Friday, December 30, 2011
Oh, and you can see my high-end storage approach to the spars. Am still trying to avoid building the stand for these spars, in hopes that my garage will somehow get bigger via positive thinking.
Next up is drilling holes for conduit in the ribs. But first I need to figure out how many conduit and pitot runs are required for all the various systems. Realized today that I even need to pick out an autopilot, because its time to install servo mounting brackets. Leaning towards a Dynon, but am going to bounce this off others before deciding.
Lots of deferred decisions are suddenly rearing their heads. Suppose that's a sign of progress!
Total Time: 5 hours
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Initial challenge was priming parts outside in the dark. A total of five nights -- each time going back to touch up one more spot. Finally had some daytime on Dec 23rd when I came home early. Should have just waited :)
Then there was the matter of working on the plane while quite sick with a bad cold that made me woozy. Lesson learned: don't.
So I also managed to screw up a couple of parts, which I am now waiting for from Van's. These were installed and looked very nice indeed! Until I discovered (a) a missing row of dimples, and (b) that I has countersunk the wrong holes in the doubler. Oh well, now an expert at drilling out rivets...
These are the parts that are in the top of the lower right photo. New parts will be here in a day or two.
Total time: 6 hours
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Shaped and match drilled the various doublers for the rear spar, with a oblong hole for the ailerons accounting for quite a bit of this time. Also dimpled and countersunk a number of holes.
Then used ScotchBrite to scuff the doublers and both rear spars. Had hoped to prime today; however by the time that I finished all of this, it was too dark outside to paint.
The result doesn't look a heck of a lot different than the previous post, does it?
In the end I decided that even a bad prime job was north of not even trying. So I set things up to prime where some light is afforded by the fixture on the front of the garage. Might have to touch up the front of the house if overspray "decorated" the garage door, but it's worth that amount of bother.
Total Time: 7 Hours
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
For starters, the nutplates are on the drawing but I can't find any reference to them in the instructions. Other RV-9 blogs voice a similar concern. So hopefully they are installed correctly!
The countersink cage wouldn't fit into some corners, and I spent several days and trips to the store looking for creative workarounds. Then I found the tool. In my tool box! Doh... There's a photo of the bad boy below.
Also, some of those rivets look funky. However when I carefully checked them, they are actually just fine other than one that is countersunk 0.001" deep.
At any rate, we'll call this 3 hours of work, but that's a lie on the way low end of time wasted. Looks like it's on to the rear spar next.
Total Time: 3 Hours
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Torqued all AN-3 bolts to 25 inch-pounds.
Total Time: 3 hours
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Unfortunately my attempt to drill holes for the Apex tiedown bars did not go well. The first one suffered from layout issues that made the holes off-center. Bottom line is that a ruler plus marking pen is simply inadequate for accuracy. Looking online, it appears that others pioneered this mistake well in advance of today.
On the second bar, I was able to produce a unique piece of art. The work scooted under the edge if the stop on the saw. Result: wrecked aluminum and broken tooth on the aluminum saw. Luckily the blade held together, so no amputations. Ordered a new blade, two new hunks of aluminum, and a beer.
BTW, for others building RVs, these apex plates can be ordered with the pain of tapping the hole already finished. See Cleaveland Tool's website.
Total Time: 3 hours
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Total Time: 7 hours
Thursday, November 17, 2011
First, I primed a bunch of nutplates. They are plain steel, so if anything ever needed priming in the Pacific Northwest, these nutplates would be at the top of the list. Note that the photo shows two types. I only used the flat (small) ones, but figured that I may as well prime some of each.
Then each center hole was drilled to 3/16" (instructions are very vague here), and the bottom of each hole was deburred.
Next up was to create a template piece of metal to use for testing countersink depths. The aluminum test piece is the same thickness as the tank skins (0.032"), and dimpled for a #8 screw.
I started installing nutplates, one or two at a time, and riveted them in place. The nutplate will sever to center the countersink bit.
Set up my new single-fluke bit and gingerly drilled to the correct depth, testing with just the screw and also with the metal template to make certain that all is correct. Think that I need to go just a touch deeper; however want someone else to look at my work first. Easy to drill deeper, but not so easy if the holes are too deep...
Total Time: 2 hours
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Building both wings at the same time, so overall progress will be faster due to efficiencies. Or at least that's the lie that I am telling myself.
Not much else to say, other than there are still lots of holes to work on!
Total Time: 1.5 hours
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Once out, I also opened up the many hardware bags of rivets, screws, and fittings. Tucked each of them away in a wall-storage bin with clear plastic drawers. Hopefully the parts organization is logical enough to find the parts when needed later.
And finally the first couple of nutplate rivet holes were countersunk.
Below are photos that are mostly for the records -- and that show the hand-etched serial numbers of each spar.
Total Time: 7 Hours
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Well, "tonight" turned into three nights thanks to interruptions such as the family's Domain Controller crashing, a surprise launch of a new Amazon Web Services region, etc., etc. Nonetheless, the two photos below represent the tool. This puppy is slick, and initial tests indicate that I should save a ton of time on the wings. Just wish that I'd built it for the empennage ribs...
The base and wood immediately on top of the base are pine. All wood directly attached to the metal sidebars is maple from my scrap box. That maple was originally intended for new cabinets, but I know that you won't tell anyone!
Here's the bill of material, if you want to build your own:
- 1 ea. 2x6, cut to 18" long
- 1 ea. 2x4, cut to 10" long with an 11 degree undercut bevel on the "business end"
- 1 ea 1x1-1/2 maple (or any hardwood). I cut mine to 16" and it could be longer. Also thing that a 2x2 might be sturdier -- this handle takes a lot of abuse
- 1 ea 3" long block, made from the same maple stock. I used my biscuit jointer to insert a couple of wood biscuits and glue up a double-height block. Probably overkill, but I got to play with more toys that way.
- 1 ea. 3/16x1x3ft Weld steel flat bar, purchased at Lowes and cut into 2 ea 10" lengths. OK, cut into 12" lengths and then shortened to 10" when I screwed up alignment on 1/4" holes in one end.
- 2 ea. 1/4-20 x 2-1/2 bolts, also from Lowes Aircraft Supply. These are not aircraft grade bolts -- they just look like it.
- Washers and self-locking nuts for the bolts. I managed to purchase 1/4-20 bolts and 28-TPI nuts. Like I said, Lowes is not aircraft grade -- and mixing things up like they did was annoying. Fortunately I had nuts on hand.
Total Time: 2.5 hours (not counting going to Lowes to find a hunk of steel).
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
This weekend was back at the project, and it was momentous! Finished work on the empennage, or at least as much work as can be done right now. Fiberglass tips and final assembly come at the end of the project.
Built trim tab #3, which came out great, assembled the elevators to the horizontal stab, and drilled an important hole in the elevator horns.
But not until a friend with a flying RV came over to eyeball my work. As per one of the photos below, alignment was off a bit once parts were assembled. Everyone told me that this is normal, although that seems odd in a CNC environment.
In order to drill that hole thru the center bearing, I used some punches from Harbor Freight that fit precisely into a wide variety of hole sizes. In this case it was a 1/4" pin that created the dimple to use as a starting point for the drill. After a #40 pilot hole, worked my way up thru a #30 to a 1/4" bit. The #30 intermediate hole included part of my finger, although I decided that assembling the finger at this time might be inconvenient.
I also realized how woefully dull my inherited drill bits are, so I ordered $300 worth of new cobalt drill indexes -- the first time in my life that I actually purchased all the bits new as a set. Probably should have done this years ago.
All parts now hanging on the garage wall, and it's time to start on the wings.
Total Time this weekend: 19 hours
Monday, July 4, 2011
First, it's tough to slide a bolt thru the holes because it's tough to align the parts. Someone else posted a tip that allen wrenches make a great pin because the 90 degree bend acts as a handle. Even better, use a small one first, then guide a larger one into place. See below for a photo of the larger inserted into the assembly.
Even with this trick, it's still a pain to insert the bolt. In fact, I was speaking like a pirate while I tried with no success... Then I saw a tool that Dave Parsons built for his RV project. Mine is less refined, but works like a charm! I flattened out a couple of leftover pieces of aluminum that began life as stiffeners. The 1" belt sander worked well to cut a slot and generally shape things, followed by some metal forming in the vise. Wow, does this thing work well!
Finally, it was still tough to slide the bolt all the way home. Cleco pliers solved that!
Next up is figuring out what's rubbing. I am fairly certain that the rubbing comes from a rivet shop head that stands too tall. But not much time this weekend for building. Squandered the available time flying, bike riding, and refinishing the deck. What a spectacular Fourth of July!
Total Time: 3 Hours
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Like everything, tonight took way longer than it sounds like it should have.
Total Time: 1 Hour