Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16 -- Prime Ribs

Work on the plane is still sandwiched between "real work and getting ready for the Luscombe Gathering in Columbia, CA next weekend. Yesterday I spent the day at Paine Field (KPAE) flying kids on Young Eagles flights. Kids were awesome; however the BEST moment of the day was when the tower transmitted "Boeing 777; you're number 2 to land behind the Luscombe". Of course a few seconds later they changed their mind and told me to switch runways.

Oh yeah, about the RV project...

Today I went "off plans" for the first time. I plan to turn this plane into an electronics platform for things I haven't even thought about yet. Accordingly, I am running convoluted loom as wiring conduit to any location with a fiberglass fairing: in this instance the tips at the end of the horizontal stabilzer. You can see in the photos how I made a jig to hold the nose ribs for drilling. (The ribs were not really primed prior to drilling, but the camera was off with Karin when I made the holes.) Those pins are nails inserted from the back side of the wood after drilling holes. Then I cut them off with a band saw and cleaned up the nail with an abrasive wheel.

Still a few more holes that need countersinking; however I wanted to start priming parts on the weekend when ligth was good. Once again the photo is a reconstruction -- but you can see that I am hanging these parts from lilac bushes to paint them. (It was dark by the time the camera came home, so photo quality is not high.)

There is plenty of controversy and discussion about what primer to use, and how to prep the surface. I decided not to go the alodine route, despite having some of the old-school chemicals in the garage. Once a year or so NAPA sells self-etching primer for 50% off. So I cleaned out a NAPA store in anticipation of this moment. Not every franchise offers it at the sale price -- so I looked at to find a store that did. It's TEC 7220. And per the recommendation of others, I cleaned the parts up with Coleman fuel. Just happened to have a gallon in the garage, so the price was right, and it was a great opportunity to find a way to use up the fuel. Only issue seems to be that despite doing all of this outside, Karin is still complaining about an odor in the house.

All in all, a most excellent weekend. Flying, building, and sunshine.

Total time today on the project was 3 hours.

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