Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Into the abyss

I just couldn't put it off any longer: I had to make the first step. Sure, it was only one small step for man, and an even smaller step for mankind, but it sure felt important!

It really couldn't have been easier: find the VS-1210 and final drill #12 the eight 3/32" holes. Sounds easy, right?

Well, not so fast. Should I put it in the drill press and ensure a straight hole? I could do that, but I'd have to clamp the part down and if I got it aligned just a bit off center I'd end up elongating the hole. So, maybe I should just drill it with my nifty new hand drill. The bit would more or less correct itself if my alignment was off, but what if I had the drill at an angle? What would that do?? I finally decided that the hand drill was the way to go - the piece is so thin that any angular error would be tiny. Seriously, I stewed about that for an entire day! Sort of. I was at work and struggling to get caught up after a two day absence, so that took most of my available brain cycles. I stewed during the rare respites when someone wasn't after me to do something. I swear, some days I don't dare emerge from my office; they're out there waiting like lions hoping a hapless gazelle will walk by on the way to the watering hole.

Once the decision regarding drilling method was out of the way, I had to convince myself that the drill bit inhabiting the #12 spot in the box was, in fact, the #12 bit. Things may have gotten moved around over the years, after all. Ah, my aging eyes simply aren't up to the task without a significant amount of aid:

The actual drilling, while significant in that it was the first time tool had touched metal, was a bit (heh, "bit" - get it?) anti-climatic:

With the holes successfully drilled, we find that the VS-1210 is actually four parts and that they need to be sawed apart. No real tool selection decision to be made here: hacksaw!

Here they are, alongside a couple of other parts that arrived as one, but are now two:

These all get assembled together with a pair of bearings (yet to be found, but I'm betting they're in one of the brown paper parts bags) to form the hinge point for the rudder. But first they need to be fit together into assemblies and the holes need to be final drilled to a #30 size. Putting them together temporarily brought another momentous event: the first cleco:

One down, 100,000 to go!

Here they are, clecoed together, drilled, and ready to be taken apart again for deburring:

That's it for today. Now I need to decide whether or not to buy another bench vise and clean up these kinds of parts with a file, or spring for the $55 or so to buy a ScotchBrite wheel for my bench grinder.


Ted said...

Get a ScotchBrite wheel. It makes your life much easier. Don't save on this one.

Brent Humphreys said...

scotchbrite wheel is the best tool I have.

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