I'm really behind on blogging so I'm trying to get caught up. I'm writing multiple posts today, so if you've just joined me, be sure to scroll down and read Part 1 first.
Once the front spar was finished, we started work on the inspar and nose ribs for the horizontal stabilizer - basically all the guts that go inside (The inspar ribs go in the middle between the front and rear spars that we've already completed. The nose ribs go up at the front.) I deburred ribs for two solid hours one day! I didn't take any pictures because you don't need to see every single pile of aluminum shavings I create. While I deburred, Mike had to notch and bend a couple of the ribs for some as yet unexplained reason. I was so busy deburring that I forgot to take pictures of Mike cutting the notches into the ribs. I think he did the cutting with his dremel tool.
The instructions told us to bend sections of two inspar and two nose ribs precisely nine degrees. That sort of precision is kind of hilarious considering nothing is exactly straight in the first place. Here is Mike doing his best to create those 9 degree bends. Mike also had to flute some of the ribs so they would lay flat (obviously not the ribs he just painstakingly bent by 9 degrees).
While I continued to deburr in the background, Mike fabricated some cradles that we will use when we put all these pieces together. He clecoed an inspar and nose rib together, traced their outline onto some scrap lumber and cut out four cradles. We're totally turning into hoarders on this project and save anything that might be of use later. We used the lumber from the crate the empennage kit came in to make the cradles. Mike also used a bendable ruler to make the template, which I thought was amazing. How have I lived my whole life without realizing that this was a thing?
He taped all four pieces of lumber together and cut them out on the band saw. Once they were cut out, guess what I got to do? I got to deburr (also known as file) the edges of the cradles.
Don't I look thrilled in that picture. You should also admire the beautiful sunburn I got at work earlier in the week.
You've may have noticed at this point that Mike has a tendency to make things fancier (i.e. more complicated) than necessary. There is a special tool for everything! With that in mind, you should not be surprised that Mike used his pocket screw jig to put together the cradles. To finish the cradles, we put tape on the edges to protect the skin later.
An entire morning of work resulted in four cradles and a stack of ribs.
We started to assemble the spars and the ribs, which is when we realized that there were six more inspar ribs that weren't mentioned anywhere in the directions until they were referenced on a diagram. We dug those out, prepped them and finally ended up with a complete horizontal stabilizer skeleton.