Finished up with making sure that the second main landing gear bracket jig was going to work... still had plenty of time left in the day to do a few other things. Saw a box of unfinished fittings and decided to work a little of them.
Pulled three fittings out of the box; the Servo Horn, Tab Horn and the Servo Trim Shaft. All had been rough cut to size... other than that, they were left unfinished. The ends still needed to be filed down to the lines. Edges and surfaces needed to be sanded down to a smooth 180 grit and all holes needed to be drilled.
Two hours later and I was close to finishing... so I thought. Took a look at the 3/16" holes I made in the Servo Horn and decided I was unhappy with them. They weren't elongated or out of round... but when I was deburring the holes on one side I cut into the edges more than I liked. Simple enough, I'll just go upstairs, pull the CAD drawing of it up on my computer, print it out and make a new one. Well, I spent a good 1/2 hour (of which I'm not going to add onto the build) looking for it. It must be one of the early ones I made on my old computer, which has a bad image card. If I had known that from the start I would have re-made it to begin with... I'm subborn... 'nuff said.
Spent another 15 to 20 minutes re-creating what had already been created (of which I'm not going to add onto the build.) Took the printed pattern down to the work shop and glued, cut, ground down, drilled and sand to a smooth 180 grit, another Tab Horn.
In the above photo you can see both Tab Horns. The one underneath the other is the "bad" horn.
July 3, 2009 Following Al's lead...
with a little modification.
Whatever it was that I was doing previous to this... it was just taking so damn long. The whatever it is, is... clamping the piece in the cross-sliding vice, squaring it up to the bit and then match-drilling the hole in the Trim Servo Tab with the pre-drilled hinge. whew!
It was taking forrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrever. What to do ?? What to do ? Continue on like I am, or change gears to see if I can speed things up. Decision... speed things up.
The piece that I was match-drilling to the pre-drilled hinge today is the elevator. Kinda hard... if not imposssible... to clamp into the cross-sliding vice. Looks like I'll be hand-drilling this piece. Having just looked at Al Rice's page on the Trim Servo Tab, for the umpteenth time, I saw where he used double-sided tape to hold the hinge into position while match-drilling the holes. BRILLIANT ! I don't know how many times I read that without seeing it. Anywho... that's my plan of action for today.
Turned out to be a piece of cake. Slapped the double-sided tape on the elevator side of the Trim Servo Tab, taped a piece of sheet metal along the one edge of the opening so that I could butt the hinge against it and know that the front edge of the hinge was in line with the entire width of the Trim Servo Tab opening (already had my marks as to centering it on the opening before I cut it out/off.) Peeled the backing off the tape and secured it to the opening.
Secured the entire elevator/stab in a vice. Just so happens that when I have the elevator/stab standing upright on it's end... the one side conveniently aligns with the vice on my work bench. With the piece secured I took my 30 year old Craftsman drill and systematically match-drilled a hole, got an anchor nut, inserted the machine screw and secured the anchor nut to the piece... so on and so forth until I had all the holes drilled and anchor nuts attached. Next I pulled the double-sided tape off, reattached the hinge to the opening with .o40 spacers (so that I could see when the drill bit was through the metal when drilling the pilot holes for the rivets.) And, like I just wrote... I drilled the pilot holes for the rivets using the method that Tony B suggests (drill the one hole, insert a rivet in the hole to keep in position, then drill the other hole.)
Next I took my counter-sinking contraption and hand drilled the counter-sinks so that the heads of the rivets sit flush with the metal that I am riveting them into. Not an easy task, even when it's locked into the cross-sliding vice... let alone by hand. Finished it all off with riveting on the anchor nuts. Sweet ! and easy !
Total time for this half of the hinge, 2.9 hours. First hinge 13.2 hours... so that learning I had on the first half paid off; a savings of 10.3 hours.
A brief explanation of the following photos. The one on the left shows the counter-sunk rivets with the screws attached to the anchor nuts (without the hinge.) The photo on the right shows the spacing of the screws on the hinge.
July 5, 2009 Knowledge equals speed...
I'm starting to fly along with the attachment of the hinges to the Elevators and Trim Servo Tabs. After that first learning experience... knowing what not to do, I'll be completed with all of the three remaining hinge sides in the time it took to do the first one. I'd like to say eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh ! but I can't complain about the speed at which these things are going together now.
All I have to do is put the .o40 spacers between the elevator rib and the hinge, match drill the holes in the anchor nuts for the rivets... then rivet these bad boys on. Then I'll be finished with that... on to the next step. (welding on a few small tabs, drilling the bushing holes for the wire attachments and welding/attaching the rest of the Trim Servo Tab parts.)
In the case of the hinge attachments... knowledge equals speed.
July 7, 2009 Look like much ?...
I didn't think so either.
Today I spent 1.3 hours making, what looks like, four 1.25" long pieces of tubing. The unknowing would think that they were just cut off with a hacksaw in less than a minute... but we know better.
These four pieces of tubing are the four bushings that are needed for the flying wires on the elevators. Not much to write home about. Cut the pieces a little over size. Chuck in the lathe to square up the first side. Take out of lathe to measure length. Chuck piece again to square off to marked size. Take out of lathe and ream to 1/4" ID. Finished.
February 10, 2014 Taking shortcuts...
Some reconstructive surgery on the elevator horns. First time I read the plans, and every time after until just now... I thought that the horns were slipping over a 3/4inch tube. Ohhh... nooo... The 3/4inch tube is the sleeved tube that fits inside of the 7/8inch tube which the elevator horns are welded too.
So... how do you enlarge the existing 3/4inch hole to a 7/8inch hole while keeping it centered on that 3/4inch opening? Elementary my dear Watson... use a Unibit.
It wasn't fast, 'cause I took my time... but it was a helluvalot faster than re-making both of those elevator horns; a shortcut in remaking these puppies.
Now all I have to do is cut the aluminum block (a plans modification I read in the Skybolt Manual) for the spacer (just enough to fit the .59 bearing) between the two horns. Match drill the two holes through the horns and the aluminum block. Rosette weld the sleeved tube inside of the elevator front spar... THEN weld both elevator horns on the spars.
February 11, 2014 Making up...
for the shortcut time savings.
So... the plans modification, in the Skybolt Manual, suggests making a .59inch aluminum spacer to bolt between the two elevator horns (Mac McKenzie, of Starfire, created the modification claiming several Skybolt's had cracks in their horns). It's a little bit more time, but not a lot of weight, to stiffen up the area. Makes sense to me.
Tonight I was going to click on the appropriate aluminum block on the Aircraft Spruce page and have them send me off a chuck that could be milled. BUT, instead, I remembered all the tubes and pieces of material I got from Gus... so I decided to spend a little time searching to see if I had something I could use. And... after a lot (this is where I lost time from my saved time yesterday... although I'm not having to wait for it to be shipped to me) of searching I did find a 1inch square piece of aluminum that was about 18inches in length.
Now that I have the piece all I need to do is design the piece and mill it down. Took me about 1/2 hour to make the pattern for cutting... but no mills in site. I'm thinking that I could run over the Whitey's (the one who own's NJ02) and ask if he could mill it for me on his milling machine. THEN... Andrea suggests that I let her take it into work and let the guy next to their place mill it. WORKS for me !
I'm hoping to have it by tomorrow night so that I can work on it over the weekend (it's suppose to snow pretty hard Thursday into Friday and I'll be stuck inside with nothing to do).
Picture to come.
February 12 and 13, 2014 Ya', I'm Feelin'...
Here's a photo of the elevator horn spacer. Andrea had one of the guys at their place put it on their milling machine to do their magic on it. That thing to the right of the spacer is the
pattern I sent over with the 1inch square, aluminum stock.
More work on the horizontal stabilizers and the elevators.
I'm fitting up and cutting and fitting up and cutting... the tubes for all three spars (the stabs and the elevators). Wasn't sure how I was going to proceed and couldn't really figure it out so I just started... fitting up and cutting.
Sometime you just need to figure it out on the way.
I'm close... real close to having all three cut to the right size. The front tube (the modified one with the sleeve) still needs to be fitted up. I used the first one that I had made to slide into the front stab spars to get the correct positioning of the spar on the fuselage. I'll center the new, sleeved spar on the fuselage to see where I need to trim the front spars for a close fit. Follow that ???
Here's where I'm at so far... and I'm feelin' just fine !
Both spars are fitted up to the fuselage. SWEET !!! Click photo for close up of attach points.
February 14, 2014 Still Feelin'...
I THINK I have the final cuts made on the horizontal stabilizer's front spars. I've marked them. and I've cut them. Now all I need to do is do the final fitting ? Maybe ?
February 15, 2014 Square ?...
not so much... now
A LOT of messing around with squaring up and leveling of the fuselage. It was almost like I was playing with it for the first hour and a half 'cause I didn't have the front spars for the elevators connected wtih their sleeved tube. They were slightly off the entire time I was leveing and squaring up the rest of the piece.
Some may think it's a waste of time... standing there, looking at the project and thinking. It's almost therapeutic. (justifying my oops?)
back to work... Found a 3/4inch tube. Cut it down. Slid it in the front spar of the elevators. Got it level again... just need to confirm the squareness of the stabs. The last time I measured them... they were close... real close.
Just went out to take a photo of it.. and knocked the fuselage out of level. DAMN ! Took the picture anyways.
The tube that is off center is just a "block" holding the front spar level.
February 18, 19, 20, 2014 Square ?...
yea... after a few more hours of confirming.
The computer I update the site with was at corporate getting a clean up... looks like there was some type of bot on it wanting my passwords (whatever). It's back now...
Over the past few days I've been confirming the squareness of the stabs (over and over and over again). Finally came the day that I had to drill the holes. But... I took a little over two hours to confirm the squareness of them again then I drill both holes. Only took three days and a a little over 4hours. It's done... the holes are a little off center. DAMN ! Vertical, but a little off center of the tube. ahhhhhh crap ! I think I know what to do to get these even closer to center on the next ones...
Next on the list is to drill the stab rear spars then locate and drill the holes for the forward stab attachment which will then need to be welded and reamed.
February 21, 2014 Centered ?...
yea... top, dead-centered !!!
I'm tellin' ya... ya learn from your experiences.
Yesterday's holes... a little off center. Todays... dead-center on top !!!
Took the 4foot level and laid it on the front and back spar... rubbed it back and forth on the back spar to take off a little of the coating and WHAM !!! DEAD-FREAKIN-CENTER. Used a centering bit to start the hole and now I'm ready to drill through the top two layers of tube. I'll need to use that drill block to keep the bit straight.
With all that said... piece o' cake, right ?
February 24, 2014 It was just a matter... of doing it !
It was all set... the starting holes for both rear spars for the horz stabs were top-dead-center. All I had to do was make sure that the drill bit was vertical and drill away.
It was easy. Should have thought it through this much for the first two holes I made. (actually I did... but, ahh...forget about it)
Took my time making sure that bit was centered over the hole and vertical (using a drill block I had bought from Aircraft Spruce years ago...). Then, it was just a matter of time to let the bit work its way through all four walls. A little under and hour and both holes were drilled and reamed to 3/16inch.
Tomorrow I'll take both stabs off and rosette weld the sleeved tube into the starboard elevator, but the thing all back together and match drill the hole through that tubed sleeve on the port side.
February 25, 2014 Hurdles...
they always look bigger when they're in front of
instead of behind.
More work on the the empennage tonight(what's new, eh ?).
I sometimes mentally struggle with doing something. But... once I've started working on it I've always found it to be an easier task than what I had thought. It tends to add hours to the project, but eh, maybe that time of thinking was needed.
Needed to take this thing apart so that I could put the sleeved tube in the front spar of the elevator. Well, what I needed to do is cut the length of tube, figure out where I'll be welding it to the port side then take it down to the basement workshop clamp it to the drill press and cut out that rosette hole. Made it 3/8inch.
Putting it back on the fuselage... it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It actually was a pain in the ass to take it off... it was ALL me making it difficult.
Just need to weld the sleeved tube in the front spar and then ???
Shot of tubes showing rosette hole and sleeved tube in the elevator front spar.
February 27, 2014 Problems...
First on the list of things to do was to rosette weld that sleeve into the front spar on the elevators. Must have been in the right position at the right height 'cause it was just so damn easy to weld. Only to .3hrs to weld and that included setting up the OA for the weld.
Took a break and had dinner with Andrea then back out to the garage work shop. Next thing on my list was to weld the lower front attachment bushings onto the fuselage (for the horz stabs). First I had to align (square up the stabs), mark the locations that I would need to grind out of the two triangular metal gussets and then grind away. Other than needing to replace the grinding wheel (it took 10 minutes to find the tool to loosen the grinding wheel) it was pretty easy. BEFORE replacing the wheel, it was a pain in the ass getting close enough to grind the areas without grinding something I shouldn't be grinding.
With the grinding wheel changed out I had no problem grinding the remaining metal away. With a little tweaking they'll be ready for welding in the bushings.
Taken from the rear of the fuselage.
February 28, 2014 Working through problems...
and finding my "trash"...
We're getting close !
I've been thinking about this for a few days... "how do I keep booth the upper bushing and lower bushing on the horz stab front attach inline with each other?" The upper bushing is reamed to 1/4inch and welded onto the upper tube of the front attachment. The lower tube is unreamed (to be reamed to 1/4inch after welding onto the frame) and not welded onto the frame.
The reason for the lower tube is unreamed is so that when I weld it in... and if it is slightly off... I'll have some metal to cut away, when I'm reaming it out, that will make it a straight hole. Make sense?
Plan A: Jerry rig it. Not the Plan I want to take. Never a good one when making an airplane.
Plan B: Take a thin rod to the lathe and cut it down so that one length of the piece fits the 1/4inch ID and the other length the unreamed ID.
BRILLIANT !!! Now all I need to do is figure out what is wrong with my micro-lathe. A little over a year ago I went to use it and the belt kept spinning off of it. oh... And I need to find those two pieces of lower tube that Andrea's guys cut down for me.
After some searching I found the two tubes. NEVER... EVER... make your parts look like a piece of trash. I found them laying on the floor next to a trash bucket I had in the garage work area. For all intents and purposes... it looked like trash. I only knew to look for two pieces taped together... because of my exceptional memory :)
Now I've got to figure out the lathe... that, or I'll be Jerry rigging this. And that Not the Plan I want to take. Never a good one when making an airplane.
I saddle up to the lathe. Take the same belt that's been flying off all this time and wrap it around the pulley's. After adjusting the motor (squaring it up and making sure that it has sufficient pressure to keep the belt tight) I turn on the machine and the belt goes flying off ! I repeat this several times before I realize this ain't getting nowhere. I've been turning the belt around each time to place the notched side of the belt into the grooves of the pulleys. The belt didn't really want to go that way but I thought it best that it did. Makes sense I that I should know better than it, no ? No.
After allowing that belt to its own thing I wrapped it around the pulley's again and when I turned it on... (BAM !!!) amazingly it stayed on the pulleys. After that it was just a matter of time before I had that piece of 4130 rod I had cut lathed down to the proper ID for the two lengths of tube.
It's rough, but it's close to working. I placed both tubes on it and held it up to the frame and I'm glad I did. The center of the rod isn't taken down enough to go through either the larger or smaller ID's of the tubes. I held it up to the frame and showed Andrea what I would be doing... when I tried to slide it out of the tubes one way or the other it didn't. I'll need to take it to the micro lathe one more time to cut down that center section before using it for what it was meant for... jigging those two tubes.