April 15, 2009

Finished Drilling Firewall Brackets, Drilled Holes for Steps - 2.5 hrs.

I'm trying to wrap up some odds and ends that are nagging at me before I move forward on the Forward Fuselage. I hate leaving loose ends if I can help it. One of those chores that I have been putting off is to drill the 1-1/2" holes in the side skins for the steps. One reason I'm procrastinating is because I can't find my 1-1/2" hole saw and I'm not totally sure I ever had one that size. I was very reluctant to try and use the fly-cutter. It's a dangerous, scary tool, and you aren't supposed to even think about using one in hand-held tools. Only in a drill press. Well... It's not as though I can move the whole fuselage on its side and belly up to the drill press to cut those holes. In the end, I did the bad thing and put the fly-cutter in my 14-volt DeWalt cordless drill. Using a very slow speed, and I mean very, very slow, I was able to cut the holes out successfully. I practiced on some scrap first. I feel I must put in a big DISCLAIMER: Kids... don't try this at home! Don't put a fly-cutter in a hand-held tool!

I started off the session by finishing the drilling of the forward ends of the longerons through the firewall corner brackets.

The remaining 7 holes are 1/8" size, and are now drilled and clecoed to the firewall brackets.

Looks good on the inside, too.

Here's the hole for the step right after drilling it open, before deburring it. There's a small pilot hole here to indicate where to drill this hole. This actually turned out very nice.

Then I deburred and smoothed the hole and did a trial fit of the step. Repeated the whole process on the other side. I will actually have to open up the hole a bit more to accomodate the bead on the weld. But I think I'm going to do that later, when I do the final fitting and drilling. It will be done when the fuselage is upright and the vertical bulkheads for this location are in place.

I think it looks kind of cool, seeing both steps in place! Makes me anxious to flip this puppy over and get it on its gear. Boy, I have a lot of work to do to get to that point.

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