May 17, 2009

Floor Stiffeners - 3.5 hrs.

Well, it's time to install the last of the forward fuselage parts for this phase of the project. The floor stiffeners. There are 4 of these. I've been dreading another encounter with them, but there's no point in procrastinating. So here we go. The good news is, they're cut to length and supposedly ready to install. The bad news is, the ends are joggled to lap up on cross-members on each end. If you've been following my log, you know I've had trouble with every one of these because the parts are poorly made. Read back to my log entries for October 4th and April 22nd and you'll see more details of how I tried to improve these parts. I won't repeat it all again here. Suffice it to say that I applied a good measure of my brute force "Swayze finesse" technique to all 8 ends of these 4 stiffeners. Once again, they're not perfect, but I think I improved them enough to make them barely acceptable.

The two center stiffeners can be clamped on both ends to hold them in place, but the outer two have nothing to clamp onto. I waited until Jamie was off work and asked her to help me. You need another pair of hands for this task. So she sat underneath and held them to the "roof" and made slight adjustments to their positions until the centerline was visible through the rivet holes. I managed to get two or three holes drilled and clecoed in each one to hold it in place, then she was free to go. Thanks, Jamie! Once in place, I was able to finish drilling all of them to the skin.

Yikes... my cleco jugs are empty! Almost every cleco in the house is now committed to the structure. It's a good thing I'm near the disassembly point. I don't think I'm going to buy more. I think I can just thin them out in other areas of the plane in order to do the baggage area. We'll see how that goes. I think I can get away with it. Once I'm over this hump, l should have plenty for the rest of the plane.

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