What did you do on your airplane project today?

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delta

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May 26, 2011
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2,709
Location
Brookside Utah

Pops

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Jan 1, 2013
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10,785
Location
USA.
I have 40" hot wire foam cutting bow. 3/4" x 2" wood board. Drilled a 1/8" dia hole at an angle on each end on the 3/4" width. Cut a piece of 1/8" music wire and drove in the hole with a hammer. Cut a notch about 1/2" up the back side of the bottom of each wire. Stretched a hot cutting wire ( .032 SS safety wire) from end to end with the wire about 2" short. Install the wire like putting a string on a hunting bow. As the wire get hot a stretches and spring of the music wire with keep the wire tight. Need tighter, just make the cutting wire shorter. Been using the same bow for 40+ years. For a hand hold at the end of the wire, I cut 2 round pieces with a 2" wood hole cutter and string the hot wire through the center hole of the wood plug. One for each end. Self adjusting wire tension.
 

N804RV

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Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Messages
412
Location
Mount Vernon, WA
Finally got all the parts for the in-flight adjustable rudder pedals on my RV-8 project.

A lot of detail work to put them together so that there's no binding and it all works like its supposed to. In addition, I wanted the pedals polished instead of painted or powder coated. So, I spent 3 hours polishing this morning. Went from 400 grit through 1,500 grit, then compounding by hand. Its not perfect. But, good enough!


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dwalker

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Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
705
Location
Tennessee
The last few days could be summed up as "Are you sure you want to finish this plane? Cause you keep tearing it apart.."

After I repaired the previously poorly repaired area of the cowl, I took a day or two and cleaned up the airplane shed when the snow wasn't falling. Then I figured it was high time to pull the gear and get the fuselage down where it can be worked on a bit easier. So I bolted the engine mount to an engine stand, pulled the main gear and set the tail on a sawhorse. /
After about 10 minutes of looking at the front of the fuselage, the front of the plane was supported on a screw jack and the engine mount, steel firewall, and fiberfrax was pulled off.

The reason for this is it has always bugged me the way the firewall seemed like it had been repaired or altered. Well, I was right. So what it looks like is that at some point the plane was being set up for a cowl with a smooth sides instead of "cheeks". The firewall has an apparent flange maybe 3/4 of an inch back from the firewall that I feel was intended as the base for the rear flange for the cowl to attach to. Then at some point a cowl with "cheeks" was obtained. To fit it the flange at the top of the cowl was filled with micro and a pair of honeycomb-core FG cheeks glassed on (poorly) and some glass laid up over the top to "smooth out" the transition, I guess.

Well, I pulled it all off, and next up is to grind off the poorly laid FG and as much of the micro as I can, lay up a flange for the cowl to mount to, and carve up some proper cowl cheeks.
 

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dwalker

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Mar 6, 2021
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705
Location
Tennessee
Today I put the fuselage back on the stand and rotated it so I could get a better look at the bottom of the fuse as well as the back of the area of the cowl that is getting reconstructed.
Once I could see the underside clearly it was obvious that again the previous builder- not the original builder- was a novice at composites. The "reinforcement" that had been laid up to support the landing gear peeled right off as once again there was no surface prep at all prior to the layup.

So I made a huge mess, got to a stopping point, and called it a day. The plan tomorrow is to get a fresh stock of sandpaper, a larger sanding drum for the Dremel, and prep the cowl area for glassing. If that does not consume the entire day, then the layups for the reconstruction of the cowl, firewall "lip" etc. can be done.
 

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TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
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Location
Memphis, TN
I think the previous owner was thinking of you. If it had stuck, think how much that would suck.
 

dwalker

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Mar 6, 2021
Messages
705
Location
Tennessee
I think the previous owner was thinking of you. If it had stuck, think how much that would suck.
The original construction is super nice and clean, so it is easy to tell where ne begins and the other ends. I just cannot get over how little prep the installer of the landing gear did. No sign of sanding or any other sort of prep before they laid the glass and epoxy on.

You are right though, I would be super unhappy if I had sanded and painted this and it delam'ed after a rough touchdown and best case I had to rip it all apart or worse case the gear failed and I got to experience an unplanned belly landing.
 

dwalker

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Mar 6, 2021
Messages
705
Location
Tennessee
Whelp, today I spent a lot of quality time sanding fiberglass. By hand. Because my wife was in her office, which is on the other side of a wall in the airplane shed, and she objects to loud noises- like air compressors and electric sanders- while she is on her Zoom calls.

So hand sanding it was. A lot of hand sanding. But progress is being made. If it were not going to be barely 30degrees tomorrow and the next few days it would be no problem to do the layups Wednesday afternoon and finish the reconstruction of the front deck/cowl lip and front hatch. Next week looks better, so in the meantime there is a little more sanding and then probably get some control linkages built.
 

Toobuilder

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Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
5,652
Location
Mojave, Ca
I would appreciate a photo of your set-up.

Next time its open I'll snap a picture, but it's not hard to describe.

Typical oil cooler with 6 mount bolt locations. On the center pair I have added a 1.5 inch strip of aluminum that spans the cooler. One end has 3 holes, and the other has about 5. I have a duplicate strip of aluminum that spans the same 2 bolts and if I need more blockage, I simply "fan out" the end with the many hole options. If I need any more blockage, I go back to the 3 hole end and fan it out again.
 

N804RV

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Jun 9, 2013
Messages
412
Location
Mount Vernon, WA
Spent a hour or so replacing some shop lighting. I've been replacing the 4 lamp T-8 flourescent with equivalent LED as they fail. Its not the bulbs failing, but the ballast. So, I just replace the whole fixture. I now have 3 LED fixtures and 3 flourescent.

I hate working upsidedown and half blind with only half the lights on. My old eyes don't focus very well at arms length. So trying to tilt my head and adjust my "progressive-lense" glasses while standing on a ladder and holding tools is a PITA!
 

J.L. Frusha

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Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
934
Location
Luling, Texas
Been working on my design idea, printed out the tiles, trimmed them and stuck them to a sheet of foam board to make a Chuck-Glider. Tomorrow it gets cut out, then I try to balance it...

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pylon500

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Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Messages
531
Location
Taree Airport Australia
We all have 'One of those days' I guess, this was just another typical one of mine...
radiator_support.png
So I've got a Rotax radiator sitting on some lower support frames and just need to stabilise the top, and after a few minutes of looking at it, figure; 'Yep, just a bit of thick strap attached to the engine mount angle, folded diagonally and bolted to the radiator. Simple...'
So, how do I attach?
3/16th angle bolted to the crankcase with about a 1/8th gap behind, too small for an anchor-nut, so I'll drill and tap the mount and screw it on, in situ!
•Decide I want to initially drill 9/64", look in set and, that one's broken 😒
•Resharpen drill bit.
•The now shorter drill JUST fits into space to drill hole.
•As fate has it, I have a short (previously broken) 1032 tap ground to very short taper.
•Look around for a T wrench, and the only one that will hold the tap has a round body, and of course the handle is not going into the restricted space, so...
•Grind a hex on the top of the T wrench which comes out about 11mm across the flats, so I can use an 11mm socket on a long extension.
•Tap the hole successfully without stripping or breaking anything;)
•Now for the strap, dig around in my alloy offcuts at the bandsaw and select what was a piece of 1/16th wall box tube, and saw down to a 5/8th wide strip.
•Clean up on my linisher, trying not to burn my fingers, then proceed to my press-brake.
•Set piece of metal in pan brake, only to watch it twist as I apply pressure:mad:
•Try it on the job anyway, but it wont fit.
•Repeat the previous four steps to end up with another strap, which this time I clamp in a vice and persuade it into shape with a large hammer😜
•Spend ten minutes digging through my assorted washers to find a star washer to suit the 1032 screw.
•Grind the clearance around the engine mount bolt head.
•Set the angle of the support 'tab', and drill the metric hole for the Rotax radiator bolt.
•Grind down the bolt as its a bit long and 'bottoms' at first.
•bolt everything into place; FINISHED!
End result, a bit of bent metal to stabilise the top of the radiator.
Time...2 hours!!😱
And for my next trick, I just have to move the oil outflow banjo fitting from the rear hole to the front hole (on a different project), how hard could that be?
Yep, just one of those days...
 

dwalker

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Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
705
Location
Tennessee
Spent a hour or so replacing some shop lighting. I've been replacing the 4 lamp T-8 flourescent with equivalent LED as they fail. Its not the bulbs failing, but the ballast. So, I just replace the whole fixture. I now have 3 LED fixtures and 3 flourescent.

I hate working upsidedown and half blind with only half the lights on. My old eyes don't focus very well at arms length. So trying to tilt my head and adjust my "progressive-lense" glasses while standing on a ladder and holding tools is a PITA!

I bought a bulk pack of LED tube lights on Amazon because I wanted to re-create the "light halo" setups we had in the race shop. I am also using whiteboard in the shot to "brighten" the airplane shed as much as possible. The lights in my buddies hangar is almost like a cave by comparison. I need to finish the wallboard, ceiling panels, and flooring at some point.
 

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gtae07

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Joined
Dec 13, 2012
Messages
2,327
Location
Savannah, Georgia
Over the weekend, I found the metal locknut and finished off the cabin heat control.
Next, I installed the ADS-B receiver, autopilot pitch servo, OAT sensors, EFI mixture knob, etc. and spent most of a day back in the tailcone.

Next up is witing a lot of power connections and then some initial power-on checks of the basic power systems (essentially the contactors and fuse blocks). Then I'll start adding fuses and testing components.

Meanwhile I'll be placing an order for fiberglass supplies and my ELT.
 

dwalker

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Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
705
Location
Tennessee
Well another day.. and even more sanding. At least today I got to use power tools!

I would never have thought so much micro would be used in the way it was, but it is all gone from the important areas and rebuilding can commence. Below is a picture of the outer layer of glass over micro over the original glass! Just... WOW.

Not pictured (yet) is that I found what seems to be some "Great Stuff" gooey foam used as a filler then glassed over. The will be sanded/cut out next then proper foam- either 2-part pour or last-a-foam- will be used to replace the existing gooey foam.

After contouring and prepping I will use foam blocks or 2-part foam to carve into the "cheeks" needed to match the cowling I have. Then foamboard, cardboard, etc. covered in ducktape can be glued or stuck in place to form the cowl flange. Probably have to wait until this weekend due to weather but at some point 2x 10oz @45 and 1s 6oz @45 will be used to glass the cowl cheeks and reconstruct the upper nose and form the cowl flange. The cowl flange might need a couple extra strips of glass, and I expect to use a bit of flox here and there.

Also today I used the 3-D printer to print a pair of 2 1/4" templates up that I can use to help layout the panel.




Again, in the picture you see the light grey foam, the reddish brown original glass, white micro, and then the yellowish layer of glass for... whatever reason. At the bottom of the pic you can see what I believe is great stuff type spraycan foam.
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