Thursday, June 30, 2016

Section: 28
Hours: 4

The battery box has all flush rivets on the inside of the box. It is impossible to use the countersink cage inside the box so I had to use some tricks to fabricate these countersinks. I pulled out my tight fit drill kit which has a couple of bit extension bars and a right angle drive.

Here is the long extension shaft coupled with the counter sink bit in action. I carefully countersank the first hole and then set the drill stop to the depth required for that hole. I was then able to safely countersink most of the rest of the holes.

The holes at the bottom of the battery box are under a bent over lip above so cannot be reached using the extension shaft. I was able to use the right angle drive and took a preliminary cut at the countersinks in that area.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fit the head exactly 90 degrees to the surface so the initial cuts were slightly skewed as seen here. I didn't drill full depth so I could finish up the holes by hand.

I took the short shaft extension, wrapped some tape around it for a better grip and then hand finished the countersink holes. Luckily there are not too many holes, but it is time consuming to finish holes this way. You just have to be patient.

Woody inspected the battery box and was amazed that the countersinks could be done so well. He then helped me remove the plastic protective wrap from the bottom skins and we called it a day as the temps had gone over 100 degrees in the garage by then.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Section: 28
Hours: 4

I finished prepping parts for this section- all but the battery box. I'll save that for tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Section: 28
Hours: 5

After a long weekend of visiting with family I'm back at it. Started prepping parts for chapter 28. More edge filing, dimpling, countersinking, etc. We are in the middle of a heat wave, it was 102 degrees in the garage by the time I finished!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Section: 27
Hours: 4

I thought about how to get to the rivets next to the tunnel walls last night and here's my solution. The long flush rivet set to the rescue!

The area where the center panel ties into the other panels was the hardest to rivet. It was hard to get the back rivet plate / bucking bar into the corners to make sure the rivets stayed flush.

Here's the nicely curved tunnel face at the firewall.

All the rivets are flush on the front side of the firewall.

Here's what all those rivets are for- lots of structural angles on the back of the firewall. That's it for section 27!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Section: 27
Hours: 7

The construction manual has you tape off a set of holes that are not dimpled or counter sunk. The initial builders found errors in the holes that were called out and it took 2 revisions to the plans before the factory engineers got it right. I though I was staying on top of the changes, but I ended up countersinking too many of the holes in the F-1401D cross stiffener. I considered ordering a replacement but then I read more about what the first builders did. It turns out you can order conical washers to insert in the countersink. I didn't want to wait around for an order to arrive, plus the minimum order is for hundreds and I only need 4. So I made my own washers by carefully drilling out and filing down some counter sink rivets.

Here I've put the washers in the holes with a very small dab of ProSeal to hold them in place until I assemble the stiffener.

The instructions have you ProSeal the edges of the upper panel and center piece where they overlap the lower panels. You don't want carbon monoxide or hot gasses leaking through the firewall into the cabin and the ProSeal insures the integrity of these joints.

I back riveted all the rivets today. It took a lot of time and patience to line up the bucking plate/bar to work around all the edges of the overlapping pieces and the diagonal fluting. Complicating all this was the ProSeal oozing out and getting on everything.

I got most of the heavy riveting done today, but I still have to figure out how to get to the rivets around the nose gear brackets. The holes in the corners are for the bolts that secure the engine mount to the firewall. Lots of reinforcement layers and rivets to carry the engine loads.

Section: 27
Hours: 5

I back riveted the firewall angles to the firewall panels. Lots of AN426AD4 flush rivets. I'm finding it rather cumbersome moving the back riveting plate around to avoid dinging the flute that runs diagonally across the stainless sheets.

Here's the left and right firewall panels with the bracing riveted on. Tomorrow I'll begin riveting the top panel and angles.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Section: 27
Hours: 6

I riveted the nut plates, firewall angles, cover angle brackets and nose gear brackets to the tunnel sides. My plane doesn't have nose gear, but apparently the brackets are needed anyway.

Next I dimpled the left and right fire wall stainless panels and started riveting the angle braces on. I'm back riveting these using the rv-14 "special" bucking bar. It's long and narrow enough to fit around the structural dimpling in the stainless steel.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Section: 27
Hours: 6

I finished counter sinking and prepping the parts for the firewall assembly and then I washed and acid etched everything before lunch. By the time I started painting this afternoon it was well into the 90's. After priming the first couple parts the paint flow reduced. I stopped and cleaned the gun- when it is hot the epoxy flashes pretty quick and the nozzle sometimes gets plugged. When I went to start back up the flow was still low and then I noticed that the air compressor was not turned on. Duh~~~~

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Section: 26
Hours: 2

Deb helped me rivet the baggage ribs to the bottom skin. I set the assembly on the floor so we could easily reach the rivets.

Looks like all the flush rivets came out flush.  Good job Deb!

Here's my side of the job.

Seat and baggage ribs are now attached to the bottom fuselage skin!

Section: 27
Hours:  6

I spent the rest of the day prepping parts for the firewall. The firewall has flush rivets throughout (except were marked on the plans) to make it easier to keep the engine side clean. All the reinforcing bars have to be counter sunk to accommodate the dimples in the stainless steel firewall bulkhead pieces. I did all the counter sinking on the drill press. I slowed the drill press down to the slowest setting and the counter sink cut nice and cleanly.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Section: 26
Hours: 3

This morning I finished up riveting the baggage ribs to the bulkhead. I used the long bent stick in the rivet gun to reach these rivets.

The routing angles get in the way for riveting the center ribs. It took some real finessing to set the rivets in the inboard ribs.

I set the assembly on end on blocks on the floor and clecoed the baggage ribs. Tomorrow I hope to get some help riveting them to the skin.

Section: 27
Hours: 3

This afternoon I pulled the parts for the firewall assembly and started work filing, deburring, counter sinking, etc.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Section: 26
Hours: 7.5

This morning Deb helped me rivet the fuselage bottom skin to the seat ribs. Easy work with two people but as Deb said "boring". Lots of rivets.

This afternoon I was presented with a bunch of difficult rivets. Here I'm using my thin titanium bar backed by a heavier bar to set some rivets in the side frame assembly.

The aft gear brace assembly gets pop riveted to the seat rib. It was really difficult to get the pop rivet gun on the bottom rivet. After trying out many positions on both sides of the rib, I was finally able to get a grip on the rivet by sliding the tool through the lightening hole of the outboard rib.

The power outlet bracket has rivets in the 4 corners that I was able to set using the squeezer. I had to use my inspection mirror to inspect the shop heads because they are hidden under the side flanges.

I riveted in the baggage area step assemblies and then clecoed in the middle baggage ribs with the seat belt lugs to finish off the day.

A nice detail is the seat belt lug brackets slide through holes in the bulkhead frame. I love the way all these parts fit together. Van's does an amazing job of engineering and manufacturing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Section: 26
Hours: 5

I back riveted the gear brace assembly to the bottom skin and then mated the skin to the seat rib assembly. I was going to back rivet the skin to the seat ribs, but I discovered that wasn't really practical because of the slight curvature on the bottom of the ribs. I clecoed the assembly together and I'll get someone to help me rivet tomorrow.

I finished up today assembling the doublers and nut plates to the step attach ribs. The RV14 tail dragger version doesn't have a step, but you need these ribs to support the floor.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Section: 26
Hours: 5

I got back to riveting today. Nice change from P&P (prep and paint). Here's the seat belt attachment lugs. These few rivets are what will keep me in my seat in turbulence and acro flight (or other sudden delta v situations)!

The idler brackets require a 45 degree bend after you rivet in the nut plates. I used my duck bill pliers for this job. I drew a pencil line 1/4" in from the edge to guide placement of the pliers and made multiple passes to gradually bend the flange to the final set.

The bearing for the idler bracket needs to be trimmed so it doesn't protrude. I built a simple holder out of some scrap MDF board. First I layed out a center.

Then I drilled a hole with a 3/4" wood spade bit. I inserted the bearing, traced around it with a pencil and then layed out the trim line.

I pinned the bearing to the holder using a cleco and then ran the assembly through my bandsaw. The drawing in the manual shows the trim line running just below the top hole, my line ended up a little short of trimming off the top hole, so I adjusted the fence in a little and made a second pass to clean up the edge just even with the top hole.

Here's the assembled idler bracket.

I used the rivet gun to set the rivets for attaching the idler bracket to the bulkhead.

I back riveted doublers and some stiffeners to the fuselage bottom skin. The plans called out for some
AN460AD4-4.5 length rivets but none that length were included in the kit, so I used some 5 length rivets. It was a little difficult getting them to shoot without leaning over, but after a couple retries I adjusted the air pressure and got ok results.

The last project for the day was assembling the gear brace assembly and seat rib angles. The angles are supposed to be 90 degrees to the brace. You partially set the upper rivet, adjust the angle and then clamp and shoot the other rivets. I initially used a cleco for clamping, but the angle moved when I squeezed the rivet. I drilled out the rivet, reset the alignment and then clamped using a cleco clamp and was then able to squeeze the rivets without the angle moving.