Dimpling the Bottom Wing Skins

A little change of pace! I’m back to dimpling skins.  This time around I managed to get all 4 of the bottom skins dimpled: 2 inboard and 2 outboard.  I didn’t snap any photos of this work, but I did get a time lapse of the entire session.  It’s not very exciting, but its good progress nonetheless.  It was also good timing as I had my benches setup and covered, making this pretty easy work.  I used the DRDT-2 dimpler to get all of the skins.  I even dimpled the holes for the access plates and their nutplates.

If you keep an eye out, you’ll see where I spilled my big mug of cold brew coffee! HAH! Thankfully it didn’t get on any parts, just the blanket covering the bench.  Tammy also came down and helped me get the last skin.  I think I’ll get the nutplates riveted on in the next session, since I am still holding for the replacement pushrod parts to be delivered.

Hours Worked: 2.25

Mounting the Left Aileron BellCrank

Not really a whole lot to report on this session, I did manage to get the left wing bell crank installed and few wires ran though.  I’ve decided to not built a mounting bracket for the pitot / AOA tubes just yet. I think I may have an elegant solution, more on that later in this post.  I did capture a timelapse again, here ya go:

I started out by getting the brass bushing insert to fit into the aileron bell crank.  Just like the right wing, I needed to file a good bit inside the bellcrank, as well as the bushing itself.  Heres the hardware and how it goes together.

From the factory the fit is VERY TIGHT.  The bellcrank is supposed to rotate ON the bushing, not the bolt.  So I needed to do some filing, sanding and smoothing to get a good fit.  I used a round file to get inside the tube of the bellcrank, and then emory cloth on the brass bushing.  I also gently chucked the brass bushing into my drill press at a low speed and used the emory cloth on it while it spun.  This made a very round and smooth surface on the busing.  For the bellcrank, I used the file to get the rough spots down on the inside of the tube, then I wrapped some emory cloth around the file, stuck it inside the tube and smoothed the bore out.  This was a repeating process checking the fit every now and again until it was nice and smooth.  Then I cleaned it all up with acetone and greased the bushing with some Aeroshell MS33 grease.  I kind of like the way it smells!

I did make sure to smear some on the inside of the cleaned bellcrank too :-). It rotates smooth as butter!  Next up was to start mounting this to the wing.  A quick pro-tip: Make sure you insert the bolt into the bracket BEFORE you screw the bracket to the spar web, it wont fit otherwise.  See:

It’s just a bit to long to get in the bracket, with the bracket bolted down :-). I collected the rest of the hardware as called out in the drawings and then bolted the bracket down to the main spar, torqued the bolts down to 40 in/lbs.  25 per spec + 15 for the drag of the nutplates.

Now its time to bolt on the long push-pull tube.  I needed to cut my W-929 spacer from the AT6-058 tubing stock at 1 1/16″ long.  I marked it up, and cut it on the chopsaw.  Then I deburred all the edges and made sure the cuts were nice and square.

Next up, I bolted the W-716 push-pull tube into the bellcrank using the hardware stack, and torqued it down to spec.  This one got 40 in/lbs of torque as well.  I am really loving this Tekton 1/4″ drive torque wrench, its more than paid for itself so far!

After making sure the bellcrank still was moving nice and smooth, I decided to do a little extra work.  The bell crank is on and torqued down, I was going to fabricate a set of brackets to hold my pitot and AOA tubing, as seen in this other builders post. But I decided on a better solution for me.  I had already drilled the holes in the next two ribs in an adbundance of caution on where I wanted to put the pitot, and they seemed like they are perfect alignment to keep the plumbing away from the bellcrank.  In the photo above, you can see the plastic bushings I inserted to test fit things.  They are the ribs to the left and right of the bellcrank.  Ill just run the tubing out to the bay outboard of the bellcrank, where the pitot tube is going, and leave enough slack that I can pull the whole bits down and undo the fittings outside the airplane.  Seems easier to work on for me, and I don’t need any extra bracketry.  At this point, I can always go back and make it too, so I’m going with this decision for now.  That may change when I install the pitot tube.   I did go ahead and pull all the plastic bushings from my SafeAir pitot / AOA plumbing kit, and insert them into the ribs.

I also ran the wiring from the stall warner switch through the spar web bushing, and into the center bushing on the ribs, all the way out to the inboard of the wing.  I did the same for the wiring coming from the fuel tanks float sender. I had installed a bushing in the spar web for it, so I just ran it into the same center-hole bushing as the stall warner.  I’ll keep these wires in these bushings since they are very low voltage, and are not exactly critical.

Then I coiled the wires up, marked them with some tape and marker and tucked them safely away into the ribs for now. I wanted to keep them from hanging on anything while the wings are in storage.  I still need to install the conduit for the other wiring, so I’ll keep these tucked away for now.

And heres what the wiring looks like going through the ribs bushings.  I may lace these up with some wiring lace?  Or I may just leave them as is.  They are well supported in these bushings, and if I ever need to service them, they should be easily pulled and re-ran.  Like I mentioned, these are not flight-critical, so I’m not too worried about them, and the low voltage poses zero fire risk.  All the other heavier duty wiring will go into the conduit.

The last thing we did was to apply some torque seal to all the bolts and nuts.  I also double checked all the torque values with the torque wrench first, and then Tammy applied the torque seal, because I always get messy with goops.  That wrapped up this session. I’m still waiting on the replacement parts for the aileron pushrods, so I may dimple the bottom wing skins next, or install the nylon wiring conduit.  There is very very little left to do on these wings until they go into storage.  I’m holding off on buying the pitot tube and heater for it until I decided on an avionics package.  Thats years away.  I may go ahead and run the wiring for the wingtip stuff however.  I’m going with LEDs, so no matter which option I go, there isn’t much amperage for wiring, and I go ahead and install some now.

Google Photos Link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/UmpDGJHoic7EU2U8A

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Hours Worked: 2.5

Mounting the Left Aileron

It’s time to get the left aileron mounted! I’ll save all the details on this post, as those are all covered in the right wing mounting.  I’ll do a brief synopsis, and let the time lapse speak for itself.

I started by cutting both of the spacers for the inboard bracket using the stock.  I managed to get them all cut from the 4″ piece of stock shipped by Vans.

Then I grabbed the aileron, and mounted the mounting brackets to it.  Once I had them mounted and torqued down, I marked them with torque seal, and got the aileron in position using some pin punches through the bolt holes for now.  After a bit of wiggling I got the bolt through the inboard bracket, its spacer, and all the associated washers, and finally its nut.  It was torqued down to spec.  The photo below looks like its warped… its not.  Its some sort of aberation with the iPhone camera this close up.  Its perfectly straight in real life.

After that it was on to the outboard mounting bracket, where I did the same.  Lined up the bolt, used some center punches to help and then torqued it down to spec.  The aileron is hanging on its brackets and swinging very very smoothly!

Next up was to get the bolts in for the push rod connection.  I’m waiting on my replacement parts for the pushrods, but the heim joints are still totally fine.  They did not go to the welders, and were not damaged by those buffoons.  I decided to go ahead and mount the heim joint in place since I have easy access to it now.  I’ll thread the new pushrods into place since I’ll be using the jig to make sure everything is lined up anyways.

Finally, I decided to move the left wing into its spot on the cradle! The cradle will give me easy access to work on the bell crank, where I have something special planned for the pitot lines.  So, Tammy came down and helped me lift the wing into the cradle.  Then I drilled some holes into the cradle’s wooden beam so that I could bolt it down securely, like I did for the right wing.  See this post for the details on how I did it for the right wing.

Lastly, I went over and checked all the torque values on all the bolts, then marked them with some torque seal.

I like the orange color better than the yellow I used previously.  I think I will keep using this color, its easier to see probably a good thing during inspection (conditional inspection) annually.  Thats it for this session.  I’ll work on the bellcrank next time, and then the brackets for the pitot and AOA tubes.  I’ll need to do some fabricating on that, so it’ll be fun!

Google Photos Link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3BTecFkSdhhH7Gcy6

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Hours Worked: 2.0

 

 

Cradle Upgrades and Shop Work

Made some big changes in the shop tonight, not to mention a milestone of getting the wings off their stands!  I started out by finishing up an upgrade to my wing cradle: Storage shelf!  Theres a bunch of space begging for a shelf between the two posts of the cradle. See what I mean!

So, I pulled some old scrap 2×4’s from my wood pile, and cut them to fit in between the two rails of the cradle.  I cut 5 and spaced them equally down the rails of the cradle.  I didn’t get a pic of this unfortunately.  Then I screwed the 2×4’s to the rails using construction screws.  Next I grabbed some of the scrap plywood that came from the original wing shipping crate, and used it for the “floor” of the shelf, and stapled it down to my freshly installed 2×4 cross beams. I was actually able to put my full weight on this shelf! You can see the new shelf in the photo below, as well as a teaser for what came next 🙂

Since I got the right wing’s aileron bolted on, its ready for the cradle, so Tammy helped me gently sit the wing into its cradle, as evident from the photo above!  Now that my workbenches were free, we decided to go ahead and get the left wing off its stand, and onto the benches so I can mount its aileron.  Tammy helped me get the left wing unclamped from the stand, and we gently laid it on the benches.

At this point, there is no reason to keep the wing stands bolted up, and they can come down to make room in the shop.  So, I grabbed some wrenches and went to work disassembling all the aluminum bracketry and stored my hardware for future use…..maybe for a RV-10?

Next was to unscrew the 4×4 uprights that were screwed into the ceiling joists, and then unbolt them from the angle brackets bolted down to the concrete floor.  I toted all 4 of these 4×4 posts out into the garage, as I’ll probably use them on a project at my Cabin.  These “4×4” posts are actually 2 2×4’s screwed together, so I have a total of 8 9-foot 2x4s from these wing stands! Getting those posts down freed up a lot of room in the shop! I can move the wings around in just about any position!

 

I had a bit of an idea for securing the wings into the cradle.  I was not real comfortable with the right wing in the stand, as it seemed to wobble and could potentially tip out!  So, I was lucky to have some spare bolts that was just the right size to bolt the main spar onto the cradle.  I first centered up the main spar on its “section” of the cradle, in between the middle and outer support post.  Then I marked two holes with my sharpie where the bolt holes are in the main spars, making sure it centered on the 2×4 beam.

Then I drilled the holes with a 3/8 drill bit, the perfect size for my spare bolts I got from the wing stands earlier!  I wanted to protect the finish of the main spar, so I put some electrical tape around its holes to make a protective cushion for the fender washer to lay on.

Then, I wrapped some electrical tape around the upper portion of threads on the bolt.  This bolt is slightly undersized for the main spars holes, which worked out great for me to tape the threads to protect the spars finish.

Then. I dropped the bolts through the spar, into the newly drilled holes in the 2×4 beam and put another washer on the bottom, and threaded the nut.  The bottom washer helps distribute the load from the nut into the wood. beam, while the top washer helps keep the bolt from damaging the main spar.

This worked REALLY well to secure the wing to the cradle! This thing isn’t going anywhere, and its fully protected from the bolts and washers.  This cradle holds the wing at a perfect height for me to work on it, and I have the bottom exposed to the outside of the cradle so I can get to everything.  The tops of the wings will face each other on the inside of the cradle, since they are already riveted.  Thats it for tonight.  I’ll start on the left wing aileron thats on my benches next, and get the left wing in the cradle next.

Google Photos Link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jfgqAgb9rJdLaWFk9

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Hours Worked: 3.5

Sometimes reviews don’t tell the truth

Well, I have some messed up aileron pushrods now. I decided to take my pushrods to be welded, after some concerns over the edge distance on one of the rivets.  I figured I would get them welded and call it good.  I found a local mobile welder that had great reviews, called them up and dropped of my pushrods.  This is what I got back!

Absolute garbage!! This guy said he’d been welding for 40 years.  His mobile rig looked impressive, and he had a very good setup.  I don’t know what happened here.  Was he drunk?  Let his kid do it?  Needless to say these are now scrapped.  I ordered the parts to build new ones today and hopefully shipping won’t be expensive on the 48″ piece of stock for the tubes.   It was around $60 bucks of new parts.

Live and Learn I guess!

Hours Worked: ZERO!

Mounting the Right Aileron

Getting some control surfaces mounted up! I was able to get the right aileron mounted onto the wing, and everything bolted in place and ready for me to do the rigging of this aileron.  I captured an overheard timelapse of the work here:

I started out by pulling the right aileron from the shelf and then bolting on its mounting brackets.  I did not bolt these on when I built the aileron, because I didn’t want them getting damanged in storage, since they stick down below the surface.  Leaving them off let me stack the ailerons safely together on the shelf.  These are the A-406-R and A-407-R brackets.

I bolted them on with the proper hardware called out in the plans, and then torqued them down to the proper specs (25 in/lbs + ~10 In/lbs for drag).  Then I marked the bolts with torque seal.  These were very tight to get into with a torque wrench!

Now its time to mount the aileron onto the wing! I needed to fabricate the A-712 spacer from some AT6-058×5/15 stock.  The plans calls for it to be 17/32″ long.  So I marked up some stock and cut it using the little chop saw, then filled down the rough edges and deburred both sides of the tube, now made into the spacer.

I pulled all the hardare I would need from the storage containers and got everything ready, including my newly made spacer. I am going to install the inboard hinge bracket first, and use a center punch to hold the aileron into the other bracket for now, just to keep the aileron centered and keep it from flopping around on my, potentially damaging things.

I got a little creative with getting all the dang washers inserted into these tight spaces.  I know there is a tool for this job, I just need to buy it :-). This worked out pretty well though:

 

It’s a machinist rule, with some masking tape sticky side out, holding the washer ever so gently.  Then I inserted it into the the gap and wiggled the bolt until it went through the washer.  After a few minutes (maybe a few dozen minutes……) of wiggling I managed to get the bolt all the way through the bracket, spacer, washers and into the nut.  I torqued it down to spec. The inboard hinge bracket is done!

I moved on to the outboard bracket.  This one doesn’t require any spacers, but it does use a stack of washers to get it to fit snuggly.  Here’s the hardware assortment and the plans showing how it assembles.  Notice there is a thin washer, AN960-10L, and its sandwhiched on one side.  Vans tells use to use whatever combination (or make a spacer if needed) to get this to fit properly.

Here’s how it eventually came out.  Again, lots of wiggling, finagaling, and adjusting to get these washers in place.  Then I torqued the bolt and nut down to about 40 in/lbs (15 in/lbs of drag on these nuts).  I have plenty of clearance it looks like.

The last step in mounting was to attach the aileron pushrod that comes from the bell crank.  This is on the inboard hinge, and it requires a spacer A-711 to be made from AT6-0585/16″ at approximately 3/8″ long.  So, I measured and cut using the chop saw, and filed and deburred all the edges smooth.  Seems like its a good fit:

You guessed it…..lots of wiggling and tight quarters work to get the hardware for this to get lined up, but eventually I wound up with the pushrod bolted in place, but NOT torqued down. I’ve got to remove the push rod later on.  I am still considering having them welded to be safe.  But for now, I’ll work to make sure the aileron gets in alignment and that there is no binding, etc.

That completed tonights session.  I’ll come down, work on the alignment jig for getting the aileron in trail and do some adjusting.  I’ll put some thought on having these pushrods welded, and make a decision as I need to get them permanently installed and adjusted at some point.  The aileron moves REALLY smoothly.  I am pretty happy to be at this point, as its looking like a wing now!

Google Photos Link:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/j4vBRirEnHrePFeu9

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Hours Worked: 2.25

Assembling Right Wing Aileron Bell Crank

Some changes to the shop tonight, and its time to start working on the control surfaces.  I did manage to get the W-421 aileron bellcrank assembled and bolted onto the spar web, where I’ll next install the aileron.  I grabbed an overhead timelapse, since I am not sure where to put the second camera just yet.

I actually started the session with the wings still in the stand, where I had my wife help me rivet the three or four rivets that I drilled out from the skins.  We had a few that were proud of the skin, so I drilled them out, and we riveted new ones in place.  They looked great.  Took about 10 minutes maybe?  Then, we repositioned my work benches in the shop to give a good place for the wing to lay while I did the rest of the work.

Then we laid some old blankets on the benches to protect the wing skins, and moved the right wing from the stand, over to the bench.  We laid it with the top skin up, as I had a few more rivets I wanted to drill out and reset on the rear spar.  Those went smooth, and then we flipped it back over, with the bottom (open side) facing up.

Next up was to mount the W-421 aileron bell crank to the spar web.  So, I setup some lighting, and grabbed the parts I needed.  I started out by deburring and drilling the holes in the W-823PP to the proper size, as they were a little under for the AN3 bolts.  Must be the painting on them as it didn’t need much.  For the bracket that goes on the top side, I inserted the long AN4-32A bolt and then bolted the bracket to the spar.

Keep in mind that the wing is upside down here, so the top is actually laying on the table.  So, the bolt has to go in vertically with the nut on the bottom in case it threads off in flight, the bolt will stay put via gravity.  In these photos, everything is upside down :-). You can see that we need to put that long AN4-32A bolt in the bracket FIRST, before we bolt the bracket to the spar, as theres no way to get it in otherwise.

Next up was to get the brass bushing that goes inside the W-421 bellcrank inserted and rotating smoothly.  The plans said we needed to drill out the brass bushing to fit the AN4-32A bolt, but I did not have to.  The bolt slid very nicely into the bushing.  Maybe Vans is sending bushings to size?  Vans also says in the drawing that the bushing should be 1/64 to 1/32 longer than the W-421 bellcrank, which my bushing was almost perfectly sized for.  HOWEVER,  my brass bushing DID NOT fit into the W-421 without some work.

The brass bushing was simply too big to fit all the way into the bellcrank.  I had to use my round file and smooth out the inside of the bellcrank holes, as there was some rust and roughness in there.  Then I had to use emory cloth to smooth off a few thousands off the brass bushing.  This took a decent chunk of time, and I even chucked the brass bushing into my drill press and turned it with some emory cloth.  Checking every so often and then filing and sanding until I had a very smooth fit that the bellcrank would rotate on freely.  Remember, the bellcrank actually rotates around the BUSHING, not the bolt.  The bolt compresses the bushing between the two brackets, and since the bushing is slightly longer than the bellcrank, the bellcrank rotates around the bushing.  Eventually, I had a nice smooth fit that rotated nicely.

Then I slid the bellcrank down over the bolt in the bracket, and then bolted on the bottom bracket, making sure to get the proper washer and nut as called out on the drawings.  Next was to fabricate up a spacer out of AT6-058 x 5×16″ stock tubing.  This spacer is used to secure the push-pull tube that goes to the control stick.  Vans tells us to cut this spacer at 1 1/6″ long.  So I measured it out, and cut it using the little chop saw, then deburred all the edges.

Now its time to assemble the bellcrank and the push rods in place with the W-730 bellcrank jig to get everything in alignment.  I bolted the W-730 jig into place using the An3-7A bolt that goes through the W-818 aileron pushrod and made sure it was flat against the spar web.  This hold the bellcrank in a perfectly neutral position so you can adjust the push rod to line up with the aileron in a neutral position.  Then, I assmebled the bolt, new spacer, and washers that hold the control push-pull tube in place and gently tightened things down.  I did NOT torque these yet, as I am going have to disassemble everything once I install the autopilot servo.  You’ll notice no torque seal has been applied to serve as a reminder to me later on down the road when I do buy the autopilot mount kit.  That could be years out! I’ll use this for now to get the aileron mounted and in adjustment.

This will serve only to get the aileron mounted, and the push rods adjusted.  Once I have that done, I’ll remove the pushrod and then paint the ends that were scared up during riveting to prevent rusting.  I may actually have them welded, I haven’t decided yet.  I also still need to prime the entire longer, W-716 push-pull tube once I have some more AKZO.  I also need to apply some grease to the bearing surfaces, like the brass bushing to bellcrank interface.  I’ll do that once I final assemble the bellcrank.

Thats a good stopping point for tonight.  I have some Aeroshell 33MS grease on the way for the bushing.  I’ll mount the aileron in the next session, and then this wing will go in the cradle, as it’ll be done for the time being.  I am leaving the bottom skins off until I am completely done with it, which won’t be until very close to mounting them to the fuselage some years down the road.

Google Photos Link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y3Ahzr4gAKAcdK4aA

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Hours Worked: 3.75

Finishing Aileron Push Rods and Control Tubes

Quick update and work session tonight.  The last long control tube has cured from its priming, and Its ready for the rod end to be riveted.  So, I grabbed the primer, and swirled some on the inside of the VA-111 rod end, and also on the mating surface.

Then I clecoed the rod end into the tube, lining up all the holes, ready for the MSP-42 blind rivets.   I set these rivets one at a time, dipping the ends into the primer so they get a nice covering, and wet set them.

Eventually they were all set, and these tubs are assembled!  I still need to prime the longer push / pull tubes, but I’ll wait until I get some more AKZO to prime them.  I want a hard wearing surface for these, the oil based primer I’m only comfortable with being inside the tube, where it wont get scratched or exposed.  I set the tubes and push rods on the shelf for now, as I’ll need to get the wings on my benches to install them and the ailerons.

Google Photos Link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/g32nX89FH53jr1Ni6

Hours worked: .25

Aileron Push Rod Tubes – Part 3

Yeap.  Part 3.  This is a short session for tonight, but progress none the less. I also stopped by Ace Hardware and picked up another small can of oil based metal primer to finish off the other tube, where we ran short last night.  I did manage to completely assembly one of the push-pull tubes though! Here’s the short timelapse for this session.

And the bench view:

I started out by unclamping the tube that was left drying overnight.  The primer inside the tube had dripped out, and was dry enough to work with.  I grabbed the rod end for this particular tube, and coated it in some fresh primer, then inserted it into the push rod tube.

As you can see, I also coated the inside portion of the rod end to be safe.  We did this on the other end as well.  I clecoed the rod end into the tube and then set the MSP-42 blind rivets.  Like I did last time, I dipped the rivets into the primer to give them a good coating before setting them in the tube / tie rod end.

After I had all 6 of the blind rivets set, I wiped down the excess primer, and put this tube on the shelf. It’ll need to have its outside primed, which I’ll do in AKZO soon.  For now, its safe on the shelf.  Now that I had a new can of fresh primer, I grabbed the second push rod tube and then poured some down inside the tube, swirling and swishing it around to fully cover the inside of the tube.  Like last time, I installed the VA-111 rod end in one end of the tube, setting the MSP-42 rivets like I did in the photos above.  Then I clamped the tube with the open end facing down, onto my bench to allow the excess primer to drip from the tube and down onto a paper towel.  I’ll let this one sit overnight also and then rivet on the last rod end tomorrow, finishing off the assembly of these tubes. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of this work, but you can clearly see the work in the time lapse videos above.

Google Photos Link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ayfMyVPozrieF5118

Hours Worked: 0.75

 

Aileron Pushrods and Control Tubes – Part 2

A long working session tonight with the help of my wife.  We managed to get all the aileron control pushrods and control tubes made up, except for one last little bit of priming, since we ran out of primer.  I did manage to capture the first three hours of the build session in timelapse, but my timelapse stopped at three hours, and we actually worked 4.25 hours.  Oh well.  Here’s those videos:

And heres’ the bench-view:

I started out by finishing up the W-818 bellcrank pushrods.  They were left drying overnight from having the inside primed. I grabbed them from the bench, and smeared primer on the AN490-HT8P threaded rod ends, then inserted them and bucked the rivets for them.

Once I had that done, I went ahead and threaded on the F341M heim joint, and the AN316-4 jam nuts on each end.  I marked a half-way mark on the threads of the insert with a blue sharpie so I’d know about where the halfway mark was when threading the heim joints on.

Then I used my 48″ steel ruler to adjust the heim joints on each end equally, until I had the proper 27 58″ of distance from the center of each bolt hole.  Then I torqued the jam nut down to hold them in place.  I did this for both of the pushrods.

These are done! I’ll probably paint some primer on the riveted portion as it got a bit scratched up from riveting.  Next up was to make the W-717 push-pull tubes.  I pulled the AT5-035×1.125 stock tube, and decided to cut it in half.  Its exactly 12 feet long that would give me plenty of working room for each tube since this stock is only used for these control rods.  I used the little cut off saw to make this initial cut.

Next up was to rivet the VA-111 rod ends into the tube.  So I measured the shoulder of the VA-111 to be .5″, and decided to mark a line halfway, at 1/4″ to give me plenty of clearance.  I used the avery marking tool to make this easy, after I measured where 1/4″ would be.

Next, I wanted to do the same distance on the end of the tube itself, to guarantee plenty of edge distance.  So, I measured 1/4″ and used the avery tool to make a line around the tube.  In theory, the line from the VA-111 and the tube should be in alignment, and give me plenty of distance when drilling the holes.

Now, its time to drill.  I used a piece of paper, marked out spacing of 19/32″ spacing and wrapped around my tube as a guide.

I marked the lines of where to drill for the rivet holes using that paper template, and my 1/4″ line. This give me 6 evenly spaced rivet holes, with 1/4″ of distance.  Should work perfectly!  I made a simple drill jig, using some scrap angle aluminum in a drill press vise.  Then centered up the drill bit into the “V” of this jig to help me make sure I get the bit centered on my tube.

Then clamped the jig down, and laid my tube in the jig, without the VA-111 inserted.  I drilled a single hole in the tube first, then I will use this hole as a sighting hole to line up the blue sharpie line I made on the VA-111 to make sure its lined up and inserted to the proper depth.

Now that the hole is drilled into the tube, I inserted the VA-111 and lined up the 1/4″ index line in the center of the tubes hole, and then used this to back drill the first hole into the VA-111. You can see the blue line on the VA-111 insert through that new hole in the tube in the photo below.

I gently put this lined up assembly under the drill bit, and drilled the hole into the VA-111.  This worked out PERFECTLY! It allowed me to drill the hole in the exact spot with no edge distance issues.

Next, I reinserted the VA-111 and clecoed it in place using this new hole.  This assured me that everything else would line up, and I could just drill the tube and the VA-111 at the same time.  I’d drill a new hole, insert a cleco and then drill the next hole, using my index marks.

Eventually, I ended up with 6 very nicely spaced holes in the tube and VA-111.  I am pretty stoked about how this worked out.

Now, I wanted to get one rod end done on each of the tubes to give me a place to start my measurements, which is important in the next steps.  So, I essentially did this same procedure on the second pushrod tube. Recall my tubes are 6 feet long, way longer than the plans calls for.  I have read the plans dimensions are a bit too short for the end measurement, leaving the threads of the rod end and heim joint out of spec and too far out to make up for the short tube length.  So, I marked the halfway point on the threads for the M3614M heim joint with a sharpie and threaded them into the rod end bearings. We only want to thread these heim joints to the halfway point to give us plenty to work with for adjustments later on.

I decided to do something a little different.  I drilled a #12 hole in my workbench, big enough for an AN3 bolt to go in, and stuck a long AN3 bolt through one of the cleooed rod ends to hold it firm in my bench.

I had to get a little creating here.  The plans tells us we need a full 69 9/32″ length from the middle of the rod ends on each end of the tube.  I still need to trim my tube to fit this, so I measured out 69″ as my tape measure doesn’t go to 32nds.  Then I measured out from the end of the tape to meet that 9/32 with a machinist rule, and drilled another #12 hole.  I’ll use this hole to insert the other rod end in, to decide how long to cut my tubes to get to this end measurement.

Now that I have a firm 69 9/32″ bolt holes, I can figure out where to cut the long end of my tube to get this exact measurement.  It turns out my tubes needed to be right at 66″ length.  This gave me about 1/16″ of extra overlap on the rod end, but certainly not enough to hurt anything.  Once I had both tubes cut to 66″ I marked, jigged and drilled these freshly cut ends for the rivet holes on the VA-111 just like in the steps above.  Then I deburred the edges and deburred the holes on each of the rod ends on each tube to get it ready for priming.

We only had enough primer to slosh around in one of the pushrod tubes.  We cleaned the tube with acetone, taped up one end and filled it full of the oil based primer and sloshed it around a good bit to get the inside of the tube fully covered.  Then, I grabbed one of the VA-111 threaded rod ends, and slathered on some primer and slide it into the tube.  I then grabbed the MSP-42 blind rivets, dipped the end in primer and set all 6 in only one end of the tube.

Lastly, I clamped the tube gently to my work bench with the open end facing down, so that the excess primer could drip out overnight, and also give plenty of air to help it dry and cure.  We ran out of primer, so we didn’t get to do the other push rod,  I’ll pick some more up tomorrow, and finish the other one off later.  For now, this one will drip dry for tonight.  I’ll need to order some AKZO to spray these tubes on the outside, as they are naked aluminum.  The oil based primer is perfectly fine for the interior, I want AKZO on the outside because its durable and tough as nails.

 

Google Photos Link:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/cSXjEoG75TGCPugg8

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Hours Worked: 4.25