Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More firsts

More "firsts" tonight.

Last night, I received a welcome influx of high quality aircraft building tools from Co-pilot Rick so tonight I was able to really dive in and clear out some of the backlog of work. Sounds odd to "be behind schedule" already, but I've had parts waiting for deburring for lack of good tools.  Before moving on to anything new, tonight's first task was to work through the backlog. The ScothBrite wheel, some small files (which I already had but for some reason never thought to use), and a neat edge deburrer got everything cleaned up and ready to go in just about an hour.

I had primed the rudder hinges last night so they were ready to be riveted together, but I wanted to squeeze a few practice rivets first. I see on other bulder's logs that they just grab a piece of the scrap metal that came with their kit to test and/or practice with, but I can't figure out where they're getting it. It must be the lower number RVs that include that. With the -12 kit, the only spare metal I have so far is shavings from drilling and deburring, and I vacuum those up every night. I made a quick run to the hangar to grab some leftovers I kept from metal projects I did while I was taking a few A&P classes and brought those back to the shop to play with.

I'd been warned that squeezing #4 (1/8" diameter) rivets was tough, but the first practice rivet went fine. As did all but one of the ten that I needed to do to finish up the rudder hinges. The fifth one I did started to bend as I was squeezing it.



So, my fifth squeezed rivet was rapidly followed by my first drilled out rivet. Ain't that grand? Fortunately the drilling out of the bent rivet went easily and well. I'm sure there will be plenty more. Here are the completed rudder hinges:



With step one finally completed, I moved on to finishing up step two, which is match drilling all of those holes in the big spar that forms the tail end of the vertical fin and supports the rudder. Many, many holes to be drilled. It was here that I realized that I still don't fully understand the strange dialect spoken by Van's manual writers. One step said to match drill the #40 holes near the bottom of the part. The drawing helpfully showed that area, along with a tag that said "MATCH DRILL #40 - THREE PLACES."

All well and good, that, except for one thing: there are six #40 holes there. But... the holes could be considered to be in three pairs of two, if one were desperate to understand just exactly what one was being told to do. It's interpretive, see?

And that would have been just fine. I would have drilled the six holes and spent a night sleeping the deep, restful sleep of a man with a clear conscience. Except for one thing: the next step was to "MATCH DRILL 3/16" HOLES - FOUR PLACES." There were four holes. Arranged in two pairs of two. For consistency, one would expect that to be described as "TWO PLACES."

I drilled all four without compunction, but now I'm wondering about those doggone #40 holes!

It was nice to be making good progress again, but there were some moments that threatened to ruin my mood. None of them were all that big in and of themselves, but a series of minor annoyances can have a profound impact on your reaction if you were to (hypothetically, of course) do something as dense as dropping your drill on the floor and breaking your #30 bit. Just saying that could be the case, mind you. It's not like I could ever be that clumsy, right?

From the mail bag:


Brent said...
Looks like your squeezer is the main squeeze. That thing is crazy good. AD4 rivets are tough with a Tatco or avery squeezer, but the cam in the main squeeze makes it easy.

I actually prefer my main squeeze over the pneumatic squeezer.

DaveG said...
Brent -

Exactly right - it's the Cleaveland Tools Main Squeeze. At $400 for the squeezer and dies, I doubt if I would have bought it myself given the relatively low number of solid rivets in the -12, but I was able to borrow it from Co-pilot Rick. Good tools and good buddies willing to loan them out make it all sooooo much easier!


4 comments:

Brent said...

Looks like your squeezer is the main squeeze. That thing is crazy good. AD4 rivets are tough with a Tatco or avery squeezer, but the cam in the main squeeze makes it easy.

I actually prefer my main squeeze over the pneumatic squeezer.

DaveG said...

Brent -

Exactly right - it's the Cleaveland Tools Main Squeeze. At $400 for the squeezer and dies, I doubt if I would have bought it myself given the relatively low number of solid rivets in the -12, but I was able to borrow it from Co-pilot Rick. Good tools and good buddies willing to loan them out make it all sooooo much easier!

JoshG said...

I was just about to ask about that. I didn't know there were any solid rivits in a -12. Cool!

DaveG said...

Josh -

Hundreds, actually. They hold in the nut plates and some of the beefier bracket and such. I think they can all be squeezed, though, so no need for a rivet gun or bucking bars. You know, stuff I actually had.

Post a Comment