« Archives in April, 2008

Lots of cans, lots of worms.

3 hours.
Drilled the stops for the seat backs, and had planned to get more done, but wound up pondering the plans and the manual for most of that time, which I guess is good. I should have stuck to the agenda and just built the seat backs like I planned, since they’re a fairly discrete part of the process, but I went down the rabbit hole when I wondered ‘just how does that flap torque tube go in there?’ It’s a valid question, it’s attached to the same part as the seat back stops, in that it’s all about the baggage compartment bulkhead in that area.

In the above photo you see how the stops are clecoed together. There are two levels of adjustment for the seat back position. There is an angle attached to the aft flange of the baggage compartment bulkhead, which has room between it and the bulkhead for the seat back support, then another piece of aluminum forward of that, lifted by a shim, which provides the second. The first one I did was a little rough, since this is the first time I’ve had to drill upside-down. Important safety tip: Make damn sure there are no gaps between your safety glasses and your eyes. All the chips come right at you or close enough to be hazardous. If I was a D&D dork, I’d say you get -5 luck vs aluminum shavings in this situation.

The photo above is where it got interesting, at least to me. This was the point at which I realized I had to start pulling out the floor panels, which are screwed in on the quickbuild fuse when it arrives. The baggage floor panels and the flap access panels have to go so I can get in there and mount the UHMW bearing blocks for the flap torque tube. This only reared its ugly head because currently my subprocess involves drawings 20 and 23, 20 being the meat of the baggage bulkhead and 23 being the seat backs themselves. This is where going through the construction manual and verifying the build on the quickbuild is key; you don’t want to skip any steps. Not only that, you want to know what all the odd little parts look like when you need them, and if they were supposed to be installed in an earlier step and they’re not, you have to backtrack, and the longer parts are out of mind, the more chances are they’ll get misplaced or miscategorized. It’s all very well and good when you’re checking off the packing list and you know you’ve got everything, but it’s quite another when you have to find something later you haven’t seen in a few months, unless you’re frighteningly anal about how you store everything.

This is just a gratuitous overhead photo showing the new shop layout, sans wings. Sort of. Note how much room i’ve got to work now.

Seat backs and tray tables in the upright position.

2 hours.
That’s a guesstimate, since I did a few little things over the last week. I started a new job last Monday, and the hours are usually 10-7, so I have some time to build in the mornings. The weekend was spent moving the wings into the garage, and rearranging the fuse so I have more room to work on it. I moved my rollaway toolbox and saw/grinder table into the shop as well, and I was able to unpack my ‘survival kit,’ that being all the tools I had crammed into my small toolbox to do the work on the wings. All the tools are now back in the rollie, and it’s nice not to have to dig for things I know are there or make trips back and forth to the garage when I want to scotchbrite-wheel or bandsaw something. What I managed to do on the actual airplane was rivet the elevator bellcrank and install it in the aft fuse. I also got some work done on the seat backs, like cutting the angle metal and finding all the parts I’ll need to fabricate the assembly. The process just got a little more interesting. Since I got the quickbuild kit, I essentially skipped right over the transition phase from handholding to here’s-the-plans-get-on-it. In a way it simplifies things a bit, because at this point, the construction manual pretty much just tells you to look at a drawing, make or prep all the parts on it, and go to town. Drawings, I get.
Another thing that was interesting is how low the part count seems when you take out all the bagged and boxed items necessary for things like seat belt cables, brake cylinders, trim servos, and other things I tend to categorize as ‘fiddly bits’ at the moment. Now, at this point, I think I’m going to take another non-build day and organize all the various bits and pieces like I should have done when I got the kit. I marked it all off on the packing list, but I did not build a bunch of shelves and drawers and file everything. I’m going to do this as soon as I can, because if I have to sort through a bunch of undifferentiated stamped aluminum bits to find what I’m looking for, I’m going to get cranky. I think the best way to organize all this stuff is by drawing number, if possible. I’ll have to work out a good methodology for it this weekend. Shelley’s parents are in town so I probably won’t get to build much, but I might get an hour or two somewhere.
Probably what’ll happen is I’ll get the seat backs and elevator pushrods prepped, then set it all aside for a paint morning, but before that, I have to cut down the sawhorses to lower the plane to working height.
I’ll shoot some pics of the shop next chance I get, maybe tomorrow.