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Finished Riveting Top Fuselage Skin – 3 hrs

October 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday Oct 20, 2012

Working solo today I finished riveting the top forward skin on the fuselage. The rivets I shot were the vertical column on the left over the top and the horizontal row illustrated below by the red arrows.

The three forward-most rivets on each side are pulled Cherrymax rivets because there is no way to get behind there to buck solid rivets.

I also installed the brake line fittings on the calipers using some Loctite 567 sealant on the threads.

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Riveted Aft Top Fuselage Skin – 4 hrs

July 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Wednesday Jul 4, 2012

Today consisted of cleanup work prior to bonding the canopy. Riveting the aft top skin on the fuselage was on my list of things to do for a long time. Since I had helps available today I decided to knock it out. I first removed the forward top skin to make access a little better and that’s when I remembered that I had not yet riveted the ADAHRS tray to the stringers so I did that first. I had drilled for nine rivets but one was not accessible with my squeezer so I left it out. Not a issue. I can always put tin a pop rivet.

I also still needed to rivet the center top stringer to the F-706 bulkhead so I did that too.

then it was a matter of climbing inside the aft fuselage to buck rivets while either my daughter Jennifer or wife Denise drove the rivet gun with a flush set. It was VERY tight in there and uncomfortable. But we go all the aft top skin rivets set, except for the along the bulkhead where it overlaps with the forward top skin.

While I was in there I also installed the seat belt anchor brackets and cables.

Seat Brace Holes Cut – 4 hrs

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday Oct 30, 2011

Well I finally solved the problem of the wobbling hole cutter. I went to Ace Hardware and picked up a 2-1/4 inch bimetal hole saw and pilot drill. On the new drill press this thing cuts a clean hole in the seat brace in about 10 seconds. No more wild shaking and wobbling. Here you can see the first brace with one of the hole plugs that came out of it.

I cut the holes in the other brace in a few minutes and proceeded to deburr and scuff these parts for priming and painting. While I was at it I did the same for the two upper stringers on the aft fuselage and the triangular doubler plate for the upper aft skin.

More deburring and preping of the aft top skin to get it ready for priming inside along the rivet lines.

And just to finish up a detail that I skipped over weeks ago I riveted the F710 bulkhead to the aft deck.

Painted Seat Backs – 6 hrs

October 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday Oct 29, 2011

An optional feature of the seat back braces is four 2-1/4 inch holes to reduce weight. I’m all for light weight so I pulled out the hole cutter to get this job done but it did not start out too well.  I set the hole cutter for 2-1/4 inch but when I tried to drill out the hole the work piece shook all over the place. So after scoring a circle on the part I aborted and resorted to the manual method of drilling a ring of small holes, cutting out the core with a rotary tool, and grinding the ID out smooth with a sanding drum. Very tedious. That is one of eight holes.

Knowing that my drill press chuck has way too much runout that causes long drill bits to wobble quite a bit I assumed that was the major cause. So after a trip to Home Depot I came home with this new 10-inch Ryobi drill press.

Well this one definitely has less runout than the old delta drill press but I was disappointed to find that the hole cutter still shakes the part like crazy. Conclusion: my hole cutter from Harbor Freight is a piece of junk. Now I need a plan B and to decide whether I should take the Ryobi back or not.

So I moved on to other work on the seat backs. I drilled all holes to final size of #30.

Then I got to work preping parts for priming and painting. Here you can see some of the parts laid out in the paint booth after deburring, scuffing and cleaning.

I put a coat of Spray-Fill primer on first, then about a hour later I sprayed Jet-Flex. The weather was perfect today for painting; warm, calm and <15% humidity. Late in the day I riveted this little tunnel cover together from the finished parts.

I also cleco’d the seat backs together.

After dinner I deburred and removed vinyl from the top aft skin. This part will have some exposed surfaces inside the cabin so I will paint those areas also.

F-707B Angle, Priming, F-656 Gussets – 6 hrs

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday Sep 21, 2011

Looking back at the end of the day it doesn’t seem like I got that much done today although I was busy the whole time. Sometimes it goes that way. I know I lost some time on the F-707B angle. It’s that little piece you seen in this photo that attaches the upper center rib to the F-707 bulkhead. It’s .063 x 3/4 aluminum angle about 1.25 inches long. The drawing says to pre-drill the one hole at the top where it mates to the bulkhead so I did. When I tried to cleco it to the bulkhead it would not go because the hole did not line up when the angle was pressed against the rib. So I made another F-707B angle with the drilled hole shifted to the left by about 1/8 inch which “fixed” the problem. Something did not feel right but I drilled it to the rib and bulkhead and that is what you see in the photo.

Later I was looking at Mike Bullocks web site and I realized what was wrong. I had the leg of the F-707B angle on the wrong side of the rib. No wonder the holes for the bulkhead came out so close to the web. Later I went back and put the original F-707B angle back in with the rib on the other side and it fit fine. Duh! Well, no damage done. I’ll just stay with the original angle.

Here is a photo of the interior of the shell. Nothing specific to point out here. I just like the shot.

Next I opened up the upper top skins to get access to the F-656 gussets. Some people say that it is best to clamp these gussets in place while the upper skins are cleco’d on to get correct alignment. I found that as long as the bulkhead was cleco’d to the longeron all you have to do is adjust the gusset until the edge is parallel to the skin. That is how I aligned them. I could have done this before putting the upper skins on.

Next was a priming session. I cleaned and primed the bellcrank parts, seat belt anchors, upper center rib, and F-656 gussets. No photos to show for that. I’ve shown that process too many times already.

Then I realized that the F-656 gussets mount to the F-706 bulkhead with flush head rivets so I dimpled the gussets and the bulkhead. The gussets were dimpled with the squeezer. It bent the flanges a little during dimpling but those were easy to straighten with seamers. Two of the holes in the bulkhead on each side were easy to get with the squeezer but the two outside holes were tough. I used a make shift technique with a vice grip clamp as shown below. That’s my dimple die set for the squeezer. It produced a somewhat shallow dimple. Not perfect but OK. When I riveted the gusset in place the squeezer helps drive the bulkhead dimple deeper into the dimple on the gusset so it turned out fine. After the primer was well dry I riveted all four gussets in place.

I also started riveting the aft deck to the tail. I first did all the easy ones I could get with the squeezer. Then I did a couple with the double offset set which I hate to use because it is so easy to get smiles. These tuned out fine however.

One other thing I did today was to trim the edges of the side rails to the skin profile. The instructions say to file these carefully. I took them off to sand the edges so I wouldn’t scratch up the skin. It took four or five iterations on each side to get it right because I did not want to remove too much.

I guess I did get something done today.

Fwd Top Skin – 3 hrs

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday Sep 24, 2011

Today did not yield as much time on the project as I had originally hoped. But that is how it goes sometimes. Life gets in the way.

Back when I built the F-711 bulkhead I riveted the top angle onto the uprights. Turns out I should not have done that. There is a little note on the drawing that says to wait until the skins are riveted before doing this. I missed that note. It turns out the angle blocks the shop end of two rivets, one on each end. So you have to buck those rivets before installing the angle. So I decided to drill out the rivets and remove the angle to get access to those rivets. Well the first rivet come out fine but the second one left an oblong hole. It was too large to rivet so I drilled it out to #12 and put in an AN3 bolt and lock nut as you can see below. This is the first time I have had to do this. Well it certainly will be strong enough. And since it will not be visible from the outside I guess I won’t sweat it.

I got the forward top skin cleco’d on also as you can see.

Canoe Gets a Top – 1.5 hrs

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Friday Sep 23, 3011

Alright! A weekend is here to get some progress done on the project. First thing tonight was to drill the elevator bellcrank for the pitch servo. I’m using a Dynon servo and the hole is 2.5 inches above the bearing centerline. Now I can prime these parts this weekend.

I cleco’d on the F-656L and R gusset plates but they look like the wrong parts. I’m going to wait and get the top skin on before I decide what to do with these parts.

So the next step was in fact to cleco the aft top skin on with the F-786A Top Fuselage J-Stringers. I cut these to length a long time ago but I had to trim the ends to fit to the bulkheads. The instructions also say to draw a line done the center of the flange to help you align it to the skin holes before drilling. I started clecoing the skin on from the top center working my way down the bulkheads. This skin is not pre-bent and it takes a surprising amount of force to bend it to the contour of the bulkheads but I did it solo. Wow, this really is an airplane! I can almost see it now. I drilled and cleco’d the J-stringers from the F-707 to the F-708 bulkhead.

Oh about those F-656L and R gusset plates – they are the right parts. I can see that they align well enough now that the skin is on.