Began work on Canopy and Window (Section 38)

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I clamped the rear window in place and carefully adjusted until it was properly centered. I marked it for cutting. I cut the two notches for the roll bar brace brackets with the Dremel and a cutoff wheel. I cleaned it up a bit with files. I trimmed back the protective plastic and remounted and clamped in place. I had to trim a bit further to get the window flush with the window shim on the roll bar. I just filed it back a bit. Ready for drilling.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Finish Kit (hours): 10.0
Total Time (hours): 740.0

 

 

Wiring Continues

Ran the right harness up to the co-pilot’s control stick. This required filing out a number of holes along the way to enable the connector to fit through.  I also ran the wires for the GPS, transponder, and com radio.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 44.0
Total Time (hours): 733.0

 

 

Cut the co-pilot-side panel

Same drill as the pilot side…  Lay everything out, drill pilot holes, final drill with step drill, cut with Dremel, deburr, machine countersink, paint, rivet, and bam! We have a panel.

 

Mounted the GDU and the ELT switches to the panel and mounted the panel in the plane.

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Next, I’m going to cover the panel in flat black vinyl. I’m also thinking about adding a carbon monoxide detector beneath the ELT buttons.

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Options and Miscellanea (hours): 25.0
Total Time (hours): 708.0

 

Dimpled the skins and countersunk the longerons

Taped off the holes that were not to be dimpled. Deburred and prepped the edges per the plans. Dimpled the skins.

 

Countersunk all the outboard holes in the upper and lower longerons.

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 105.0
Total Time (hours): 559.5

Completed most of the fabrication steps

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve settled into a strategy for most sections of the build… First I pick, inspect, and peel all the parts for the section. The I take a first pass through the instructions and perform all of the steps that require cutting, grinding, bending, etc. Then I deburr, scuff, and dimple all the parts. Then I prime everything. Finally I assemble and rivet everything. I’ve found this approach is much quicker then going step by step in the order of the instructions. I can set up the shop and tools for each operation and reorganize after each operation. I kind of get into a groove with each of the operations and avoid frequent tool changes. I also only need to set up for paint, which is a major operation, once per section.

Today I was focused on fabrication steps… I started with the upper longerons. I cut and trimmed according to the plans. The fabricated a couple of clamping blocks that allowed me to secure each longeron in the bench vise and clamp a lever to the end in order to bend a 10 degree twist into them. Finally I clamped and clecoed the upper engine mount brackets to the forward end of the longerons and match drilled them.

 

Drilled and cut the lower longerons and match drilled them to the lower engine mount brackets and longeron doublers.

 

Fabricated the hinges that will attach the cowling to the firewall.

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Separated a whole bunch of parts. Unfortunately my bandsaw blade gave up the ghost early on and I didn’t have a spare. So I used the snips for the thinner aluminum and the Dremel with a cutoff wheel for the thicker parts. A little bit slower but not too bad.

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I managed to lose a part somehow. I turned the shop upside down and couldn’t find the F-01422 Fuselage Side Ribs. I checked it off on the inventory. No idea what happened to it. Ordered a new one from Van’s.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 80.0
Total Time (hours): 534.5

 

Completed Right Wingtip

Laid out the cut the left and right wing tips. I made over-ran on of the cuts by an inch or so on the left wing. So I did a little patch and fill with some fiberglass and micro and set it aside to cure. Then continued work on the right wingtip.

 

Cut and installed the nav light lens.

 

Installed the nav/strobe light. Used the template from the plans to drill the wingtip. Terminated the wires with Molex .062 pins. Unfortunately Vans provided a 4-pin molex housing instead of the 5-pin one that matches the wiring harness in the wing. <sigh> Now I get to pay $10 in shipping for two $1 moles housings. Mounted the bracket and installed the light. Tested it out with a 9-volt. That sucker is bright!

 

Fit the wingtip to the wing and set it in place with a ratchet strap. Match drilled the holes from the wing skins to the wingtip. Final drilled and dimpled the holes in the wing for #6 screws. Final drilled the screw holes in the wing tip and then used a nut plate, a screw, and a cleco as a drill jig to drill the nut plate attach holes. Machine countersunk the screw and rivet holes and riveted the nut plates in place.

 

Fit the wing tip rib to the wingtip. Laid out and match drilled rivet holes. Riveted the rib in place.

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Bam! Right wingtip done.

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Today’s Time (hours): 8.0
Wing Time (hours): 293.0
Total Time (hours): 445.0