Hot and muggy. Time to fix that?

So after sweating through a few pages in the wonderful D.C. area humidity I decided I needed to do something about my workshop ( ok. It’s really just a garage). 

Been looking at portable AC units and even some of those mini-split systems. Not for full time AC but relief when I’m working. Decided that I really don’t want to spend my $$ on either and finally just grabbed a dehumidifier. Now I will preface this by saying I did put some work into insulating as much of my garage as I could prior to starting this project and I did recently add some foam around my garage door to better seal the space up when the door is down. Not perfect but it’s decent. 

Once I unpacked and plugged  dehumidifier it was showing 80% humidity after a lovely storm front. Give it about two hours and we are down to a much more comfortable 40%. Still warm but not sticky /sweaty. 

I have some high hopes but will know more in the next few weeks. Will likely keep it running most of the summer to try to keep my tools from rusting if possible. 

Elevator – Part 6

First, not sure if my videos are too short, too fast, too long, or need more details.  I have thought of doing some voice overs vs the blog posts, but not sure how interesting that would be.  Any comments here or on YouTube would be appreciated.

Starting the final assembly of the first elevator.  Putting the tip ribs together with the squeezer.  Squeezer barely fit but it worked out well.  Next comes the spars and adding the elevator horns.  Next I’m dimpling the nutplates and attaching them to the reinforcement plate.  (I can’t wait to start setting up the dash!)

Next up is back-riveting the ribs to the skins and attaching the rear spar and shear clips.   Attaching the second skin and we are starting to look like an elevator.  Even with all the issues using my blind riveter in the last update, I didn’t have any issues with the ribs and needing the special tool.

I was trying to find a good way to buck some of the rivets on the skin and the rear spar.  Don’t do what I tried, just read the directions and clamp the rear spar to the bench.  It’s easier.  Trust me.

I also elected not to create the “special bucking bar” and just ordered the blind rivets for called out for in the Vans instructions.  If someone local was willing to lend me their bucking bar, I may have attempted it but really don’t think it’s a big deal using the blind rivets.

Elevator – Part 5

Starting this session off with drilling the holes for the Trim Cable attachment brackets onto the cover plates.  Fairly straightforward but always fear that my measurements are just slightly off.

Next I’m deburring the skins of the elevators and begin the cleaning process so I can prime.  As discussed in previous videos, I have subscribed to the “Scuff with Scotchbright pats, clean with Acetone, and spray AKZO.  Only slightly different approach this time was I didn’t remove any of the blue plastic on the outside of my parts (just deburred with the plastic attached).  Honestly this worked just fine for me and I really didn’t see a downside other than having to get the Soldering Iron out later in the process when I went to rivet.

When this was filmed, it was early summer and it was difficult to find a good time to paint due to high heat and storms.  I actually dind’t capture it, but I was able to prime all the internal parts of both elevators, but only one set of skins.  I was getting to my breaking point in the heat and decided to wait to point the other set of skins when I did the trim tab,  so things are “slightly” out of order.  I’m also terrible at estimating how much AKZO to mix and tend to run out before I am done.  Honestly don’t like the idea of wasting my primer.

After priming was completed, started to dimple all the parts and begin assembly.  This did require additional tool purchases such as the Small Diameter Female Dimple die for the nutplates.  I know people have their own opinion regarding the substructure dimple dies from Cleaveland Tool, but I continue to use them and like the results.  I also decided to purchase a single flute countersink as I was not happy with the results of some of my countersink holes on the elevator.  Nothing terrible, but just not as clean as I was expecting.

The last min of this video is me fighting with the dimples on the root rib.  I had issues with my blind rivet tool while I was trying to use the Cleaveland tool close quater dimple set.  I then used a modified set (as described here) and a C-Clamp with slightly better success.

In the end I probably should have purchased the vice-grip version and saved myself some struggle but either way I got the job done.  I have mixed feelings about my pop riveter, however it was the perfect size to allow me to set blind rivets latter in my elevator build without needing to build the little helper tool that Jason Ellis described, so there is that.

Do I push for my IFR now, or spend a month or two building hours?

So I’m well into my IFR training at this point and have I believe at least performed most of the necessary skills. I’m getting better with my scan and correcting for errors as well as getting more comfortable dealing with “unexpected” issues. Did two longer lessons where I was logging XC time and had more interaction with ATC. Nothing that made me feel like a failure. 🙂
My concern at this point is that I still only have about 35 hours XC time and around 30 hours simulated instrument time. Last weekend I flew the family up to NJ to drop my girls off at “camp grandma” for the week so that helped get some additional XC, but I still need Simulated Instrument time as well.

Do I push to get my IFR completed now, or do I take a small break from training and pick up again later (fall / early spring?). My IFR test is good till fall 2018 and I’m sure if I look around I can find someone to split time with. As much I as I want to just get it done, I also don’t want to keep throwing money at Instruction time just for the sake of building hours.

Any, enjoy some photos from my most recent flight!

Elevator – Part 4

Match Drilling, disassembly of the second elevator. Deburring all the elevator parts in prep for priming.

As other have said before, you never have enough clecos.   The other thing to note is that I’m using the reamer vs a Jobber drill.  Not sure if this is making any real difference or not, but the hope is that it creates a better hole with less burr.

Elevator – Part 2

I started to do my initial assembly of the Elevators.  First thing was figuring out which way to bend the skins for the R and Left elevators.  I ended up messing up my bend on the first one and decided just to use the Rivet gun to pound the skin flat and try again with some better wooden blocks.  You can totally see that the skin isn’t perfect, but I have long since decided that this is not really going to be a “show plane”.  I’ll most likely put some filler or micro to clean up the skin a bit prior to painting.  No Biggie.

Also not sure if you can really catch it, but when I was attaching and match drilling the elevator horn, I had it rotated the wrong way.  Again, not the end of the world, and I made sure that I had everything correct for final assembly.

Once again got some help from the girls while I was working and continued to make progress.  So far, things are pretty straightforward based on past experience.