Saturday, November 26, 2016

Section: 38
Hours: 4

I started assembling the canopy frame. First I riveted together the canopy hinge assemblies. Then I riveted the hinge assemblies to the forward frame. I couldn't get the squeezer to fit so I resorted to using the rivet gun. The straight stick was too short so I had to use the longer bent stick to reach around the hinge.

Here's the completed rivets for the hinge to frame connection.

Then I used pull rivets to attach the forward and rear intercostal parts to the middle frame. Glad they called out pull rivets- too tight to fit either the squeezer or rivet gun in here.

Next I riveted the middle frame to the rear of the hinge assembly that was already attached to the forward frame. I could use the straight stick on these which made it a little easier.

Here's the hinge assembly riveted to the forward and middle frame.

I was then able to use the squeezer to attach the outer rivets to attach the rail base to the forward and middle frames.

Here is the forward part of the canopy frame all clecoed together. I used my pneumatic cleco gun extensively for this exercise. I was really happy to have it today- otherwise it would be carpal tunnel pain tonight - big time!

The plans have you use a digital level to match the angle of the left and right side of the rail base to make sure there isn't any twist. I spent 30-40 minutes twisting and adjusting the assembly to get it equalled out. It isn't a very stable assembly, even with all the clecoes and the cross brace angles.

I finally figured out that I could get the bases to match perfectly with no measurable angle difference just by laying it on a couple spacer boards on my perfectly flat EAA 1000 work table top. As far as I'm concerned, it's a total waste of time trying to adjust out twist using the method recommended in the user manual. The assembly just isn't that stable when it is upside down.

I match drilled the sides and added some more clecos while the assembly sat on the table and then carefully turned it back upside down to complete the remaining hole matching drill operations. When I turned it upside down the bases still measured out with no measurable twist.

The manual has you countersink the bottoms of the aft canopy rails but then shoot button head rivets with the shop side going into the counter sinks. This is a pretty clever trick! I was able to use the squeezer to get the shop heads perfectly flush.

Here's the manufactured head side. You end up with nice button heads on the inside and flush heads on the other.

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