I'm just going to admit that I've been pretty terrible about blogging lately. Not to make excuses, but it's a pretty busy time of year for me at work and it's been hard to find the motivation to write. Even though I haven't posted lately, A LOT of work has happened on the plane. I think you'll be pretty amazed when you see what we've accomplished in the past few weeks. I'm going to try to get completely caught up today, but I'll probably have to break this into multiple posts.
The last time we talked, we had just received the replacement parts from the mistake we made back in May when we drilled the wrong size holes in the wrong place. Our first step, obviously, was to repeat all the steps required to prepare the replacement parts. That meant more deburring (for me) and modifying the spar caps (for Mike).
Once we got all the parts ready, we clamped the spar caps and spar together and drilled the right size holes into the web.
In the last few pictures you can see the amount of metal shavings that accumulate when we drilled. Here's a better picture of what the bench looked like when we were done.
After we drilled the holes, we had to deburr them to remove any metal shavings that were still attached. To do that, we use a special deburring bit for the drill.
The bit doesn't enlarge the hole, it just scrapes off any metal that shouldn't be there. Here are some great pictures of a hole (the hole in the middle) before and after deburring.
At this point, we were finally where we would have been if we'd read the directions properly the first time. Next, we had to rivet on the doubler, which provides extra strength to the spar. This the diagram that we were using...
Yes, there are six different sizes of rivets on that diagram. You can see where I started to highlight each size so I could mark the clecos with tape.
In the bottom corners you can see the brackets that Mike fabricated ages ago. Here's a better picture of the entire double clecoed to the spar. (Side note - can any of my English teacher friends help me figure out the verb conjugation for cleco? I'm totally making it up as I go.)
The silver clecos along the top are holding those spar caps in place, which made riveting the doubler in place more challenging. We clamped the spar in between some leftover chunks of wood so we could keep the whole piece upright and semi-stable. Then we just had to follow the diagram and use the right rivets in the right place.
We mostly used the squeeze riveter but the squeezer couldn't reach some of the rivets on the brackets. We had to buck those and let's just say that we were a little bit rusty at that particular skill. We got them all done, but it wasn't always pretty.
On the left, you can see where Mike slipped on the bottom middle rivet and one side got flattened. On the picture on the right, you can see where I slipped on the bottom middle rivet and gouged the heck out of things. One mistake per bracket, in exactly the same spot, so at least we have a matching set. And with that, we were done with the front spar, at least for the moment.