This morning I finished off the right aileron. It didn’t take long but I was just too tired to do it yesterday. Nothing too complicated, I clamped it and riveted it the same as the left. Then I put it on the right wing.
After a thoroughly crappy day at work it felt great to be in my quiet place! It’s great to have somewhere to go to vent out a bad day. I carried on assembling the ailerons and the instructions say to rivet the aft skin on to the nose skin. It was obvious this was going to be tricky to hold and rivet with a gun and bucking bar at the same time. I found on others build logs a great idea. I cut two 6″ lengths of 2×4 and screwed them to my workbench. Next I screwed the aileron to these blocks.
This made it much easier to rivet the top of the skins to the spar. About half way through the first aileron my dad appeared at the door and helped me for the rest of the afternoon.
Together we carried on working through the instructions which say to find a flat surface and weight the aileron down. I had a quick sort out and found a straight/level work surface and clamped the aileron down. Then started blind riveting using my cordless drill rivet puller tool. We started in the middle and worked outwards alternating left and right side of centre. The logic here is not to build any twist into the aileron.
Once the left aileron was done we couldn’t resist mounting it on the wing with a couple of bolts. It’s not rigged properly but it does look great.
That’s all for today, I was getting tired so I will finish off the right aileron another day.
Pancake day today so those had to get made before any plane building occurred.
After that I spent some more time in the workshop. I decided to start assembling the ailerons. As per the instructions, I started with the leading edge ribs to counterbalance weight. Next I riveted on the spar doubler plates and nutplates. Then I rivetied the nose ribs to the spar.
That’s enough for tonight as it’s getting late.
I’m getting everything on the right wing ready to rivet on the bottom skins. First I torqued all the tank attach bolts to 25″/lb. Once torqued I marked it up with witness mark so I know if they move.
Next I applied JC5A jointing compound to all mating surfaces.
Then I mounted the inboard skin with a couple of clecos ready for me to rivet on another day. After that I applied some more primer to the inside of the aileron counterbalance weight. That’s it for today.
I spent the morning at Flight of the Navigators place helping him drill his horizontal stabilizer to the fuselage and rivet the ILS doubler plate, but mostly it was spent chatting RV! After lunch I did a bit of everything. First I mixed up some fuel tank sealant to fill the gap in the skin where the cut out for the pitot mast wasn’t quite perfect. Then I fitted and riveted the pitot mast in place. After that I riveted the nutplates to the outboard skin access plate. I gave the wing a good clean with thinner too as it was covered in paint dust and markings.
After that I noticed that I had not primed the overlap of the aft skin. I decided I wanted it primed as it would be in contact with other parts of the aileron. So I masked off both left and right aileron skins and then sprayed them with Acid 8 etch primer as a base coat.
The Acid 8 only takes about 20 minutes before it can be overcoated so I primed the inside of the aileron counterbalance weights with PR143 while I waited. Once dry I primed the overlaps with PR143 as well.
I’ll leave the skins and weights to dry to dry for a day or two before I start assembling.
As I trundled up to the workshop today I did not have a clear plan. Should I start assembling the ailerons? I’m not sure 24 hours is enough time for the primer to fully cure in this cold weather, so maybe not. As I looked around the workshop I saw the wings staring at me. I decided that, following yesterdays successful inspection, to prepare the wings for riveting. I thought I would need a hand with this so I started laying everything out ready. I got the rivet gun ready and the correct rivets lined up in order. I then put JC5A jointing compound on all the mating surfaces and clecod the inboard skin on with a few clecos along the rear spar (top).
I then read the plans countless times and stared at the wings for what seemed like hours. What would be the best way to tackle this? In fact, would my arms even reach? I put my arm in the main structure with the inboard skin on and was surprised to see that I could reach all the way up to the top (rear spar). I grabbed the bucking bar and could also reach. Hmm! Could I still reach while holding the rivet gun? I tried and I could. So I put a rivet in and bucked it. Well that was easier than I thought. I did another one too as I was so excited!
So I carried on. I riveted in between the wing walk ribs and then about 4 rivets down the wing walk ribs. I then started riveting along the rear spar towards the next rib.
I persevered rivet by rivet and by lunch I had the entire inboard skin riveted on. Hoorah!
Buoyed by the mornings success I decided to have a go with the outboard skin too. This skin is a lot longer and more cumbersome. The first two columns of rivets overlap and were fairly easy to do as they were accessible from the access panel in the inboard skin. Then it got interesting. With the first two columns of rivets done, I had to roll the skin away from the structure and stand in between the skin and structure. I would rivet and then roll back a bit. It was too risky for me to hold the skin and buck and rivet all at the same time. I decided to use my workshop chair as a third arm and arranged it so the chair was supporting the skin and holding in place as well.
Again, slowly slowly I worked my way along the wing, one rivet at a time. This outboard skin was definitely much easier to do than the inboard skin, for sure. Hours later it was time for dinner. My back was on fire, my arms aching and my hands scratched to pieces.
And what was my reward for all this pain? Well, the left wing bottom skins are pretty much riveted. There is only the bottom row of rivets to do on the main spar.
Well what a day! I was not expecting that!
I managed to get the parts epoxy primed today as planned and got them hanging up to dry within a couple hours from start to finish.
Later that same day my inspector popped by and checked the wings, aileron parts and rudder. He had a good look around everything and was happy enough to sign my inspection log. This thing is starting to get fuller which is immensley satisfying!
Now that’s signed off I can make a start on riveting the bottom skins onto the wing structure anytime.
I normally prime all the parts in one work session but recently I’ve been having problems with the primer sort of ‘slipping’ off the parts. Mick Allen spotted this in one of my posts and called me to discuss it. He suggested that maybe I wasn’t leaving the was primer long enough before applying the epoxy primer. So tonight I decided to wash prime and leave it overnight to cure before applying the epoxy layer.
So first, I ran wash primer inside the aileron counterbalance weights and spun the tub round until there was a good coating of primer all over the inside of the pipe. Next I took the parts into the paint booth and sprayed them up with wash primer.
A few hours later and all the parts were wash primed. I will leave it all overnight and put the top coat on tomorrow.
More prep work tonight. I washed all the aileron parts ready for priming.
With some great music in the background the task didn’t take too long to get through. I hung up all the parts to air dry overnight.
With a bit of time to spare at the end of the session I decided to check and set the torque of all the fuel tank attach bolts and aileron bellcrank bracket bolts to 25″/lb’s ready for riveting the bottom skins on if I get a chance sometime. Once done, I put witness marker on each bolt head which I only every do once I have torqued a bolt.
That’s it for tonight.
Tonight’s session was all about dimpling the pile of parts for both the left and right ailerons. Not many parts could be done on the big dimpler so I had to break out various tools to get this all done. The pnuematic squeezer for the more awkward parts.
Then I used my bench die and a hammer to get into the small gaps at the end of the ribs…
Finally I countersunk the counterweights and used them as dies to dimple the leading edge skins.
Not too long a session tonight but it needed to be done.