Saturday, December 22, 2018

Started Tail Cone #2

 Short session today.  Got a 3/8-16 tap and expanded my tap handle collection.  Lowe's seems to be changing tons of stuff to Craftsman and had pulled these from the shelf and marked them down almost 50%. SCORE!
 I tapped the tie down AEX wedge hole for the tie down ring.

I also replaced my band saw blade today and cut this aluminum angle to length.  Cuts like cutting thru air again!

That is all for today and likely till after Christmas.  Merry Christmas to everyone!  Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Started Tail Cone!

 Started the tail cone by marking this AEX tie down stock for trimming.  I need to get a tap from Lowes before I can tap it.  All marked up.

 Used the bandsaw to cut it.  Unfortunately I ruined my metal cutting blade the other day by attempting to cut a small piece of old pressure treated wood.  Big mistake! I totally wrecked this blade.  Got to get a new one.  I managed to hack my way thru this stock.

 All cut and ready to drill in place.

 Marked for drilling.

 Clamped the tie down stock to the other side of this assembly and centered the lines I just drew in the holes.
 Then drilled the #30 holes.

 And then drilled the 3/16 holes.

Marked up this angle but I am going to stop here tonight since I need a new blade for the saw!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Elevator finishing!

 So tonight I was on call for work and could not go to church so I took the time to finish the elevators.  Started by bending and trimming the trim tab hinge pins.  I also drilled the little hole for the safety wire.  The bends turned out nice but I missed the dimensions a little bit.  Oh well this will soon be long forgotten!

 Then I realized I never finished the trim tab cable exit hole closeout covers/cable mount.  So I deburred the covers.

 Then I measured and marked the covers for drilling the cable mounts.  I saw many reports of failures of the mounts supplied by Vans.  While some say that Van's improved the welding on these, I decided to go with the aftermarket ones.  They are made from a solid chunk of aluminum and look much nicer ever though nobody will ever see them.

So then I match drilled the cable mounts to the closeout cover.

 All drilled.

 Then because I plan to use screws to attach them, I upsized the holes to #28 for #6 screws.  I have an assortment of weird cleco's and the green ones work great for #28 holes.

 Next I dimpled all the holes for #6 screws.  This deforms the covers a little bit so I had to work them back to flat by hand.

 Next I countersunk the cable mounts to receive the dimples in the covers.  I ended up breaking the pilot off of my new #28 one hole cutter.  Bummer!  Seven holes and broke.  That is an expensive bit!

 Then I primed the parts.  I did not want these mounts to go unprimed since they are raw aluminum and will be hidden.  I also attached them to the plates using #6 screws.  I read that this is suppose to make my life much easier in the future for installing/maintaining the elevators and trim tabs/cables.

 Then I attached the cover assemblies to the elevators with the called out screws. 

 Next I decided to go ahead and fit the counterweights.

 Vans has you cut the raised portion off of two of the weights.  I used the coarse wood cutting blade that came with my band saw to do this.  It worked great!  Just had to go slow.

 Here are the results from the saw.  Much better than shaving lead with a vixen file!

 Then the directions have you trim the ends of the weights.  The dimensions of the cuts end up tapering and making the weights/hole symmetrical.  Not sure why Van's makes the builder do this because it waste a ton of lead.  Why not just cast them with the correct dimensions?  I imagine they are used on multiple models and there is a reason.....

 Used the band saw to cut them.  Easy peasy and here they are.

 I then mounted them per the directions.  Side one.

 And side two.
 And here they are.  All done with the exception of the fairings.  These things were the most time consuming so far.  Some real brain teasers and tight spaces to work in.  New to me construction techniques and the fact that it has two trim tabs made these much more challenging than the RV-7 elevators.  Glad to finally get them done and move on to the anticipated TAIL CONE!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Elevator Trim Tab Hinges

 Got started tonight working on the elevator trim tab hinges.  I cut two of them to
35" per the directions.

 Then I center punched the starter hole per the dimensions.  Drilled the hole to #40.

 Then I placed the hinge on the elevator and clamped it in place using side grip cleco's.

 Then drilled it to the elevator.

 Did the same for the trim tab.

 Then I marked the hinge for the cut line.  I removed the pin because you don't want to cut it yet.

 I cut the hinge to the line.  Then deburred everything and riveted the hinge to the trim tab.

 I was able to use this yoke that had been previously modified back when I built the RV-7 to rivet the hinges.  I found a set that was just thick enough to clear the eye of the hinge.  Worked fine.  It is a tight squeeze between the yoke and the bottom trim tab skin where it is bent up at 15°.  Some people claim that rivets are hard to set when backed up by the soft hinge material...  This is true if you try and fully set them like you would a regular situation.  The hinge material is just too soft for that.  For hinges, I set them slightly undersized so that none of that bad stuff happens.

 Used the same process to rivet the other side of the hinge to the elevator.  Easy peasy!

All done with this one.  I rinsed and repeated to finish the other side as well.

One more work session and I will be able to call these elevators done!  All I need to do is bolt in the counterweights and bend the trim tab hinge pin so that it can be safety wired to the spar.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Elevator Trim Tab Assembly

 Started tonight by riveting the elevator trim tab control horns to the trim tabs.  I riveted the aft five holes before riveting the spar to make it easier to get to them.  I used the longeron yoke for all of these.  Just have to be careful on alignment.

 Here they are before I riveted the spar.

 And the other side....
 Next I riveted the spar.  Due to the geometry of the yoke and sets, I had to slide the yoke on from the end.  One trim tab was easier than the other due to the right and left hand nature of it all and because I am right handed.

 Here is one all riveted.  Rinse and repeat for the other side.

 This thing is worth its weight in gold for jobs like this.  I taped up the yoke to help minimize the carnage to the primer.

 Next it was time to mix some black death to glue in the ribs.  Yes!  That is too much proseal!  I ended up wasting a ton of it!
 Buttered up the foam ribs and inserted them in their new homes.  Not too big of a mess as long as you keep using two pairs of gloves and change the top layer often.

 All done and cleco'ed together to cure for a bit.

Final step tonight was to install the pop rivets on each end of the trim tabs.  Easy peasy!

So for these trim tabs I got lazy and cheated and used rattle can primer.  The same Duplicolor Self Etching stuff that I used a bunch of on the RV-7.  Well it appears that they have changed the formula a bit because this stuff today dries to a powdery green finish instead of an OD green.  No big deal but different.  Also I had forgotten how easy it is to scratch this stuff.  The AKZO is far superior as far as toughness goes.  I likely won't be doing that again unless it is just a small simple part that won't get much abuse.  The trim tabs get a beating while in final assembly so I made a bad choice.