A clean start… (and some more rudder work)

Rivet count: +25 bringing us to 328!

Shop temp: An awesome 63F!

I’d been aching to get back out to the shop and work on the rudder all week.  The vstab was pretty straightforward, but the rudder has some more challenging bits to get to….

However… that wasn’t the main focus of yesterday’s work 😦

There were several nagging bits of work to do in the shop.  There was the broken light, there was a nice cubby shelf sitting uselessly off on the canted section of the garage floor,  There was all the sawdust and aluminum dust and shavings and bits of blue plastic littering the overflowing trashcan, there was the pile of cardboard boxes shoved off onto one side, and there was my beautiful vertical stabilizer sitting on the one comfortable chair that really needed to be up on the wall somewhere.

Oh, and I had to move a car into one half of my shop!  A friend of mine moved to Seattle and I’m holding his car for a while until he can arrange to have it shipped.  This put a strain on the garage and driveway space at home for a while, but was manageable.  But on Monday, half of the home garage goes into a staging ground for our master bedroom remodel AND we are parking a dumpster on half of the driveway.  Clearly, my buddy’s car was gonna have to move!

It was a lovely day (weather-wise), so I hauled all the boxes out of the shop and started sweeping.  I filled a large contractor’s bag full of sweepings and bits of wood and packing plastic.  Then I rearranged the shop so that the left bay had all the EAA tables and the right side was empty.

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With that done, I finally replaced the broken light fixture

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Online, I saw lots of shots of airplane parts hung up on the walls to keep them out of harms way.  Not a lot of detail on how to actually do it though.  I wanted something to support the parts so they would not get distorted.  I ended up ripping a notch in a piece of 2×4 and making a shelf.

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The 2×4 supports the base of the vstab. The 5/8″ notch is deep enough to allow the skin edge bottom to hang freely without putting any pressure on it.  It is wide enough (2 table saw blades wide) to provide clearance for the rivets.  A strap (with some carpet bits for padding) completes the system.

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With all that done, my lovely wife came by for lunch.  We got my friend’s car manuevered through the narrow driveway and past the rental tenant’s dead panel van and into the garage. Then we had a nice lunch at the Silver Lake Cafe.

After a quick trip back home and a few chores to make a small deposit into the bank of marital bliss, it was back to the shop to pick up the rudder work.

First, I re-cleco’d the main spar, doubler plates, horn and counterbalance rib back into place.

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Then it was back to riveting.  It was easy to get a squeezer on most of the rivets, but the horn was a bit tighter.  So I swapped out the standard yoke for the longeron yoke

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The only hitch was finding some K1000-6 nutplates.  Parts sleuthing takes a much larger part of my time than I would like.  Many of the parts bags are simply labeled with cryptic “misc parts and rivets.”  There was a rough picture on the plans page, but it wasn’t clear exactly what I was looking for.  I dug around online and found a picture before remembering that there was a hardware guide in the infamous “Section 5.”

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I added a tab to make it easier to find.  It has full size diagrams of all the nut plates used in the build  After digging around some more, I found the K1000-6’s in a bag labeled “Empennage Bearings.”  In retrospect, that makes sense because I will eventually screw the bearings into these very same nut plates.

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I had a bit of time left to start doing final deburring on the many stiffeners and shear plates before calling it quits to go play bridge with some friends.

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Next up… more rudder stiffeners, some primer work, and back riveting!


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