Attached right elevator tip

Same drill as as the left tip… Final drilled #30, remove counterweights, dimple reinstall and torque counterweights, countersink tip, cleco, and pop rivet.

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Tada

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I used this bit on the Dremel to cut some fiberglass and phone out of the middle of the HS tip to correct the fitting issue I mentioned yesterday. Not a precision instrument. At least not in my hands. But it got the job done.

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I added a temporary foam block to hold the correct width.

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I used some masking tape to compress to the correct width. And adjusted to an interference fit with the HS skin.

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Cut some cloth to fit the inside of the tip.

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Added epoxy and set aside to cure. Once it’s hard, I’ll remove the temporary foam spacer and backfill the gap I cut with micro at the same time I fill the front side.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Empennage Time (hours): 203.0
Total Time (hours): 203.0

 

Attached left elevator tip

I final drilled #30 the elevator skin to the tip. Then I removed the tip and countersunk the holes.

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I dimpled the holes in the elevator.

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I had to remove the counterweight to dimple the forward two holes. Then reinstalled and re-torqued the nuts.

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Installed the tip with CS4 pop rivets. I’m thinking I might replace my pop rivet tool. I’m getting a burr on the top of all of the rivets and I’ve had several break off in the tool. I’m careful to keep the tool perpendicular to the work but this keeps happening. A while back, a mandrel got jammed in the tool. I disassembled it to remove the mandrel and reassembled it. But I think the jaws are not grabbing properly now.

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In other news, you can see that after trimming and sanding the left HS tip, it fits nicely. The right tip is another story. I think I neglected to final fit it after I sanded the foam or perhaps I seated the foam too deeply. In any event, it spread the tip about an eighth too far and now the tip wont fit between the top and bottom skins at the spar. I’ll noodle on how I might salvage the part for a while and If I can’t I’ll order a new one. My best thought at this point is to take a 1/8″ wedge out of the middle of the foam/fiberglass with a saw and then put  another layer of glass over it.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Empennage Time (hours): 201.0
Total Time (hours): 201.0

 

Riveted aft deck

The nut plates and new static line that I ordered from Van’s showed up today. I installed the static line.

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Riveted the nut plates in place.

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Riveted the aft stiffeners.

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Countersunk the upper cover plate attach holes.

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Installed the left cover plate. The other one is on it’s way from Van’s. I bought some stainless screws to install the cover plates.

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I riveted the aft deck in place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 180.0
Total Time (hours): 180.0

 

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

 

Whole lotta scuffin’

I cut the aft tail skin with the snips. Cutting .040 aluminum with snips is a workout. I thought of using the band saw but it’s an awkward part to cut straight with the saw. I trusted my skills with the snips more than steadiness of my hand at the band saw. Good result but my forearm was pretty sore afterward.

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Cleaned it up with file and sand paper.

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My paint cutter arbor arrived from Aircraft Spruce. So I was able to cut the remaining countersinks in the rudder stops without the cage.

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I was skeptical that I’d be able to hit the right depth free hand but it worked out fine.

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I also heard back from Van’s support on the holes that I thought shouldn’t be dimpled and in fact they shouldn’t have. So I hammered them flat. This was definitely an error in the plans. Now my tie down bracket sits flush.

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And finished up with a marathon scuffing session.

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I’ve got to be honest. Scuffing parts is my least favorite part of the process. It’s dusty messy work.

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That was a lot of parts to scuff but I’m glad I fought through and got them done. This is most of the parts for the tail cone. Once these are primed, I’ll only have the skins and a few small parts left to scuff and prime in order to complete the empennage. Big priming session tomorrow. Then I can start assembling. 🙂

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 144.0
Total Time (hours): 144.0

 

More work on bulkheads

Modified the bottom of the 1408 bulkhead.

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Deburred and dimpled all the 1407 and 1408 bulkhead parts.

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Separated, deburred, and dimpled the bell crank ribs.

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I realized when I went to drill the battery angles that I somehow modified the wrong one. I could swear that I marked these parts carefully before I separated them but it appears I switched the A and B markings. I don’t think this will be a problem though. I just needed to modify the correct one. The modification to the wrong one is not consequential.

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Once I fixed that, I drilled and countersunk all the nut plate holes and match drilled the angles to the bell crank ribs. I deburred and dimpled the 1406 bulkhead as well.

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I think next weekend I’m going to have two solid days of scuffing and priming all these parts.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Empennage Time (hours): 141.0
Total Time (hours): 141.0

 

Finished Elevators and Worked on Aft Three Bulkhead Assemblies

Yay! Rivets came in the mail and I was able to finally complete the elevators.

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Cleaned up the edges and deburred the longerons and J stiffeners.

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Matched drilled the aft bulkheads to the VS aft spar.

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Countersunk the tie down support.

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Dimpled the bulkheads. I think I found a problem with the plans. They called for dimpling the #30 holes in the web of the bulkhead. Note the two dimples along the edge of the tiedown bracket. they are keeping it from sitting flush against the bulkhead. I’ll likely need to undimple these holes somehow.

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Match drilled the next bulkhead to the HS attach bars and dimpled the flanges.

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Likewise with the next bulkhead…

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Ready for deburring, scuffing, and priming.

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Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Empennage Time (hours): 137.0
Total Time (hours): 137.0