Scuffed all the parts

Scuffed all the parts.

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Peeled, Deburred, and scuffed the bottom skin.

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Hit Harbor Freight today… Picked up a stand for my grinder and a new HVLP paint gun. Using the grinder on the bench has been a bit of a pain. Up to this point I was using a small touch-up gun for all of my priming. For the bigger sessions, I would have to refill the paint cup multiple times. This gun has a bigger cup and is better quality.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 20.0
Total Time (hours): 474.5

 

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

 

Four out of Five Ain’t Bad

My new molex crimper arrived from amazon along with the new automatic wire stripper. Yay! New tools.

These Molex MicroFit  pins are teeny tiny. I managed to crimp four out of the five pins on to the wires from the trim servo correctly. Unfortunately there was only one extra pin provided and I already burned through that one on my first attempt. So I ordered a bunch of  extra molex pins and housings.

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Today’s Time (hours): 0.5
Empennage Time (hours): 126.0
Total Time (hours): 126.0

 

Riveted Spars and Ribs in Left Elevator

I started off the day by taping the trailing edge to the bottom right elevator skin with the 3M VHB. tape.

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I also completed the trim servo assembly. I need to order a crimper to terminate the wires from the trim servo with the supplied micro molex connector. I also need to get a label maker to label all the terminations.

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Then my new squeezer set from Aircraft Spruce showed up. It’s nice having them relatively local. If I order by 4:00 they’ll ship same day and shipping via UPS ground gets it here next day from Peachtree City.

With the new squeezer sets I was able to complete the riveting of the hinge portion of the skin to the aft spar.

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I essentially completed all of the steps that I did to the right elevator yesterday to the left elevator today. So now both elevators are ready to have the aft ribs glued and the trailing edges riveted.

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Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Empennage Time (hours): 118.5
Total Time (hours): 118.5

 

Riveted Spars and Ribs in Right Elevator

Unfortunately Jared was unable to make it over to work with me today. I’ll be docking his pay. 🙂

Work on the the left elevator is still halted until I have a means to rivet the hinge portion of the aft spar. To wit I have ordered a complete range of squeezer flush sets from Aircraft Spruce. They should be here tomorrow.

Significant progress to report on the right elevator however…

Riveted the rear spar and rib assembly to the bottom right skin.

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Actually some progress was made on the left elevator. I was able to rivet the ribs to the bottom skin as well as the trim doubler assembly.

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I riveted the skin to the rear right spar using the special bucking bar to reach the shop heads.

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Side view of the special bucking bar in action.

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I fabricated the tool called out in the plans but didn’t actually need it on the right elevator. Maybe it’s necessary on the left?

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I blind-riveted the top and bottom halves of the ribs together. I was able to reach the aft rivets with no problem.

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Here they are all riveted.

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I riveted the forward spar to the ribs.

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…And then riveted the skins to the spar with the squeezer.

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I riveted the skins to the and root ribs as well.

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Next I’ll glue the aft ribs in place with Pro Seal, install the trailing edge, shoot the last few rivets in the root and tip ribs and she’ll be done!

I had one oops today and a gripe with the plans. They remind you that the counterweight skins go under the elevator skins after you’ve already riveted the aft spar and the ribs. This made it impossible to correct. I tried to carefully pull the skin out and bend the counterweight skin up as little as possible but it left a bit of a permanent bend. Nothing tragic. Just annoying. It would have been more helpful if the plans provided this warning when they had me cleco in the forward spar assembly.

Today’s Time (hours): 4.5
Empennage Time (hours): 112.5
Total Time (hours): 112.5

 

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.

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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