Saturday, 29 August 2015

Slow progress!

Well I didn't get as far as planned this week.  I managed to complete preparation of the vertical stabiliser skins - dimpling the rivet and screw holes and the matching anchor nuts. The did mean grinding down my 3/32 female dimple tool for the rivets that fit next to the dimpled screw holes.
I also worked out how to cut lines in the blue plastic covering without scratching the aluminium - polish the end of a fine-point soldering iron and then draw this across the surface to burn a thin track into the plastic sheet.   It can then be pulled away to leave a clean area for riveting.  I guess I should prime this area of the outer skin before riveting so there's paint below the rivets.

                                              Vertical stabiliser skins all dimpled.

I managed to prepare all of the rudder parts ready for painting, although I'm meant to check that the hinges line up correctly with the completed vertical stabiliser before I can rivet them, so I'm now a bit stuck.

                                                         Rudder spar with control horn

Rudder spar top hinge.

As I can't get any further until the bits I've done so far are painted, I decided to sort out a paint area which can remain available all of the time and not rely on putting a car outside and masking off the workshop.  I've therefore started converting the loft of my garage into a closed-off dust containment area (using loads of plastic sheeting) and I'm fitting a high-volume extraction system (posh kitchen/bathroom extractor).  I'm also adding some better lighting.
This will give me a space 11 feet x 7 feet which should be big enough for the largest components. All being well, this will be finished mid-week and I can get the initial parts painted and assembled.

I'm only painting the internal structure myself - parts that will be hidden on assembly but need protection for corrosion prevention.  I'll have the aircraft external paintwork done professionally after completion of flight testing.

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