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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pushrods and Bell Crank

I was able to finish the pushrods with primer and final pop rivets.   Also, I pre-assembled the Bell Crank.   I had to ream out the brass bushing per the directions so that the bolt would slide through.  Some guys jig the bushing and use a drill press, I just used a hand drill and squeezed the busing in a vise with cardboard around it so not to scuff it.  Worked OK for me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Aileron Pushrods

While I have an aileron in the fixture ready to rivet the top skin, and the left wing ready to finish riveting I found myself at a stopping point.  My riveting partner has been super busy at work the last few days and hasn't had the time to jump in.  Not to worry though because there are lots of other things to work on like the push rods.   Hopefully this weekend we can put an hour or so into riveting the wing top skin..

Until then, I am very happy how my pushrods are going.  I cleaned and primed the inside last night, let them dry for 24 hours, then moved to the tough part..   I think lots of builders have troubles with the powder coated steel ones, but mine went together just fine.  I was able to use the squeezer with regular yoke and slim sets to squeeze the size 11 rivets.  I have seen sites where builders mess up the coating or mess up the rivet and have to start over.  Luckily mine turned out pretty well.  I also rigged up a quick make shift tube centering jig for my drill press.  I had some extra angle laying around and just drilled it into a 2x4...  From the results it worked pretty good.

I also went to work on the long tube pushrods at least getting them started.  These guys don't use long rivets, but rather pop rivets and have six of them on each end.  I used the jig, drilled 3 holes all the way through the tube, creating the six holes necessary.  A little template on graph paper gave me the starting points.  Not perfect, but definitely good enough to fool most anyone.  ;-)  (just jokes..  It turned out really good..)  I haven't primed these inside or out so will focus on that tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Ok, just like the wings, I got going a bit further on one aileron than the other and just kept going.  I will catch up quickly, but now I have one that is almost ready for final riveting.  I will get more pics of the interim steps on the next aileron, but the below pics show the jig I am using to rivet the top skin onto the spar.  On the ailerons, you are supposed to rivet the top skin in the best way possible, then turn it upside down on a flat table with weights on it so that when the bottom skin pop-rivets go in, the aileron is straight.

Check out the wing ribs reflecting in the skin on the second picture.   I need to figure out that flash a bit more on the camera.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ailerons continued

Today I was able to start working on the Aileron Spar.  Fabricating the doubler plates and drilling them out.  In the pics, note the sun shining in the shop.  Living in Seattle is crazy, this is the first time in about 4 months that the sun has actually shown through the open garage door and into the shop.  Crazy place in the winter..

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back Riveting the Ailerons

Now I am really moving on the Ailerons.  Tonight I back riveted all the skin stiffeners in place on the primed skins.  You can see I used grey primer on the stiffeners and white primer on the skin.  Looks kind of cool.

Last night I got the right top wing skin all in place and ready to rivet with the post-its and clecos..  Just like the left one last week.  Hopefully this weekend I can get going on that one with Rebekah.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Priming Skins and attaching Aileron Attach brackets

I had a big day of priming yesterday.  I got both flap skins primed as well as both left wing top skins.  I also was able to prep and prime the flap braces.   No pics, but you will see them all soon enough.

I also started riveting on the Aileron Attach Brackets to the right wing and noticed something.   When fitting the flap brace after the top skin is on, you end up having to shoot the rivets when they could have easily been squeezed if the skins weren't on.  So on the left wing I:

Mounted the Flap Brace prior to riveting the top skin.

This allows for squeezing and doesn't interfere with anything since it is logically the next step after riveting the skin anyway.   Note that I am not going to mount the attach brackets or aileron gap faring until after the skin is riveted.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Aileron skin prep/ Attach Brackets

Today I made lots of progress but not much to show for it.  All 32 Aileron skin stiffeners are all drilled, deburred and dimpled for both ailerons.  Also the skins are drilled deburred and dimpled and prepped for priming. 

I also got the left wing top main skins ready for priming as well.  Next time the weather is nice I have tons of priming to do.  Hopefully this week things look good in seattle.

Since I was done with skins until priming, I figured I would start attaching the aileron brackets to the right wing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Top Skin Finished - Right Wing

Look, No Clecos !  These pictures didn't turn out too well due to the flash, but the finish is great and the rivets sit very flush and look good.  I really can't get a good pic, so you will just have to trust me on this one.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lots of things today, including Starting the Ailerons..

First off the right tank passed pressure testing with flying colors.  Here are some photos of the set up.  For those using the upgrade fuel caps, a balloon with the lip cut off over the cap is the only way to go.  Fully seals the cap for testing.

Here is my pressure testing set up..  I just tested this one on the wing, worked well.

Also, I was able to get a jump start on the Aileron Stiffeners tonight, all 32 of them..  wow, lots of deburring, but stuff I have seen before and in the scheme of things, really simple at this point.  I should be able to finish these by tomorrow or so.  All stiffeners cut, 5 deburred, only 27 to go. 

Last but not least, Bekah was able to donate about 1/2 hour to riveting the top skin on the right wing.  No pics yet as it is still a work in progress, but it is going well.  ;-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Right Wing skin ready to Rivet !

The right top skin is in place and fully ready to rivet.  Bekah and I will be taking our time this week to rivet a bit each evening.   We are going to use the standard shoot and buck method.  Using the Avery Swivel flush set and a tungsten bucking bar to make those top skin rivets as smooth as possible.   I am using post-its to hold each rivet in place; this way I get all rivets into the holes flush before even starting to rivet.  I did this on the empennage and it worked very well.  Lots of post-its though, but I am able to reuse them so it makes it worth it for me.  Right now I have a cleco in every other hole and a rivet in every other hole.  We are ready to go.

The Right tank is being pressure tested now..  Hopefully it passes, or else it might impact our riveting this week..

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Aileron Attach Brackets / Priming Main Wing Skin

Today was definitely warm in Seattle for early Feb.  Was over 60 degrees by 3:00pm..  So perfect day for priming.  I got the right top wing skins prepped and primed, as well primed and assembled the Aileron attach brackets.  In the pic, I show them on all sides..   Hopefully I got the countersinks correct..  ;-)

Here are the skins drying for tomorrow.  Basically tomorrow they get clecoed on tightly and then the riveting starts and they never come off again.  ;-)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mounting Left Tank and working on Aileron Attach Brackets

While waiting for the weekend to prime the main skins I am preping up the aileron attach brackets and was able to mount the left tank permanently.  Like other builders I had some pillowing of the metal near the nose of the tank/leading edge joint between the screws.   Adding additional screws/nutplates resolved this issue and still looks good.  Overall I am pretty happy with the fit of the tank.  I have been really stressing about this over the last few months.

I am definitely excited to see these going on hopefully permanently.

Here is the underside of the tank

Here is the current state of the Aileron Attach brackets.   They will get primed and put together this weekend.  I was careful to mark them and countersink the right spots for the appropriate rivets.  The directions don't tell you about this but the plans clearly show the countersink.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Right Wing Leading Edge

While waiting for the Right Tank to dry, I am moving forward quickly on the right leading edge.   This wing is getting to the same build point as the lefr wing pretty quickly.  In fact, it is practically there.   Things will move fast now, riveting on the top skins is next, then onto the Ailerons and Flaps..

Notice there are no clecos on the outside of the leading edge either.   Looking good. 

Here is the inner most ribs in the right leading edge, turned out pretty good as well.

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