December 14, 2008

Finished bending and twisting Longerons - 3.5 Hrs.

Today I finished the downward bends and twists required on the forward ends of the longerons. The longerons are finished! Then I trimmed the 4 aft ends of the J-channels. I'm not sure how, or if, I need to trim the front ends. So I need to look into that before proceeding any further.

The downward bends in the longerons were easy. I clamped them carefully right at the point where the bend needs to be and slowly bent them using the same methods. Just push down and hammer at the point right next to the vice. By working carefully and straightening out any sideways bending that wants to occur, you can get this done nicely. I used my Smart Tool to measure the angle, which is supposed to be 17 degrees, until it was close. The final tweaking was done using the side skin as a template to check the bend against. It really feels good to have these done.

Here, 4 ends of the longer J channels have been trimmed according to the plans, and two of the short ones. Not sure yet if I have to do the other ends. The plans say each end is trimmed according to how it fits. So I guess I'll go ahead and assemble the aft end of the fuselage and see how it all goes.

UPDATE: Can you see what's wrong with this picture? Look closely at the ends. Still wondering? Well, I'll tell you. I learned later on, when I was ready to install these parts in the fuselage, that I should have made 2 left ones and two right ones. Doh! As you can clearly see, all four ends are cut the same direction. In the picture below, I did the same stupid thing with the two short ones. Should have been one left; one right. So two of the long ones and one of the short ones had to be replaced. At least I was able to use one of the wasted long ones to make a new short one and salvage some of the material. Nevertheless, it cost me a trip to Vans and I had to buy more of this material. Not to mention the time spent doing it over. I know, it could have been worse, but you just can't study the plans enough. And THINK.

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