Gluing the upper left leading edge and riveting the nut plates

I started the day off by taking the aileron hinge backing plates to the airport to rivet them. I got to the airport and first thing was to counter sink the back side for the rivet. I also enlarged the holes to 17/64″ to give more room for a not so tight fit. I went ahead and squeezed the 3/32″ rivets into the nut plates. After I got home I primed and painted them. Now they are just waiting to be installed.

After that I installed the upper left wing flying wire lug. When I installed it some of the paint scratched off and I painted it back on. I installed the outer rings and cotter pinned them. I did a last minute check on the drag wire nuts to make sure they were tight and locked. I also made sure the wing had no twist. I waited for my wife to get done painting the guest bedroom and then asked her nicely to come and help me since you need at least two people to install the leading edges. I started by laying out all clamps, ratchet straps and wood. I used yard sticks from Lowes for my staple strips. I covered the yards sticks with packing tape to make them “un-stick-able” with the glue in the vicinity. I had read that the Pitts Model 12 leading edges take about 2 mixed oz. of T-88 to cover the inside of the leading edge as well as the filler strips and ribs. I spread glue on the bottom side first and then on the top side. Meanwhile my wife spread the majority of the T-88 inside the leading edge using a cheap (84 cent) plastic putty knife. T-88 is really sticky and it makes it hard to spread on the leading edge. I ended up needing a bit more T-88 so i mixed up a separate batch to help finish the job. My guess it that the 3 total oz of T-88 is required per leading edge to just make it easier. Anyway we got everything covered and then installed the leading edge. I pulled everything snug with the ratchet straps and I clamped the back end and stapled everything in place. I didn’t staple the I-strut area and used a clamp instead.

After that I mixed up a batch of clear coat to pre-coat the aileron ply plates on the spars. I also took the opportunity to to a second coat on the lower wing forward spars in preparation to install those leading edges.

Time spent today 5 hours
Total time spent 532 hours

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