Built wing cradle

Built wing cradles. Used (6) 10′ 2×4’s, (2) 4′ 2×2’s, glue, 3″ construction screws, and 2 strips of carpet 16″ wide by about 5 feet long.

Picked up those nice locking casters from Amazon… 4 Pack Caster Wheels Swivel Plate Stem Brake Casters On Red Polyurethane Wheels (4 inch with brake)  I bought two sets. Might try putting the other set on one of the work benches. Maybe get some more for the other benches if I like it.

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Wing Time (hours): 120.0
Total Time (hours): 331.0

 

Finished attaching elevators. Started attaching horizontal stabilizer

Fabricated a spacer block to act as a drill guide and clamped it between the horns. Double checked that the elevators were still clamped in the trailing position. Match drilled the left horn to the right horn.

img_2039

Checked to make sure everything was aligned and nothing was binding. All was good. Nice and smooth through the whole range.

img_2042

Positioned the horizontal stabilizer on the aft fuselage and bolted the forward spar to the attach bars. I clecoed the middle holes on the aft spar to the aft attach bars. I drilled the two top holes and installed bolts.

img_2043

Unfortunately I could not get the drill squared up to the spar for the lower holes because of interference with the aft bulkhead. I’ll have to head off to home depot to get a long 1/4″ drill.

img_2044

 

Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 190.5
Total Time (hours): 190.5

 

Assembled Trim Tab

Bought a 3/4″ MDF panel at Home Depot. Leveled it out on the bench and shimmed the dead spaces with sheets of paper to create a flat surface.

IMG_1794

Prepped the skins, spar, and trailing edge with isopropyl.  Mixed up a small batch of fuel tank sealant and put a thin layer on each side of the trim tab ribs and set them in place. I used the 3M VHB tape on both sides of the trailing edge. Used clecos to align it with the bottom skin and set it in place. Then I clecoed the top skin in place along the spar and trailing edge. I peeled the paper from the VHB tape between the top of the trailing edge and the top skin removing clecos as I went to avoid tearing the paper. I replace the clecos to clamp the whole sandwich together while the tape sets up.

IMG_1795

The sealant is ridiculously sticky and smells like ass.

IMG_1796

I riveted the top skin and hinge to the spar.

IMG_1797

All done!

IMG_1798

Weighted down the skin with a board and some 2×4’s to ensure contact between the skins and the ribs until the sealant sets up. The spec sheet says there is a 6 hour cure time for the B 1/2 sealant I used.

IMG_1799

 

Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 101.5
Total Time (hours): 101.5

 

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.

IMG_1777

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

IMG_1778

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.

IMG_1780

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.

IMG_1781

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

IMG_1784

And here are the nut plates installed in the doubler.

IMG_1785

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.

IMG_1787

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

IMG_1788

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.

IMG_1790

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

IMG_1791

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.

IMG_1792

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

 

Primed rudder parts, assembled spar, drilled trailing edge

I primed all the rudder parts and skins today. I picked up a roll of hardware mesh at Home Depot and put it up on some blocks over my paint table. I did this to keep all the small pieces from being blown around by the spray gun. It worked really well.

img_1562
All dressed up and no place to go!

 

img_1560

I got the shipment of VS replacement parts from Van’s today. Unfortunately only four of the five parts I ordered arrived. They shipped the wrong part for the fifth on. I ordered a VS-705 they shipped an E-705. I called and they’re shipping the correct one. Oh well. I’ll just continue on with the rudder until it arrives.

img_1563

I riveted together the spar, reinforcement plates, counterweight rib, bottom rib, rudder horn and shim. The I screwed up and riveted the rudder attach nut plates to the wrong side of the spar. Drilled them out and re-riveted correctly. Cost me six rivets and an extra thirty minutes. No harm no foul.

I’m still struggling with my riveting technique with the gun. There was one rivet on the rudder horn that couldn’t be reached with the squeezer. I managed to put a big smile into the rudder horn. I think it will be okay.

img_1565

I made a drill guide from a paint stirrer so that I could more accurately drill perpendicular to the chord of the rudder. I cut a 6 degree angle on the end and held it flush to the rudder and aligned the drill to the edge of the stick.

img_1566

img_1568

Off to Vegas tomorrow for a conference. won’t be making ay progress until next weekend.

Today’s Time (hours): 6.5
Empennage Time (hours): 27.0
Total Time (hours): 27.0

 

Shot primer this morning

I’ll be honest. I was dreading this step. I had never sprayed anything before. Turned out to be not nearly as bad as I thought. I didn’t get get pics of the process. Maybe next time.

My first attempt was on the practice project. Took a while to figure out how to get the gun set up. Shot way too heavy on the practice project. You can see how much darker those pieces are than the actual plane parts. I got it dialed in and I am happy with the result on the plane parts. They almost look like they’ve been anodized. They’re just a little darker and duller than bare metal.

The gun I used is a cheap touch-up hvlp gun from Harbor Freight. It’s perfect for the smaller parts and acceptable for the skins. I went with a narrow fan about 8 to 10 inches from the work with 30-40 lbs at the gun. I wiped everything down with lacquer thinner before I shot the primer. I mixed the P60G2 1-to-1.5 with the R7K44 reducer per the data sheet from Sherwin-Williams. The P60G2 was way more goopy than I expected. I was thinking it would be like paint. It was actually thicker and stickier. I wore a Tyvek suit, a 3M respirator, safety glasses, and nitrile gloves.

I bought an empty paint can at home depot that I am using to store and properly dispose of left over paint and solvent. I ran lacquer thinner through the gun and right into the can to clean up. It took about two ounces until it ran clear.

img_1517

img_1518

 

Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 9.0
Total Time (hours): 9.0