Started September 28, 2009 - 78 Hours
Its Monday night and ready to start constructing the elevators. The first thing to do is to cut the elevator ribs apart and remove the excess material shown in the directions. Did this with a band saw and then sanded to the scribe lines with a belt sander.
Then took those parts and deburr all edges, and cleco together. Once clecoed, match drilled the four common holes of the rib halves. Make sure that these are now labeled so that they remain paired throughout the construction of the elevators.
Working on the rib assemblies and making sure that the flanges fo the tip ribs are bent at exactly 90 degrees and straight by fluting between the pre-punched holes. Make sure that all blue vinyl is removed before clecoing the pieces.
Final drilled all the holes on the web of the rib assemblies. Then do the same match drilling to the flange holes. And finally match drill three 3/16 holes at the front of the ribs with #12 drill.
The next step is to separate the four E-1022 Shear Clips using a band saw, finishing up with belt sander and then deburring with scotch bright wheel.
Enough for tonight, going in to enjoy a beer and some TV.
Back to the grind. Started tonight on the top and bottom skins, you need to be bent. You make a bend in each aft inner portion the closes the section next to the elevator trim. Not hard to do, just take your time to make sure that you get the bend in the right spot.
Next was too cleco and match drill the hinge reinforcement plates. Then remove and set aside for later. make sure you mark the plates so you know where they go during final assembly.
This is where you start seeing it coming together by clecoing the E-1008 Ribs to the front spar and bottom skin. Make not to the direction of the front spar, there are tabs on one and and once you start match drilling, they become designated right and left, just as the skins in the previous step. Then cleco in the rear spar and shear clips to the ribs and the bottom skin.
Cleco in place the trim access reinforcement plate and final drill all the common holes using a #40 drill. Then match drill the elevator gusset to each of the inner rib and rear spar.
Attach the tip rib assembly to shear clip, front and rear spar and the bottom skin. Final drill the holes per directions.
Now to install the top skins and cleco in place. Make sure you have the top skin bend over the the bottom skin bend.
Cleco in place and final drill the elevator horns to the front spar with a #30 drill.
The next step is to final drill the skins to the spars and ribs. When doing this, make sure that you start in the middle of each spar and work your way to the root and tip, inserting a cleco in every hole.
Take the cover plates and attach the trim cable anchor brackets. there are no holes so you must measure, clamp and drill each bracket.
Dimple the holes in the reinforcement plates to accept flush rivets for the nut plates.
Now comes the really fun part (being sarcastic), completely disassemble and deburr, deburr, deburr, deburr, then deburr a bit more, then just when you think you are done deburr some more. Now to the second most fun part, dimple till it hurts. Make sure that you follow the instructions closely as there some parts that need to be dimpled on the spars and ribs.
Then prep for and prime.
Well, today is not been a good one. I finished prepping for primer and noticed that I made a big mistake. Not the first and certainly not the last, but really makes you frustrated that you have to stop a process and wait for new parts from Vans.
What I did is not look at the directions very closely as I mentioned you should do in the last section. In the rear spar you need to countersink the first inner 29 holes on the top ONLY. Well, I was having so much fun doing this, I just could not stop myself and continued to counter sink all the hole, on both sides. Since I was already out of control countersinking, I just had to keep going and do the front spar as well. What and idiot i am.
So I decided to get at least alumiprep, alodine, and Akzo prime the rest of the parts and then place an order for the new spars. Not to mention, both left and right pieces. This is another example of why you need to read the directions completely, slowly and a few steps forward before continuing with any new step.
The only thin I could get done is to start riveting together the tip assemblies and install the reinforcement plates along with the nutplates.. Now that they are done, I decided to move onto working on the tail cone section until my new parts come.
Be back later with this section.
I received the new spars this week and drill out all holes according to the instructions. I started to put together with clecos so all parts could be match drilled. Did not work so well since everything was already dimpled. So did what I could and for the holes in the flange of the spars that attach to the skins. Just drilled to a #40 hole.
The two spars then got alodine and primer.
It was time to finally get this thing riveted together. Got the doubler plates and horns riveted in place and it was now time to start attaching the skins to the rear spar.
Everything was going really good. It was then I started to install rivets to the front spar and get everything closed up and noticed as I worked my way out from the middles, the skins began to warp.
Well folks, this is a prime example of why you need to make sure that you follow instructions very closely and understand every single move you make. Also, I was questioning why it was needed to cleco every hole when you match drill the skins starting in the middle. Guess I found out the hard way.
So now I have to mostly done elevators that are a pile of screwed up aluminum. So, now they sit on the floor in the corner of my garage as a reminder of one major screw up. Anybody want to buy them? Yeah Right!
So I got the pleasure this morning of ordering all new parts so I can completely start over on the elevators. Nothing another 70 or so hours and $450 bucks wont take care of. Ugh! May take me a while to stop cussing for this one.
Oh well, what do you do. Major learning lesson accomplished the hard way. So, guess I will move back to the tail cone to see what kind of mistakes I can make there. Be back later with this section.
Somewhat happy to say I am back to this elevator thing again. At least I will know this time about all the mistakes that can be made and will definitely be much more cautious.
So now that the tailcone is assembled and the horizontal stabilizer and rudder are basically attached, I am back to the elevators.
Since I took pictures and made notes during the initial assembly, I am just going to start off where I left off.
So far everything is going together much better and faster this time around. Got all the ribs and rear spar riveted together. This was a fairly easy and quick process as long as you have the right tools, like the long bucking bar from Avery.
Worked on getting the skins attached to the rear spar and riveted the upper and lower ribs together.
Will now start to rivet the front spar to the skins and ribs.
Started the riveting of the front spar, this went pretty quick. Got the aft flange of the E=905 root rib and also riveted the elevator gusset.
Next step was to attach the tip rib assembly to the elevator. Fairly straight forward, just cleco and rivet.
Moving on the to to cuttin gout the foam ribs for the trailing edge of the elevator, since you need to do the same step for the elevator trim tabs, i did them all at once. During the painting of the elevator skins, I did mask off the spots where these ribs get glued so I went ahead and glued them with a coat of tank sealant mix.
Also while gluing the ribs to the skins, you also apply tank sealant to the trailing edge pieces and then cleco and clamp to a bench to dry for a couple of days.
Its been a few days now so it is time to clean out all the extra sealant from the rivet holes in the trailing edge and then rivet together.
Finish riveting the shear clops with blind rivets and then move on to rolling the leading edge with a pvc pipe and rivet together with CS4-4 pull rivets. Once completed install the counterweights into each elevator tip. This step has you cut and shape the lead pieces a bit but soft enough to do with a band saw.
Now on to the Elevator trim tabs. To tell you the truth, I hated this step the worse. Not that it was hard, I think that since I was having so many problems with the elevators that I am just a bit ticked off about them. With that said, the directions explain everything so I am just going to be done with this section.
To add to my problems, I must have accidentally deleted or misplaced some of the photos, so you won't get to see any of those either, this is all I got.
I am moving on, thank god!!!!!!!!