Sunday, December 30, 2018


Been sick and not able to work on the plane. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Tail Cone Bulkhead and Stringer Work

 So my wife bought me this time saving tool for my birthday.  Definitely a luxury tool!  I tried it out on a few holes and it seems to work as advertised.   May have to get a #30 sized one as well.  Basically this lets you deburr both sides of a hole with one quick motion.  Works also for blind holes and holes where you can't get normal deburr tools to the backside of a hole like close rib flanges and stuff.

 Started today by fabricating this stiffener that goes on top of one of the bulkheads.  The ends are to be cut at an angle.

 The bandsaw made this easy.  Just used a piece of wood to hold the aluminum angle up as required for the cut.

 Next was separating these doublers.  I think these were added to the kits as a SB at some point because this bulkhead was cracking.

 Used the bandsaw to separate them, then deburred them.

 Now I marked center and the 1/8" line on the aluminum angle I cut above.

 And clamped it to the top of the bulkhead after clecoing the doublers on.  I used the center line and the 1/8" offset line to center and properly position the angle.

 Then I match drilled the angle to the bulkhead.

 Next I cleco'ed this bulkhead together.

 And match reamed the common holes.

 The next bulkhead got the same.

 And match reaming.

 And punching up these holes to 5/8" with the unibit.

 Then the largest bulkhead.

 Only the top cross part gets match reamed at this point.  The bottom ones don't get done at this point.

 Finally I cut all the J stringer's to length.

And cut the ends at the 45° angle per the directions.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Tail Cone Aft BulkHeads

 Started by laying out this angle that holds the clamps that hold the rudder cable exit tubes I think.  It also serves as a stiffener for this bulkhead.

 Ordered this new automatic center punch that is actually supposed to work.  Most of the really cheap ones don't!

 Got a slightly early Christmas present.  These things are a luxury item I know!  I now have a regular and one armed nutplate version for #6 and #8 screws.  I realized after I got them that you can actually use the one armed nutplate version for both one armed and two armed nutplates.  Bummer!  I imagine though that it is best to have the regular two armed version for tight clearance areas because the single armed version is wider.  I need to order two more for #10 and 1/4" bolts.  I will likely just get the single arm version of those.
Another Christmas gift had these plastic storage boxes inside of it.  It was a tackle box cooler thing that we plan on using only as a cooler.  SCORE!

I used it to start organizing some more of my hardware properly.  This one got nutplates.

 So since I don't have the #10 version, I had to do it the old fashioned way and use the nutplate itself for the jig.  Just stick a bolt in partially and side grip cleco one side.

 Then drill the other and put a cleco in the hole.  Then drill the others side.

 So then I slightly countersink the mounting holes for the NAS1097 oops rivets I use to mount nutplates.

 Next I marked this short bulkhead stiffener.  It gets cut from one of the six foot J stiffeners.

 Cut it on the bandsaw.

 Then Deburred.

 Whack a Mole to straighten these bars that mount the HS to the tailcone.

 Checking them for straightness.

 Then cleanup the edges on the 3M wheel.  They are rough out of the gate with huge shear marks.

 Cleco'ed to the bulkhead.

 Match reamed to #30.

 Next this stiffener gets drilled to the assembly.  I put a line on the stiffener to align in the holes on the other side.

 Centered the part on the bulkhead and centered the lines in the holes and then match drilled the stiffener to the bulkhead.

 Punched this hole up to 5/8" using a Uni-bit.  One on each side.  The rudder cables pass thru this hole.

Next I marked the angle the same way and drilled it the same as well.

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!