November 2010 Archives

Drilling right elevator skin, preparing trim access plate

Before i moved to the UK a bit more than a year ago people told me that there would be no snow. Maybe a day, but definitely not more. Well, last winter we enjoyed the white beauty for about six weeks. And this winter? Three days ago it started snowing. It's still there, about 10 inches thick, and more is coming. :-)

Today I edge finished and deburred the trim cover plate E-616PP and the trim access reinforcement plate E-615PP. The cover will be held by #6 screws, so I will have to put platenuts on the reinforcement plate. I countersunk the rivet holes for the platenuts for NAS1097 rivets, because I don't want to dimple them. Since the heads of those oops-rivets are so small, countersinking is just a matter of giving the hole a couple of turns with the deburr tool.

However, I'm not sure what to do with the screw holes. I dimpled them with the #6 screw dimple dies, which is the correct size, but the holes in the reinforcement plate are so close to the edge that the dimple extends all the way to the edge. The cover plate is not a problem, here the edge distance is larger. I'll ask on VAF what other people do.


When I was done with the trim access, I drilled the stiffeners to the right elevator skin:


I really have to come up with a way to shoot primer in the house. It's cold and wet outside, so painting in the backyard or in the garage is not an option. I have a "bed room" upstairs that is so tiny that the only direction to fit a bed would be vertical. So far I use that as storage space, but I might empty it and build a paint booth there.

Drilling left elevator skin

There are those pilots who have landed wheels up and those who will. I'm still in the second category.

There are those builders who have drilled their finger and those who will. I guess you know where this is going. No, don't ask. I will not tell you about that rear hole in the stiffener that needs to be matchdrilled to the skin, nor about that very stiffener bending away from the skin under the slightest pressure of the drill, nor about ... no, I won't tell you. Fortunately it wasn't a central hit.

The skin I actually wanted to pierce belongs to the left elevator. Tonight I drilled the stiffeners and the E-615PP trim access reinforcement plate to the skin. Strange thought that this wobbly something will in the future tell the plane how fast to go:


Wings are in container

The wings have been loaded in the container today and will now be shipped via NY to Liverpool. They should arrive in the UK on 31 December -- lets just hope we make the VAT increase deadline.

Elevator stiffeners

Yesterday night I started cutting the stiffeners for the elevator. Since the left elevator has the trim tab and therefore the spacing between the stiffeners is different than on the right side, there are eleven different types of stiffeners. In total it's 29 pieces. I hope I don't mix them up during/after priming. Anyway, tonight I trimmed them to their final sizes on the belt sander and them edge finished them with the vixen file and the Scotchbrite wheel. They are now ready to be drilled to the skins.


Preparing rudder skeleton

Today I disassembled the rudder skeleton, deburred all the holes, and edge finished the R-405PD rudder horn. Then I mounted the E-614-020 counter weight to the R-703 rib by enlarging the mounting holes in the rib to #12, then dimpling them with the #10 screw dimpler and countersinking the lead:


I won't mount the lead permanently until the rudder is riveted, so no nuts yet, and the lead is back on the shelf:


Finally I dimpled the skeleton parts, so the skeleton is now ready for scuffing and priming. I couldn't reach the rear holes of the two ribs with the squeezer, so I used the die holder for the rivet gun that I bought from Cleaveland with a male die, and a piece of steel with a countersunk hole as female die. Worked like a charm. If you wonder, that die holder is not in Cleaveland's catalog. It is part of their "Avery C-Frame Retrofit Kit", but if you call them and explain what you need they sell you just the die holder for a third of the price of the retrofit kit.


DRDT-2 table

Today was woodworking time. I built tables to raise the skins to the level of the DRDT-2 when it's sitting on the workbench. Instead of building one large table I built two smaller ones -- one for each side of the dimpler. Like this I can move them flexibly and they are easier to store away. I also built a narrow third table so that I can extend the workspace once I have to deal with the large wing skins.

I kept everything quite simple:


Tables in action:


Still alive

The past few weeks were dominated by work, work, and ... work. I haven't been home a lot, and the little time I was here I spent either at the computer or sleeping. Okay, that's not entirely true. I did actually take a long weekend off beginning of October (wow, that's long ago) to go to Milfield with a small group of people from my glider club. The aim was to fly in the wave, and I did three times.



Some fun with a mini-cumulus -- does this count as self-portrait?


Fast forward to today's afternoon. Work finally got a bit calmer (it will change again, but that's another story) and I took advantage of it and got into the workshop. Van's calendar on the wall still showed the September picture, so I flipped two pages and started to work.

I got the frame for my DRDT-2 welded, but they bolted the die holder on the wrong way. So I fixed that and adjusted everything. What a nice tool! I also got a backriveting plate, so I can now return Steve's tools.


Then I match-drilled the R-716 rudder bottom attachment strips to the rudder, and drilled all the remaining holes to final size.


Not a long session today, but it's good to be back on the project. The wings should arrive before Christmas; we hope to beat the VAT increase deadline. They are already in the container.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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