September 4, 2008

Cleaned up the left wing - 2.0 hrs.

Today I had some fun pulling off all the vinyl and cleaning up the left wing. Daniel helped me lift it back into the storage cradle. Then I put the aileron back on. No pictures, sorry. I'll have more, soon. I'm just so anxious to finish this work, so I'm not taking the time to take a lot of pictures.

September 5, 2008

Finished flap pins, installed flap - 2.0 hrs.

More detail work on the left wing tonight. You think you're nearly finished, but then these details keep coming at you. Tonight I finished the work on the pins that slide into the hinge that holds the flap onto the wing. There are two different ways to do this suggested in the manual. I'm using the method where you cut off a couple of eyes in the middle of the hinge, and install the hinge pins from the middle in two pieces, going left and right. I'll have pictures soon. It's just a matter of cutting the pins to length and bending the ends down in the middle to secure to the wing.

September 6, 2008

Priming Wing Skins - 3.0 hrs.

Well, tonight I started on the right wing. I didn't show or explain this yet when I did the left wing, but I believe I made a huge mistake by deciding way back when to not prime the insides of my wing skins. Fortunately, I have primed everything else along the way. This came about when I was reading a discussion about priming in one of the online forums. There's a lot of debate on this subject, with parties on both sides of the issue swearing by their experience. There is, indeed, a lot of evidence to support both priming and not priming. The alclad surface of the aluminum we're using has some good anti-corrosion properties, as is. I think a lot of it has to do with how you're going to store your aircraft (in a hanger, tied down outside, heated or cold hanger, etc. Condensation may play a part). I also think it has a lot to do with where you live; dry climate vs. rainy or humid, etc. Finally, are you going to spend time at or near the coast? Salt water air will eat up anything. I know that from experience with a family beach home. I won't write volumes here to explain myself. Suffice it to say that my technical counselor had some input that changed my thinking. If any of you have doubts about whether or not you should prime the insides of the skins, check out the corrosion showing on this guys RV-8. Then decide. So I decided to go ahead and prime the wing skins, even though the top skins are already riveted to the wings. I didn't take pictures of this process. I did it with the left wing before installing the AOA system. It was a lot of detailed hand work, and I just started tonight. I didn't get finished, but I got a good start. Priming the bottom skins before riveting them on was obviously a piece of cake.

Basically, I laid the wing on the bench upside down so I had access to the insides of the top skins. I used a large piece of scotchbrite pad and some good ol' naphtha (i.e., Coleman lantern fuel). I went to work scrubbing and scuffing the skins, one wing bay at a time. I like the naptha because it dries almost immediately and leaves a squeaky clean surface that you can prime immediately. It's cheap. It's much less noxious than MEK. Then I took a cotton ball dipped in the primer and basically painted the skin by hand, one bay at a time. Near the ribs, the primer wicked into the joint between rib and skin. I believe I got very good coverage.

Then I came to the aileron gap seal. The top skin extends beyond the rear spar and is riveted to this part. In order to prime this area of the top skin this part had to come off. So I ended up drilling out 50 or so rivets. I can confidently say I'm pretty good now at drilling out rivets without causing any damage.

September 7, 2008

Priming continued, riveting, etc. - 4.0 hrs.

The priming work continued tonight on the right wing. I'm very happy to have this work finished so I can move on. I feel much better now. I got the aileron gap seal riveted back on as well. I can see the finish line for my wings, and it's much closer now that this chore is finished.

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