Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Workborne pathogens

Much as with their airborne counterparts, workborne pathogens have a way of infecting low-immunity persons such as myself, often leading to unshakable feelings of malaise, angst, frustration, and outright anger. Two out of four today for me. The latter two, if you must know. Having spent the better part of the day struggling to finish a two day project (today was the sixth day), I was in the mood for working on something more productive and tangible than the computer bits and bytes that I push around all day hoping to form into useful tools,

Lucky for me, I have just the thing for that.

Tonight marked the return to "normal" work. I knew that the tide of struggling with unsatisfying longeron bending had receded when I was directed to countersink some holes in preparation for (you guessed it) nutplates. I'm actually skipping ahead a little bit, which is a polite way of saying that I'm avoiding some work I don't want to do on (what? You guessed it again!) the longerons. Namely, match drilling the holes from the canopy sills into the longerons. I'm putting it off because it requires a .025" thick piece of scrap aluminum. The designers and manual writers at Van's have yet to internalize the fact that the RV-12 generates very little scrap metal (although it did manage to generate quite a bit of scrap fuel line, at least in my case). I'll be cutting some .025 areas out of the side skins soon enough; I'll circle back once I do. Those scraps should be just the right size since the required scrap is to be used to simulate the thickness of the side skins. What could simulate side skin better than, well, side skin?

So, back to my night of relative normalcy. My goal was to get through page 23-03, at the end of which there would be a cross bar and two plates used to support the roll bar mounted to the fuselage. It was the support plates that needed the nutplates. They were slightly trickier than they looked. First of all, four of the holes on each plate are going to take flush blind rivets and need to be countersunk with the special 120 degree bit. The other tricky thing is that the plates get countersunk on the opposite side from that shown in the drawing. It plainly states that fact in the drawing, but if you were suffering from a workborne pathogen infection or something, well, you just might miss that notation. I didn't, but I could certainly see how I could have.

The cross bar clecos into place quite easily.

There are nine rivets in each side, and they're just slightly uncomfortable to get to.

Two things to note here: first, the quality of my photography is going to take a major hit from being out in the less than optimal lighting conditions of the remote factory floor, and two, it took me hand-pulling all nine of those rivets to remember that one huge benefit of being at the remote factory is having access to the air riveter.

Things were cooking along quite well. Too well, as it turned out. Consider this picture, in which it clearly states that there are six LP4-3 rivets to be installed in the rollbar support plate:

Now count the clecos:

Seven, unless I'm still delirious from my recent workborne pathogen infection.

The one in the middle is the one in question. I'm going to have to wade into the fetid depths of the internet to research that issue tomorrow. It was easy and painless to simply ignore it for now.  The rest of the riveting was a breeze, although it might have been better if I hadn't forgotten my reading (and riveting) glasses. One of the problems with working at the remote site is that if I forget to bring something, it's a much bigger hassle to go back and get it.

Fortunately, blind rivets can be read like Braille print.

I'll find out tomorrow if I need to pull another couple of rivets before calling page 23-03 complete. I got pretty close. Close enough, anyway.

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