Prime time

I deburred, scuffed and primed all of the remaining empennage parts including the top skin and the upper side skins. I’ve just about run out of parts. Once I get my static line and nut plates from Van’s, I’ll be able to finish riveting everything.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 173.0
Total Time (hours): 173.0

 

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

 

Primed Tail Cone Parts

I peeled the blue vinyl from the j channel that’s formed into the edges of the bottom skin so that I could scuff and prime those along with the inside of the skin.

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First batch of four ready to shoot.

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Second batch was the rest of the bulkheads and bell crank ribs (not pictured) and the third batch included the longerons and stiffeners. The last batch was the bottom skin.

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Et viola!

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Tomorrow I’ll begin assembling the tail cone. Once I get the substructure assembled and riveted to the bottom skin, I’ll have one more big scuff and prime session for the skins and the few remaining substructure components.

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 147.0
Total Time (hours): 147.0

 

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

 

Primed and Assembled Horizontal Stabilizer

Scuffed and primed the skins, ribs, stringers and center web.

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Riveted together the inboard ribs, web, and stringers.

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Clecoed and riveted the ribs to the front spar

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Clecoed and riveted four nose ribs to the skins. Special thanks to Jared Solomon for lending me his HS cradles. Also for the awesome flight flight yesterday in his RV-14. Makes me want to build faster.

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Clecoed the forward spar and associated substructure to the skins. Ready for final riveting. Should have the HS buttoned up tomorrow!

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A very satisfying day of progress!

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Empennage Time (hours): 69.0
Total Time (hours): 69.0

 

Rear spar assembly complete

Scuffed the forward spar and primed all of the forward and rear spar parts.

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Riveted the front spar doubler. Used the squeezer for most of these.

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Riveted all of the hinge brackets. Used the gun for these. My riveting skills have improved markedly. I haven’t had to drill any rivets since working on the rudder.

I bolted the inboard hinge bracket to the spar per the plans and realized I don’t have an in/lb torque wrench. So I ordered one from Amazon along with some tamperproof marker paint so I can keep track of which nuts have been torqued and easily inspect them later.

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Off to FLL for work for the next few days. So no further progress expected until later in the week.

Today’s Time (hours): 2.5
Empennage Time (hours): 56.0
Total Time (hours): 56.0

 

Vertical Stabilizer Complete!

Scuffed and prepped the new parts. Then sprayed them with primer.

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Riveted the doubler and ribs to the forward spar.

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Clecoed the skin to the forward spar and ribs and started riveting.

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Finished riveting the skin to the forward spar and ribs.

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Clecoed and riveted the rear spar to the skin and ribs.

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VS Complete! Very pleased with how well it turned out. Once I replaced the parts I messed up, everything went smoothly. I’m much happier with my workmanship than the first attempt. A little experience makes a world of difference.

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Rearranged the work benches and started picking parts for the horizontal stabilizer.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 46.0
Total Time (hours): 46.0