Monthly Archives: June 2015

Rear spar

Two weeks ago, I left off getting ready to match drill some of the rear spar double plates.  I spent last Saturday at the doc-in-a-box waiting (and waiting) to get a prescription written.  Sigh!  I dove right in this Saturday and got all the match drilling done.  Watch the holes carefully, it is easy to miss one.  I almost did, but caught it when I double checked.

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One of the doublers needs a cut out for the aileron push rods.  Vans provides templates.  Since I have the PDF files for the plans, it was pretty easy to just print out those templates.  Do be careful that they are printed at 100% size.  My son came out to help (and get some lunch at the Chinese restaurant!).  I mounted the templates on the doubler plates (I just clecoed them in place) and he drilled the pilot holes on the drill press. Since the clecos raised the plate up a little, I used a leftover piece of styrofoam as a waste board.  The clecos pressed into the foam leaving the doubler plate level for the drill press.

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The original instructions have you drill a pair of 1″ and (it says 3/8″ but is really) 3/4″ holes and then clean up the edges.  The newer instructions have you trace the outline of the aileron push rod hole.  I did it the original way (mostly).  I used some spade bits to cut the holes and then cleaned the edges up with a file.  It came out pretty close to the original hole.  I think the new method would have been easier… maybe drilling a bunch of #30 holes just inside the perimeter and then filing to shape.

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The next tedious step was deburring and edge filing.  Most of these I handed off to my son.  He did a great job and it really sped the work up.

I got everything primed.  There’s still some match drilling and countersinking to do, so there’s a bit of touch up to do.  Easier to have all the pieces primed now for handling.  I assembled both rear spars.  Next time out, I’ll finish the match drilling and counter-sinking and I’ll rivet these up.  Maybe I’ll even get a couple of top skins clecoed on!

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Small parts, small progress

A bit of a late start today.  I’m back from my second week on the job in Chicago and I got my first paycheck.  Yay!  Alas, the first paycheck is a paper check, so I had to wait for the bank to open.  Now my account is flush again.  Plenty of money to buy more tools!

I picked up with the aileron mounting bracket where I left off… a pile of small parts.  The parts still needed a bit of work before assembly.  When I checked over the inner cutouts, they were rougher than I was comfortable with, so i spent some time cleaning up the edges.  Next, there is a lot of match drilling and countersink work to do.  And of course, the hole deburring work!

I got all that done and was able to prime the pieces.  It’s a lot nicer being able to work with the garage door open.  I’m using a respirator, but the fumes clear much faster through the open door.

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I actually found the required bearings without much difficulty (I marked all the bags during inventory).  They are a very tight fit.  I first tried the two socket wrenches and C-clamp method.  That was a bust.  Turning the C-clamp causes the socket to shift whilst tightening.  Next I tried the two sockets in my vice.  Not a lot better.  In the end, I just hollowed out a small block to provide a relief area and used just the 7/16″ socket to push the bearing in.  As you can see, the hollowed out section doesn’t need to be particularly round, it just has to adequately support the end of the hinge bracket spacer.  The block was much easier to control than the large supporting socket.

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I took a break on the aileron hinge brackets and moved on to the spar doublers.  All the pieces so far either were all pre-drilled or used a couple of holes as alignment guides.  These pieces are hand placed, clamped, and fully match drilled.  So we use the “blue line” technique to add an alignment line in Sharpie that we will spot through some holes on the spar to make sure we get good edge distances on the doublers.

I used a gauge to lightly scratch a line 5/16″ from the edge into the blue plastic.

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I followed that up with a sharpie line to make it easier to spot.

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Next, I had to position them on the spars.  I’m doing both right and left at the same time to try to avoid mistakes.  I nearly put the left wing end doubler on the wrong end of the spar.  Check your work, check your work, check your work!

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Sure enough, the blue line show up and the piece is correctly centered!2015-06-13 14.52.17

At this point, I went back and riveted the aileron hinge brackets.  My air hose sprung a leak near the fitting (not so great when I have to turn the pressure up to 90 pounds to drive those 1/8″ rivets), but I was able to patch it up with electrical tape for now.  I did the 426 flush rivets with the hand squeezer (clamped to the table as shown) and the 470’s with the pneumatic squeezer.  The rivets are done in “random” order to try and keep the bracket from twisting.  It came out nice.

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I had to bail early because it’s the volunteer fire department summer clam bake today!

Next week, I’ll match drill the doublers, nibble out the push rod hole, and hopefully finish the rear spars!

Ribs are riveted!

I didn’t touch the project for a month, but what a busy month it was!

I finished up my consulting work and took the family on a two and a half week trip around the Mediterranean.  Very relaxing (but not conducive to building).  We got back home late on the last Saturday in May.  The very next day, I flew to Chicago to start my new job.  It’s going well so far.  For the time being, I’ll be making conjugal visits back to see the wife (and my plane).

The first thing was to re-stack all of my friends books and household goods back in the garage.  I had hoped that he was ready to ship it all back to Seattle, but he’s considering another job, so all the goods are staying in the garage for now.  I spent the first hour or so shifting boxes around (and unpacking some tools that I had demonstrated at the flying club meeting in early May).

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After that, I dug back into the build.  I left off with most of the left wing ribs riveted and had nothing riveted on the right spar. I also had to rivet the right torque tube assembly onto the root rib and then rivet both root ribs to their respective spars.  And I had some spar bolts to install… It all went together much like the left wing.  Nothing to report other than Section 14 is finally done.

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Section 15 starts like most sections… find a bunch of small parts and prep the edges.  The aileron hinge bracket spacers needed a lot of work.  They all have some really rough cut edges.  I needed to aggressively file the edges before running them through the Scotch Brite wheel.  Lots of inner edges to file and sand as well.

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I managed to finish all the edge preparation by the end of the day.    When I get back to the shop next week, I’ll assemble these into the aileron bracket hinges.2015-06-06 17.28.59