Posts Tagged ‘cleco’

Progress Report

May 8, 2011

Where to start? This should be more like 3 or 4 posts but I’ve been busy with work and family so I haven’t been updating the blog like I should. So here it goes. After finishing the center section riveting, I drilled the 715 ribs on each side as well as all the floors.

The center section then got flipped back over and reattached to the 706 bulkhead. Attaching the 770 side skins was very challenging. I had a hard time getting the holes to match up. It took three days of searching the forums and builder sites for advice to arrive at the solution. You have to basically raise the rear fuse just behind the 706 bulkhead by a good 8 inches. This spreads the longerons a bit and gets those rear holes in the 770 skin close enough to the aft fuselage holes that you can get some clecoes inserted.

After that it was time to match drill the arm rests. Pretty straight forward.

The next hurdle is bending the bottom rear of the 770 skins to conform to the curve of the aft fuse. My first attempt ended with a small crack at the 90 degree bend because I used the steel from my mini-brake and it has a very sharp edge. Joe at Van’s said I could stop drill it and glue in a metal backing but I opted just to order a new skin for $60.

On the second attempt I used a piece of scrap angle that had a slightly rounded edge. This time the bend turned out better but I still ended up with a tiny little crack again. I will just drill and open up that corner a bit to get rid of the crack and help the edges meet better. On the third try with the left skin, I rounded the edge of the angle even more and the bend turned out perfect. I’m very satisfied to have the 770 skins in place and those corners fitted. Next up will be drilling all the holes in the longerons. Yay!


Aft Fuse Riveting Part 2

January 12, 2011

Here’s the project progress from the last couple of weeks. I’m including a lot of pics as these are some of the more interesting sections of the fuse to put together. My friend Paul came over for round two of riveting the aft fuse. We got all the rivets at the far aft end done. We had to drill out 3 or 4 along the way. There’s just a few left on the 707 and 708 bulkheads and J-channel. Another couple of hours should do it.

Next up, I’ve started the initial assembly of the center section after prepping all the ribs (did I mention how tedious that is?). It’s quite the Rubik’s cube to get everything in the right spot. The 776 skin and right side baggage space ribs were just not going together. After silently cussing out Van’s CNC machines for a few hours, I discovered I had the 725R and 726R swapped. WHOOPS. Now everything is clecoed together waiting to be drilled, deburred and dimpled.

One thing I overlooked in my excitment to get the aft fuse together was prepping the rudder cable exit. That little hole to the left of the pass through hole above is for the screw mount. It should be drilled for a #8 screw and dimpled BEFORE the skin is assembled with rest of aft parts. Now I need to get clever about how to dimple the hole.

All the ribs except the 2 outside 715 L and R ribs cleco in place. After everything gets put together, I will need to come back and drill out the front of the 715 ribs using the 704 bulkhead as a guide.

This is the outside intersection of the F-715R rib and the F-705 bulkhead. The bottom flange gets drilled out for a bolt.

Here are the 716/715 ribs and the aft part of the F-704 bulkhead. These will be a mixture of -4 sized rivets and bolts. I’ll need to be ginger while drilling this stuff.

Finally here’s a close up of the last couple of bulkheads in the aft fuse after riveting. The seams on the skins are all tight and I am really happy how it all turned out. The only cosmetic issue is a slight smile on one of the rivets that sits under the HS. I actually think its awesome. I see it as a signature that no other kit will have. However, one signature is enough! Onward…

Sunday Summary

July 25, 2010

Beautiful day in Seattle today. The family went on a beach walk/swimming pool day leaving dear old dad to wrestle with the aluminum in the garage. Awesome!

I started by finishing the riveting on the right wing aileron gap faring. I got all the hardware together and mounted everything back on and clecoed on the bottom skin. The trailing edges of the flap and aileron are much closer now (within about 1/16″) than when I tried it yesterday. Whew.

Last cleco standing on the right aileron gap faring.

I moved on to finishing out the left wing aileron and flap mounting. Countersinking all the holes on the flap brace was tedious but otherwise painless. I wnet back and squeezed the leftover aileron mount brackets with the new 4″ squeezer and closed out the day by getting all the left wing parts cleoced and ready to rivet.

The edge difference between the flap and the aileron got much better after getting everything put together.

The internal linkage for the left wing. Yes that is a hardware store nut. Just temporary so I don't waste the aircraft nuts.

Tweaking The Fit

May 23, 2010

I made final adjustments to the aft fuse assembly before match drilling.

Small Stuff

May 8, 2010

I logged some good time in today on the project and took care of some loose ends. As is the case when I’ve let the project sit for a while, I spent a good hour just cleaning up the workshop and wrapping my head around where I left off. I took the temp assembly apart bulkhead by bulkhead and angled the flanges. This helped the fit BIG TIME. If you read this before getting to the aft fuse assembly, do this first and everything should go together much easier. YMMV. I also finally cut and prepped the replacement j-stiffener and riveted the small piece of angle to the F-706 assembly I held off on. Everything is clecoed back together and ready to be checked for alignment before drilling. I need to go get a couple of plumb bobs and some wedges but ran out of time this weekend.

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


September 9, 2009


The last 3 nights I’ve been fabricating, matching drilling, prepping and  the parts for the bellcrank rib substructure that attaches to the 706 bulkhead. I’ve had to pay close attention to drawing #26 for this structure as there are many intersecting parts; virtually each one with it’s own special way to attach to the other. Also after cursing Van’s for some apparently misaligned predrilled holes in F730, I discovered that the holes are actually asymmetrical in their layout and yours truly had cleco’d it on backwards. The holes aligned perfectly now. A little more drilling tonight and this bad boy gets thrown into the ever growing “To Be Primed” pile. I swear I am gonna spray paint this weekend. Sorry for the crappy photos. I only had the iphone with me this morning.

Notice the missing hole on the upper right of 730.

Notice the missing hole on the upper right of 730.

Here's the backside of the F730 intersections

Here's the backside of the F730 intersections

Attaching Trim Tab

January 7, 2008

Tonight I was able to get the trim tab clecoed into position on the left elevator. I am within 1/32″ of the trailing and inboard edges which I am pleased with. It looks as if the travel needed will be within spec once I get the bottom of the trim tab bend to clear the rivets in the elevator.

Tasks Completed:

  • Match drilled the forward hinge to the left elevator assembly
  • Trimmed inboard edge of hinge

Misc. Left Elevator Assembly

December 17, 2007

Tasks Completed:

  • Removed vinyl from inside skin
  • Riveted counterbalance skin to 701 skin
  • Clecoed skeleton to skin

Elevator Leading Edge

December 1, 2007

Tonight I snuck down to the basement for a couple of hours. I started bending the leading edge of the right elevator. I was much more efficient with effort and the amount of duct tape compared with the rudder. I did notice the thinker skin on the elevator takes a bit more force to bend. I left the workshop with the edges clecoed together, but it needs more work before I can drill and rivet.

Tasks Completed:    

  • Started bending leading edge