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

Aileron Pushrod Tubes – Part 1

After a short break, I came back down to do a little more work.  I decided to go ahead and make the W-818 aileron bellcrank pushrod.  We managed to get the W-818 pushrods made, and even got the inside primed.  Here’s the time lapse:

It started out by grabbing the ST4130-035 x 1/2″ stock tubing and marking up the cuts.  I need to measure out 23 13/16″ for each of these pushrods, luckily my 4 foot rule has 1/16″ markings.  So, I laid out the stock tube and made two marks using the straight cut on each end of the tubing.

You can see the blue sharpie marks here, and there is VERY little excess of tubing left after these cuts! The space between the two marks are the excess, since I measured out from each end of the tube.

I picked up a little cheap 6″ chop saw from Harbor Freight for this small work.  I don’t really need or have space for the big 3.5 HP model, and would likely never use it enough to justify the cost.  However, this little 6″ is compact, and was around $35, which seems perfect for cutting the stuff I’ll be doing with the airplane.  So, I set it up, and made my first cut on my blue line.  It worked really well!  I cleaned up the cut end with a flat bastard file, and then used a round file to deburr the inside edges of the tube.

I also had pulled the threaded ends AN490-HT8P threaded rod end so that I could start deciding where to drill the rivet holes.  I made a little blue dashed line to show where the very end of the threaded rod end would be inside the tube, to help me gauge where I needed to put my rivets, which was not an easy decision oddly enough!

Tammy was down helping me, so we measured and measured and tried all sorts of thing before finally coming up with what seemed like it would work.

You can see in the photos above, we decided to go slightly outboard of our marked lines to have plenty of clearance.  Once we decided, I used a center punch to mark the hole and help center the drill bit.  I went over to my drill press and used my drill press vice to hold the tubing while I lined up the drill bit.  This was a little bit of a challenge as I noticed my drill bit wanted to walk a bit, even in the drill press.

Here’s a quick video of drilling one of the holes:

Eventually, I had all the holes drilled through the pushrod tube, into the threaded rod end.  I did have to remove the rod ends, and deburr all the holes, for the holes inside the tubes, I used my round file to get in there and break those burrs.  I also stuck the AN470AD4-12 rivets in the holes to make sure they had clearance and everything looked good.

Vans tells us to prime the tube inside and out, but my tubes came prepainted a nice white finish on the outside, so we just needed to prime the inside.  Tammy used some oil based primer that is a rust preventer for steel, and taped up one end of the rods (after cleaning with acetone of course).  Then we poured the primer in the tube and rolled it a around a bit:

After rolling the primer around in the tubes for a bit, we pulled the tape off, and drained the excess back into the can.  Then I swabbed a little bit of primer onto one of a threaded rod end for each pushrod tube, and riveted it on to one end of each.

Now, I am not exactly happy with the way these came out.  I couldn’t squeeze them, they were too long.  So I put my bucking bar on the bench, and then sort of backriveted them with the dome head set.  The rivets tended to squish out oblong so I am not sure they are safe.  I’m going to ask the forums and send an email over to Vans to get some clarification if I need to try and drill these out and redo them.  If the rivets are a no-go, I may just take it to a machine shop and have them weld the ends on, as thats also another method Vans says can be used to secure them.  I’m no good at welding, but I know people who are 🙂

For now, I left one end off of each pushrod tube, and clamped them onto my bench with the open end down, so the primer could drip onto a paper towel.  This will also let air in to dry the primer on the inside of the tube.  I’ll let them sit like this for a day or two to dry.

Thats it for tonight.  I’ll come back to these in a few days, and in the meantime, I’ll work on the longer W-716 control pushrod tubes.  I am also thinking about adding some shelves to my wing cradle.  I am also going to need to get a small amount of AKZO or other primer for the longer pushrod tubes.

Google Photos Link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/aZbyH3ouysWQGTbt6

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Hours Worked: 2.75

Wing Cradle Caster Upgrade

I started tonights work with a little upgrade for the wing cradle.  I picked up some new casters at Harbor Freight, to make moving the wing cradle a little easier,  These have a 200lb each weight rating, and have brakes on each wheel, which will make it easy to lock the cradle in place so I can work on the wings.  I removed the old plastic casters, and then bolted the new ones on with 1/4″ lag screws.

The old casters have the stem that goes into the wood, which was a little wobbly, and would routinely fall out when I was moving the cradle.  These new casters have a plate that I can bolt on to the cradle.

It rolls SOOOO much smoother now.  A cheap upgrade for about $25 in casters.  They’re ball bearing as well, so they swivel very easily.  Next up I decided to drill out the 3 rivets on the skins that Tammy and I messed up when we riveted the skins on.  Out of all those rivets, 3 were bad, which is a decent ratio I think :-). They drilled out very easily, and I’ll leave them open until Tammy can help me rivet some OOPS rivets in there.  Maybe tomorrow.

Thats it for this quick session.  I went upstairs for a quick break, and then I’ll come back and do some more work.

Google Photos Link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/uNMk3tdWqh5uWTvNA

Hours Worked: 0.75

Assembling the Wing Cradle

Tonight was a pretty special night in the build.  I pulled from storage a wing cradle that was given to me by a fellow builder a few years back.  Marvin McGraw was putting the finishing touches on his beautiful RV-14 when I reached out to him to purchase his remaining AKZO primer….the same primer I just finished using a few days ago!  I bought what he had left over, and while I was up there picking the primer up, he offered to give me his old wing cradle, since he didn’t need it anymore.  Under one condition:  That when I get done with my using it to store my wings, that I pass it along to another builder and sign my tail number to it.  Sort of a hand-me-down wing cradle.

This means that my wings are very close to being done, and I’ll be soon ordering the fuselage, and hopefully soon after that, be handing this wing cradle on to the next builder.  I pulled it from storage, where I had it broken down to save space. It’s quite large when assembled, because it holds the wings!  Marvin did an excellent job building this thing, its super sturdy and even has casters on it!

The photo above and the photo below is where I am attaching those long beams back into the carpeted section that holds the leading edge. I had the two long beams that connect the two separate pieces stored in the corner of my shop, and the two end sections were stored in my garage, sort of packed and screwed together to make it more compact.

You can see here how the carpet forms a very nice and cushy, yet supportive place for the leading edges to lay in, with the leading edge facing down, towards the floor.

This is the other end, where the main spar beams will sit.  I am going to actually bolt the main spars to this section to prevent any mishaps from the spars slipping off this beam.  Highly unlikely, but worth the little time to do it.

 

And here is the entire wing cradle, fully assembled and ready for the wings! Marvin had installed some casters from an office chair on the 4 corners, but I think I will upgrade them to the same casters I am using on my DRDT-2 table.  Those things roll really nicely, and they lock with little brakes.  I am also thinking of adding some shelves between the two long beams, using the scrap wood from the wing crate.  This will let me put any of the wing parts on the shelf, and store them WITH the wings, out of the way.

I am still very grateful to him for giving me this awesome cradle.  This saved me a LOT of time building one myself, and I am looking forward to the day I get to pass it on to the next builder, with my tail number written on it.  And yes, its just barely wide enough to fit through the doors, to go into the garage.  You can see in the photo above, to the left.  That is the door from the shop into the hallway, and then across the short hallway there is the door to the 2 car garage.  Tammy and I confirmed, the cradle will indeed roll nicely through shop door, into the hallway, and straight across into the garage.  Thats one of the reasons I loved this house:  Easy access to transport the wings from the shop into the garage 🙂

I’ll post the upgrades that I do to the wing cradle, and try to get some more photos of it, before the wings go in.  Thats it for tonight! OH.. I did pull the tubing stock from the rafters in preperation for making the push rod tubes.

Google Photos Link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZBz4x66NyzZUbGfEA

Hours Worked: 0.75