September 30, 2007

Finished Alignment, drilled top skins - 6 hrs.

Well, I still don't have all the painting done on the house, but I'm well into it. But since I can't paint outside at night, I can hopefully resume some work on the project after daylight hours. Today I spent the time necessary to finish the alignment work on the skeleton and make the brackets for the bottom (rear spar) on the jig. I've been putting this off since I wasn't sure how I was going to do it. But I finally got it all done. The wing skeleton is now totally aligned, leveled, no twist or sag, and clamped in place top and bottom. Time to match-drill the skins!

But wait... while the skins are off, I decided to take this opportunity to countersink the holes in the main spar for the dimples in the leading-edge skin. I want to put it on and check the joint between the leading edge skin and the main skin before I drill the main skins, but the leading edge is already dimpled. So this is necessary so it will lie flush when I cleco it back on.

Here's how I made a clamp and L-bracket for the outboard end of the rear spar. This L-bracket from Home Depot is large enough to allow me to clamp it to the short bracket on the post, with enough clearance for the wing skins that protrude beyond the edge of the wing rib, so the skins don't run into the post bracket. I hope that makes sense. What I'm trying to avoid is the problem Dan Checkoway had with the skin running into this bracket. See his page here to see what I mean.

Here's a view from the other side of the post, showing the post bracket, and the wing skin clearance.

This is the other end of the spar... the inboard end. The clamping method here is a bit more involved. I used a triangular support bracket with a cross-bracket at a 90-degree angle, clamped to the inboard end of the rear spar.

Here's a shot from the other side, showing it clamped in place. This holds it solidly, and clearance for the wing skin is no problem here.

With everything finally clamped down where it belongs, and the wing skins clecoed back on, I started drilling. I got all the holes in the top skins match-drilled to the ribs. Man, that's a lot of holes! By the time I moved clecos and drilled the rest, it was time to quit. I'll have to do the bottom skins tomorrow.

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