Crotch Strap Kit

April 17, 2012

I finally started installing the crotch strap kit tonight. I only had an hour in the shop so I got the left mount drilled to the ribs. Some of the holes got mangled using the angle drill so I might need to use #8 screws in place of the pull rivets. You won’t see them under the forward seat pan so it’ll be our secret, ok?





Having a Seat

April 16, 2012

I spent Saturday wrapping up the baggage area in part by fabricating and drilling the wear blocks for the shoulder harnesses. Today, I laid out and drilled the seat pan hinges and then primed the seat pans. I held off on installing until I do some more cabin work in case I need to get access to the ribs.



Long Time Coming

April 10, 2012

Whew! I can’t believe my last post was back on January 30th. I have been steadily working on the RV around some good-sized family and work obligations. I was also held up wrangling some rivet help but Ryan and PDub came through in the clutch to help knock out the gussets and aft deck. Tonight’s post will include a bunch of what’s been done over the last couple of months. Kinda of a catch up posting. Hopefully I can get back to regular updates as my progress picks up in the warm weather.

Here’s the aft deck and 709 bulkhead riveted on. We ended up squeezing most of these rivets.

The 706 and 707 gussets were straightforward to install. With the bulkheads still being easy to slide fore and aft unsecured, I was careful to drill into the longerons with the skins mostly attached to better lock down the final position of the bulkheads.

The top gussets at the firewall were a challenge to rivet. While Ryan worked the gun, I had to stand on a stool, bend over the side skin and hang upside down with the bucking bar. It wasn’t fun for my back but we knocked both of them out in a couple of hours.

One of those “grrrrr” moments. This blind rivet goes on the forward side of the wind spar cut out on the fuse. There’s no way to buck a regular rivets so the plans call for a blind rivet. The challenge though is that the blind rivet can’t seat 100% as the business end hits the spar components. Many advise to work the rivet into its final seating by squeezing a little a time and working the rivet head down into position. I ended up whacking my rivet puller to get this one to seat leaving the mandrel and head deformed. The wing will cover this cosmetic flaw. Moving on…

The baggage floors are mostly riveted on now.

This past weekend I riveted on 705G which is the big piece of angle that will eventually support the canopy frame. I hope this doesn’t bite me in the rear later if I was supposed to wait to install this. Getting those rivets out would not be fun.

Here’s a reverse angle showing how the outer-most rivets would be virtually impossible to rivet once the canopy deck is installed.

The baggage area bulkhead skin is made of upper and lower halves. I knocked those out a couple of weeks ago but had to wait till I put the top skins back on before drilling all the #8 screw holes. Tonight I went back and drilled the holes for nutplates. Tomorrow I can squeeze these rivets and call the baggage area basically done.


January 30, 2012

Today I worked mostly in the baggage area. The floors are drilled, deburred, and dimpled. I’ll just need to prime them now. The F-750 side walls were riveted on. The rudder cables will need to be feed through the bulkheads behind this panel so I left some string sitting in the holes to pull the cable through. Finally I carefully countersunk the side rails above the arm rests. Other than cleaning up a few holes, I should be ready for a mass priming session next weekend. Here’s hoping for a warm front on Sunday.




Odds and Ends

January 23, 2012


After some business travel and a crazy week of snow here in Seattle, I finally got back to the project this weekend. It took me awhile to remember all the half completed tasks that needed finishing. So this weekend was dedicated to an assortment of small things. In no particular order:

–I made some temporary floor boards so can crawl on the inside of the fuse now.

–I finally torqued the bolts holding the 705C spacers.

–The F-728 vertical channel got riveted to the 706 bulkhead.

–I drilled the remaining holes on the F-707B bracket to attach the F-787 Stiffener rib to the 707 bulkhead.

–Lastly I drilled and dimpled the remaining gusset plates that tie the 706 and 707 bulkheads to the longerons.





I Love Brackets

January 12, 2012

I must because I made the same one three times tonight. Probably lack of sleep this week has softened up the synapses. Basically I spent a frigid evening attaching a stiffener rib between 707 and 706 bulkheads. I got one J-channel trimmed down as well. I ran out of steam with the cold weather and covered her up for a few days of non-activity. See you next week!

Top Skins

January 11, 2012

This weekend I got the last two skins out of the closet for fitting. Fitting is simple enough but there’s some details to pay attention to for sure. I have to go back and tweak all the flanges for a better overall fit. They went on without much hassle after that. The J-stringers ended up being a tad too long preventing a few of the holes in the 706 falnge from lining up properly. I went ahead and drilled everything on the stringers and the flanges except for these few holes.

I have a lot of little details to pick off this week before I can put the top skins back in storage. Hopefully I can find a weather window to get some priming  done as well.


January 10, 2012



The side gussets and rails are installed next. The gusset provides the anchor for the cabin frame as well as a slot for the canopy latch. The holes were straightforward to cut. After drilling (4) 1/4″ inch holes for the radius on each corner, I filed into shape and drilled then into place with the rails and the 705 bulkhead.

Here’s the final position. I’ll need to come back and countersink the rail rivets and the middle rivets of the gusset/longergon/705G interface as the cabin frame will mount directly onto this area.

For now though, on to the forward gusset. This is a deceptively tricky fit so I’ll kinda show my step by step process if anyone might need some reference later. First the front edge needs to be trimmed to fit flush against the firewall. You can’t revmove too much though because you still need to spread 14 size -4 rivets along the long dimension.

I had to shorten the spread on the last two rivets to get everything inside the edge clearance needed after modifying the front edge of the bracket.

Next I bent the short dimension where the gusset snugs up to the firewall so that it would lay flat on the firewall angle. I also increased the bend where the gusset overlays the longeron so there would be good contact between the parts. I used my table-top break and my big bench clamp to do all the subtle bending.

Once the gusset nested nicely, I drilled #40 pilot holes for both dimensions of the gusset.

Then I opened the holes up to #32 and finished them up with a #30 reamer carefully checking the angle of the drill to keep the holes straight.

Aft Deck

January 10, 2012

I finally got to reassemble the fuse stand I got from another builder. It’s been sitting in the corner of the garage for the last year in pieces. Now I can wheel the fuse around a bit and it’s nice and level—on to the aft deck.

There was a touch of twist that was easily corrected with the clamps. Here’s the deck all drilled with no twist. I’ll wait to rivet till I collect enough parts to prime.

I also made a couple of repairs to tabs on the bulkheads that I double drilled. My solution was to JB Weld some extra tabs on top of the originals and use a longer rivet to sandwich everything together.

Canoe Flipped!

December 16, 2011


Last Saturday Paul came over for our 4th rivet session on the fuse. After 7 hours we got all the rivets pounded and flipped her over. It feels great to hit such a milestone. I will also feel much better not having to crawl around the inside of the fuse. There’s a few items on the punch list to clean up this week and then I can move on to the various brackets along the longeron.

Here’s a 3/4 view of the fuse. Fun!

And the view from the inside

Lift with your legs!

Paul and I basking in our successful day. Thanks for all the riveting help P-Dub!