Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gaps in my knowledge

I wanted to get an early start on riveting the baggage floors to the Center Section this afternoon but one thing just kind of led to another. Getting up at 0515 every morning starts to take a toll right around mid-week, so a nap kinda just happened. Then I decided that I wanted to put the "feet" under the baggage floors to keep them from drooping and putting unwanted torque on the baggage floor flanges as I was trying to rivet them. (PARENTHETICAL NOTE FROM A TIME TRAVELER THAT HAS COME BACK FROM THE FUTURE: DON"T DO THIS!) That took far longer than expected and brought me hard up against dinner time. It wasn't until 7:00 that I was able to leave for the hangar.

I was back by 7:30.

The "feet" that I referred to above are the F-1221-L/R, F-1222-L/R, and F-1223-L/R Baggage Ribs that will support the baggage floor. The first trick with them is to get them correctly oriented. The drawing is not at all difficult to interpret, but I have to get the actual part aligned and placed in the same position as it is in the drawing. You know those shape puzzles they have on aptitude tests? If those were the only criteria for success in this world, I'd be filling a position at the very bottom of the Village Idiot, Inc. org chart. And my prospects for advancement? Poor. Very, very poor.

Getting the Center Section and flaccidly dangling baggage floors positioned only involved half a dozen turns, flips, and rotations before I was trying to figure out which direction the Baggage Ribs went. I'll cut to the chase: find the holes in the center of one of the edges of the rib and put it furthest away from the Center Section, and don't worry that the holes don't all line up with each other:

I don't want to talk about how long that took to figure out.

Part of the difficulty in getting the ribs correctly positioned was that they don't fit very well. It took a bit of cleco coercion to get them to snug into position up against both the Center Section and baggage floors. As with situations like this before, what worked best was to start out at the edges and work in towards the Center Section. The flanges that cleco to the baggage floors were relatively easy; it was the flanges that attach to the Center Section that were the toughest. Eventually, though, success!

It actually worked, too. The floors were nicely supported on the ribs were under them.

I loaded the whole thing into the trusty Subaru and drove over to the airport. It's rare that this happens, but the guy that hangars his Baron next door was there getting ready to push his plane back in. He doesn't seem to fly it much. Anyway, as is the usual case I gave him a wave and, as is also universally the case, I was completely snubbed. It's like I'm completely invisible from 20' feet away. Amazing. Probably one of those guys that, if he goes to Oshkosh at all, thinks the whole thing would be better without all of those pesky EAA types running around.

I dug out my Gucci-orange rivet gun and loaded up an offset rivet set to angle in towards the hard-to-reach rivets.

I missed a bit on the focus, but you can see how the bend in the rivet set will help me get the rivet gun itself up away from the surface of the baggage floors when I try to set a rivet. So, I was finally ready to rivet!

So how did I end up being right back home by 7:30?

Well, I can't figure out what is causing the flange to bend out and cause this gap:

Worse, I don't know what to do about it. I'm reasonably sure that step #1 is "drill out the rivet," but I'm kinda keen on knowing what step #2 is going to be. Just driving in a new rivet is only going to do the same thing. Perhaps the gap is acceptable (and that is the answer I would truly love to hear), but without knowing one way or the other I couldn't see the value in proceeding with more riveting.

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