Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nov 10 - Building a Paint Booth

The blog, and the RV project, have been quiet since the beginning of the year. There are three reasons for that: business travel, a bathroom remodel project that is affectionately known as "Bathroomgedon", and re-skinning the Luscombe vertical stab and rudder.

So while the paint booth will be for the RV project eventually, at the moment it's really for the Luscombe. Used 1" PVC and then covered with 3.5 mil polyethylene. Of course even this progress has been slow. Last weekend a failed seal on the BMW's rear door gave way, which resulted in 2-3" of water inside the car after a hard rainstorm. This weekend I have to travel to Boston on Sunday.

So status is that the booth is built, but no air filters are installed, and no painting so far. Hopefully it won't become a huge condensation chamber while I am away. For that matter, hopefully it won't blow away...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jan 7-14 -- Assemble Left Wing Skeleton

The photos below show progress that is an accumulation of off and on work for quite a few days.

Primed all the ribs, then riveted them to the main and rear spars. Looks like the rivets on the trailing spar are backwards from what the plans recommend (manufactured head on the thinnest side to avoid rib distortion); however I squeezed rather than use a gun, and there is no sign of distortion.

Still just a few holes left to rivet.

Today my good friend Michael Beare stopped over to help drive rivets into the main spar. I started this part of the riveting solo last weekend; however the result was that at least half a dozen rivets needed to be drilled out. Completely different outcome with his help -- and he is experienced to boot!

Total Time: 10 hours

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jan 2 -- Left Wing Ribs

Enlarged all holes in ribs for both wings to accept bushings for the conduit (I caved -- going to run conduit). In fact, I added holes for a third conduit run to the pitot and aileron bell crank. Need power for pitot heat and the autopilot servo.

Then I assembled the left wing (excluding nose ribs) and match drilled the ribs to both the main spar and the rear spar. Then deburred and used Scotch-Brite to scuff the ribs up in preparation for priming. Took the lot outside and cleaned them up with Coleman Fuel.

One rib received primer -- just as it started raining. Am going to have to wait for a dry weekend day to finish that part.

Total Time: 5.5 hours

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dec 31 - Jan 1, 2012 -- Work on Ribs

Slowing up to do some research, because all of the sudden I am being bit by lack of planning ahead. For example, it's time to have an autopilot servo; however I haven't even evaluated the various choices.

Also time to drill holes for wiring in the wings. Many people run a single conduit; however I am running at least two in order to keep electrically noisy runs (strobes) away from things like antennas. Also need to consider how to service the not-yet-selected autopilot servo, which will be mounted short of all the way out there in the wingtip. Ordered some bushings to install in the holes, drilled holes that are too small for the bushings (just in case they don't work out).

Should I even run conduit? It's made from material not allowed in certified planes, and frankly I just don't trust it not to cause issues. Won't wire laying loose in there chafe from vibration? Lots to decide. Soon.

So each rib now has two 3/4" holes. One key learning along the way: Unibit (the actual brand) bits rock. Harbor Freight knock-offs suck.

Finally, also created a tool to measure aileron alignment later.

Total Time: 5 hours