November 25, 2009

Nutplates, Work on Seats - 4.0 Hrs.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I had a special visitor today! My little granddaughter Maya is now 4 yrs. old and came to see me. So while uncle Daniel was practicing on the piano and needed some alone time, I took Maya out in the shop to hang out with me for a while. I knew she would soon get bored just sitting there, so I wanted to get her involved. Some hands-on experience would be great, so I started showing her some of my tools. You should have seen her jump when I first pulled the trigger on my drill. It half-scared her to death. But it's funny... as soon as I put it in her hands and let her pull the trigger, she wouldn't stop! She was a little wild-woman, gigglng for joy and drilling all kinds of holes in the air around her. It was hilarious. She would have drained my air tank if I let her continue. But it was time for some real work, so I set up the squeezer to install the nutplates on the seat floors in the center of the tunnel cover area. Then I asked her if she would help me. Kids like to be asked to help. It makes them feel involved and important.

Maya handed me one rivet after another, and one nutplate after another as I was hunched over inside installing them. We had a ball. She's very talkative.

Don't let her fool you... behind that innocent look is a little wild-woman, but a very good helper! She's so smart, and learns fast.

Here's the finished result. All the nutplates in this area are now installed. We proudly showed her mommy when she came home to pick her up.

Maya was equally fascinated by the rivet squeezer. She loves this tool. The only problem is, it's so heavy she could hardly lift it. Not a tool for little girls! But she loved it when I held it and let her push the lever and see it work.

After Maya left with her mommy, I continued working on the parts for the seats. Holy cow, these seats are a lot of work! At first, I looked at the drawing and thought this would go together in a jiffy. But none of these parts are pre-punched. And all the angles need to be cut, some of them notched or radiused, and you spend a lot of time staring at the drawings and measuring and laying things out. I have a whole new level of respect for the RV-3, 4, and 6 builders who had to build the whole airplane this way.

I have all the seat parts cut, deburred, and ready to drill. This includes all the hinges.

These upper horizontal angles had to have the corners radiused, or ground off, to allow them to nest in the curved seatback top. It took a lot of filing and smoothing to get them just right.

The bottom ends of the vertical angles need to be notched to allow for the thickness of the hinge, which crosses over here and lays flat against the surface. Again, there's no easy way to do this. Just a lot of work.

Finally, I carefully measured, marked, and drilled one of the vertical angle pieces to #40. I will use it to clamp to the others and backdrill, so I don't have to measure and lay out each piece. After these are drilled to the seat skins, I'll enlarge all the holes to #30. I thought I'd be done with the seats tonight, but I have a lot of work to do yet.

<< Previous | Home | Next >>

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