Archive for December, 2009

Cliché Confirmed: 1 Step Forward is 2 Steps Back

December 29, 2009

It’s 10:30pm and the kids are in bed, I got some house chores done, and did a little homework to boot. Now it’s time for a few minutes in the garage. On deck tonight was to get the 10 rivets done on the 706 bulkhead only leaving the need to drill out the four holes up top on 706 before moving down the line tomorrow night. Ok. Ready. Tools out. Part clamped. GO! First 5 rivets go quickly. Not the best set but serviceable. Start on #6… Wait a sec… WTF? Oh ****. AARRGGHHH…..

Take a look at the picture above. Any guesses? Well the bottom part is supposed to go IN FRONT of the side part. I got going too fast last night when I cleco’d everything together. So out comes the drill. Luckily they are only 470 4-4 rivets. 4 out of 5 come out easy. Had to dig out the fifth but the holes don’t look too bad. Touched up the primer and will let dry tonight so I can try it all over tomorrow.

So it’s not a banner evening. At least no parts were injured other than the offending rivets. One more story in the lessons learned pile.

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Aft Fuselage Getting Closer to Reality

December 27, 2009

It was a beautiful day in Seattle today. I was able to get a mile run in and spend quality time with the family outside in the rare sunshine. There is lots to update on the project as well. After my run, I bolted and torqued the seatbelt anchors onto F-705 as well as drilled out the plastic flap bearing blocks that will be bolted sometime later.

Later this evening I attacked F-706. I got all the riveting done where F-706 joins with the bellcrank ribs. All the rivets were easily reached with the squeezer. I need to drill some holes at the top of the 706 bulkhead and set about 10 more rivets on the outrigger joints on the three piece 706 bulkhead before moving onto 707, 708, 710, 711, and 712. All those look pretty straight forward. I should be able to knock them out in an evening.

Once the bulkheads are complete, I can setup and bend the longerons. Then we get to have some fun and put together the aft fuse! This will mean I can pull down some of the big skin pieces from the rafters and the fuselage will finally start to take shape.

The 706 Bulkhead with most of the riveting complete.

A detail of the intersection of the 706 bulkhead and the bellcrank ribs.

Detail showing shop heads on the 706 and 729 joint.

Drilling out the flap bearing block holes with #10 bit.

The the block and bolts fit perfectly with the 705 bulkhead after drilling.

On tomorrow's to-do list... Rivet F-711

A Part is Born!

December 24, 2009

Well hello there. Sorry for the ugly mug shot. Per the regs, I am getting my occasional self portrait in the mix to prove its actually me making this airplane. Today, we take a break from the endless posts about drilling or deburring or general parts prep to report that an ACTUAL part was made today. The part in question is the F-705 bulkhead. It went together really quick considering the pieces have been sitting for about a year waiting to be primed. The biggest drama was taking the time to make sure lower section parts fit together properly before squeezing the rivets. When I primed them the other day, I forgot to mark their orientation. In the end it all came out pretty good. Biggest issue now is where to store it. Oh yeah, I need to mount the seatbelt anchors and the drill the flap blocks tomorrow before entering the Christmas blackout period. Next up will be the remaining bulkheads and perhaps a little longeron bending before the new year.

Here's F-705 secured as I get ready to rivet the midsection.

The tape reminds me not to rivet those holes yet.

It’s My Primer Party

December 21, 2009

With some time off this week from work I committed myself over the weekend to getting this pile of parts primed so I can actually assemble some small things that can then be made into bigger things. The biggest hurdle has been that bitch Mother Nature. She’s been my spray booth ever since I discovered that DIY spray booths in the basement can be grounds for divorce (and brain damage). I finally found my answer at a local state run institution of higher learning that happens to have a number of spray rooms in their art building. Climate controlled and the fumes are vented out the roof. PERFECT! Sunday I was able to wash, clean, etch my entire collection of parts at home. Then I primed until I ran our of primer. Ugh! So today I finished up the last few parts at the school and have them laid out and drying in the garage. Now it’s time for the squeezer to come out!

F-707 and 708 bulkheads ready to be riveted