Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You know the drill...

The replacement aluminum angle material for the mis-drilled canopy strut mounts arrived today. I placed the order on Saturday, but Van's is closed on the weekends so it wouldn't have been picked and shipped until Monday morning. They're located all the way out in Oregon, three time zones away, so it probably wouldn't even be Monday morning Columbus time; it was far more likely to be shipped Monday afternoon at the earliest. I used that delay to call them up and have them add a couple more things that I hadn't thought of ordering at the time that I ordered the replacement aluminum angle. For example, I've come up short on CS4-4 rivets. I must have had to drill a few of those out some time in the past, or there just weren't enough included in the kit. I've been working on this fuselage for so long that I can no longer remember which it is.

In any event, I was pretty irritated with myself for messing up the drilling of those holes in the first place and was even more frustrated when I remembered too late that I needed to order those rivets. If I didn't get the rivets added to the order, I'd end up paying shipping charges twice. As much as I like Van's, their shipping is maddening. They inexplicably refuse to enhance their web site with a shipping cost predictor like every other eCommerce site in the universe. They basically offer you the opportunity to roll the dice on who's going to be cheaper between UPS and FedEx. They also offer US Postal, but go to pains to discourage you from using it.

I mean, SIX WEEKS?? Really??? The 19th century pony express was faster than that! This time around I decided to call their bluff. So, instead of paying FedEx $8.95 to ship $4.00 worth of stuff, I paid the US Post office $4.52 to ship $4.00 worth of stuff. And what's more, it didn't take six weeks. They shipped Monday morning (Oregon time) and it got here Wednesday afternoon Ohio time. Remind me: why do people deride the US Postal Service? That's pretty impressive as far as I'm concerned.

So, with 8 inches of replacement angle in hand, I toddled out to the hangar right after work in hopes of getting at least a couple of useful 1 5/8" braces crafted before losing the sun at 5:20 pm or running out of aluminum. That's pretty sad, isn't it? Dark by 5:30. I don't know how I'm ever going to get this thing done.

I needn't have worried about running out of light or aluminum. Using a pilot hole rather than rushing in with a full frontal 1/4" drill bit attack worked famously.

As with the first attempt, I started by very precisely measuring the location for the three holes and marking the spots with a center punch.

I then drilled three of what I thought were #40 pilot holes. Well, they were in fact #40 holes; that's not where I misconstrued what I was supposed to do. No, what actually happened was that I thought all three of the #40 holes were pilot holes that would then be drilled to final size, but I realized just in a nick of time that 66.66667% of those holes actually were supposed to be #40, not the larger #30 holes that I thought I was to drill.

That just left the 1/4" hole in the middle to drill. This is where it all ended in tears the last time I tried it.

No tears this time. Perfect!!

The rivet holes matched perfectly too.

That all went so quickly that I actually had some sunlight left over. As long as I was having a good night with the drill, I went ahead and tackled the very, very scary job of drilling through the shelf and into the longerons. One bad move here would be devastating! Not to worry, though, as all went well for that operation too.

1 comment:

Torsten said...

The last step, match-drilling the shelf into the longerons, how did the fit end up for you? I mean the shelf with the outsides of the longerons? If I align my shelf's edge on one side it protrudes a bit on the opposite side. Maybe 1/16 to an 1/8". I think I might have to spread the longerons a bit ...

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