Bulking up… working on the rear fuselage bulkheads

I only had the afternoon to work on the plane today.  The contractor’s minions were working trying to get our 8 week project (now in it’s 9th month) done.  I got to the shop around 1pm and in the first five minutes managed to blow the breaker.  The garage is very power challenged; it has barely enough juice to power my compressor.  Today I tripped it with a heat gun (pre-warming the oil in the compressor), a microwave oven (heating water to pre-warm the rattle can primer), and my propane heater (to pre-warm me!).  Unfortunately, the breakers are in the locked basement of the rental house, so I had to call the landlord’s son to pop it back on.  He couldn’t get there until 3pm!  So I worked by the light of the garage windows.

First up, I riveted the small rear bulkhead and tie down together with my hand squeezer.  I probably would have gone for the manual squeezer anyway, but with the power out, I had no choice.  The longeron yoke was perfect for getting these.

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Everything fit nicely and it was good to get the first piece of the fuselage actually done.  So here is page 10-08!

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With no power I couldn’t do a lot on the next bulkhead, so I instead hunted up all the parts for the remaining four bulkheads.  The first three bulkheads all have some extra bits attached and some holes to drill, so I set those up.  I actually got the second bulkhead clecoed together and fitted to the rear skin.  A couple of the flanges needed some finagling to get right, but it mostly lined up well.

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With the power back on, it was back on the pre-drill, deburr, dimple, smooth, prep for priming, priming train.  I had already primed some of the attach straps in the previous step, so they just needed touch ups (because the final drilling left some raw aluminum exposed).

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These are now all primed and ready to assemble.  I’ll get the final two bulkheads tomorrow.  These parts are the biggest I’ve worked on yet.  It’s kind of exciting to go from the small rear bulkhead to the back of the baggage compartment.  Still lots of pages to go on the rear fuselage.  The wing kit is just sitting there, taunting me!  I’ll be started on it soon enough, I hope.

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