Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jun 29 -- More Nutplates

Tonight I worked on the other side of the HS, incorporating lessons learned on the last rib, but having to work around the fact that the rib is already attached to the spar. Am ready to start attaching nutplates, with holes, dimpling, etc. all finished.

Well, except for one hole that looks too tight. Will re-evaluate that one tomorrow.

Time: 1 Hour

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jun 28 -- Nutplates in Ribs

Had to take a hiatus: first for business travel, and then for more important things such as time with children.

Vans instructions note that you should leave out a few rivets in the HS inboard ribs, in order to install nutplates later to hold on a fiberglass fairing between the empennage and the fuselage. Wait a second... shouldn't these nutplates be installed now?

Sure enough, others have figured this out too -- not always prior to closing up the HS, unfortunately. Bought some nutplates on eBay, ordered rivets to hold them in, took a deep breath and drilled/dimpled/riveted/squeezed.

Of course one of the two parts involved was already installed, because I didn't come to this realization until well into things. However as of tonight the first rib is ready to install. Hopefully the other side will go OK, since one end is already riveted in place.

Time: 2 hours

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jun 19-20 Shop Work and Vertical Stabilizer

Not a heck of lot of airplane work this weekend. Was the perfect weather to work inside on a plane (low 50s and rain); however had to put out a fire with the bumper sticker site related to address verification. Seems that the Web Service vendor is turning off the old version in 30 days, so I had to code up an update for the new version of the service. Most likely their initial warning about this change wound up in my junk mail filter. The hard part isn't rewriting this -- it's figuring out the code that someone else wrote the first time.

Saturday I spent mega $$ to purchase an industrial-grade air filter for the compressor, and to st up two lines: one for high-pressure air at 100 PSI that the rivet squeezer will use, and another set to 40 PSI or so for the rivet gun. With two lines there is no need to change pressure settings all the time.

Following the instructions provided with the unit, I located it 25 feet downstream from the compressor. Physically the filter and compressor are next to each other -- I simply used a 25 ft coil of hose, hung on the wall, to provide the distance. This is required to allow the air to cool enough that moisture condenses before reaching the filter.

Note the photo below. This was screwed to the wall, which I previously covered with 3/4" plywood as part of the garage remodel in prep for building the plane. You can also see that I marked out "don't drill here" zones to make this worry free. Hmmm, I should become a consultant and charge BP big bucks by selling them a map of the Gulf of Mexico -- all hatched out with a marker...

Which brings us to the galvanized pipe. That vertical run has a fitting at the top for the hose, with a quick-connect fitting. Then there is a 12 inch run with a ballcock at the bottom, intended to act as a drain to keep water out of the filter. There is also a drain on the bottom of the filter. However when it comes to painting I'll still need a desiccant cartridge in the hose ahead of the paint gun.

One final thought about this setup. Do your homework before hunting down the parts. Went to two different commercial shops (one being an auto paint supplier) and the help in each was absolutely worthless. They didn't even know what the filter did! I am done supporting local businesses -- they can't even claim value added in the form of knowledgeable help.

Very little actual aircraft construction: all I did was de-burr and flute the ribs for the vertical stabilizer. You can see the fluting pliers in the second photo. The idea is to correct bend induced in the ribs when the edges were turned up. Not going to re-tell the entire story about fluting here; however it's fun to watch the rib straighten back out and lose the bow that was there before this operation.

Total time: 5 hours, with 0.5 hours on the plane per-se.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jun 15 -- Start Vertical Stabilzer

Waiting on some nutplates for the horizontal stabilizer, so go started on this. Not a lot to show for 90 minutes, but that is mostly because it took 45 minutes to find the brackets that will hold on the rudder. Sheesh...

Just some clecoing and a tiny bit of match drilling.

Time: 1.5 hours

Friday, June 11, 2010

June 11 More Riveting

Worked on the opposite side of what I was riveting last night. The ribs at both the outboard and inboard ends are not installed yet on this horizontal stabilizer. Want to install nutplates first. At the outboard end to hold plugs for the lightening holes, and on the inboard end to hold on the fairing between the HS and fuselage.

Time: 1.5 Hours

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jun 10 -- Riveting

Not much to say tonight. Clecos disappeared, rivets appeared. Not enough of either...

And unfortunately the other side still looks like a porcupine.

Time: 1.5 Hours

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jun 9 Start Other Side of Horizontal Stabilizer

It's rinse and repeat time. Tonight I set up to start the other half of the HS. Work consisted of setting up the other skin (nose ribs already installed), then using clecoes and finally the rivet squeezer where possible. No noisy riveting, because at the end of my work session it was already 9 PM.

Time: 1.25 Hours

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jun 8 More Riveting

The goal this evening was to finish as much of the riveting as possible on this side of the HS. The inner rib is not ready to rivet, because I want to install nutplates first, in order to make it easy to install and remove the fairing between the HS and fuselage. Those parts are enroute from Aircraft Spruce.

Also have to repeat all of this on the other horizontal stabilizer before installing the rear spar.

Time: 1.75 Hours

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jun 7 Rivet HS Spar

Not much to report tonight. Finished riveting the forward spar on the right-hand horizontal stabilizer. Had to drill out a few and re-do them along the way.

Time: 2 hours

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jun 6 Start HS Assembly

Not a lot done this weekend, in large part due to supplies that failed to turn up in time. (OK, I ordered the wrong rivets in one case.)

First project was to use RTV to affix the plastic conduit in place. Went to NAPA to pick some up, because my Amazon Prime order was a no-show. Also picked up another can of primer while I was there -- sure hope it goes on sale again soon!

Original plan was to drill out some rivets on the spar that I wasn't wild about. I was able to get past that by deciding that ugly was OK :)

So I am starting to rivet the skin to the ribs, and the ribs to the spar. Lots of riveting to go, and am being careful to avoid smileys and to make certain that the rivets are properly formed. Maybe 20% complete on this side of the horizontal stab -- you can see a horizontal line of rivets if you look closely. But I doubt the neighbors appreciate riveting after 9 PM, so I called it quits...

Time: 3 hours