Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28 -- Cleco Horizontal Stabilzer Together

At long last I finally mounted the HS-908 brackets to the horizontal stabilizer spar. Then I assembled the ribs and spars into the skeleton of the tail assembly. Lots of drilling to enlarge holes, follwed by lots of vaccuuming to stay ahead of all the aluminum shavings.

Next step in the instructions: dissasemble all these parts. Going to be lots of this try fitting as I proceed.

Time: 4 hours

March 27 -- Drill Holes in HS-908

I'm as sick of these parts as you are about reading them. However today I finished everything short of affixing them to the plane.

First order of business was to pick up a parallel set at Harbor Freight, in order to have a more accurate means of laying out the hole pattern. I searched EBay for these first, and while some more interesting ones came up (notably coated to prevent rust), in the end it was just simpler to pick them up locally.

Using a combination of the parallel pieces of steel, along with some right angles and an ultra-fine sharpie, I was able to lay out accurate lines to drill holes.

Below you can see the final result (there were two brackets in the end), as well as how I accomplished this.

Time: 1.5 hours (not counting the trip to Harbor Freight)


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 23 -- Remade HS-908 Part Again

Yuk, last part made had a hole drilled incorrectly. So made yet another part -- which was easy due to all the practice that I've had. That aluminum saw blade continues to impress me!

Also laid out the holes, which I will drill after I collect my center punch collection from the airport.

Finally, fixed the drill press, which was missing an allen-head set screw on the main pulley. I found the screw clear on the other side of the garage last weekend.

2 Hours

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21 - Finish Table, Air Compressor Drain

Actually most of the day was spent doing taxes -- takes an average of 3-4 weekends each year to complete them, due to complexity.

Two RV-related projects today. The first was finishing another worktable, per yesterday's blog post. The table is in the spirit of EAA chapter 1000's drawings, with two significant deviations. First, I used 2x3 lumber instead of 2x4. A bunch lighter, and still sturdy. Second, I have so much lumber in the garage that I scavenged from that supply rather than use new lumber (with the exception of most of the 2x3 pieces). But this is getting frustrating -- no matter how hard I hit the wood supply in the garage, there is still too much left! The newest table is the one farthest from the camera in the photo.

Second, I went to Home Depot to pick up come galvanized pipe and make the air compressor tank easier to drain. The built-in drain required getting down on my knees at the end of each session, so I added an easy-to-reach ballcock valve. Saw that a number of people on Van's Air Force made this same modification. The result rests on the floor, so I need to think about whether or not to elevate the compressor in order to avoid stress fractures caused by the galvanized pipe contacting the floor while the compressor is running (and in turn causing a lot of vibration).

These are both important additions to the shop -- even though neither was directly responsible for forward progress on the project.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 20 -- New Table

Started out the day by laying out lines to drill the HS-908 brackets, then went to the airport for some Luscombe fun.

The airport outing began with 90 minutes of polishing under the LH stabilizer and elevator. Yuk, nasty and right above my face -- but there was a lot of surface corrosion, so this was important.

Then off to Pt. Townsend for lunch, or more correctly apple pie and a milkshake. Miserable day for flying -- 1000 FPM down in spots and rotor in others. And this was over the Sound!

Back at home, I started building a second table because the horizontal stabilizer needs a longer table to build on. (More correctly, I need two tables end-to-end in order to hold the parts. Got 75% of the way thru the table.

5 Hours (1 on HS-908, 4 on table)

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 2020 -- More HS-908

Manufactured the other HS-908 bracket, and along the way made a couple of dumb mistakes. Moral: Friday evenings are for R&R, not tasks that require a brain. Still need to drill 9 holes in each bracket before they are ready to use.

1.5 Hours

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18, 2010 -- HS-908 Revisited

I just wasn't happy with the results of the HS-908 brackets, and one of the core reasons was that the Scotchbrite wheel ate the aluminum quickly and irregularly. So the part did not have square edges.

I also realized that cutting aluminum on the band saw is a total pain in the ass. So a bit of time on Google and I realized that aluminum blades are available to fit a Skill saw, a table saw, and a mitre saw. One brand, MK Morse, made some amazing claims about not heating the aluminum, and cutting aluminum squarely. Found a MK Morse CSM860AC Metal Devil 8" Aluminum Cutting Circular Saw Blade on -- not exactly inexpensive at $59 -- and installed it in the mitre saw.

In the meantime I ordered more stock angle aluminum from Vans. This time I ordered a 12" hunk, in case I mess up again.

Wow! Exactly as advertised. The saw blade cut the stock like butter, no heat, 10 seconds, square, and clean. :)

In fact, most of the fab time was spent sanding that last little bit down, nice and square. Sanding does heat the aluminum, so even gloves didn't completely protect me from the resulting temperature. On the other hand I was able to pick up the aluminum using my bare hands immediately after cutting it with the saw.

2 hours

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 8, 2010 - Designed CAD Part

Designed a CAD version of HS-908 to have eMachineShop mill the parts. Discovered that while qtys of 25 worked out to just under $20 each, ordering just one costs $184. No way that's affordable, so I ordered new angle aluminum from Van's. Will be here by the time that I return from my business trip to NYC on Thursday.

1.5 hours

March 7, 2010

Deburred and removed gummed labels from nose and regular ribs for the stabilzer.

2 hours

March 6, 2010 - Purchased More Tools

Picked up $560 worth of clecos and tools from a local builder, who was selling off what was left after he built a RV-7. Collection included several hundred clecos, some more yokes for the pneumatic squeezer, etc.

1 hour

March 5, 2010

Clecoed the rear HS spar together, with a splice plate in the middle. Yikes, this puppy is about 8 feet long, and my work table is only 5 feet long. Going to have to build a second table -- yuk, more stuff in the garage...

Decided that HS-908 needs a fresh start.

1 hour

March 3, 2010 - New Tool Chest

Received a new tool chest, rounded up tools and filled it. Amazing that a single tote-style toolbox that was overstuffed filled most of this new 24w x 60h chest!

I ordered this chest from Costco Online, despite the fact that it is not exactly what I want, and depite obvious shortcomings in the quality department. However we had a $700 rebate from Costco in return for ordering our central air conditioning thru them, so the chest was "free" in the Monopoly money sense.

March 2, 2010

Worked on HS-908, bought a benchtop belt sander at Harbor Freight. The edges are not as perfect as I'd like (few irregularities, and I want CNC results).

2 Hours

March 1, 2010 - Starting Construction

This initial blog post will ignore all the garage remodeling that preceeded the start of actual construction. I am posting a series of these on the same day, although actual construction started March 1, 2010.

Match drilled HS907. Started work on HS-908, which is a fitting to attach the empennage to the aircraft.

3 Hrs