Back to work on the tanks

Got back from Toronto yesterday and my replacement tank skins had arrived. I cut the splice strips from the skins with the snips and filed/sanded the edges smooth. I clecoed the baffles into the skins and machine countersunk all the associated rivet holes.

I’ll get the dimpling done tomorrow and start assembly on Sunday.

In other news… Van’s charged my credit card for the balance due on the fuselage kit. Hopefully that means the kit is being crated and will ship in the next week or so. Now the pressure is on to finish the wings!

Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Wing Time (hours): 190.0
Total Time (hours): 342.0

 

Prepared tank stiffeners

Dimpled the nut plate attach holes in the inboard tank ribs.

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Separated the stiffeners.

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Used snips to make all the cuts. Doh! Should have peeled the blue vinyl off before I cut them.

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Then cleaned them up on the scotch bright wheel, scuffed the mating surfaces and dimpled.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Wing Time (hours): 127.0
Total Time (hours): 338.0

 

 

 

Work continues on outboard leading edges

Deburred all the edges of all the things. The doublers for the landing light lenses looked like they were crafted by Van’s with a chainsaw. You can see the before and after shot below. I used sandpaper to work the flanges around the nose of the ribs so that the skins don’t telegraph any faceting.

Trimmed the four ribs called out in the plans so that they will fit around the spar braces. Finished with files and sandpaper.

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Flattened, straightened and fluted all the ribs. Then final drilled and deburred all the holes.

Dimpled all the holes with the squeezer.

Cut the J-channel stiffeners to length and drilled the first inboard hole in each.

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Final drilled #19 the screw holes in the splice strips. Carefully deburred the holes and dimpled for #8 screws. Dimpled all the #40 holes as well.

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In other news, I received the order confirmation for the engine I ordered at Sun ‘n Fun. The ship date from Lycoming is October 11.

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Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Wing Time (hours): 94.0
Total Time (hours): 305.0

Begin work on Section 17: Outboard Leading Edge

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Picked all the parts for the leading edges. I cut the splice strips from the tank skins and trimmed the tabs from the cover plate doubler using snips.

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Cut out the leading edge cradles from the shipping crate top. Forgive the blur in the image… I photoshopped out my address from the top of the create.

 

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Cut the 2 x 4, glued it, and screwed it to the cradles. Clamped them to the workbench

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Off to Nashville for a conference tomorrow… Sophie said she’d prep (peel, edge deburr, and scuff) all the parts while I’m gone. So should be able to begin fabrication and fitting when I get back later in the week.

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Wing Time (hours): 89.0
Total Time (hours): 300.0

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

 

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