Today I started drilling the vertical stabilizer rear spar. Same process as before; cleco the reinforcement plate and the spar together, and match drill. In addition, there are three brackets that will attach to the rudder. These are also match drilled in place.

The bracket closest to the bottom is missing some of its holes. The idea is that these are match-drilled using the spar and reinforcement bar as guides. I noticed that the bracket wasn’t sitting flush against the reinforcement bar when clecoed in with the pre-drilled holes. So, I used my handy C-clamp to make sure the bracket sat flush when match drilling. Results were pretty good…

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I got sick of waiting for a free Saturday with good weather to prime the horizontal stabilizer pieces. I decided to go ahead and start working on the vertical stabilizer, and then go back to the HS when the weather/schedule cooperate.

So, here’s a couple of pictures of deburring the rear spar and reinforcement piece. I used the scotch-brite wheel and a little bit of emery cloth..

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I asked Fabiola to help me out with some of the harder holes to dimple. I held the skin in place and she whacked the c-frame with the hammer. Much easier than trying to do it all myself!!

I didn’t want to pull apart the skin too far, so I used the pop-rivet dimple dies for the last couple of holes closest to the leading edge.

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More forward progress…   March 17th, 2006

I’ve spent the last few days finishing up the left horizontal stabilizer. I got the pop-rivet dimple dies from ATS, so I’ll be able to dimple everything.

I figure I have another two days of work and I’ll be ready to prime all the horizontal stabilizer parts.

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Making Forward progress..   March 14th, 2006

I’ve spent the past couple of days working on the left Horizontal Stabilizer. Since it is pretty much a repeat of the right one, I haven’t been taking pictures.

I am still waiting for the pop-rivet dimpler tool so I can dimple all of the holes in the skins….

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Deburring and Dimpling Right HS   March 9th, 2006

Now that all of the holes are drilled out, everything has to be taken apart and cleaned up. All of the holes need to be deburred. That’s a LOT of holes. Here’s a picture of me deburring the skin..

After everything (skin, ribs, etc) is deburred, the holes where the skin will attach to the rib need to be dimpled. I used the pneumatic squeezer for all of the holes that I could reach. I will have to do some of the holes in the skin with the C-frame later.

There are two holes in one of the ribs where the squeezer wouldn’t fit. I ended up using the hand dimpler from Avery Tools. Nice little tool…

I was initially concerned about the last hole in the main rib. When match drilling using the skin as a guide, it looked like this hole would end up being too close to the edge (the center of the hole needs to be at least 1.5 times the diameter away from the edge) I emailed the factory, and they said to drill it anyway. There is really no way to get it farther from the edge while still being centered on the front spar.

After taking everything apart I was pleasantly surprised that the hole center is EXACTLY 1.5 times the hole diameter away from the edge. So, we’re cutting it close, but not blatantly violating the edge distance.

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The last holes to drill in the main rib are those attaching it to the front spar. This requires a drill with a very small chuck. I looked at buying a 90 degree extension, but even those aren’t small enough for a hole which is perfectly perpendicular to the front spar. The closest I could get was by using an attachment on my dremel rotary tool:

This actually worked pretty good. The holes are ‘almost’ perpendicular, and getting straight rivets in them should not be a problem. I first drilled with a #40 drill, and then drilled to #30 from the other side with a long drill bit on my pneumatic drill.

I also drilled the holes from the front main rib into the spar with the long bit. After these are drilled and clecoed, I went ahead and match-drill all of the holes in the skin.

The next step is to take everything apart and dimple the skin and ribs…

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Drilling the main rib   March 5th, 2006

Once the skin is clecoed on, the main rib is fitted, and drilled. Not necessarily difficult, but it took me a while to make sure everything was aligned just right..

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Fitting the Skin   March 3rd, 2006

Today I spent about two hours fitting the skin into the skeleton. It took a lot of pushing and pulling, but in the end everything fit very nicely. The goal here is to get everything aligned with the pre-punched holes, and then using the skin as a guide, drill out the holes in the inboard ribs (the ones you can see in the picture below). These ribs have no holes, so you have to fit them and then drill through the skin holes into the rib.

I found that the point where the main rib flange meets the front spar flange is a bit short. So, if I drill through the skin, the hole will probably be too close to the edge on the main rib flange. This seems to be OK according to other builders’ websites, but I’m going to go ahead and email the factory anyway. Meanwhile, this thing looks like a flying surface!

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I’m Caught Up!!   March 2nd, 2006

As you’ve probably noticed, the entries in this blog do not necessarily correspond to the dates where the work described was actually performed.

As of today, I am current!

From now on, I will try to make entries as the work is performed.

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