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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Misc Stuff

OK, no pictures, but I have been making progress. I have match drilled the left wing spars to ribs and pulled the assembly back apart deburred and am now prepping those ribs for priming. Also, been working on the shop a bit, have the right wing skeleton hanging in the stand waiting for the match drilling. Hopefully will get to that tonight and take some photos.

Also working on jacks to support the center of the wing since it sags a bit in the stands, and as well am creating dunk baths for the aluminprep/alodine process that I plan to put the ribs through. For those Purists out there I am working on a assembly line type of bath system that might be pretty cool. Here is hopin.. Either way, will go with the PPG Epoxy primer on the ribs because its pretty and also seems to be lighter than the rattle can.. Pretty soon my technicolor wing skeleton is going to be looking good.

Also I had a friend pick up some parts from Vans. I got the Deluxe fuel caps, a flop tube, wing conduit, and the right wing tie down which I have been waiting for. Now I can get the wings back to the same point. Want to keep them at the same stage as much as I can.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rib Conduit Holes

Continuing on the Ribs I need to determine my wing wiring/tubing needs. I will definitely need the conduit since I will have nav/strobes/nav antenna in the wing tips, so I drilled holes for that. I also need to expand some of the Tooling holes since I will be adding an AOA. My problem is that I am not sure what AOA I will get and the different options allow for different tube routing. So I will expand the tooling holes and hope for the best.

Here is a pic where I used a common wood bit to cut the aluminum. Worked like a charm. Lined up a template to mark all the ribs, then bored a hole through all of them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stack of Ribs

The stack of finished ribs grows.. At this point I am about done with them, except for a few tweaks here and there. I also need to consider my wing wiring and drill the 3/4 inch hole for conduit and any additional wiring holes I may need through the ribs. At least for now the heavy lifting is complete..

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

.... Ribs ....

More work on the ribs tonight.

The rib process starts with deburring everything which I did a few days ago and posted in earlier posts.. Then you use hand seamers to get the flanges 90 degrees to the Web (the part with holes). Once you get them exactly 90 degrees, the whole rib is bent because of the forces within the metal..

To straighten out the rib you use fluting pliers and leave little dents between the rivet holes. This pulls the rib back into line.

Here is a stack of completed ribs next to a stack of ribs still to do. Hopefully you can tell the difference because there is a lot of work that goes into this.. ;-)

The total number of ribs in an RV for both wings is below:

-12 Outboard nose ribs
-14 Tank nose ribs
-28 Various main ribs

That's a lot of ribs

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rear Spar and More Ribs

No pictures today but since I got more primer I was able to finish the right rear spar (Bekah's side). Now with both rear spars finished I am focusing on the wing ribs. The outboard nose ribs are all deburred, I need to finish the tank ribs tonight and hopefully start working on the corners of the main ribs. The next few days is all about ribs.

Oh, just to clarify I still need to work out the right tie-down/aileron attach bracket assembly. Was waiting for primer on this one and wanted to get more clarification on the torque settings. Should be done with that in the next day or so as well.

What the heck, I will attach a picture of the rear spars in the living room, and the scotchbright wheels after work on the ribs.. Just for something to look at..

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ribs, Ribs, Ribs

Since I was out of primer, and needed something to work on I started on the ribs. It's going to take several sessions so I thought I would at least get started. Things went well but while deburring with the scotchbright wheel, I sure wish I wore a dust mask. My sinuses have been messed up ever since.

My huge articulating drill press came in handy for this step.. I turned it up to its highest speed and went to work. Deburring edges and lightening holes with ease. Actually once I got into the ribs, there were tons more than I expected, but I was able to get the edges deburred all in one sitting. I still need to finish up the insides of the bends with hand tools which will take for ever, but at least I got a start at it.

Here is an example of how I am working the leading edges. I got this tip from Brad's website which you can access from my home page, but using emery cloth like dental floss is working well on the nose ribs. There can't be any sharp edges anywhere.. Wow, lots of work to do.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Left Rear Spar

On the rear spar tip reinforcement plate there are some areas that need to be machine countersunk, Some people modify their countersink to fit the area, I just used my deburing tool with the countersink bit in it. Drilled into wood to keep it from wandering and held the extension still to make a pretty nice countersink.

I also began priming the left rear but ran out of primer. I am using the Napa Rattle can primer for the spars anyway and really like the simplicity of it. Also, it seems to dry faster and stick better than the PPG stuff, but might weigh a bit more. The PPG stuff seemed to scratch pretty easily. I will probably go with a combination of primers on the wing but will remain consistent by section. Will end up with some pretty colors though. Gold main spar, grey rear spar, white ribs.. We'll see if I can get some other colors in there too.

The riveting went well as I used post-its and clecos to help make sure I leave the holes empty that are supposed to be riveted later. These holes remain open and get riveted in assembly with ribs and aileron attach brackets etc..

Below is the left rear spar complete and ready to start getting ribs attached..

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rear Spar

To get a jump on things I started working on the rear spars. Mainly just doing some of the trimming that is required before really getting into it. I bought a new bandsaw and was able to test it out as I trimmed the excess off the fuselage attach point on the spar doublers. (love the bandsaw, wish I had it earlier - Craftsman 10 inch) This worked out well as I matched up the two doublers and match drilled it straight into scrap wood. Then used the bandsaw to cut through both at the same time. One thing I thought of after the fact is that I could have used the doubler as a template and traced the outline onto the other doubler before feeding it to the bandsaw. My measurements turned out pretty accurate, but this might have helped make it quicker.

After tracing the pushrod hole from the spar onto the aileron attach doubler, I used a step drill to punch out the holes in the doubler plate. I then put a grinder in the drill press on high speed and it shaped the hole up right away.

Here is one picture that I will be asking vans about. It seems both rear spar center doublers lean to the right when looking at them directly from the back. Not sure if this is a problem in manufacture, but I will contact Van's as well as talk to the guys on the forums. - UPDATE - From the forums, it seems this is no big deal, as long as hole/edge distance is satisfactory. I measured it up and each rivet hole is far enough from the edge. So looks good and onto priming and assembly..

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tie Downs and Aileron Bellcrank Brackets

Continuing on the Spar I manufactured the Spacers, Match drilled all the holes and installed the Tie down/Bell Crank brackets on the left wing. This step ended up taking a long time due to all the fabrication necessary to make these parts fit.

I started by using a junker miter saw to cut the aluminum stock. It worked perfect but I did make sure to cut slowly here.

Drilling the lightening holes was a royal pain. Getting those things centered and securing the spacer was the most difficult. Once I started drilling with the Hole Saw it got HOT. Wood started smoking and I had to let it sit for a while a few times in the middle of the session to cool. I was able to get the holes drilled and all in all turned out well, but I would recommend a tough/sharp hole saw and lots of patience for this one.

Assembly and priming of the tie down was more complex than I thought. Lots of drilling, then back drilling, then countersinking and of course all the metal prep work that goes along with Priming. For these pieces I am using a rattle can as its quick and easy and has proven in the past to dry really hard.. I have no concerns about the quality of the rattle can primer on appropriately prepared metal.

The final assembly is complete on the left wing. Everything fit well and the spacers went into the spar pretty snug which is what I was looking for. I will get more pictures while the right one goes together, but I will be using a drilled hardwood block for a drill guide to make it even more accurate. The attached pics show the tie down with the threaded Eye Bolt installed and the other side of the spar where the Aileron Bellcrank brackets are installed.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Spar Countersinking Finished

Today I was able to finish up the spar countersinking and I am happy how it turned out. I went over them again and again and verified the size of each countersink on both left and right spars. I ended up making them a bit larger than .370, once I verified the sample dimpled aluminum piece torqued down correctly. I am hoping that it turns out perfect when the tanks go on. Primed all the areas where the anodizing was removed and am now ready for the next step.
The countersinking took much longer than I expected, but I think it is a pretty key point and I wanted to make sure it was as perfect as I could get it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Spar Work Continues

Continuing the spar work I put about 2 hours in yesterday working on the right spar. Almost finished with it but no pictures yet showing progress. I also was able to tap the tie down blocks with a 3/8 by 16" tap I piced up from Lowes. Worked well and the eye bolts fit in and out easily. Pictures will be up soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spar Work Continued

Continued with the countersinking and preparation of the spars. Primed the sides of the left spar that have been completed as shown in the picture. Looking good so far. Working on the right spar now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spar Prep

Today I continued working on attaching the spar nutplates and countersinking for the screws that hold on the tanks. There was a lot of metal that needed to come out so that the #8 screws will lay flat. I tested the countersink gauge depth with a sample aluminum sheet dimpled the same as the tank will be. Also, per other blogs and the RVator journal, the correct depth is .370 inch.. Using a digital caliper, I got each hole pretty exact. A lot of people make up special jigs to help ensure the countersink is centered and the hole concentric. I decided to try it the way Vans instructs in the manual and it turned out great. I used a number 30 countersink and with the pre-riveted nut plates, the countersink remained centered and concentric. All shavings were easily vacuumed out. Eventually I will prime the entire strip where the counter syncing took place but as you can probably see in the pictures that I did take a cotton swab dipped in primer and primed under the countersunk rivets holding the nutplates on.

I also countersunk and installed the nut plates for the cover plates for the access areas under the wing. These were countersunk a bit smaller to .312 inches for the #6 screws, and as well I double checked with dimpled aluminum to make sure of accuracy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Shop Prep / Starting the Spars

Today was a huge day of progress. I was able to get the shop 100% into Shape for the wings. and even got started on countersinking the spars to prep for the nut plates that hold on the tank.

First a few things around the shop. The wing jig is complete and I used wood from the crates to help strengthen and as well provide locations for storage of items up high. I didn't want to drill into the concrete so I used some RTV (all I had was high temp, but oh well) to seal the bottom of the posts to the concrete.. It dried pretty stout and I dont think I will have a problem cleaning it up when done.

Also, I used plywood to create a pocket for the skins on the garage wall. Works for now anyway. I was able to use almost all of the crate material around the shop, saving a bit of cash, but more importantly reducing having to get rid of the stuff.. At least for now.

Found some time in the middle of everything to prime all the plate nuts as well as the aileron counter weights. Used Rattle can, and was really no problem, but tons of plate nuts.

The big event for the day was actually starting the spar prep. I had to predrill, then machine countersink for the nut plate attach rivets. Using Electrician's tape keeps the shavings out of the spar and won't leave residue on the anodized surface like most other tape. I haven't countersinked for the #8 screws yet but will save that for tomorrow.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wing Inventory Day

Long weekend so we are hoping to get a lot done. Today we were able to inventory the entire wing kit and try to find a location for everything. There were tons of rivets, tons of ribs and a lot of Misc hardware. Did I say how pretty those spars are ?

Also started the wing jig and am going to build both at once so decided to use two separate supports so I can walk between the wings. Tomorrow I will build out quite a bit more on the jig and leverage the supports to hold some items up high getting them out of my way.

I used some of the crating material to make a shelf in the garage that will only hold light weight items, but perfect for the wing tips.. Also, some of the aileron/flap skins..

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Reserved 704CH

Bekah and I have settled on our N number and I reserved it with the FAA. This step gives more reality to the airplane and kind of gives it a name in a way...

"Experimental 704 Charlie Hotel" OR "RV 704 Charlie Hotel" Sounds even better don't you think?


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rudder/VS Tips Primed

After about 3-4 applications of microlight filler and sanding I decided to go ahead and prime the tip of the Rudder/VS. I think it turned out good enough for now, although there may have to be additional work at the time of final paint. Maybe even some additional work as I am wrapping up the project, but for now I am done and ready to reorganize the garage for the wings. This weekend will be the inventory and hopefully enough time to get started on the countersinking of the spars..

The pics show the final sanding job, and then the finished priming. I put two coats of primer on and hope I didn't get it too thick. The line between the primer and the aluminum is noticeable, hopefully it can be sanded down before final prime and paint.

Places we have been in our RV-7 ! (Blue 2013, Yellow 2014, Green 2015, Purple 2016, Red 2017)