January 16, 2009

Baggage Ribs - continued - 2.5 Hrs.

Today I continued working on the baggage area ribs. These are the ribs that go underneath the baggage area floor skins, forming a sandwich of sorts between the baggage area floor and the exterior belly skin. The next step was to deburr the edges of all the ribs, so I spent most of tonights session on the scotchbrite wheel.

Next, I noticed on the drawing that these holes need to be enlarged to 1-1/2". The pilot holes were already there, so enlarging them was simple. I got out my least favorite tool, my fly-cutter, and cut these holes. Piece of cake. These holes are for the tubing that is part of the exterior steps for the plane. Since I'm building a 7A, it's a big step up to the wing (too big!) unless you install the optional step kit. I didn't order the step kit with my fuselage parts, so I'll have to drive down to Vans and pick one up. But in the meantime, I can drill these holes and prepare these ribs while it's still very easy to do so.

Uh Oh! A while later I was reading through the instructions in the manual, and the manual says to enlarge these holes to 1-5/8". So which is it, 1-1/2" or 1-5/8"? I double checked, and sure enough... the drawing clearly says 1-1/2" holes. I'll have to call Vans tomorrow and point out this discrepancy to them and see what it's really supposed to be. Dang it! After all the careful effort I went through to make sure these holes were exactly 1-1/2", I hope I don't have to enlarge them. On the other hand, at least I didn't make them too big, meaning I would have to throw them out and buy new ribs. Now I really wish I had the step kit so I could just measure and see.

UPDATE: October 10, 2009 Well, as it turns out, there's no need to fuss over this issue at all. The weldments don't fit very well as they come from Vans, and odds are, you'll end up enlarging the hole quite a bit after all to allow some "wiggle room" in order to get the plate on the step to fit flat against the fuselage side skin. So don't waste time worrying about it like I did.

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