Archive for January, 2010

The Big Bend

January 31, 2010

Well the big day came and went with very little drama. The longerns are bent to spec and it was a pretty simple affair. Another shout out to the VAF Forums for introducing me to the Orndorff Method. You can review the specifics in the VAF thread link or get the videos straight form George and Becki.┬áThe advantage of this method is that the bent angle doesn’t bend in unwanted directions. Also it was easy to get two matching longerons.

All was not perfect though, as I gouged the angle in a few areas from the corner of the vice. I made some thin aluminum sleeves for the vise because the rubber grips I’ve been using just wouldn’t hold the angle in place. Unfortunately, the aluminum sleeves didn’t always protect the corner of the vise and it dinged the angle. I should be able to scuff them out and move on.

Up next will be canopy deck rails and perhaps a switch to finishing the QB wings before moving on with the fuse. Also, between the fuse longerons and stringers and the parts that need to be done for the QB wing, I see a serious priming session with some very long parts coming.

Another view showing the twist on the forward ends.

In the vise making the forward downward bends for each longeron.

The 4 inch vise with aluminum sleeves in place.

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Setting Up The Longerons

January 16, 2010

The project hours are harder to come by in the new year. But I’ve been able to sneak out to get the longerons set up for the big bend. I clamped them together with 1/4″ wood spacers in between the angles. At the forward end the wood spacer stuck out so that the 1″ mark on the tape measure lines up with the end of the angle. After I marked up the angle based on the drawing 18 notes, I notched the top aft end of the lognerons per drawing 18.

To make sure the measurements were accurate, I started at the 1" mark.

With both angles clamped together, it was easy to make sure the measurements matched on each longeron.

Note to self: DO NOT forget to add an inch to all your measurements!

The notches on the aft ends were pretty simple as long as I didn't rush it.

Packaging FAIL

January 7, 2010

Smart Tool, Dumb Package

Get the SMARTTOOL with two levels on Amazon for $111. Heck yes I’ll take that deal. On top of that they throw in free shipping too! Score! This morning I arrive to my office to find this XXXL box in my office with the digital level rattling around inside. They didn’t even bother to pack it with any cushioning. I guess they used all their funds to buy this box to ship it in!

Hello 2010

January 2, 2010

To welcome in the new year I’ve completed all the bulkhead riveting! Here’s a pick of most of the bulkheads sitting on the workshop floor. I’m glad I had them on the rubber mat too. We had a heck of a rain storm last night and the wind blew some water into the garage. No biggie. Just threw some towels down and moved on.

All the bulkhead rivets were squeezed. One challenge on all these is that most of the rivets are bringing together two or sometimes three thin layers of metal. I learned quickly that you had to be careful not to distort the thin layer abutting the shop head side of the rivet. Securing the work to the bench or the vise very well was the most important factor. However, my most recent trick gathered from the Vans Airforce Forums was to use faucet washers to hold the work down as you squeezed the rivet. This would prevent unwanted distortions in that thin layer of aluminum as the shop head is formed. See pics below for details. Lastly, squeezing the rivets in 2 steps instead of one helped avoid bent or footed shop heads. Now on to the longerons…

My RV resolution for 2010 will be to spend at least 15 minutes a day on the RV project. I’d love to flip the canoe this year, but I’ll need to get better disciplined about finding time to get out to the shop.

Yours truly using the rubber washer trick on F-711

Picked these up at Home Depot. Thanks VAF forums!

After squeezing the rivet just enough to set it, I then put a washer on the half squeezed rivet and finished it off with a final squeeze.