboard ribs.

Time to cheat death.

i also picked up some 1/4″ and 3/8″ drive drill adapters. I hate having to use a ratchet all the time for bolts. Now I can use the drill.

Oh, and a 7/16″ drill bit for the inboard rib vent fitting holes. The -4 sized AN hardware requires a 7/16″ hole.

This stupid drill bit was $14. Jeesh.

Also, I bought a nice little kitchen scale. I thought about saving some bucks and going with the analog one, but I didn’t know if I would be happy not having the digital readout.

This one was about $30.

These pliers weigh 155 grams.

Okay, back to work, Andrew!

I broke out the c-frame again and loaded in my tank dimple dies. On all of the other skins, I’d been putting the male die on the bottom, putting the hole in the skin over the die, lowering the female die, and then holding it in place while I struck it with the hammer.

On these skins, I’m flipping the skin over (so the other half of the skin hangs off the front of the workbench toward the ground).

This means I have to have the female die on the bottom, and the male die on top. To avoid my figure-8 dimple from the leading edge, I removed the return spring from the c-frame so any fidgety hands won’t cause anything to move.

Here I am about halfway through with the bottom half of the right tank skin.

(Whiny voice:) My hand got really tired (the hammer is sooo heavy, sissy boy!), so I took a break.

Not sure why I weighed a cleco, but I was curious.

13 g. Hmm.

Back to work again. Here’s the bottom half of the right tank skin.

Since there are more holes on the bottom than on the top, I am more than halfway done!

A closeup of the top skin dimpled.

The hole (get it?) thing dimpled.

At this point, I had been working for 1 hour and 20 minutes, so I felt like I should find something to do for 10 minutes just so I can log 1.5 in the build log. I broke out the #8 dimple dies and dimpled the #19 holes in the outboard edge of the tank skin.

You can see the size difference between the #40 and #8 dimples (The numbered comparison is not right here. #8 screws require #19 holes, so you are comparing #40 to #19).

With a few minutes left, and a new tool just itching to be used, I broke out the 7/16″ drill bit and drilled the vent fitting hole in the inboard rib.

I’ve been following a few threads on VAF recently, and some people are really freaking about about an exact location for this. I followed Van’s directions explicitly, which say “approximate location.”

Ha. I didn’t even give myself a starting mark!

Looks good.

Then, I pulled out the -4 fittings and screwed them in, just to see what they would look like.

The plans show this pointed foward. Okay.

The VORNADO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1.5 hours. Proseal arrives on Monday. Next week is the black death!

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