Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4 -- Build Tool to Insert Elevator Bolts

The instructions say that it's time to attach the elevators to the horizontal stabilizer, in order to check clearances and drill another hole. Yikes, this whole assembly process is a royal pain, and it took lots of searching online to see what others did. So here's a post on a tool that I built, and two other tips. Hope it saves others some time. (Sorry, no help on the agony bit...)

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