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Started Riveting Right Lower Inboard Wing Skin

August 12, 2012

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Well, we had a great day today. Taylor was coming over for our usual family dinner on Sunday night, and I conned him into coming over at 4pm instead of 6pm.

A few small things on the list before starting to close up the right wing.

First, I had Taylor start on the deburring and dimpling of all the ribs and rear spar.

It’s tedious work, and someone has to do it.

In the meantime, I got the hammer out and continued using the c-frame to finish dimpling the inboard skin.

Nicely dimpled skin.

Taylor and I traded (to help with the boredom of deburring), and I sent him outside to prime.

He got SOME of the primer on the skin. (Just kidding, it looks great!)

Then, I clecoed the flap hinge on the flap brace and countersunk the flap brace. There is absolutely NO guidance here on how to finish the three layers (flap brace, hinge, and lower skin). I followed the same process as I did on the actual flap. Dimple the skin, countersink the flap spar, and don’t touch the hinge. Worked well, here, too.

Also, I marked the hinge for trimming.

Last up, I needed to run some string down my snap bushings for future wiring.

I used a long piece of hinge pin, and taped some string through it.

This worked great for me.

After all three were done.

Finally, with nothing else to do (after thoroughly cleaning and inspecting each bay), we started clecoing on the skin.

We carefully reread the directions to make sure we were going to rivet in the right order.

1) Rivet along the rear spar toward the tip (for one “bay”) and halfway forward along the rib.

2) Start on the second bay in the same manner, then come back and finish the first rib to the front spar.

We only had 5 minutes left until dinnertime, so we got the first 6 rivets of the first (inboard) rib squeezed.

I need to do a lot of blog reading to really feel comforatble proceeding in the right order.

Still, 6 rivets is better than zero.

4.0 hours. 6 rivets.

Oh, and then for dinner, these are tomato, spinach, and feta stuffed burgers.

Mmm.

With homemade pasta salad and some grilled asparagus.

So delicious.

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Finished the Left Aileron

October 5, 2011

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Okay. I’m writing this the next day, and you’ve already seen all these steps, so the description that goes along with the pictures is going to be a little sparse. Of course, that’s better than the opposite, where there would be lot’s of description, but no pictures. (Except then, you get puppy pictures, so it’s kind of a win-win all around, right?)

Okay, stop blabbering, Andrew. Let’s get to work!

First up, let’s get those reinforcement plates onto the spar.

3 rivets on each side, plus two for the nutplate...

Then, a couple blind rivets on the nose ribs-to-counterbalance pipe.

The Main Squeeze making a cameo!

Then, They have you rivet the nose ribs to the spar, and cleco on the leading edge skin.

My right skin kind of bent like that too, but when you cleco it to the spar, it all straightens out, I promise. 6 more rivets here.

Then, even though I was sure I’d forget…I remembered to put some RTV at the aft end of each of the stiffeners.

Had to use the flash for effect. Sorry.

Of course, I needed to get both sides of the aileron skin riveted for the rtv to set up at the right angle (probably not that critical), but nevertheless, I was comitted.

I got the assembly up on my previously-built 2×4 stands…

50% clecoed, with rivets and tape in the every-other holes.

In case you didn't believe me, I took another picture. (Really?)

I guess this picture is after I got the 42 top skin rivets done. I did this the exact same was as last time….see the link from above.

No dings, scratches, dents, etc.

Umm, this next picture looks like it’s after I squeezed some nose rib and main rib to skin rivets.

That would be 5 rivets on the nose, times 2, plus 8 rivets for the main skin to main rib, plus two flush rivets on each side...then the whole thing gets flipped over an weighted down.

Next, let’s do the counterbalance pipe to skin rivets.

Nice dimples, nice rivets.

Then, the main ribs rivets (no pictures), and last, nut not least, the 42 blind rivets across the skin on the bottom side of the aileron.

O.M.G. my hand is so tired. 7 more to go...

All done!

(Oh, I also hand tightened the aileron brackets on with the AN3-4A bolts and associated hardware. I still need to buy an in-lb torque wrench…

Pretty left aileron!

I love days like this. I feel like I accomplish a lot.

2.5 hours. 166 rivets… (and my rivet count on the left matched the rivet count on the right. That’s a good thing.)

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Finished the Right Aileron

September 17, 2011

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Wuhoo! As you can tell by the title, I got a TON of airplane work done today. I actually did everything in three 1-hour sessions. Worked out well for everyone.

In the first session, I unclecoed the work I had done last night, and built a little stand (like every other builder) to screw the spar to for riveting help.

I copied this from many builders.

Whoa, I guess the next picture I took was of some shop heads. Moving right along…

My old bucking bar (non tungsten) has an angled edge to it, so I could wedge it in here to buck. It worked perfectly.

In terms of shooting the rivets from the outside, I copied Mike Bullock (about 3/4 the way down this page), but instead of building a little wood stand, I just stacked 3 2×4 blocks. It worked for me with my gun size/flush set, etc.

I'm about halfway through the top skin-to-spar rivets here, demonstrating the technique.

To buck, you reach up, around, and under the lower skin to hold the bucking bar in place.

After you buck, you slide both hands down a few holes and do it again.

I’m glad I’m pretty strict about edge-finishing skins.

This is NOT a cry for help. Well, maybe it is, but it would only be for some sort of arm-hair control product. (I could braid that if I wanted to...)

Alright, moving on, here’s an eerily blue (LED flashlight) picture of the top spar rivets done.

Left side of the picture for the interesting bits.

I didn’t shoot and buck the inboard- and outboard-most rivets. I could easily squeeze those, except for the very edge ones, which tended to sit up from the underlying skin. I devised a little trick to hold the skin down while leaving enough space for a rivet set (of the squeezer) to do it’s magic.

If my side clamp would have been a little longer, I wouldn't have needed the washer, but this worked out okay. (Okay = perfect.)

42 rivets done with no mistakes!

Next up is to get the nose ribs and main ribs riveted on the top side of the aileron.

And thus starts the second session of the night.

CRAP, I forgot to prep the main ribs.

Deburr, dimpl- CRAP, I can’t use a regular die on the aft-most holes. Out comes my steel bar with a countersink in the edge. You remember this from my empennage posts however many years ago…

You stick a rivet in the hole to be dimpled, then put the underside in the countersink, and give it a few pulls from a rivet gun with a flush set.

Not very pretty, but it works great.

I love it when I already have solutions to problems.

This are going mighty smoothly.

So smoothly, in fact, that I HAD to mess something up. Can you see what’s wrong with this picture?

Yup, the two flush rivets on the right side of the picture shouldn't have gone in yet, they should wait for the rib. Dumb Andrew.

While I’m waiting on the ribs, let me set the nose rib rivets on the top side.

5 here, and 5 on the other side. (The two bad rivets are still in this picture, I can't remember when I ended up drilling those out.)

After those nose rivets, they want you to set the top rivets in the other ribs, then cleco everything together and flip it over.

I’m not quite ready for the main rivets yet, but I think I’m okay to cleco everything together.

HA! I TOTALLY REMEMBERED TO USE RTV AT THE AFT END OF THE STIFFENERS!

I remembered this for my first elevator, but then forgot it on the second one. I’ve been reminding myself for A YEAR AND A HALF to not forget it on the ailerons.

I bet I forget it on the left aileron.

Just a dab, behind the...stiffeners.

These pictures might be out of order. After the RTV, I clecoed the bottom part of the skin to the spar and then went outside to fetch the ribs, which were dry (although not primed in this picture below. Weird.)

Right Inboard and Right Outboard. Pretty complicated, right?

Okay, I think we’re back on track now. The ribs are dry, and they are now riveted to the top part of the skin.

16 more flush rivets. 8 on each side.

Then, the third session of the night, and the last few steps of the aileron!

First, flip that bad boy over and make sure it’s flat. I used the MDF workbench, an extra piece of MDF, and some stones.

Things were flatter than Kansas.

They first want you to set all the counterbalance pipe ribs.

This went great, and I didn't feel like I had to round off the rivet heads with a hammer after setting them like other builders...

After those 14 rivets, you’re supposed to set the 6 nose rib rivets, 3 on each side.

6x check.

This is a really long post. Are you guys still with me?

I hope so, this is the fun part.

After those, you set the main rib-to-skin- rivets (16 there, too), which are partially hidden by the top piece of MDF here, then move on to the skins-to-spar blind rivets.

Halfway done here.

A closeup after pulling those. Looks pretty good, right?

That was 42 more rivets.

Then, you step back and cheer!

Or don't cheer, and just take another closeup picture.

Okay, have you guys been counting rivets with me? I couldn’t keep track very well, so I started just writing them on the skins.

My final number for the evening?

150.

With about 10 minutes left before the next half-hour tick (cause I only log time in 30 minute increments), I decided to get the aileron brackets attached. All went well (with the usual AN3-4A bolts, some AN960-10(regular and/or L) washers, and AN365-1032 nuts, except there was one hole that wasn’t quite perfect. It was fine, but just stubborn enough that my pinky (the only finger I could use to slide the bolts in) couldn’t push hard enough.

My solution? Take my economy squeezer with no die in the yoke (the black part), and squeeze the bolt in. Since there is no die back there, the bolt just slides into the hole in the yoke as it’s squeezed.

Worked great!

After some fiddling, I got all of the nuts on, just past finger-tight. I need an in-lb torque wrench and some inspection lacquer.

This is the outboard end. The inboard end is similar, but a little different.

Then, I had to take a step back and look at my completed aileron.

(Triumphant music playing...)

Good day today, and I got to take an airplane part up to the airplane storage room, I mean, the exercise room…

3 hours. 150 rivets, 4 of them drilled out because I’m dumb and didn’t pay attention.

Time for bed.

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Totally (Almost) Sealed Up Right Tank

July 17, 2011

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Oh man. Today was a big day. The other day I finally got my AN470AD6-10 rivets from van’s (along with some hole-less tank access plates, you’ll see those in a minute), so it’s time to start sealing up these tanks.

Here’s a AD6-10 rivet in the outboard rib’s aft tooling hole.

A little long, eh?

After cutting it to a more reasonable (1.5 times diameter) length, I went ahead and shot this rivet in. I think I used 70 psi. Worked well.

Not terribly exciting, but I better not forget to cover this one with proseal before closing up.

Only two things left before I can close up. The two anti-hangup brackets. Here’s one, made out of some 0.025.”

With clecos...

With some blind rivets.

This one is the access plate anti-hangup bracket. I had originally thought about making these removeable with screws and nutplates, but I don’t think I’ll ever take this out, so blind rivets it is!

Nice, right?

When I couldn’t think of anything else to do before closing, I took a final picture (then stared for a few minutes just to be positive).

Almost forgot, I wiped the whole inside of the tank down as well as I could and then vacuumed everything out.

Here goes nothing…

I cleaned every mating surface I could find with MEK then mixed up some proseal and filled a few of my 30cc syringes. I put a glob of proseal over the manufactured and shop heads of the AD6- rivet I just set, then put a bead just forward of the baffle rivet holes, and on each of the flanges of the ribs. I also left 4 big globs in each of the corners.

No turning back now.

Before dropping the baffle in, I smoothed some of the beads to a single layer.

Then, instead of letting my single bead on the skin act as my baffle seal, I also smeared some onto the baffle flange, and dropped that bad boy in place.

Pretty good bead just forward of the baffle.

Now, having read about all the trouble with proud rivets on some other build sites, I decided that instead of 100% clecoing, I’d 50% cleco, but only after I’d gotten some unset rivets into some of the holes. (The rivets fill the holes better than the clecos do, if it’s jut clecos, things can get a little misaligned).

This shot is after getting everything 50% clecoed with rivets in every other hole.

Whew. I

Before getting to the skin rivets, I threw the z-brackets in place with a layer of sealant and got them blind riveted in place. (This single sentence represents about 30 minutes of checking, rechecking, aligning, etc. with the z-brackets to ABSOLUTELY be sure they are in the right orientation. My final check was that the inner and outer brackets have their aft flange pointing inboard, all others point outboard.)

After getting the AD-41H and -42H blind rivets in place.

Solid rivets on the inboard and outboard brackets/ribs.

More solid rivets.

At this point, I set all 132 rivets on the skin to baffle joint. No pictures, though. Sorry. I have one rivet that is slightly proud, but there is NO WAY IN HECK that I am going to drill it out right now. I challenge you to come find it when my airplane is flying. (Ha. All of you reading this will have forgotten by the time I’m flying.)

Okay, time for a little clean…OMG! I’m out of MEK.

Pause for an hour…run out to Home Depot….NO MEK!?…run out to Lowe’s…stop by Target…

Little MEK, meet big MEK.

Oh. Don’t try to pour some MEK from a big can into a little can even with a funnel. It will go all over your garage floor, because it slurps out of the can and you’ve been working out in the garage for HOURS and you are a little tired, your hands are a little shaky, and even though you are wearing a respirator, you are pretty sure the proseal and MEK fumes are getting to your head.

Oh, also, don’t set a full MEK can with the cap off next to your fuel tank, then move the fuel tank so the MEK can knocks over, and spills MEK on the workbench, then drips off onto the floor where you just spilled (and cleaned up) the MEK from your earlier boo boo.

ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

Okay, back to work, you slacker!

Nice shiny new tank access plate.

More proseal here.

Then after putting the access plate in place…

(Don’t accidentally drop the access plate a hole-width or so away from your target, because then you have to kind of move the plate around with proseal everywhere while you try to find one hole to line up, then stick a screw in, and find another one…ask me how I know.)

Anyway, I twirled the very bottom of the screws in some proseal, then threaded them partway in. Once partway in, I took my syringe of proseal and put a glob on one side of the screw (see the right side of the following picture). As you tighten the screw, it drags around the screw head and makes a nice little bead (see left side of the picture.)

Perfect little bead.

I

Finally, I stuck the filler cap in place and stuck that bad boy on the wing.

WUHOO! It looks like an airplane.

“So,” you ask. “Why is this ‘almost’ closed up.”

Well, I’m not sure if you saw, but I didn’t install the float sender yet. Once I get that in, I’ll head to OSH, then come back in 10 days or so and leak test. (Although why should I leak test. I already KNOW that I have NO LEAKS.) It always helps to stay positive.

11:45am to 3:45pm, then another hour between 5pm and 6pm (after the Lowe’s run). What is that? 5 hours? Oh, and 185 rivets.

SWEET. Did everyone see my new charts? How come I’m not getting any emails with inflammatory engineer jokes in them?

I need a much-deserved adult beverage.

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Started Leading Edge Landing Lights

January 16, 2011

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Well, after receiving my “install only” leading edge landing light kits from Duckworks, I was kind of eager to start fiddling with something other than rib preparation.

Today, I opened up the kits and started in on adding the leading edge landing lights.

This is from my design page, where I’ve been collecting ideas for stuff (I was originally planning 2 small MR16 (2″ sized) lights in each wingtip, one taxi, and one landing):

After reading a little more, I’ve found that people who do the two lights in each wingtip dance aren’t happy with the amount of light they are getting from their landing/taxi lights. Then, I figure out they are talking about the regular halogen bulbs provided with Van’s wingtip light kit.
The people who are using the HID wingtip lights are generally very happy with the light output.

November 2010 update: After even more reading, I’ve decide that the leading edge light is really the way to go.

Now, I think I am going to put a single HID (PAR 36 style) in each leading edge for landing lights. These won’t wig-wag.

Then, I’ll use the wingtip lights for taxi/recognition, with wig-wag. I can use the smaller MR16s in the wing, and point one set wide, and one set toward the centerline. If I use regular halogen bulbs in these, I won’t have to use a warm up circuit, which is good, considering that when up at cruise and ATC calls with a traffic alert, I’ll be able to immediately start wig-wagging them for recognition. That gets rid of my need for an automatic warm up circuit (won’t be using HIDs for wig-wagging).

I’ll figure out the mechanics of the wingtips taxi lights later (single light in each wing? 2 MR16 halogens in each wing?)

Anyway, I made the decision to go with the dual landing lights in the leading edges. I plan on flying at night, and I want the most light possible.

From Duckworks, I ordered two of the round install kits, and two H3 enclosures (spot, instead of flood). I could have ordered one spot (for landing) and one flood (for taxi), but since I’m going to do something in the tips for taxi, I want both of my leading edge lights for landing.

Anyway, here are the two kits. Very obvious are the two mounting plates, the bulb retainer, the lens retainers, a bag of hardware, and the leading edge lenses.

Duckworks was kind enough to send me a spare lens. Much appreciated.

Here are the two PAR 36 style, spot enclosures for an H3 bulb. My soon-to-arrive HID kit should have H3 bulbs that will fit nicely in here. I’ll do a separate write-up for those.

I left the bag on them to prevent getting any skin oils on them.

A closeup of the H3 part of the enclosure. I had never seen one before, so this was a learning experience for me.

Also included in the kit are the instructions, an exploded view, and the templates for the cutting and drilling.

Good documentation. Well done.

Anyway, I decided to just bite the bullet and cut into the leading edges. Here is the template with the middle cut out.

Template, ready to go.

First, I cut out the rib template and used a sharpie to mark the hole locations.

Exact positioning here isn't too important because the holes in the mounting plate are huge, and you can adjust these a fair amount.

Back to the cutout, I measured the 2.5″ from the edge of the cutout to the row of rivet lines.

Special note here, I cut the paper off on the left edge of the following picture so I could leave the ribs clecoed in. This just meant I had to measure from the cutout instead of using arrows on the side.

I also measured per the plans (18.75″ from the aft edge of the top of the leading edge skin to the top part of the opening here) and taped everything in place.

Tracing with a sharpie.

Same trace, no paper.

Other wing.

Before jumping into the actual cutting, I moved on to some of the metal preparation for the other stuff. I wanted to be able to cut the leading edge openings while the primer was drying for some of these smaller parts.

Here, I’ve run a #40 bit through all of the nutplate attach holes and enlarged the middle holes to 5/32″ per the instructions.

Then, I clecoed all 4 pieces together to countersink the nutplate attach holes for regular AN426 rivets. I could have used “oops” rivets here, but the lens retainers are thick enough that it wasn’t necessary.

4 lens retainers, clecoed together to give the countersink guide a good path.

I forgot to take any pictures of the rest of the prep for the lens retainers, lamp retainers, and the mounting plates. Anyway, they got prepped, cleaned, dried, and taken outside to prime.

I headed back in and got out a variety of dremel tools to cut out these openings.

There’s no turning back now.

I started near the bottom (least visible) and very far away from my line. As I gained confidence, I moved closer to my line (less finishing later).

Yikes, that's not a pretty cut.

After a little cleanup, they look a little better. Still need to do some final cleaning.

I didn’t take a picture of the other cutout, but it turned out equally as well. A lot of people really stress out about cutting these holes.

I can see where they are coming from, but I think the leading edges are great with these light openings in them. (I’m going to look like a 747 coming down final, which is exactly what I want (visibility and recognition).)

Pretty leading edges. (Oh, and this was the first time in a long time I've been able to work with the garage open. It was almost 40°F today!)

Okay, back to the primed parts. I had the urge to set some rivets today, and I nailed all of them. I finally feel like I’m starting to get into a groove (although squeezing really isn’t that hard.)

Here, I’ve clecoed the provided nutplates to the lens retainers.

Ready to start some riveting.

A closeup of some AN426AD3-3.5 rivets.

24 rivets set (beautifully).

Equally beautiful shop heads.

8 more rivets set (I did use "oops" rivets here).

More shop heads.

I got out one of the bulbs and just placed it in the mount just for kicks.

Looks like it will fit.

Found the screws and actually screwed them in. These things are going to look awesome.

Finally, I found all the pan-head screws and lightly screwed them in place.

Sweet.

I don’t think I’ll do any further painting of these. I like the primer grey.

I’ll do some more on the landing lights soon, but for now, I need to get back to rib prep. Hopefully this week I’ll have a writeup of the HID kit that arrives.

3.5 hours, 32 rivets. Wuhoo!

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Tank Attach Nutplates, Left Upper Spar Flange

October 23, 2010

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After getting a ton of housework done, I managed a quick half hour in the garage to finish up the nutplates on the left spar.

I took some pictures, but they are just like the ones from the previous post, so I’ll be short with the descriptions.

 

Countersinking.

 

I found it a little quicker (and less tiring on the drilling arm) to do 4 at a time. I’d countersink four sets of holes for the nutplate attach rivets, then cleco one side of a K1100-08 nutplate in, squeeze the rivet, and then take out the cleco and rivet the other side in. Then move on to the next four.

I’m sure it didn’t actually save me any time, but for some reason it seemed quicker.

 

Just squeezed the first four rivets on this flange.

 

 

Nice looking shop heads, if I do say so myself.

 

 

Another angle, I guess?

 

 

Remove the cleco.

 

 

Put in the other rivet (man, I was really camera happy today...)

 

Everything was going great until the VERY LAST RIVET.

[sigh]

 

For some reason I lifted up the squeezer as I set the rivet.

 

 

Another angle (except it's the same angle). Sorry.

 

After successfully drilling the rivet out. I was left with a crooked nutplate. Hmm.

 

Problem solving time!

 

I didn’t have a clamp small enough to hold the nutplate in place while I reset the rivet, so I grabbed one of the #8 screws (forgot the part number, sorry), and screwed it in gently.

 

Wuhoo! I think this is going to work!

 

asdf

 

(Screwed in gently) because I hadn't countersunk yet. This worked great.

 

 

See, I told you it worked great.

 

Last, but not least, I squeezed the AN426AD3-6 rivets for the K1000-4 nutplates near the spar root.

 

Flush side...

 

 

Nutplate side.

 

64 Rivets, ONE drilled out  in 0.5 hours.

Oh, and then I went for a run with the pups. (And by run, I mean rollerblade.)

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Riveted E-705 to Left Elevator Spar

July 6, 2010

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Well, I thought I would head out to the garage tonight to rivet 4 little rivets. I had the parts primed from the other night, and I just wanted to get something done on the plane tonight. I grabbed the elevator spar and admired how nice the countersinks looked.

Looks like I didn't get total coverage there on the spar, but that's okay, a light coat is all you really need.

Here are the AN426AD3-3.5 rivets that will go in those four holes.

Here's the first one set. Pretty nice, if you ask me.

I got the other outboard rivet set, then moved to the two middle rivets. Then, tragedy struck, and my flush squeeze set slid off part of the rivet as I squeezed. Boo.

"Well, this will be easy to drill out and replace." -famous last words.

My drilling wasn't perfect, but I didn't booger up the hole too badly...yet.

After resetting, I thought all was well, until I turned the part over.

That's not really flush, is it.

After 6…yes…SIX times of setting and drilling out a mis-set rivet, I finally gave up, drilled the hole to #30, cleaned up the countersink, dabbed some primer in the hole, and used an oops rivet.

OOPS! (Looks okay, though. And you will never see this.)

I can’t believe I had to drill out six rivets when trying to rivet four little AD3-3.5 rivets. Bummer. That’s not going to help my batting average…[calculator sounds]…yup…went from 5.7% drilled out to 6.0% drilled.

A frustrating half an hour tonight.

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