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Ten Right Aileron Rivets

September 14, 2011

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Well, I always love setting a few rivets, and I tend to work in little spurts so that I can set at least a few. The next few rivets in the project are the ones for the aileron spar reinforcements.

First off (no pictures), I grabbed the right aileron spar and reinforcement plates I deburred and scuffed yesterday, cleaned them, and got them outside in the driveway (on a cardboard box, on my trash bin) for some priming.

While those were drying, I deburred and countersunk the counterbalance pipe. This was way easier than I thought it was going to be.

To check countersink depth, I grabbed a CSP-4 (is it CS4-4?) I can’t believe I can’t remember the rivet number…anyway, and countersunk until it was just deeper than needed.

This may be a couple clicks too deep. I'll back it off on the next ones.

Then, time to deburr the aileron leading edge.

Yup, that's what I'm doing...

With that accomplished, I followed in many other builders’ footsteps and dimpled the leading edge by clecoing it to the countersunk counterbalance pipe balanced on a 2×4.

Mine didn't seem to move around much, so I'm glad I didn't waste the time duct taping small dowel rods down the 2x4 to steady things.

I fished out my (Paul’s) c-frame die and my #30 male dimple die.

Was this picture really necessary?

And, after a whack and a half…

Wuhoo! Looks like a great dimple!

A shot without the rivet...this worked great for me...like everyone else.

Okay, inside with the pipe for some cleaning, and outside to prime (now that it’s no longer being used as a female dimple die for the leading edge skin.

Let’s start on some more deburring, dimplineg edge-finishing, and priming.

I snatched up the two leading edge ribs, and spent about 45 minutes edge finishing all the little crevices with a needle file.

This part of building an airplane sucks.

But, after a few minutes, I had a deburred, edge-finished, and scuffed leading edge rib. Time for dimpling!

Yup. Dimpling!

After that, more cleaning, and those went outside for priming, too.

Just in time for my spar and reinforcement plates to dry!

Okay, which of these rivets can I set? (Ten minutes of staring passes...)

Okay, this is the outboard side. Those two AN426 rivets are just in there for hole alignment. They can NOT be set at this time, only the three on the left.

Of which I've set one.

Look at that beautiful shop head.

More rivet setting, and moving over to the inboard side.

Over there, the three inner-most rivets can be set, along with the two AN426AD3-4 rivets for the K1000-3 nutplate, shown.

The foreground-most holes are for the aileron bracket and the main rib attachments, the clecoed row is for the leading edge rib attachments.

I guess I needed a picture of the manufactured heads.

I think this picture means the counterbalance pipe and leading edge ribs are primed.

Sweet. Let's go find some blind rivets.

The plans call for these.

One in each side...

For a total of ten rivets tonight.

Good night. A few parts primed, a few parts assembled.

1.5 hours. 10 Rivets. Wuhoo! (Time for bed, I’m exhausted.)

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Right Leading Edge Joint Plate Nutplates

July 13, 2011

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Wuhoo! Got my latest Van’s order. Below, you can see my two T-411 tank access plates, two tiedown rings, a tenth of a pound of AN470AD6-10 rivets, and the left inboard leading edge rib.

I love getting orders in.

First thing, I ran over and screwed in the tiedown ring.

Uh Oh.

It was way loose. Hmm. I know I did the 1/2 turn in, 1/4 turn out with the tap.

After some thought (and a trip to work), some of the guys were convinced that 1) I didn’t ruin the part, especially since I had only tapped the 1″ shown on the plans (and the rings are like 1 1/2″ long), and 2) it must be the tap quality.

They lent me a really nice tap (as opposed to the $7.99 tap and die set from Harbor Freight.)

I screwed in the nice new tap, and once I got past the first inch, I immediately felt a difference. When I turned 1/2″ in, the tap felt like it was cutting, instead of just pushing material out of the way. There was significant resistance at the end of the 1/2″ turn. Once you start the 1/4″ back out, there is some more resistance, then a “release.” I could tell immediately that the release was the cutting of little chips from the material.

It was like I heard angels. This is what tapping is supposed to feel like.

(The old one was just steady increase in resistance in, then decreasing resistance out.)

Just one more reason why I should have bought the $80 tap and die set, instead of the $8 tap and die set.

Lesson learned.

From the following picture, you should be able to tell that the thread cutters on the left are nice and sharp, and the apex of each blade comes to a point. The one on the right is not sharp, and the apex is kind of rounded.

The nice tap on the left, the crappy one on the right.

So now, I have about 1″ of loose threads, and 1/2″ of perfect threads. I am okay with at least four threads perfectly engaged, and 16 threads mostly engaged. If I’m worried about 10,000 lbs of holding power versus 5,000 lbs of holding power, I have more to worry about than my tiedowns pulling out.

Let’s build on.

Here's the tiedown installed.

It was subsequently removed, and will be stored in my storage box until, I don’t know, a few years from now.

Next up, I needed a nice little project.

How does the leading edge joint plate nutplates sound. Good?

Good. I’ll work on those.  A quick check on the plans showed some hardware needs.

Some #8 screws and nutplates.

First, let’s cleco some nutplates to the previously dimpled holes. This worked great, and perfectly centered the dimpled nutplates over the dimples.

#30 clecoes worked great.

I drilled one ear of each nutplate, then clecoed.

After drilling both ears, I deburred, then started countersinking for NAS flush rivets.

Nice.

Here’s one of the oops rivets, just holding it in place.

This will work.

Oh man, I'm making a mess.

Then, some riveting.

All done.

1 hour,  including the tiedown re-tapping, and 28 rivets in the leading edge joint plate.

Not much more in the way of sealing up that right tank.

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Right Tank Stiffeners, Z-Brackets, and Countersinking

May 27, 2011

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First thing, I have to give some mad props to Van’s.

If you remember from yesterday, I put in a web order with Van’s for some stuff. At the top of my list was that leading edge rib I messed up a few posts ago, and I FORGOT TO ORDER THE RIB!!!

Anyway, here’s how a short interaction with Van’s (e-mail):

Me: Good morning, Barb…[snip]…Is there any way you can add an item to my order? I need one of the following, copied from “the list”: W-408-1R, NOTCHED NOSE RIB 032, $23.80. If not, I understand…it was my error. But if so, thank you so much!

Within an hour (and definitely before normal business hours in OR):

Barb: Andrew, I have forwarded this on to our parts department who will download
the web orders this morning and get it added to your order.  Barb

Then, after about another hour:

Dear Andrew,

The part was added to your order as you requested.  I just caught it
prior to being shipped this morning.

Pam
Van’s order dept.

Oh man, Van’s is awesome. Also, I figured out from the charge that shipping (UPS ground) and handling from Van’s was about $15. Not bad.

Anyway, being a Friday, I was looking for something relatively painless to do tonight. I pulled out the T-711 bundle and started in on the stiffeners.

Here's the bundle.

I ended up getting all of the stiffeners ready, for both tanks. I’ll put the ones for the left tank away until I’m ready to do that tank.

Below you can see 3 of the four sizes of stiffeners. The fourth size is pretty small, and I left them out of the picture.

Three sets of long, one set of kinda long, one set of kinda short.

Lastly, I took off all of the vinyl. If I were smarter, I would have pulled the vinyl off before cutting them. It would have been a lot easier.

Pile-o'-vinyl.

It was a little late to fire up the scotchbrite wheel, so I pulled out the right z-brackets and clecoed them to the spar. I spent a good five minutes staring at the plans to make sure I had them in the right orientation.

I'm doing this because I never matchdrilled the rear flanges of the interior ribs. The z-brackets and baffle are full-size holes, so I just need to run the drill through them with the flanges in place.

Drilling some holes.

Moved the clecos, drilled the other three.

Then, since I wasn’t too tired yet, I broke out the microstop countersink and started countersinking the skin-to-baffle holes. You do this so the baffle is easy to slide in place with the all pro-seal flying around. If it were dimpled, it would be harder.

Countersinking a skin this thin definitely leaves a knife-edge, but that’s what Van’s calls for here.

I’m planning on using the thicker tank dimple dies everywhere else, which should leave a little extra room for proseal underneath the rivet head, but I couldn’t bring myself to deepen these countersinks at all. We’ll see if it works out.

Looks good to me.

Much countersinking ensued...

A closeup, for those of you who are interested.

Anyway, it as a nice night in the garage. 1 hour, and getting closer to the black death.

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Started Countersinking Right Main Spar

February 26, 2011

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This work session was really the same as the last, but because I’m trying to log stuff in categories, I split them up.

I felt like I had a half hour left in me, so I grabbed my countersink cage and banged out some of the spar countersinks that need to be done before riveting the wing skins on. (Riveting the wing skins on is a long way off, but it was a nice little task I could knock off the list.)

A shot of the inboard countersinks.

Oops, looks like I missed 4 holes here. I’ll hit those tomorrow.

A shot of the outboard countersinks.

0.5 Hours.

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Finished Countersinking Right Spar Flanges

August 24, 2010

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Well, tonight wasn’t a long night in the shop, but it was a good night.

First of all, there was a package sitting on my doorstep when I got home from work. After the excitement for my new Cleveland Main Squeeze died down as I realized the package wasn’t from Cleveland Tools, it quickly came back when I realized it was the missing W-712-R ribs that I had been shorted (what a cruel world!) in my wing kit.

Who knew I could get so excited about wing ribs.

Drumroll please!

{Triumphant music}

Okay, Andrew. Time to settle down.

Let’s finish up this right spar flange countersinking.

From the first issue of the 2005 RVator (thanks to Brad Oliver, for the link) and to A VAF Post (again, thanks Brad), I was able to make this cute little HTML table for you.

From the first 2005 issue of the RVator (page 10):

We countersink until the top of the screw is level with the surface, then go 2 clicks deeper on the microstop. The actual outside diameter of the countersink measures .365″ to .375″.

Countersink Widths for Numbered Screws
Screw Size Width [in]
#6 <0.3125
#8 0.365-0.375

So, I broke out my trusty digital calipers, zeroed them out, and dialed in .370″ (right in the middle of 0.365″ and 0.375″).

Just for kicks, I thought I would show you how much bigger that is than a #8 screw. The larger size allows the dimpled skin to nest nicely in the countersink.

WHOSE TOES ARE THOSE!?

SOMEBODY’S TOES KEEP GETTING IN MY PICTURES!

Anyway, I proceeded with countersinking the tank skin attach holes only (the access plate attach holes are smaller.) I am following the directions here exactly, using a #30 piloted countersink (which nestles nicely in the #8 nutplate) as my guide.

I stopped and verified the countersink depth every few holes. Looking good!

About halfway done with the bottom flange.

Here’s a countersink for your viewing pleasure.

The rivet on the right doesn't look flush, but it is. I promise.

Finally, I finished with the bottom flange. (Notice the three sets of four countersinks on the right side of the picture. Those are for the access plates. They use a #40 piloted countersink and are countersunk to a width of 0.312″ (which is less than 0.3125″)).

Ta da!

Oh yeah, now I have to do the other side.

With a noticeable lack of in-process pictures, I finished the top flange also.

Ta da! (Déjà vu?)

1.0 Countersinking-filled hour tonight.

And, I’ve finished the first three paragraphs of the wing section of the manual. Score!

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Drilled E-714, Clecoed Left Elevator Skin

June 10, 2010

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Hey Look! Andrew’s not dead! Yeah, I’ve been working on some house projects. Back to the left elevator tonight, though.

I managed to catch myself up with where I was and push on today. I need to get that counterweight drilled.

Here you can see the counterweight, counterbalance skin, and the two end ribs around which the other parts reside.

After placing the weight in position, you cleco on the skin (difficultly) and get ready to match-drill. Of course, I met the same challenges I did on the right elevator…namely, I broke a drill bit (#40 size). After getting a pilot hole drilled, I took everything apart and separately enlarged them all to #21. Air tool oil was used with great success after the pilot hole was drilled.

Ready to start drilling.

I didn’t take any pictures, though, because I was getting frustrated. (At first, I was dipping the drill bit into the oil, which meant I had to take the lid off. Then, after stepping away a few minutes later, I placed the screw lid (with the flip-up spout) back on the oil bottle and immediately flipped it over to aim oil into the pilot hole. Guess what! I forgot to tighten down the lid. There goes the lid, and about a 1/2 cup of oil…all over the counterweight, table, and floor.)

Now do you see why I forgot to keep taking pictures?

Anyway, after that debacle (which of course gets counted in the build time…it’s time spent building, right?)

Anyway, here is that same assembly (sans weight) before clecoing on the skin.

In preparation for clecoing on the skin, I needed to handle E-606PP, which is the trim tab hinge spar. Since I was looking ahead earlier and dimpled the hard-to-reach holes (you can see in the skin below), I need to do something with the spar to accept those dimples. If you read ahead in the directions, the spar is countersunk on the top flange (because the hinge is riveted beneath the spar flange, it can’t be dimpled), and dimpled on the bottom flange.

June 10 Update: After countersinking these four holes, I later did some more research and realized that the countersinks called for (due to the hinge) don’t really apply here, because the hinge stops short of these four holes. I could have (and wished I’d ) dimpled. Boo.

Here are the two parts that need to fit together nicely.

Finally, I got the skeleton and skin clecoed together.

Wuhoo. It looks like an airplane.

A solid hour. Maybe more this weekend.

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I Love Tungsten (Started Riveting Right Elevator)

May 8, 2010

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Well, this morning, the girlfriend ran some errands, and I got my house chores done early, so I headed out to the garage to make some loud noises. Recently, I’ve been taking one component at a time from drilled through primed. It make my work sessions less boring (not a full day of deburring lots of parts, but rather one day of drilling, deburring, scuffing, dimpling, cleaning, and priming one part).

Anyway, today, it was the right elevator spar’s turn.

First, deburring. There's my oversize drill bit spun in my fingers.

Then I put a nice scuff on all sides and edges.

Scuffed and edge finished.

Then, I broke out the tank dies to do some dimpling.

I love these dies. Such high quality.

I know you guys have seen tons of dimples from me, but I still take pictures.

The male side.

And the female side. Apparently I have not edge-finished yet.

After finished dimpling, I grabbed this shot down the length of the spar.

Right elevator spar, dimpled.

I forgot to take a picture of the countersinking I had to do on the front (flanged) side of the spar. The spar needs to be countersunk to hold the flush rivets attaching the E-709 Root Rib Right. The elevator control horn fits over them.

Then, inside for cleaning and back outside to the paint booth.

One side primed.

While I was waiting for the back side of the spar to dry, I went ahead and pulled the vinyl off both sides of the E-713 counterbalance skin.

The vinyl comes off a lot more easily when it is warm out.

Then, I got the other side of the spar primed, and prepped for some riveting. I had already prepped and primed the two reinforcement plates that get riveted to the back of the spar.

There's my new tungsten bucking bar.

Here’s my setup for spar riveting.

You can't see the reinforcement plate, but those clecos are holding it on.


After 8 rivets, all I can say is…WOW. I love this tungsten bucking bar. 8 perfect rivets. With the older, and smaller, bar I was using before, things were always bouncing around, and my hand was vibrating, etc. With this bar, it is so easy to rivet. I should have bought this at the beginning of the project.

Wow, these are amazing shop heads.

Here's the other side.

I spent about 2 minutes just staring at the bar. Amazing.

I thought I would show you my grip.

8 more, also perfect.

Wuhoo, this bucking bar is great!

And, the other side of those.

I wanted to buck these, but I thought it would be better to squeeze them.

The spar to E-709 rivets.

These are the flush rivets I was talking about earlier. Of course, when the primer is only 30 minutes old, and you try to clean up some smudges with MEK, the primer will rub off. Duh.

I re-shot some primer over this right after this picture.

What a great day. I got to make loud noises, and I’m in love (sorry girlfriend) with my new tungsten bucking bar.

20 rivets in 1.5 hours. Good day.

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