Horizontal Stabilizer Completed!   April 29th, 2006

I got my pneumatic squeezer back from The Yard today. It’s even better than before!
I would definitely recommend their rebuilt squeezers as an alternative to dropping half a grand on a new one.

Anyway, with the squeezer back, I quickly squeezed all the rivets around the periphery of the stabilizer. Finally I peeled off the blue plastic. What a beautiful sight!

Soon thereafter, I realized I needed to store this sucker somewhere out of the way. Fabiola suggested the best thing to do would be to hang it on the wall of the garage. I used two bike hooks and some cargo tie downs. I also used a piece of foam I had laying around to keep the stabilizer from hitting the wall:

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More Horizontal Stabilizer   April 24th, 2006

Not much happened today. Just clecoed the rear spar so the whole assembly can be handled a bit more easily.

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Yet more riveting..   April 19th, 2006

I riveted some more of the skins today. At this point I’ve put in all the rivets that require a gun and bucking bar. I am now waiting for the guys at The Yard to get my pneumatic squeezer back to me so I can finish off this part.

Tomorrow I’ll spray some primer over the parts I scuffed up with the bucking bar and then I’ll cleco the rear spar in place.

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I finished squeezing the last few rivets in the spar using Bruce’s squeezer, and then got to work on assembling the HS for riveting. I made some simple wood cradles out of plywood and duct tape so I could stand the pieces up on the workbench.

Fabiola helped me shoot the rivets along the center rib, but said she was too sweaty for pictures, so no pictures of the riveters this time.

Now I need to get a small enough bucking bar to fit the front spar channel, so we can do those rivets.

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As I said on the previous entry, I figured out it would be a good idea to let the primer dry before messing with the parts again.

So, after a couple of days, I was ready to start setting rivets. I riveted the two reinforcement bars, and about half of the end brackets. At this point I noticed the pneumatic squeezer was delivering very little force, and figured something was up…

Sure enough, my squeezer is broken! It will only squeeze with full force about once out of three times I press the trigger. I figure this thing should be under some kind of warranty, so I’m going to email The Yard and see what they say.
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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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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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