May 28-31, 2009

Dismantling and Deburring Parts - 7.0 hrs.

You know, when you get involved in this part of the project, you have to develop a method to your madness or you will get overwhelmed. There's no written list of all the small tasks that need to be done. Not that there should be. By now, you're not in elementary school anymore. You know what needs to be done to all your airplane parts before proceeding. It's not anything particularly difficult. It's just that there's so much of it. This isn't like building an aileron or something. It's most of an entire fuselage that you're about to dismantle. It's a huge mess of parts... very large to very small... with a lot of little details. There are the skins, ribs and bulkheads, longerons and stiffeners, gussets and brackets, spacers and angles. And each part, it seems, has its own unique set of prep work requirements to get it ready for final assembly and riveting. Not to mention, keeping track of left vs. right side parts, forward or aft orientations, inboard and outboard sides of parts, which side of the doggone part do you rivet the nutplate to, which holes need dimpling or countersinking and which ones don't, and so on and so on. With all that in mind, I'm not about to just dismantle an entire fuselage and toss all the parts into a big pile.

So as I contemplated the sheer magnitude of the task now facing me, I realized that I needed a logical plan. So I decided that the best way to proceed, at least for me, is to take this thing apart one piece (or symmetrical pairs of pieces) at a time and deal with them as I go. That way I won't miss anything or overlook something. This means pulling out the drawing for that particular part and studying it all over again. This may not be the fastest way to go, or the most efficient, but I'm confident it will work for me and help me avoid making any mistakes or overlooking anything that needs to be done. The drawings have lots of details and little notes that have to be followed. It's almost as if I'm building this thing all over again. In a way, actually, you are.

Anyway, that's how I've been working over the last week or so, an hour or two here and there as I can make time for the project. There aren't a lot of pictures of this work and it's not real exciting, but it needs to be done and it feels good to be closer to the day when it all comes back together for final riveting. For now, anyway, it's still in the dismantling stage.

Here's where I'm at so far. The baggage area side panels and floors have been removed, along with the bulkheads and side stiffeners. These side panels have been deburred and the slight countersinks have been put in for the nutplate rivets. They're ready for scuffing, cleaning, priming, and painting. Which brings me to another decision point. I need to finalize my choice for interior color and type of paint for the cabin.

The rest of these parts are from the forward fuse. Once I got into it, this isn't as much of a big deal as I thought it would be. I was preparing to mark all the parts when I realized that you can't really mess this up when you put it back together. I also decided to do all the dimpling and/or countersinking at the same time when it's all ready. So for now, as I remove parts, I'm doing all the edge deburring, hole deburring, etc. These parts are now ready for dimpling or countersinking.

The bottom forward skin comes off next. But first, I used the polished tip of my soldering iron to cut through the vinyl where the side skin overlaps it. This will make it easy to prime the skin later for the part that is overlapped.

I pulled the clecos and stripped the vinyl off. This part of the skin will be primed where it overlaps before it all goes back together. After repeating this for the other side, I removed the skin and started all the prep work on it.

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