Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Quick update

No pictures for today since there hasn't been much to really show.  However I have been slowly getting through the dimpling and deburring of the center section.  Tonight I hope to have my rivet helper Travis over to finish up the tail cone rivets.  Tomorrow maybe I will get the skin dimpled since that's about all that's left to do before I start the reassembly process.

I wanted to post today because it just dawned on me that I just went over the seven month mark since I started working on this airplane.  I would estimate, based on feedback from good builder friends, that I am about 30% of the way done.  That's a little disappointing to me since I just want to fly but I don't want to rush this and be unsatisfied with the final product so I will keep plodding along as needed.  I am still very happy to be working on the biggest dream (or bucket list item if you will) that I have had since a child.  Its truly a dream come true to be doing this.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's growing!

I told you it would be a while until my next update.  However, I spent the whole day in the garage again today and at least 4 hours with Travis helping me last night.  Travis and I managed to get a significant portion of the tail cone riveted and he is coming back on Tuesday to help me finish it up.  Today I moved on to the center section of the fuselage.  Lots of edge dressing, deburring, and fluting but by the end of the day I had most of the thing cleco'd together and ready for final drilling.

I also forgot to mention that I got a goody in the mail last week while I was gone.  My Tosten grips arrived!

I just couldnt wait. Had to take one out and give it a try.  To bad they don't come with wiring diagrams.

Yep, it fits nicely.

The center section of the fuselage all cleco'd together ready for some drilling in the morning.

The result of our work.  just the aft part to do yet.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Finally a whole weekend of work!

Yep, I got to work the whole weekend, or at least as much of it as my desk bound body could handle.  That equates to about 24 hours of pure airplane building bliss!  Now you would think that after a whole weekend I would have at least two to three weeks worth of progress to show wouldn't ya?  Hah!  I did make progress but not yet ready to hand the engine or anything.  The bulk of this weekend was taken up with deburring, dimpling and priming of the tail cone parts.  I know I said I wasn't going to prime any skins but I decided that I wanted some practice using my HVLP gun on large flat surfaces and that epoxy primer is so cool!  The final result was acceptable for a priming job but I will definitely have to have a bug/debris free area when and if I decide that I am going to paint.  The good news is there were no runs!

I did get a chance to be creative today.  Its time to start riveting my tail cone together and I didn't have any rivet helpers handy.  My normal victims are either at school, at work, or doing homework!  Sheesh, you think they would have better priorities.  So since I didn't have any help I decided to do the bottom to side rivets using my back rivet tool and a custom made block with a 9 degree wedge.  See the pics below.

I am traveling again this week so not much is going to get done for a day or two unless I can talk Amy into doing it....hmmm, nope no work will get done.

Tail cone right side after priming.

Tail cone bottom skin after priming

J-stringers sittin' in the sun drying.

Here is my creative little back riveting jig.  It really worked well.  If I were to do this again (and I would), I think I would elevate the tail cone another 4 inches or so from the garage floor.  It was a little hard to get the cleco's out and the rivets in at this height.

Here the tail cone is all put together and the bottom/side skins riveted together.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week of travel, with benefits! (no not that kind)

Just returned from another trip to Portland (training) and had a few surprises waiting for me.  First my cylinders have finally arrived.  Newly rebuilt, ported and flow balanced and looking good as you can see from the pics below.  Second I received my new cold air induction sump in the mail.  Almost ready to put it all together but still missing a few parts such as valve covers, gaskets, push rod tubes, etc.  Hopefully those will come soon.

Oh, I also managed to get all of the tail cone disassembled so I can start the deburring/dimpling process.  Hopefully this weekend I can get things all put back together and maybe even a rivet or two.

Tail cone all disassembled and ready for dimple/deburr

New cylinders in their bag

Hard to see but the ports are ground down for smooth flow.  Harry, if you see this pic tell me what you think of the fitting.

Another shot of the inside of the cylinder head.  this time looking at the valve.

Look at the size of those pistons!

The new cold air induction.  Hard to see but the intake is completely insulated from the oil sump.  Colder air coming in means denser air which equates to more power/efficiency.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Down weekend

I'm sitting here in my home office writing this post on a beautiful Monday afternoon.  Why home?  Well I seem to have picked up a bug (probably on my trip to Denver last week) and it really hit me hard on Saturday.  Needless to say not much got done on the airplane but I did manage to get a little tail cone work done.  See the pictures below.

On a related note my new cylinder's are on their way to me as is the new cold air induction sump.  I'm excited about getting to put the engine together finally.  Sometime this month maybe?

Leveling the tail cone up so I can drill the stringers.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

yup, I missed my target

As expected I missed my target of starting to assemble the fuselage.  However, I am very happy that I did miss this target.  I got to go on a great flight Saturday!  Jeff asked me to join him and Harry on an afternoon flight and man what a flight it was!  We left Thun field and climbed up to 9500 feet and headed east.  A short stop for fuel and we ended up at Grande Coulee Dam.  what an awesome day of flying.  I have a couple of pictures that I will post below.  I did manage to get all of the bulkhead pieces primed and I did start on the first longeron which tuned out to be a quite a challenge.

Jeffs RV-7A on our saturday flight.  This is a panoramic shot with my iPhone.

Harry and Jeff talking at Harry's Rocket when we stopped at Electric City near Grande Coulee dam.

What a beautiful flight back.  The Cascade mountain range from the East Side.

The longerons as I was marking them up for bending.

Longerons after marking them for bending.
Ok, it may be just me but these rivets just look sexy on that nice freshly primed piece of aluminum.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

more bulkheads on the way

tonight I was able to finish up the F-705 bulkhead by drilling the flap blocks and installing the seat-belt mounts.  After admiring my work for a few minutes I moved on to the next few bulkheads that all come as one set of instructions.  I fabricated a few angle pieces and I started the process of dressing all the edges so that tomorrow night I can do a little priming.  This weekend I hope to have all the bulkheads complete and start putting the fuselage together.  However, you know how my time estimation seems to be a little "generous" so I will say it may take longer than I thought.

F-705 complete and ready for action.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I like epoxy primer!

Just had to post a quick note to say that I love that new epoxy primer!  It didn't come out with a glass smooth finish as it would need to be if I were putting a top coat on it but for the cockpit its perfect!  Definitely a bit harder to apply but well worth the effort.  I worked on several parts last night putting the bulkhead together and even after dragging them around on the top of the work bench they didn't scratch a bit!

F705 bulkhead getting ready to rivet together.  Love that epoxy primer coat!