« Archives in January, 2006

Starting to look rudderish.

6 hours.
OK, six hours all totaled, most of which was setting up the most ergonomic and process-friendly way to rivet the skin onto the skeleton. But once set up, it flowed nicely.

Skin riveted on. AEX wedge is just sitting there, not stuck on yet.

This is to show the stiffeners. There were a couple of them that interfered with their counterparts on the opposite skin, so I had to mill them clear of each other. No biggie.

Same here, but the opposite skin. . the red light is my finger over the flash so it doesn’t blow out the

The lower rib. You can see where the fluting happened, and also the fluting i had to do to the bottom attach strip for the rudder bottom.. IMHO, this is a hack.. Why the rudder bottom can’t be attached like all the other fiberglas pieces is beyond me. Maybe the thin rudder skin can’t be expected to hold it all on its own.

What happened to the site.

5 hours.
This being the first entry since the crash, or the hack, I figured I’d give you a little background on what happened. We got hacked by what we suspect is a group of Brazilian neo-Nazis who used our machine as a way in to attack somebody else on the network. We were taken offline, but I was able to save the data, since I brought the machine home and backed up all the db and domain stuff. Now I’m back on a virtual private server, but getting the blogware to work has been like pulling teeth.. finally got it, but for some reason the main menu page just hangs.. something the webserver doesn’t like to execute. or something. But I’m back up now, and it’s not like there was nothing going on between Christmas and now. I’ll explain.

Testing upgrade and new site

OK, now this is for all the marbles.
Got the new site going, still a couple of problems, but at least I can update. I think.. if you can read this entry,
then we’re sorted. if not.. hm. anyway, here goes.

Some pics of the rudder fun.

Some pics of the rudder skeleton riveting process.

Riveting the control horn, rib, horn brace and spar together.. Interlocking puzzle. Generating an exploded
view in your head is kind of fun. Until your head explodes.

Riveting the horn on.. They say you can use pop rivets for some of this. I’m going to.

Looky at all this primed crap. Pay no attention to the claw-hammer in the foreground.

Here you can see the fluted 904 rib and one of the rudder-hinge platenuts.

Okay, okay, I wanted to see the rudder skeleton hanging off the VS. Just because

Apparently I wanted to see it more than once.

..but my pump primes backwards.

If you get that reference, I say well met, gunslinger.
Priming sucks. I don’t like liquids, goo, solvents, pigments, etchants, detergents, or lubricants. Primer sucks, and it’s never going to be any different. But at least i like the color of my chosen primer, and my prep/prime/cleanup process has been whittled down to a mere inconvenience than a showstopping chore.
So once everthing was prepped, I primed the ribs, spars, stiffeners, and even that little counterweight. Now on to riveting some stuff.

Dimpled, deburred rudder stuff

3 hours
Got all the rudder stuff prepped. The spars and ribs went fairly well. New confidence in metalworking skills has enabled me to attempt things I would have been scared to try before. The coolest thing I’ve learned so far is basically how to undo mistakes. For instance, I managed to bend the rudder spar. Yeah. Bent it. I was being a moron, leaning it against a corner of the workbench and putting some pressure on it to straighten out a ding left by catching the edge on the Scotchbrite wheel and it folded up like a piece of paper. But not to worry, I just bent it back into shape and hammered the flanges straight again with some light flush-set rivet gun action. holes line up, no cracks in the metal, ready to rock. I’d have freaked out big time a couple of months ago.
One thing that did kind of puzzle me was what happened when I dimpled the lower rib. R-904, I think it was. I had the squeezer in the bench vise, like i’ve had it for every dimpling op where the part is handheld, but this time, the process caused the rib to be gently bent outward from fore to aft, like the opposite of fluting. I checked everything. Dimple dies were matched, holes were drilled and deburred, there was clearance between the die and the web. Just plain ODD! So I wound up consulting the VAF board, Dan C, and Van’s, and the upshot was that fluting it back into shape was fine, just keep it from turning out twisted. So that’s what I did.. Fluted the hell out of it. Oh, and BTW, that little trick of bending the flange out so you can dimple it, then bend it back is harder than it sounds. I spent a fair bit of time smithing the rib back into shape after that.