So not much detail for this post. Somehow I didn’t have my camera in “timelapse” mode, so I had to edit down a few hours of 4k video down to something “reasonable”. Again I was more concerned with making progress than I was on getting good camera angles. I was doing a bit better with my elevator videos that I should publish shortly.
Essentially this was a bunch of “rinse and repeat” riveting the ribs and spars to the skin. Nothing major. There is a note in the plans that some of the holes in the center of the HS may be more accessible when they are out of the cradles. I absolutely found this to be the case for my build (not shown in the video).
During this stage is when I really wanted an EAA counselor or another builder to come over and talk me off the ledge. I was getting upset that my skins weren’t “perfect” and that I was putting some dings in the skins. One of my local builders came over to take a look and didn’t see anything that was of any real concern. Even the dent in my rudder didn’t make him flinch. The advice was that I should try to use my mushroom swivel set (similar to this one). I have one sitting in my toolbox but hadn’t used it yet. I’ll have to see how it works on the elevators.
Anyway, here is the final Horizontal Stabilizer video.
I’m trying to break some of my updates and videos up a bit so they aren’t so long (as well as speeding up the videos a bit).
I found some tips by Larry Larson on his website http://wirejockrv7a.blogspot.com/ Specifically his tips for Dimple tokens. I wanted to make sure I countersunk my spars correctly so I just make a few tokens to start with. They turned out pretty good and I need to finish making the set (as well as putting them on a keyring). I thought I took some video while I make the tokens, but can’t seem to locate it. (I’m really behind on my updates at the moment).
Countersunk all the necessary holes in both the front and rear spars (checking with the tokens along the way). Mounted the nose ribs and riveted them into place. I found that using one of the inspar ribs to pull the skin together helped a bit, but even still needed to cut a piece of vinyl tubing to help get the skin and rib flange to sit tight together. (This is hard to explain but is discussed in more detail in this tread on VAF, as well as photos here)
I installed the front spar and inspar ribs and blind riveted the ribs to the spar as appropriate. Finished up with clecoing the skins to the ribs before starting to rivet everything into place.
After getting all the parts for the HS deburred in the previous update and a nice break in the weather, I started to get the parts ready for priming. Due to the chance of some storms later that day, I decided to skip the wet-scrub and just scuff the parts with a regular scotch-bright pad, followed by cleaning with Acetone. This was slightly less messy and allowed me to move faster through the prep of the parts. Once the Acetone and air-filter went on, the kids had to go inside.
Just as I mixed the AKZO, the weather started to look threatening. I thought for sure all that AKZO was going to be wasted, but luckily things held off and I was not only able to spray all the ribs and stringers, but had enough time to scrub down the skins and get them primed as well.
After that I had to go back and dimple the skins and all the parts. One suggestion – Double check that all the holes on the skin that should be dimpled are actually dimpled. Later on I realized I somehow missed a single dimple. It happens, and you can kinda fix it, but it’s better to just dimple it correctly the first time.
I think part of the problem was I didn’t do all the skins in one sitting and decided to start to assemble a few parts before I finished all the dimpling.
With my angle-drill tool in hand, I finished drilling the last few holes in the HS. Next, I spent what seemed like a lifetime taking everything apart and getting it deburred. I debated not even posting a timelapse, but finally decided to post a VERY sped up video. The fact that I was able to do it in small chunks in the evenings did help a bit so I didn’t loose my mind. I need to install a stereo or get some headphones to help pass the time.
I did have some company for a bit and finally gave my girls their own “toolbox” projects so they got to spend some time with Dad working on their own projects.
With some assistance from my cousin (also a Pilot and A&P) we were able to start assembling the Horizontal Stabilizer. Getting the nose ribs in the skins was a bit of a pain, but that may have been due to my use of the straps vs the plywood cradle suggested in the plans. As other builders have commented, we needed a LOT of clecos to get the skin attached well. Basically a lot of “rinse and repeat” from this perspective and it was very nice to have another aviation enthusiast helping on the build. This is always the cool part where things are starting to look like real parts, vs the work on the spar and ribs.
We figured out how the stringers go together and got them inserted into the ribs without too much fuss. The remainder of the week was me match drilling one section at a time. As stated in the plans, just come up with a methodology to get everything correctly matched drilled.
This is also the point where you really need to have an angle drill or angle drill attachment in order to drill the holes on the front spar attachment bracket. I was personally hoping that my craftsman cordless angle drill would be sufficient, however it was still too big to access these holes. So an order for the appropriate tool is in and hopefully it will arrive shortly.
At this point I have match drilled all of the holes and once the attachment bracket is drilled, I can begin the process of deburring.
This is a bit of a fragmented post due to weather, and family schedules. While waiting for the tank sealant to cure on the trailing edge of the rudder, I began to fabricate the Horizontal Stabilizer front spar attachment brackets from some stock angle aluminum. (Page 8-3: Step 3-4). Next was trimming and deburring the spar caps and stringers (Page 8-4). This all happened in fits and spurts over a number of days (as witnessed by multiple outfit changes in the timelapse).
Next was the assembly of all the parts of the Front Spar to match drill and deburr. At this point I was stuck until the weather allowed me to prime all the parts. (Page 8-5) Moving forward I started to trim the inspar ribs, and get all the ribs deburred. (Page 8-6, 8-7). As noted by others, on Page 8-7 there is no longer a need to cut holes in the nose ribs as Vans has added lightening holes in all the nose ribs at the factory.
Finally I had time and the weather was nice enough for me to go back and prime the Front Spar so I can start riveting it together. I’m hoping to build cradles for the HS this week in prep for this weekend.
While I am waiting for a good 2 hour block of time to do my Rudder Trailing Edge, I jumped to the next chapter to work on the Horizontal Stabilizer. First off this is a LONG piece. I originally was working on just one of the EAA benches, but about halfway through decided to move things around a bit to have a better work area.
Started to go nuts filing the edges of the spar and doubler before I switched to the deburring tools. Pretty standard stuff of deburr, assemble, match drill, take apart and deburr holes, prime, then assemble. As I started to rivet the parts together I decided to pull in my youngest helper. She had a blast “helping” and using the celco pliers on my airplane. She has already been asking if she can come out and help and I fully intend to keep both girls involved in my build!
Completed page 8-2:1-6 and page 8-3:1