Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A movable part!

I installed a movable part tonight, and what's more it was a part of the actual control system.

Most of my nights in the shop start out with something mundane or difficult, or both. That's because when I was faced with something of that nature the night before, I decided that it would be a good time to stop. Tonight is was nutplates. Again. They weren't too bad, though, since they ran along the edges of the floor boards I had riveted in last night and were therefore easily accessible. Well, mostly. There were a couple that required reaching up behind the bulkhead to get into position.

There were five to do on each side. That's a total of ten for anyone keeping score at home. There were three of the type of soft blind rivets that have been giving me fits on each side, but I was able to pull all six without having a single one break off way up inside the rivet puller as has been happening recently. The trick seems to be to squeeze just a little, release the squeezer and reposition it at the bottom of the nail, repeat, repeat, repeat. It's when I try to pull the nail in one big squeeze that I have the problem with them breaking off up inside the puller.

Here the are, all in a row:

Finally it was time to thread the control column through the lightening holes and into position. Well, first I had to final drill all of the holes in the tabs that the mounting bolts pass through to remove the powder coat, but that was more or less easy. The 'less' was because there were holes that were too tight up against the control column for the drill to fit easily, but I managed.

Speaking of tight fits, it took quite a bit of jiggling and wiggling and wrangling and tangling to get the column through all of the holes. It was almost like a puzzle - turn it this way to get through this hole, and that way to get through the next one...

It took a lot longer than you would think.

Here it is, all snug in position:

There are just a couple of small bolts that hold it into place, but each bolt has a collection of five washers that act as spacers. The order goes bolt head - flange - washer - washer - bearing - washer - washer - flange - washer - lock nut.

Four out of the five washers are a pain to get into place. The plans suggested using a tab of tape on the washers, which actually worked pretty well once I figured out what they meant.

The first bolt took 15 or 20 minutes (and a half dozen dropped washers) to get in. The second went a little faster, but not much. Both were torqued into place.

Unfortunately, the first bolt was just for practice. As I was making my last quality assurance check, I realized that I had made a mistake.

I installed that one bolt head - washer - flange instead of bolt head - flange - etc.

The one easy washer was on the wrong side of the arrangement. The hole thing had to be removed and done over.

That kind of thing seems to be getting to be a habit.

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