« Archives in February, 2005

Working on the training kit.

Sorry it’s been a while, but it’s been a while, you know? Anyway, got started on the training kit.

Cleaned up the garage, got everything set. This is the new bench grinder.

Spar and ribs drilled. My first two clecos ever. Woohoo!

spar and ribs clecoed together.
The suck part about this is that I forgot to break the edges and didn’t exactly know what the hell I was doing with the deburr tool, so I wound up unclecoing (is that a word?) these and deburring them, properly this time. BTW, the grinding wheel without a scotch-brite wheel sucks for deburring. All it does is make lots of secondary burrs that you have to get rid of by other means.

My first stiffener. Keep it clean, folks. My metalworking skills have gone into the toilet since I last did any, and to give you an idea of when that was, “What I Like About You” by the Romantics was on Billboard’s top 40. It ain’t pretty, but it’ll get the job done. If I understand the idea of the stiffener, the taper is so metal doesn’t touch the skin on the other side, the angle just stiffens the part of the skin on the side to which it is riveted. I could be wrong, I frequently am, but something tells me metal rubbing on the opposite skin is a no-no.

Blown-out flashed image of my bad metalwork. Here you can’t possibly see that my skill with hand shears deteriorated to nothing, and you can’t see that these edges are going to need a lot of cleanup before they’re serviceable.

This pic shows the stiffener edge a bit better, but doesn’t reveal much. Suffice it to say that I went over it again with the deburr tool (properly this time), but still have no scotchbrite wheel.

Different day, but same process. The second stiffener turned out a whole lot better than the first, but I really need to be more careful about the plans, because if I go “Oh, I forgot to do that” on the real deal, I’m going to be flying this project sometime in 2024.

And here’s the proof. that little 15 degree cutback on the front edge of the stiffener that I conveniently didn’t see earlier. It’s on the lower one, but not the upper. But at this point I was tired of going round and round with the grinding wheel to try to get a nice smooth edge.

And here’s the grinding wheel. Bet your hindquarters I took the safety guard off. Now I can actually put metal on the wheel at angles that are actually useful. I wouldn’t try this if I was working steel. But this wheel is going to be where the Scotch-Brite wheel goes anyway, so I figure i’d try it.
Next time: 2 more stiffeners, and a lot of drilling, filing, and if I get it together, some dimpling and dare to dream, riveting.

The practice kit.

Rather than order a $1500 box of frustration, I decided to order the practice kit from Van’s aircraft. This is a piece of control surface designed to get you familiar with the basics of stressed-skin aluminum construction. I figure that if this process totally sucks, I’m out $35 and I got some bitchin’ new tools to make avant-garde aluminum ornaments for the wife’s garden. But for now, armed with the new tools, I’m planning on going forward with it as soon as time allows (crunch time production sucks).
But first, here are a couple of tools I forgot.

This is the laptop, or as I like to call it, the craptop. it’s an old Dell Inspiron 8100, good enough in its prime to finish Return to Castle Wolfenstein and run such wonderful music apps as Reason and Cubase SX, but now relegated to be the logging/blogging machine with occasional duties as a Serato Scratch Live platform.

This is a fuzzy, low light picture of some clecos and cleco pliers that are part of the ever growing collection.

And this is the practice kit itself, with plans and parts inventory. Parts inventoried, kit ready.

Some new tools!

Got some tools. and here they are:

3X Chicago Pneumatic rivet gun

3 Zephyr microstop countersinks. Still need proper countersink bits.

This is an Ingersoll-Rand 5020T pneumatic torque wrench. Mostly going to be for engine work, but dang is it cool.


Tools are coming; more to follow