Friday, December 11, 2009

"So, how was your day at the office?"

I can only imagine what a bad day at the office for a plastic surgeon might be like:

"You wouldn't believe how many tail skins I deburred and broke today."

It's not all that much more pleasant as an RV-12 builder, truth be told, although it sounds a bit less gross.

I've been working on the bottom tail cone skins, my thought process being the same as Van's: make your messes on the bottom where they're less likely to be seen.

The mess I'm making is from deburring the holes - that's pretty routine stuff by now. No, the problem I'm having is in "breaking" the skins. The tool that I'm using apparently requires the asceticism, diligence, and patience of a Stavrophore monk to master. There appears to be no limit to the ways I can find to create a wavy or buckled edge. I'm hoping that the contrition inherent in the riveting of the skins will flatten everything out enough to at least partially mask my errors, but if it doesn't, well, at least my sins will be apparent only to those willing to crawl underneath the plane. Judging by the coat of oil and grime that routinely builds on the bottom of my RV-6, it's not like I will ever be under there!

This does not address the issue of top and side skins, though, and I don't think I'm going to suddenly tap some new reserve of innate ability before the completion of those pieces comes due. Instead, I'm going to try a different tool. Co-pilot Rick has one of these:

My hope is that it's easier to keep a grip on and it won't slide off of the edge like the puck shaped tool does. As with my hypothetical surgeon, tool slippage can (and does) leave a very, very ugly mark.

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