March 20-22, 2009

Problems, problems... ruining more parts - 10.0 hrs.

You would think that this far into this airplane project I would have learned by now. But no. So what's the problem... what did I do? Well... read on. Just a few days ago, I was excited to be finished riveting the bottom skin onto the center section, and looking forward to joining it to the aft fuse by this weekend. The next step is to fit and drill the F-715 outer seat ribs to the center section. These are among a small handfull of parts that come in the kit that aren't pre-punched and trimmed to exact size. These two ribs need to be carefully trimmed to length, fitted in place, and drilled to the structure. So in a rush to get on with it, I read on somebodys website that the ribs need to be trimmed roughly 1/4". So like a big dummy, I pull out the tin snips and proceed to cut 1/4" off each rib. I deburred the cut edge, fluted and fitted the ribs in place, and drilled them to the F-704 bulkhead. Then, when I pulled them off to deburr them, what did I discover? I had cut them TOO SHORT. DANG IT!!!

It may not be painfully obvious from this picture, but if you look close you'll see that I don't have enough edge distance for ANY of these rivets. I measured every one of them. All because I got cut-happy with my tin snips and didn't take the time to properly measure and figure it out for myself. I know better than this. This is what happens when you blindly follow someone's website instead of the manual and drawings and good common sense. (please refer back to my disclaimer on my home page! Don't do this!) Dag nabbit!!! I'm so ANGRY!

There's no way I'm putting these parts in my airplane. And as bad as it is to throw these away, the worst thing isn't even the cost of new ones. It's that here it is, a Friday night. I have the whole weekend in front of me and I really can't proceed until I get replacements.Van's isn't open until Monday so I'm set back a whole weekend, unless I can find something else to do in the meantime. I really wanted to get a lot done this weekend. Why does this kind of thing always seem to happen on a Friday night? I could just kick myself across the floor.

So what am I going to do? Well... after a while I settled down a bit. Rather than waste a whole weekend, I decided I might as well get a jump start on the deburring and priming that would normally come later. My seat skins and baggage skins are all drilled. So I pulled them off and spent the weekend working on them. This included deburring all the holes, the rectangular openings, and the edges of all the skins. The openings for the crotch straps got special attention and care, since the belts come up through here and I want them thoroughly deburred. Finally, I scuffed and cleaned them, and primed them. Here are the seat skins, Sunday night, after all the work done on them this weekend. I only primed the bottom surfaces. The top surfaces will be done later when I paint the interior of the cabin.

At least I have all this behind me. I'll be glad later that I got a good head start on this. This was more work than meets the eye.

Here's a couple shots of these skins, back in place on the center section. I won't cleco them for now, because I'll have to take them off to fit the new F-715 seat ribs, as soon as I can get replacements.

I'm going to Van's on Monday to pick up new F-715 ribs. It looks like it will cost me about $35 plus the gas and the time to drive down there.

<< Previous | Home | Next >>

Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)