January 19, 2008

Finished Duckworks Landing Light - 6 hrs.

Today I finished working on the Duckworks landing light. Then I took some time to countersink all the rivet holes on the main spar.

The first task today was to warm up the plexi lens before attempting to trim it to size. I brought my little portable oil-filled heater out here to warm up the shop a bit, and I laid the lens on top of it for a few minutes. While it was warming up, I set up my band saw. Then I was able to easily cut the lens to size with no problems. Then, as you can see above, I made the strapping tape "handles" as described in the directions. You pull the lens up tight against the inside of the skin this way, and then drill the 3 holes on each side through the lens. Next, you enlarge the #40 holes to #30. That's what I'm doing in the above photo.

Next, you take it apart, deburr, and countersink the lens for a #6 screw. Then you rivet the nutplates to the retaining strips. You deburr and dimple the skin holes for a #6 screw

Picture the above shot with #6 screws instead of these clecos, and you'll see it is finished. I'm not going to put the lens or the #6 screws in yet, however, since I will be riveting this whole thing together first. I'll install the lens when I'm nearly finished with the wing.

Since I'm finished with the landing light for now, I got out my countersink cage and went to work on the main spar. I countersunk every rivet hole on the spar. It really feels good to have this done. Since the leading edge skin is dimpled, this needed to be done before I can cleco it back on. I figured that as long as I'm at it, I may as well do the holes for the lower skin, too. Because once the leading edge skin is in place you can't put a countersink cage flat on the spar flange to countersink the row of holes underneath it for the lower skin. I almost made that mistake with the other wing, and caught myself right before riveting the leading edge in place (whew!). By the way, what looks like masking tape in this picture is actually a coat of primer that I shot way back when I put the nutplates on, to prime the big countersunk holes you see in the picture. Since then, I've used a much better technique. I shake up the can of primer and then use a Q-tip dipped in the primer and dabbed into each rivet hole. It goes fast and easy, with no cleanup. Just throw the Q-tip away when you're done.

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