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

 

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

 

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

 

Scuffed Parts and Skins

Started the day with a nice flight in Jared’s RV-14. We met up at KPUJ and flew down to KFFC where we met up with Wes and Skip who flew down from Cartersville in Wes’s RV-7. Lunch and a visit to Aircraft Spruce rounded out the afternoon. Then took the long way back to KPUJ. Awesome flight!

Got home and finished scuffing all the parts with some help from Sophie.

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I Peeled the elevator and trim tab skins. Then I Deburred the edges and put a slight break in the trailing edge per the plans.

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Finally, I scuffed the insides of the skins.

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All ready to shoot primer and start dimpling tomorrow.

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 91.0
Total Time (hours): 91.0

 

Disassembly and Deburring

Clecoed and final drilled the elevator horns to the inboard ribs and spars.

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Cut the trim tab pushrod parts and the trim tab horn parts.

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Deburred everything and got about half the parts scuffed and ready for primer. Next I’ll scuff the rest of the parts, peel and scuff the skins and prime everything.

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My pint of fuel tank sealant arrived from Sky Geek today. I’ll use this to glue the foam ribs in place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 88.0
Total Time (hours): 88.0

 

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