Priming Horizontal and Vertical Stabilizers

Today was priming day! The weekend is about the only time I have available where I can get priming done. I am spraying the parts outside to keep fumes out of the house, so I am at the mercy of good daylight. Yesterday I my Shriners unit had a parade, so I drove my little parade car in it, and didn’t get home in time to work so today was my work day.

I have the entirety of my horizontal and vertical stabilizers to prime today, and I got started around noon. I first scuffed down all my parts using a maroon scotchbrite pad. My goal was to only remove ay aluminum oxide that may have formed, while also giving the AKZO some tooth to bite into. I did not want to remove the alclad, as I have decided to leave it on the aluminum as an additional layer of corrision protection. The AKZO will be my primary barrier, while the Alclad will serve as a secondary. I also realized that the dimples tend to eat up a scotchbrite pad, so I may start leaving my dimpling duties until after I have primed, this might make scuffing easier and less abusive on the pads.

After I had all my parts scuffed up, it was time to clean them off. My chosen method is to use acetone. This will get rid of any chemicals and oils on the parts and give the primer a good clean surface. I first started by wiping the parts down with a dry micro-fiber cloth, the goal here is to remove any of the dust left from the scuffing.

Then I used paper towels and acetone to clean the parts completely, until nothing was being left on the paper towel. The skins were a little tricky because they had the red ink from the aluminum company, so I wiped it off with acetone first to keep it from smearing across the parts This made it a little easier to clean.
Here’s a glimpse of a skin scuffed, cleaned and ready for primer:

Next step was to mix up my AKZO and give it the 30 minute induction time. I took a rough guess and figured a total of 8 ounces should be plenty for these parts. I shook the **** out of each of the AKZO cans, mixed them up with a paint stir, and poured 4 equal parts of “Part A” and “Part B” into my PPS cup. I learned that pouring the clear hardener (part b) first makes it much easier to see the ratio lines on the PPS cups. Here’s my primer chilling out in the cup, inducting:

While the AKZO was inducting, I moved my parts outside and onto my spray table. Unfortunately, I had more parts than I had table so I used some old cardboard boxes for the others. I figured I would start flange up on the boxes, so when I flipped them over the flanges would hold my freshly painted surface off the cardboard and not smear it. It worked out pretty good.


Eventually I had all of my parts sprayed, and looking great. This stuff goes on really easily, and dries fast. I am also happy that you don’t have to hussle to spray whats in your cup because you have a pretty long working time in your cup. Now, I will admit, my skins have some uneven spots where some areas was sprayed heavier than others, but my main concern was to make sure my skins had adequate coverage. I am not trying to get a show-room quality paint job since the only people seeing this will be me and the inspector. As long as there is good coverage, the AKZO will do its job preventing corrosion. I also had a few small runs on some of the parts, but again, I am not going to worry about them unless the run causes some assembly interference.

I had a few small places on some of my parts that I had to spray again to get good coverage, but I had plenty of AKZO in my gun so I didn’t have to mix any up. The 8 ounces (I think the PPS cups are measured in ounces) ending up being just about the right amount, I had good coverage on my skins and parts, and had a little left over to touch up the areas that I missed. After it was all done, I had probably .25 ounce in the bottom of my cup, very very little. I ran some acetone through the gun’s gravity feed and then moved the parts from outside onto my work tables to they can finish drying. They turned out really nicely!

I’ll let these things harden overnight, and probably start assembling them all together tomorrow or Tuesday night. This green color will look nice against the white/grey hinge brackets and gold colored rivets.

And always, here is a complete album of tonights photos: https://goo.gl/photos/X5mgorU1X4jzY4tE9

Hours Worked: 5.25

Vertical Stabilizer deburring and metal finishing

Tonight I simply finished up all the metal prep work on the vertical stabilizer. I deburred all the holes, and then finished all the edges on the ribs, spars and skins. The spar doubler I spent a good bit of time on getting it smooth since its a heavy piece of aluminum. I started on my bench grinder to break the edges, and then finished them off on the scotchbrite wheel. I used a deburring tool to round off the edges of the lightening holes and then use a scotchbrite pad to smooth those down. It came out smooth:

Then I finished up the night by dimpling all of the holes, while skipping the ones destined to have nutplates for the fiberglass fairing. I used the DRDT2 for most of them, and the squeezer for a few, and finally the pop rivet dimple die set for those last two in the nose rib.

That wrapped it up for the night. I don’t have any work backlogged on my bench because I am waiting on this weekend so I can scuff, clean and prime the horizontal and vertical stabilizer parts/skins. I am spraying outside, so I need a day with plenty of daylight.

Only a few photos from tonights work, since it was mainly metal prep. Heres what I took: https://goo.gl/photos/kEVxThYQk7GBvHFf6

Hours Worked: 3

Vertical Stabilizer metal prep

Tonight I mainly focused on metal prep on the vertical stabilizer. I disassembled the stab, and then deburred all the holes. Then I marked which holes on the VS-808PP doubler and VS-803PP rear spar that needed to be countersunk / dimpled. I used my DRDT-2 dimpler to set the dimples in the VS-803PP, and then used a micro-stop countersink cage to machine countersink the holes for in the spar doubler. After a few test fits to make sure those two parts fit flush with each other, I moved on. It came out pretty good:

I then removed some strips from the rivet lines on the skins so I could deburr the skin, as well as removing all the remaining plastic from the other parts. I also finished the edges of all the lightening holes in the ribs and doublers. Tomorrow I will work on finishing the edges of all the pieces and then dimpling the skeleton, then it will be ready for cleaning and priming this weekend.

Not a lot of photos, since there really wasn’t much to take photos of, but here’s the photos from tonight work: https://goo.gl/photos/Ah54BATLQMPghYVg7

Hours Worked: 3

Vertical Stabilizer assembly

Tonight I figured I would start on the vertical stabilizer. I have both my horizontal stabilizers ready for scuffing/cleaning and priming, but I don’t want to do that until a few hours before I am ready to prime. With my work schedule running until 5pm, and getting dark at 5:30, I just don’t have the time to setup for priming during the week. So, I am planning on doing that this weekend.

In the meantime, I figured I might as well start the vertical stabilizer, so I can have it ready for priming at the same time I do the horizontal stabilizers and save some time and mixing, and do them all at once.

The vertical stabilizer was actually really easy to assembly and get ready for metal prep. I don’t know why Van’s doesn’t start the kit with this piece since its so easy to do.

I first started out by assembling the VS-808PP and VS-803PP. Then I clecoed on the hinges VS-410PP, VS-411PP and VS-412PP to the rear spar assembly. Once assembled I match drilled everything to a #30 except the very bottom holes in the bottom hinge, which will be drilled during the fuselage assembly.
After that, I fluted and prepped the VS-404, VS-405, VS-406, and VS-407 ribs and assembled them to the rear spar. Oddly enough, the instructions didn’t say exactly to also assemble the VS-702 front spar but I took it as a given since Van’s called for the skeleton to be assembled. Once I had everything assembled, I ended up with a nice looking skeleton for a Vertical Stabilizer! I then match and final drilled all the assembly’s as called for with a #30. This is what it looks like:

Next, Van’s called to cleco on the VS-801PP skin to the skeleton. This skin went on much more easily than the horizontal stabilizer skins! I double checked everything was in alignment and clecoed both sides together, skipping a hole between clecos. I decided to only remove the blue protective plastic from the inside of the skin so I get a good fit and proper alignment against the spars and ribs (which I had also removed the plastic from). It will be scuffed and primed in the future anyways.

Once the skin was cleco’d down, I matched drilled everything using the smaller #40 drill bit in all the skin punched holes. I had previously marked all my parts with a sharpie, and noted their orientation so I would be good to go when I disassemble the stab for priming. Here is how it turned out:

That’s about all I could get done tonight. In 2.5 hours I completed the drilling and assembly of the entire vertical stabilizer! This is a good place to stop, and tomorrow I will pick up by disassembling everything, making sure its all marked, and then deburring, edge finishing, and dimpling all the parts to prepare them for priming. I will get the vertical stab primed up with the other parts this weekend.

Here’s a link to the full album of tonights work: https://goo.gl/photos/1BmasXXJaBHai3Ko7

Hours Worked: 2.5

Dimpling Horizontal Stabilizer parts

Tonight was just finishing up the metal prep work in advance of priming. I ended up getting all of the substructure dimpled and ready for cleaning and priming. I mostly used my DRDT2 to dimple the parts, since its so convenient and easy to use. But, it just won’t get in to some of the hard to reach holes around the corners of the parts and the noses of the ribs. So, I had to fire up the squeezer for those few remaining tight holes.

There were a few holes that were too close to even fit my squeezer, especially on the HS-706 rib. Luckily I had just the tool for that:

This pop-rivet dimple set worked very very well, and its worth every penny! I had never used one before, but figured it couldn’t be too bad, so I gave it a go without trying a test piece first. It took a few tries of starting out gently squeezing, and moving to progressively firmer squeezes with the pop-rivet tool, but after the first one I realized that the nail “mandrel” could take a good bit of pressure. I kept dropping in a AN4263-4 rivet to check the dimple to make sure I had it flush enough. After a few tries I learned how to have good results like this one on the first squeeze:

One foot note: While attempting to dimple the bottom flange on the rear spar, I realized I didn’t match drill the entire bottom flange, because my dimple die would not fit in the hole. Whoops 🙂 But it was an easy fix. I just re-clecoed the spar to its married skin, and matched drilled the holes. Then re-deburred the holes in the skin and spar, and proceeded to dimple as normal.

Not many photos from tonight since there isn’t a lot to capture during dimpling, but heres what I took: https://goo.gl/photos/XBrdgZvJTqFzhiGP7

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Hours Worked: 2

Deburring and dressing the horizontal stabilizer parts

The Dixon household has caught whatever sinus bug that has been going around, and then add onto that the horribly smokey air quality from all the wild fires makes for little motivation to work on the plane. But I did get to feeling a bit better today, and the baby … Continue reading

Prep work on horizontal stabilizer parts continued

Lots of part prep done tonight. I only have a couple hours I could spare, so I worked to wrap up all the prep work on the ribs, spars and skins.

Lots of deburring, edge breaking and smoothing, and filing on all of the left horizontal stabilizer. I also removed a few strips of blue plastic around the rivet holes on the skin, trying to leave as much as possible on the skin to help keep it protected. I used the soldering iron method to make the strips smooth and a ruler to help guide it. I also ground the tip of the iron down on my bench grinder so it’s not sharp. Its almost rounded off, and does a great job of melting the plastic and not scratching the skin.

I had asked the forum about those last 4 remaining holes on the HS-00001 doubler, and it seems the consensus is that all the pre-punched holes on the doubler needs to be back-drilled into the spar and spar bar. So I drilled those out tonight and deburred them. Heres that thread for reference: http://www.vansairforce.com/communit…d.php?t=143576

I also spent a little time practicing removing rivets from my practice kit. These kits are pretty handy! I have done a couple and I always find myself using them as “experiment pieces” months after I had completed them. I didn’t take any photos of this since its not really relevant to the build. It was just me trying to work on drilling out rivets.

Heres a few photos from tonights work. There’s not many, since there really isn’t much to show: https://goo.gl/photos/ZDRwZgKYnNYLB6nUA

I am going to pick up a few tools to make things go a little faster:
1. Electric screwdriver for deburring
2. 1/4 adapter for deburring bit: http://www.cleavelandtool.com/HEX-AD…ductinfo/1095/
3. Movers blankets

My goal is to do the same to the right horizontal stab, and then move on to dimpling. If the weather holds up, and I get all these parts ready, I plan on spraying them with AKZO this weekend.

 

Disassembling Horizontal Stab for Priming

Tonight I started disassembling the horizontal stabilizers to prepare them for priming. This the last step in the “Drilling the horizontal stabilizer” section of the plans.

I started by unclecoing the skin from the right stabilizer, and marking it and all the parts of the skeleton as I removed them. Noting their orientation and layout. Once I had the right side done, I did the same on the left, and kept all their respective parts in separate stacks on my parts shelves.

After they were all took apart, I finished drilling the HS-710, HS-714 and HS-00001 parts per the instructions. I needed to drill the last few holes on the bent part of the spar bars to match the HS-702 and HS-00001 doubler. This only took a few minutes to complete, since it was only a few holes. However, I do have a question about some of the extra holes in the HS-00001 that I am going to ask the forum about, and possibly Vans.

Next, I started on the left stabilizer skeleton parts but deburring the holes and finishing the edges. I also took care of the edges of the lightning holes. I didn’t get all of the parts done for the left stabilizer, but I got a good majority of them. I’ll leave the rest for another day. Once I have them all deburred and the edges smoothed, I will dimple the ones needing flush rivets and then get ready to paint them all (hopefully this weekend).


Here’s the photos of tonight’s work: https://goo.gl/photos/6vPJvvS4wQvg26Ym6

Hours Worked: 3

Drilling Right Horizontal Stabilizer

Today I worked on the right horizontal stabilizer. Technically I completed the “Drilling the horizontal stabilizer” section of the plans, save for the riveting.

Todays session was pretty much identical to the last one, except I was completing the right side horizontal stabilizer as opposed to the left from the previous session.

In summary, I clecoed the ribs, then match drilled them to form the skeleton. Then I worked on fitting the HS-00005 and HS-00006 ribs into the skeleton and marking, and back drilling them. The tedious part was the measuring and aligning, and then clamping everything to drill.

Once they were good to go, I started back and match drilling the skins to the ribs and spars. That wrapped up the session for the night. To finish out this subsection, I will disassemble both sides so that I can prep them for priming and riveting.

Thats going to include:
1. Deburring all the holes
2. Scotchbrite all the edges
3. Rounding any corners
4. Scuffing the surfaces
5. Cleaning everything with acetone.
6. Spraying Akzo
7. Dimpling the skins and ribs
8 Riveting everything together.

 

Heres the photos from tonights work: https://goo.gl/photos/5XakAzTRj4FCnpic7

Hours Worked: 3.5

Drilling the Horizontal Stabilizer

Today was a good day on the project, with lots of progress being made, and ultimately a flying surface assembled. Tonights work began with going back a few steps in the plans to assemble the HS-00001 doubler plate to the front spar. I measured out where the edges should be … Continue reading