August 12, 2010

Front Deck - Final Prep Work - 4.5 Hrs.

I got busy today and took the whole front deck assembly apart and out of the fuselage for the final prep work. Then I started working on the top forward skin by deburring all the holes and then deburring the edges of the skin. The usual stuff. All the while, I kept thinking to myself "this is the LAST skin in the fuselage kit!" Next, I pulled the blue vinyl from the bottom surface. Then I used my edge-rolling tool to slightly roll the left and right sides of the skin. This will give the skins a tighter appearance when they're riveted in place. Then I started dimpling a few holes but decided to prime it first so it could be drying while I worked on other stuff.

Here's the skin leaning against the fuselage where it can dry. When this skin is dimpled, it will be finished and ready to rivet, but it will probably be a long time before I'm ready to rivet this skin. This is normally the very last part on the whole airplane that gets riveted in place.

Next, I moved on to the firewall. Since the skin was drilled to the upper firewall flanges the other day, it's time to deburr and dimple those holes, too. The firewall is thin and easy enough to work with, but you have to be very careful around stainless steel. It can cut you very easily. Those burrs are sharp! After carefully deburring the holes, I used my squeezer to dimple them. You can see the dimpled top flanges in the picture below.

The two vertical rows of holes that hold the ends of the F-745 ribs to the firewall need to be dimpled for flush rivets. The only way to get these holes dimpled is with a pop-rivet dimple die set. I bought one recently in the1/8" size just for this purpose. That's what I'm doing in the picture above. The rivet puller pulls the dies together and leaves a very nice dimple.

Next, this bracket on the forward end of the F-643 rib was unclecoed, deburred, and riveted back on to the rib. This bracket connects to the firewall. Flush rivets will be used there, too, so I countersunk these two holes on the forward end, as seen below.

Moving on, I dimpled all the holes in all 3 of the subpanel parts that need dimpling. I didn't get a picture of that. Finally, the aft ends of the F-745 ribs hold the instrument panel, and they need a pair of nutplates on each one.

All that remains on the front deck now is to finish dimpling the skin, and install the air vents. I'm trying to make up my mind about air vents. The ones that come with the kit are cheap plastic ones. They have a known history of leaking a lot of air through them. You can improve that with a bead of RTV, according to the plans, but from reports I've read it looks messy. From what I'm told, they leave a lot to be desired. So anyway, I'm considering an upgrade to some better ones. I live in the Northwest and much of the time during the year it would be undesirable to have unwanted freezing cold air flowing into the cabin. As soon as I make up my mind about what I want, I'll get around to getting them installed. That can be done pretty much anytime.

<< Previous | Home | Next >>

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