July, 2010

More work the Front Deck - 13.5 Hrs.

Things have slowed down here a lot, unfortunately, as I spend time working on home improvement projects and stuff here at home. There are things I just have to get finished before proceeding on the RV. Plus, I'm still saving up for the finish kit and I can't go much further for the time being anyway. It's exciting to see that my fuselage kit is almost finished! So this is a summary for the month of July. I didn't break it down because it was just moments here and there as I found a chance to touch the project in some way. Maybe deburring a part, priming something, or squeezing a few rivets.

One of the most exciting moments in July was going up to the EAA Arlington Fly-in. I didn't have the time to drive, camp, and make a stay of it. But some friends were flying up in a Commanche and had an extra seat, so I went with them for the day. Imagine, actually getting to fly to a fly-in! This was a first for me and it really stokes the fire under me to get my RV finished. I had a great time hanging out with my good friends, Stephen and Missy Christopher. His RV-7 is very close to being finished. I hope to get a page written about Arlington and some photos put up here on my site, but in the meantime you can see all my pictures here:

Arlington 2010 Pictures!

Meanwhile, I've continued working on the front deck. As you get into the plans and proceed, you run into a small inventory problem. There's a part referred to in the plans called the F-697 hat channel. As others before me have discovered, this part isn't in the fuselage kit (it should have been, since the directions and drawings reference this part!). Since I live close to Vans, it's no problem for me. I just drove down there and picked one up. While I was there, I also picked up the wing root fairings. Those are also referred to in the fuselage plans. I'm still planning on mating the wings to the fuselage while summer is here, and I want those fairings so I can fit and drill them while I have the wings on. I'll just have to be sure and have Vans omit these parts when I order the finishing kit.

So, back home and back to work. On the last page, I showed you the sub-panel F-786B for the right side, primed and riveted and notched to avoid the vent line. Here are the rest of the sub-panel parts. You can see that the left side and center parts haven't been primed yet. The seal support angle has been fluted and drilled to the center piece, and the left one is notched, predrilled and ready for drilling to the left subpanel. I also fab'd the small F-644 channels and deburred the longer F-643 forward fuselage channel. These will be fitted and drilled when I assemble all these parts in the fuselage.

Not easily seen in the shot above, but there nonetheless, is the hat channel piece I got from Vans. To add further confusion to this whole scenario, the directions tell you to drill and cleco it to the aft side of the center sub-panel. But the drawings clearly show it on the forward side! After visiting other websites and thinking it through carefully, I realized that it does indeed go on the forward side. In the picture above, it has been trimmed, deburred, and drilled to the forward side of the F-768A center sub-panel. The clecos are poking through from the back side. It partially covers the "keyhole" opening, if you look real close. I marked this with a sharpie so I could trim it. Below, is a shot of the other (forward) side showing the hat channel drilled and clecoed in place.

Here's a closeup, showing how I trimmed and deburred the hat channel for the "keyhole" opening in the sub-panel:

I used my Dremmel tool and a small sanding drum to clean up the cut and smooth it out.

Finally, as always, it's time to prime everything. Even though the F-744's and the F-643 channel haven't been fitted or drilled yet, I went ahead and primed them now. Then I went ahead and riveted the seal support angle to the left sub-panel.

Here's the center subpanel and the two side subpanels, almost ready to install in the fuselage for fitting and drilling.

Also this month, I riveted the support angle pieces to the instrument panel. I spot primed the panel first, then riveted the pieces on.

Above is a closeup of the riveted angle pieces on the back side of the panel. Below is the front side.

I can't wait to start populating this panel with instruments!

Then it was finally time to start putting it all together in the fuselage. But first, remember I had a problem with my vent tube on the right side and I had to notch the subpanel's bottom flange. Now it was time to do the same on the left side. Above, you can see the notch I made and how the vent tube now clears it okay. Then I drilled and clecoed the left subpanel in place.

The rest of the assembly clecoed together relatively easily. Here are a few shots from different angles.

Next I'll be installing the little short F-744 channel ribs, the longer F-643 rib, and then putting the top skin on for drilling. That pretty much sums it up for July. I hope to get more done next month, but I'll have to see how it goes around here.

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