Sunday, May 12, 2013

Workin' on the weekend

So it seems it's been a few days since I posted and I have lots to catch up on (not as much as I would like but still progress).  Since returning from North Carolina last week I have had a little time to finish up the rudder, work on the right elevator, and try out my new HVLP gun.  Lets start with the HVLP gun.  My cousin Dave does a little auto touch-up painting and during my annual golf trip to MT I chatted with him about my less than acceptable results thus far while priming my various parts.  His recommendation was to purchase a quality HVLP gun.  I've seen other RV'ers that have used cheaper guns and got acceptable results so either I suck (entirely possible) or their standards were lower than mine.  Anyway, I purchased a good quality HVLP gun and got a chance to use it yesterday.  Holy Cow!  What a difference.  The primer went on smooth and clean with no runs.  I am astounded.  There are a couple of pics below showing the results although you can't really see the difference in the photo's.

Right elevator spar and rib parts

Right elevator stiffeners

Next up on the agenda is the Rudder.  I finished it this weekend up to the point of adding the fiberglass tips and that wont happen until I am in final assembly of the empennage.  I don't think I mentioned it but just before I left to go to NC I epoxied the training edge together using an aluminum angle.  Yesterday I finished up the process of riveting the trailing edge.  I followed Van's suggestions but I also alternated rivet direction for every other rivet.  I'm not sure if that helps or not but the final product came out nice.  It's not perfectly strait but the bow is so minute it is not visible unless you put a long strait edge up to it.  Well within the limits set by Van's.  One major worry behind me.
rudder trailing edge cleco'd to aluminum angle

My clever way of holding the two skins apart so I can slide the pieces together without getting epoxy all over everything

Nice strait trailing edge sitting while the epoxy sets up.  I let it sit for about a week before removing the cleco's

Rudder leading edge with the round bar taped to the low half.  This allows me to put a bend in the aluminum that allows me to cleco and rivet the two halves together as in the picture below.

leading edge all cleco'd and ready for riveting.  I did straiten up the edge so it didnt have that wave before I riveted it.

The final product ready for storage.

Finally, the rest of my time this weekend has been consumed by the right elevator.  Lots of time spent dimpling, deburring, drilling, and priming as noted above.  I was hoping to get to the point where I epoxy the trailing edge but I just ran out of time.

Thursday I go to Aurora to pick up the wing kit.  I'm excited and a little hesitant to get started on the wing.  Its a big project and I have to do pretty much the same thing twice (2 wings) but mirrored.  Oh well there have been many wings completed by other folks and most of them survived...