Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nov 9-11 -- Build a Rib Flange Straightening Tool

Tonight's mission is to build a straightening tool for the rib flanges. A video of the idea is here, and a fancier tool was found in a Van's Air Force forum post.

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).

No comments:

Post a Comment