Dimpling and Alodining the Aileron Parts

A LOT accomplished tonight.  I managed to get all the aileron parts dimpled, the counterbalance pipe countersunk, and even alodined a few of the small parts. I started off by setting up my DRDT-2 dimpler so I could make quick work of the skins.  This is pretty much what this … Continue reading

Riveting the Elevator Stiffeners

Stiffeners.  I swear this plane has more stiffeners in it than skin. Since I am holding off on bonding the trailing edge of the rudder for a few more days, I decided to move on to the elevators and start riveting the stiffeners on.  This will help get me to … Continue reading

Dimpling the Left Horizontal Stabilizer

After riveting the front spar, I was still wanting something to do, but nothing very involved.  I realized I hadn’t dimpled my skins yet, since I was waiting to do that until after the primer had cured.   Since the next step in the plans call for me to rivet on a few ribs to the left skin, I figured this was just a good a time as any to start!

I used the DRDT-2 dimpling tool to dimple all my skins.  I used a piece of scrap aluminum to set the dimple dies and the compression on the dimpler to form a perfect skin dimple.  A lot of folks don’t do this step since, and just go right to dimpling.  There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but there is an issue of under-dimpling which causes the skin to look like it has a “dished in” surface around the dimple.  You end up with this weird wavy looking skin surface.  Again, theres probably nothing wrong with have an under dimpled skin, so long as the part fit together snug, but I am wanting to build a quality airplane that looks excellent, so I take the extra time to set these things.  After a few test dimples in my test coupons of aluminum, I started on my left horizontal stabilizer.

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The DRDT-2 makes this work a breeze!  I still need to get some carpet or moving blankets so that I don’t have to worry about my work surface scratching my skins.  Right now I am using the plans manual under the skin to keep it off the rough work bench.  It works, but not ideal.  It takes a good bit of pressure to get a solid, clean dimple.  I am also using spring-back dimple dies from Cleaveland tool and they need a good bit of pressure to form a good dimple. I spent about an hour going around the skin bottom.  Then I marked off the top side of the skin using masking tape.  There are a few rivet holes that will be used later on to install the tail fairing, and we use nutplates for that.  So, Van’s has you not dimple a few holes in the top skin.  I covered them with masking tape so I wouldn’t accidently dimple them.

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This process went pretty quickly because of the dimpler.  I did have a few tricky holes towards the leading edge of the skin (where it curves/wraps around).  I had to take the skin off the table, and hold it with the opposite hanging down in front of the dimpler so I could reach them.  All in all, I think the dimples came out great.  I test fit them with a spare AN426AD-3-4 rivet, and the rivet fits in perfectly and there is no wavy-ness or under dimpled holes.

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Since I won’t be working on the right skin for a few more work sessions, I figured it was time to stop.  It was also close to 1:15 AM, and I was a little tired by this point.  I’ve always heard its good to stop before you get tired, because you will make a mistake.

Heres all the photos from tonights work session: https://goo.gl/photos/8H9dqyZWPKZR22A77

Hours Worked: 1.0

Dimpling the Right Horizontal Stabilizer

I didn’t have much time tonight, I was working on my parade car most of the day. But, I did find a little over an hour to get some work done on the airplane.  My beam torque wrench was delivered today, so I also torqued the bolts that hold the HS-411 hinge bracket to the rear spar.  Referring to the chart in the Van’s manual, I am supposed to torque the AN3 bolts down to 20-25 inch pounds, adding in the torque required to turn the nylon lock nuts.  My beam wrench was showing 5-8 inch pounds required to turn the nylon nut on the AN3 bolt, so I figured I would torque the bolts down to a total of 28-30 inch pounds.  After torquing the nuts down, I marked them with an “X” using a sharpie.  I will apply some torque seal once it gets here. This way I know which bolts have been torqued.

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Having completed that, I figured I should go ahead and dimple the right horizontal stabilizer skin, since I had a little bit of time left for the night. I used my DRDT-2 dimpler to do the work, and it went smoothly. I already had the dimpler set up from last nights work, so I just popped in the sets, and went at it.  I also remembered to mask off the holes in the skin that do not need dimpling, since they will be getting nut plates. The skin turned out well.

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And for some reason, my camera decided to make a little video.  I must have flipped a switch somewhere, so for fun, here is the video my camera made for us:

I spent a few minutes tinkering around with the pressure settings on my rivet gun.  I will be riveting the ribs to the skins in a few sessions, so I want to make sure I have everything set right.  I think I might spend some more time on the practice kits doing flush rivets over again.  This will give me some more practice, as well as let me fine tune my rivet gun for the -3 flush rivets.

Here is a full photo album of tonights work: https://goo.gl/photos/upb27wsi3J5HnDuu5

Hours Worked: 1.25