Top skin assembly

Broke the edges of the top skin with the edge roller. Peeled the vinyl from the rivet lines and dimpled the top skin on the DRDT-2.

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Dimpled the top rib with the squeezer.

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Dimpled the top skin doubler with the squeezer.

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Dimpled the stiffener and back riveted it to the skin. Back riveted the doubler and riveted the rib with the gun and bucking bar.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 174.5
Total Time (hours): 174.5

 

Hey–this thing’s starting to look like an airplane.

Scuffed and primed the side skins.

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Machine countersunk all the holes in the longerons.

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Dimpled the remaining stiffeners.

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Dimpled the skins.

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Clecoed everything together.

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In my excitement over putting all this together I neglected to peel the the blur vinyl from the rivet lines. I’ll have to remove some clecos and do that before I rivet.

I also riveted the aft bulkhead to the aft bottom skin.

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Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Empennage Time (hours): 157.5
Total Time (hours): 157.5

 

Bulkheads Riveted

Clecoed and riveted the F-01412 aft bulkhead and tie down bracket.

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Clecoed and riveted the F-01411 bulkhead and aft horizontal stabilizer attach bars.

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Clecoed and riveted the F-01410 bulkhead and forward horizontal stabilizer attach bars.

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Clecoed and riveted the F-01407 bulkhead.

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Clecoed and riveted the F-01408 bulkhead and rudder cable bracket. Also added the stiffener clips to the bottom of the bulkhead. I believe that these were added to revs of the kit that came out after service bulletin 18-09-17 was issued to address cracking in the forward bottom skin.

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Riveted nut plates to the battery angles. So why are these called battery angles when they have absolutely nothing to do with the battery? In fact the battery isn’t even located in the tail. My guess is that these parts were originally part of the RV-10 kit. The RV-14 borrows parts from other RV’s. So while in the RV-14 they are part of the aft bell crank assembly, in the RV-10 I’ll bet they formed part of the battery box and simply retained their part number and name when they were introduced to the RV-14. If anyone knows for sure, please comment.

The forward nut plate holes do not get nut plates as they are not applicable to the RV-14.

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Riveted the battery angles to the bell crack ribs.

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Riveted nut plates to the F-01406B bulkhead.  Note the discolorations at the bottom of the bulkhead. I managed to scratch the primer moving the part before it was fully cured. So I touched it up. Apparently re-shooting P60G2 creates this discoloration. It seems to have dried properly and doesn’t seem to be problematic; just unsightly.

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Riveted bell crank ribs to the F-01406B bulkhead.

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Clecoed and riveted the F-01407 bulkhead to the bell crank ribs.

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Dimpled the forward bottom skin with the DRDT-2

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Lots of dimples!

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Dimpled the stiffeners.

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Clecoed the bell crank ribs, bulkheads, and stiffeners to the bottom skin.

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Ready to Rivet!

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Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Empennage Time (hours): 152.0
Total Time (hours): 152.0

 

Primed, Dimpled, and Started Assembly

Busy day of building today! Started off with a Home Depot run to pick up some paint pots and gloves. Then I got set up and shot all of the elevator part and skins with primer.

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That was a lot of stuff to prime. Didn’t mix enough and had to make a second batch to finish the skins.

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Once the primer was dry, I brought everything in the house and dimpled the skins and all the ribs, spars, and other miscellaneous parts. Clecoed the forward half of the trim tab hinge to the aft spar and  machine countersunk the portion of the aft spar that attaches to the hinge. Did a similar job on the trim tab spar later.

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Modified my female #40 dimple die to enable dimpling of the nut plates needed for the trim tab servo doubler. I just ground off a bit of the edge on the bench grinder.

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Here’s the modified die in action squeezing a dimple into a nut plate.

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And here are the nut plates installed in the doubler.

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I machine countersunk the parts of the trim tab pushrod and double flush riveted it together. The plans called out AN426-3-3.5 rivets but those were too short. I used -4.5’s and they came out perfect.

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Clecoed together the trim tab with the spar and trailing rdge and final drilled the holes in the closeout tabs.

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I machine countersunk the the trailing edges for the trim tab and left elevator using the tapered-pilot countersink cutter. I’m still waiting for the right trailing edge from Van’s to replace the one a screwed up.

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I riveted the trim tab horns and spar to the bottom trim tab skin.

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Taped off the places on the skins and spar where I’ll bond the ribs and trailing edge in order to prep for the ProSeal and trailing edge tape. I removed the primer with isopropyl. I scuffed with 150 grit sandpaper. Then cleaned the scuffed areas with acetone. Then I removed the tape.

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Tomorrow will be my first experience with ProSeal. I’ll be using it to glue the trim tab ribs in place. Plans call for a “well and truly flat” work surface on which to weight down the trim tab while the ProSeal sets up. I don’t consider my workbenches to be “well and truly flat.” So I’ll be off to Home Depot again tomorrow to come up with something. Maybe a steel plate or a 3/4″ MDF panel?

Today’s Time (hours): 9.0
Empennage Time (hours): 100.0
Total Time (hours): 100.0

 

Countersunk spar flanges and Stringers and dimpled skins

Machine countersunk the flanges of both spars.

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Used the blunted soldering iron to remove the blue plastic from the rivet lines. Then used a file and sand paper to clean up the edges. They were pretty rough.

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Used the trusty DRDT-2 to dimple the skins. Good upper body workout. Lots of holes!

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Tada…

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Ribs, stringers, and skins all ready for scuff and prime.

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 64.0
Total Time (hours): 64.0

 

Disassembled, Deburred, Dimpled

Deburred and dimpled the skins and substructure.

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Machine Countersunk the trailing edge wedge.

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Began back riveting the stiffeners into the skins but it’s loud and it got late so I quit until tomorrow.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 30.0
Total Time (hours): 30.0

 

One step forward, two steps back

Started off the day dimpling the vertical stabilizer skin with the DRDT-2. I’m pleased with this tool. Dimpling large parts like the skins is a piece of cake and the dimples are consistent. I will say that I am considering getting a c-frame as well. It would have come in handy for riveting the rear spar. Juggling the spar and the pneumatic squeezer was challenging. While the squeezer was workable, I think the c-frame would have been easier.

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Once the skins were complete, the fun began! I was dimpling the substructure when I decided that the VS-707 rib needed an extra hole. So I made one. With the pneumatic squeezer and dimple dies. I hammered out the unwanted dimple and made a doubler to fix the flange. I completed the rest of the dimpling uneventfully.

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I riveted the aft spar assembly together. This went well and I’m happy with the result.

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I riveted the front spar doubler to the front spar and clecoed the ribs to the front spar in preparation for riveting. And that’s when things went south again. I tried to rivet the root rib and the nose rib to the spar from the front of the spar to the back. Turns out that this is extremely difficult due to the angle of the nose rib. Even with an offset rivet set in the gun, I couldn’t get straight on the rivet. I tried to buck it anyway. The rivet folded over. The angle of the nose rib made drilling out the rivet problematic as well. I thought about drilling the shop head but it was too messed up to drill. I ended up mangling the hole beyond repair. Turned all three parts into scrap. I ordered replacements from Van’s and since I was already going through the process and paying for shipping I included a replacement VS-707 as well.

Lesson Learned: If it doesn’t seem right, stop and think about it. When I couldn’t get the rivet set square to the rivet, I should have stopped and considered shooting the rivet from the other side.

Today’s Time (hours): 6.5
Empennage Time (hours): 15.5
Total Time (hours): 15.5