« Archives in June, 2007

Rudder 2.0

1.5 hours.
Started on rudder 2.0. I thought I was going to be able to make it rudder 1.5, but the original is sufficiently messed up so as not to be able to salvage the spar, counterweight skin, etc. I managed to save the bearing reinforcing plates though, so it’s more like rudder 1.95. Drilled the skin off, drilled the reinforcing plates off, saved the rod-end bearings.. I’ve got more K1000-6 nutplates, so that’s no big deal. Basically starting at square 1 with the rudder. Difference this time is, I know what everything’s supposed to look like when it’s done and where I messed up last time. If I go full-on with this, I should have it done in a week.
Off to Vegas!

finished inventory

3 hours.
Yeah, that’s a long time to check a bunch of parts off a list, but I was making labels and organizing at the same time. After a while, part designations become somewhat redundant, at least when it comes to standard AN/MS hardware, so it got faster.


4 hours.
Ahh, the excitement of inventory! Most of this was done last thursday, after the kit arrived, but I procrastinated a little when it came to all those little bags of parts and hardware. I was unsure how to do this at first. The packing list seems to reference all the sub-sub-subkits, so you get a lot of the same hardware in several different bags. Do I organize a particular fiddly bit based on its relation to the kit, like Van’s packing list or do I just file everything in its appropriate drawer based on AN/NAS number? I went with AN/NAS number, because the packing list is the only place where the relation to the kit is mentioned. The manual and the plans don’t care. So I bought some stacking hardware drawers from HD and started labeling. It sits well with me. The plans call stuff out and I know which drawer to open. it’s good, and I’m sticking to it. it also has the added benefit of letting me know when I need to order more of something. I’ve already cannibalized a couple of plastic bushings for the wiring of the HS trim servo. You actually get two packing lists. One itemizes the total contents, listing the bags of hardware, the other itemizes all the bags of hardware. So my system is this:
1. Check off the parts and bags of parts on the first list.
2. Check off the contents of each bag on the second list
a: put parts in appropriate drawer
b: mark bag off on list and throw bag away.
Anal, yes, but I realized that the number one time-waster on this project (besides blowing it off and raging about town with my friends) is the act of looking high and low for something that should be in a well-marked and easily accessable place, all the time, every time. Same goes for tools, but I’m trying to keep everything I need for a day’s work in a big Stanley toolbox and only go for the rollaway when it’s time to do some specialty work. The fewer places I have to search, the faster this project will get done.

Here’s an overhead shot of the canoe. For most of the inventory, I was able to sit in the pilot’s seat and mark off the packing list. Not nearly as comfortable without seats, these RV’s.

Done with the vs/elevators.

3 hours.
Except for the fiberglas that is. And I’m missing a cotter pin. But the servo plate is done, the cutouts have been made in the aft spars for horn travel, horn is drilled at the bearing. wound up getting a 1/4″ aluminum dowel from HD and center-drilling it to #40. Cut it off at about 1″, then clamped it in the drill press to remove enough material to slip it into the center bearing. All good! Had to elongate the cutout for the servo rod a bit, and the tab is about 1/8″ offset still, but it’s OK. And when I rebuild the trim tab (someday) it’ll line up, since now I know what it’s supposed to do as opposed to what the plans say. Now this bit goes away while I inventory the QB kit.

QB wings and fuse arrived today!

So we’re moving along with the guest house, working at our pace, when I get a call. It went something like “I have an aircraft for you. I’ll be there first thing in the morning.” Naturally, I choked, because the main room of the guest house wasn’t done. So last night, Shelley and I went to the Depot and got 100 or so feet of baseboards and molding, and 300 plastic garage floor tiles, the result of which, is this:

In the foreground there is a modified Bingelis wing stand, modified in that I used 2×6’s instead of 2×4’s and a 4×4, beause that’s what I had lying around. The plywood was scrap from the guest house bathroom remodel.
Today, my friend David stopped by to lend a hand moving the big beast(s) into the space. We had to clear out the garage and remove the sliding glass doors so the fuse could be moved on through and the final result was this:

This one capture the “am I stoked or scared?” look.

I have no idea what I’m digging around for in here. Maybe just trying to find the bottom under all the paper.

Here’s Shelley, reflected in the fuselage… Much love and respect to her for the help and the support!

Still some work to do on the guest house, but something tells me I need to get cracking on this plane… Like right now.


This is where the weird music plays and everybody goes to the lobby to get popcorn and puzzle over what happened with the monkeys and the black monolith. Right now I’m on a bit of a hiatus, because the guest house is currently uninhabitable by plane or man. It started off simply. We were going to pull out the carpet, clean the concrete floors and acid-stain them in preparation for the kit arrival and some serious remodeling of the main house. So following a reasonable progression of events, we wound up with the bathroom stripped down to the studs and the lower 9 inches of drywall removed from half of the walls in the main room. Our issues were manifold: One, when we pulled the baseboards in preparation for the floor-cleaning process, we discovered mold along the bottom of the drywall, because the idiots who installed it didn’t leave a gap between the drywall and the floor in some places. All the spots that had contact with the concrete had black mold growing on them.. Ick. Not knowing how far up or wide the mold went, we just roto-zipped out the lower 9 inches of drywall on all affected walls. Two, the moisture had to be coming from somewhere, and we figured, correctly, that it was the shower. See, the shower was one of those fiberglas stall deals, with a short lip on the bottom and a molded surround. Unfortunately, the previous occupants didn’t see fit to install a glass door (yeah, i know we should have done it when we bought the place, but we were flat broke afterwards), but instead had a shower curtain gleefully spilling water onto the floor. the subfloor had to be pulled up and replaced and all the bathroom drywall had to go, including the ceiling. The vent fan flap was iced closed with a layer of caked dust, so it was just pushing moisture around instead of venting it. Three, the plumbing had to be redone for the shower valve we bought a couple of years ago which the plumber refused to used when fixing our #2 shower, and the shower drain had to be relocated to fit the pan of the shower kit we got (this one has doors). I’ve picked up some useful skills along the way, but what went from a weekend job has now dragged on three weeks, two weeks into the danger zone of impending delivery. We still have to put up a few pieces of remaining drywall, do taping and mudding, and painting, then tiling, then install the shower kit walls, the toilet, then new vanity, and lighting. Fortunately, work is way slow at the moment, so we can get it done, I think. The biggest problem is that we’ve never done it before and we don’t know how, and we’re in the zone where screwups can be costly, not to mention time consuming in the extreme. With luck and drive, we can finish it this week, and that’s good because I still need to build my wing cradle and get ready for Tony Partain’s driver to show up with the QB kit.
Freaking out.
Need to focus.