January 13 , 2008

Leading Edge End Rib, Splice Plate - 7.5 hrs.

Another big day today. With the leading edge clecoed on, I fitted and drilled the end rib and the tank splice plate. Then it all came off the wing for dismantling, removing vinyl strips, deburring, and dimpling. Then it was all reassembled.

Here's the fitting and drilling of the 408-I end rib and the splice plate. This is one of a few ribs in the wing that doesn't have any pre-punched holes. So you don't even know where to put the flutes to straighten it out. So you fit it in place first, then mark where the holes will be with a sharpie, then take it out so you can put in the flutes and straighten it out. Then you put it back in place and slip the splice plate in also. Careful measuring and marking helps you get it in the right position so you don't drill it in the wrong place. This came out really nice. Take your time and you'll get a good fit.

Here's the leading edge, hours later, after a lot of work. You can see that I removed the vinly strips from the rivet lines. But it's too hard to see all the other work I did, like deburring the edges of the skin, deburring all the holes in all the ribs and both sides of the skin, then dimpling all the ribs and the skin. The splice plate was deburred and dimpled, too. Finally, it was all reassembled as you see here.

I'm actually ready to rivet this thing together. But I think I'll wait until I have the Duckworks landing light installed first, in case I need to take it apart for any reason. You can see where the skin is marked for cutting the hole for the light. If you look close, you can also see that the end rib has the nutplates installed that hold the bracket inside for the light.

I got out the soldering iron and prepared the vinyl to be stripped off so the hole can be deburred after I rough-cut it with my die grinder and a cutoff wheel. But I'm stopping here for the night. It's late and the die grinder/cutoff wheel makes a lot of noise. So it will have to wait.

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