October 22, 2008

Made spacer blocks, more work on F-705 - 2.5 Hrs.

Boy, never in my wildest imagination did I see myself getting into a woodworking project for this airplane! I'm finding the fuselage project to be a most fascinating adventure. The manual isn't as detailed in explanations. I guess by this point, it's assumed that you know what you're doing with most of the basic skills. At the same time, the drawings are much more detailed (or cluttered, depending on your point of view). So you spend significant time just looking at the plans. There is definitely more fabrication of little parts, and head-scratching as you figure out how you're going to do each little task. You really have to study the drawings so you don't miss some little step, or part, or do something that needs to be done that isn't mentioned in the manual. This has been a weakness of mine, and I'm learning that I need to really pay attention. It's not anything hard, just details. Pay attention. Take your time.

I put two wood blocks in the oven last night and let them simmer at a low temp all night to thoroughly dry them out. My own idea of a homemade wood kiln. Anyway, roughly 24 hours later, I took them out of the oven and found them to be very dry, indeed. Perfect. So I found myself involved in this little woodworking project. I dragged out the table saw and dusted it off and set it up to cut these blocks to about 8" long, and about 4" wide. The plans call for an exact thickness of 1-7/16". Since your standard 2-by-whatever lumber is 1-1/2" thick, it only needed to be planed down about 1/16". You can put some sandpaper on a flat surface and sand that much off, but I just happened to have access to a jointer that my brother gave me some years ago and I've never used. So I dug it out of the toolshed, set it up, and shaved off very thin layers until I reached the desired thickness. Here they are! Now I plan to go to the hardware store and buy some temporary 3/8" bolts and washers, drill holes in these blocks, and bolt it all together. I'll put the close-tolerance bolts away for now.

Now back to the task at hand with the F-705 bulkhead. I lined up the long stiffener bar, the F-705B, on the bulkhead and clamped it in place with the red centerline showing through the rivet holes on the back side. Then I match-drilled it to the bulkhead. Also, as you can see, the F-705C doublers and spacers were drilled in place, too. Then I took it apart for deburring. Here it is, all cleaned up and put back together again. I'll be drilling the seat belt anchors to this assembly next. You can see the slot on the right end formed by the two stiffeners, that will sandwich the rear spar of the wing and hold it in place. It will then be drilled to the wing spar. But that's months from now.

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