I found an hour or so to finish up the main wing rib fluting. Like the last session, I used the table top method on our granite countertop and knocked out the remaining 14-something main wing ribs. They stack much nicer now that they are all formed straight and with proper flanges.
I was going to start working on the leading edge ribs, but decided to hold off on those guys, because I think I will modify my flange straightener tool to work with these curved edges so I can more easily get the flanges to 90 degrees. Then I can flute them all. No photos from tonights work, as it is pretty much the same as the last session.
About a week ago, I decided to bring my wing ribs upstairs and do the fluting up here, since that doesn’t produce any filings or shavings. HOWEVER….I have had a lot going on family wise that I haven’t been able to spend much time on them. I’ll also admit that over the last few days I have actually been fiddling with these things to the point of frustration. I tried a few times to sit down and get the straight using the wood dining room table as my “flat surface”, and always end up frustrated because no matter what I tried, they never would come out straight.
You see, we have to flute the flanges on the ribs because during the forming process they will get bowed a bit. Fluting “shrinks” the metal down along the flange, pulling it back straight. See how they are from the factory:
It seems like a simple process, and it actually is…..if your reference surface is truly flat. 😐 Turns out, our dining room table is not exactly flat, and I was using this bowed/curved surface as my guide and my ribs never came out right. Once I realized this, thanks to my wife Tammy, I decided to use our granite counter tops, since I knew they’d be nice and flat. After switching over to the stone counters, I ended up using the “table top” method of rib fluting. This video shows how to do this method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIvFpVV6kIQ
The results speak for themselves. After I did the table top method, with the flanges sticking up I flipped the rib over with the flanges down towards the counter top to double check. Then I used a metal ruler to measure that the rivet holes were all in alignment. Some ribs (like the one below) only needed a couple of flutes, while others needed many more.
I ended up getting the process down pat, and was able to knock out 14 ribs using the granite counter to and “table top” fluting method. I did have to go back and re-do the ribs that I did on the dining room table, since they were not straight. I’ve got a lot more to go, but I think this method will help me knock them out quickly. Here’s all the photos from tonight’s work:
Google Photos Link: https://goo.gl/photos/pc9q3jqyrzesHnzn9
Hours Worked: 2.75