Fuselage and all metal part Powdercoated and Fuse Rotisserie

October 31, 2011

Today I got the call from Triton Metals (where my fuse and parts were being blasted and powder coated) and they said it was all done. I ran over there on my lunch break and picked up my parts and pieces. They did an excellent job, I was really impressed. Total cost for all metal parts was $1460 for blast and powdercoat. After I got home from work I started organinzing things and I decided I need to make a fuse rotisserie for covering and painting. So I ran to lowes to get some 2X4, brackets and caster wheels and I spent the evening making the Rotisserie.

Time spent 3 hours
Total time spent 881 hours

Upper Wing Covering Part 3

October 30, 2011

Today I started by making a reinforcing patch for the center wing mount brackets. It was simply cut from a piece of spare cloth and trimmed smartly to encompass the brackets nice an clean. I then started marking out the stitch locations. I went with a 1 inch spacing everywhere except the I-strut bays where I went with 2 inch spacing. This means I will have 140 stiches in the upper wing by the time I am done. As with the ailerons i will will be using the above the fabric seine knot not the hidden hitch since the kimballs swear that with the hidden hitch knot you cannot keep the runner tight which can lead to loosening stiches in the future. After I got both sides marked and pre-punched I cut and taped the ribs with 3/8″ rib reinforcing tape/cloth. I started in on the first 4 sitches but it was getting late and I needed to go to bed.

Time spent today 6 hours
Total time spent 878 hours

Covering the Upper wings Part 2

October 29, 2011

Yesterday I had covered the bottom side of the upper wings. Today i wanted to the get the upper side done as well. I started off my again pre-gluing the edges and the panels that I wanted the fabric to stick to and let them tack up. I then draped the fabric over the wing and positioned it so that I had a full “double cover of the leading edge. I wanted the joints of the upper and lower fabric to fall on the back side of the front spar. Once I got it positioned i tacked everything down with my small iron. I then did glued the fabric down and wiped the excess glue from the joints. Once I was done with that I let things dry for a while and then did an initial shrink up to 250 deg.

Time spent today 6 hours
Total time spent 872 hours

Covering the Upper wing

October 28, 2011

Since the fuse wasn’t going to make it back to the house today I decided I would spend the weekend covering the upper wing since it was ready for the fabric. I started by cleaning all the dust out the upper wing from the weeks of metal work and just normal dust that accumulates. I used my aircompressor attachment and rag. I then secured the drag wire interections with nylon tubing and zip ties. After that I pre coated the bottom side of the wing and all the edges with the Eko Bond glue and waited for it to tack up. I draped the wing with fabric and started smoothing out the rinkles. After I got the fabric laying nice and smooth I started to tack everything down with my small iron. Once I got everything tacked I trimmed the excess fabric and finshed tacking everything down. I then brushed glue through the joints and wiped with a blue towel. I let everything dry for a few hours and then I did the initial shrink to 250 deg. While I let everything dry I lightly sanded the roughness of the stringers and did some shop clean up.

Time spent today 6 hours
Total time spent 866 hours

Fuselage Stringers

October 26, 2011

Since the fuse and all the metal parts are off at the poweder coater I decided to get started on the finishing of the wooded stringers and bulkheads for when the fuse gets back from the coaters. Basically they were cut to shape but i need to sand the edges that touch the fabric so that they don’t have any sharp edges. I also decided to sand the rest of the stringers smooth prior to clear coat. After I finished sanding the stringers and bulk heads I applied the clear coat and let them dry.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 860 hours

Powder coating time

October 24, 2011

I packed up the truck with the fuselage, Stabs, Rudder, Elevator, all the control tubes, I-struts, and a box full of parts and pieces. The powder coater I used will be media blasting, phosphate wash and Powder coating with TCI 9840 Signal white. The powdercoat is a Polyester TGIC powder which has excellent chemical resistance and is nice and crack resistant. So hopefully I will be able to go pick it up by the end of the week. Also made up some really detailed instructions and photos with labels at the below links.

Powder Coating parts pictures.ppt

Finish welding and engine mount separation

October 10, 2011

I have been busy in the basement the last couple of days. I finished welding the elevator control tube rod ends on all three control tubes so that’s 5 total. I cut out tail wheel steering horn and welded the attachment tube to it. After I did that I aligned the steering horn and drilled the holes for the two AN3 bolts. I cut and welded rudder pedal gussets that are to help support the brake pedal and give more surface area for my toes to rest. I built an engine support with caster so that I could separate the engine from the fuselage but keep it in a position to roll around as required. Once the engine was separated I rolled the fuselage over and finished all the bottom side welds. After all that was completed, I think I’m done welding… I called my powder coating shop and re-confirmed my powder coating date 2 weeks from now. I then quickly packed for my 9 day work trip.

Torque tube Idler and Elevator to fuse idler control tube

October 5, 2011

Tonight I had a softball game but it was early and I was able to get somethings done on the plane. Last time I was working on the torque tube and I decided to put the torque tube idler in to see how the old controls functioned, just as a mock up. I had planned on using the old idler because it measured out to specs, but I quickly realized tonight that the holes were drilled out to 1/4″ and I need 3/16″ holes. So I decided to make another one. I started by re-drawing the shape of the idler on to the 0.050 sheet (twice for both sides) then pre drilled the holes for the bearings and the 3/8″ upper tube. I ran over to the airport to use the shear and cut out the pieces. while I was there I used the vice, my bottle of MAP gas, and a 7/16″ piece of wood (to stop the vice at the right width) to form the 7/16″ squish in the 3/4″ tube that connects the elevator horn to the idler. After I got back home I assembled and welded up the idler and the tack welded the connector tube angle.

Time spent 3 hours
Total time spent 857 hours

Torque Tube block mounting

October 4, 2011

Monday I received the front and back bearing blocks for the torque tube. Today i was able to work with them a bit to see how they mount and how smooth they were on the torque tube. I started with makeing the 4 bushing spools made up of 1″ 3/8 0.058 tubing and AN970-6 washers. I got those made and then trial fit the torque tube to the fuselage. I had to remove the paint in the welding areas and after I got them clamped in place and silky smooth rotation of the torque tube I tacked them in place and removed the bolts and clamps to finish weld them. After I finished welded them in place I decided to fit the torque tube in place again and it was running in the bearings real nice.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total Time spent 854 hours

Elevators/Rudder hinges, torque tube, stringer attach, Elevator mounts

October 3, 2011

I haven’t made a post in several days because I have been hard at work. So I decided I would only make one post. I have been working half days at work for the last few days so that I could all the metal construction and welding completed. So here’s the list of things I completed over the last 5 days.

  • Welded the Rudder saddles
  • Welded the Elevator Saddles
  • Fabricated, mounted and welded the aft horizontal tail spar and elevator bearings mounts and tube
  • Welded the rudder hinge collars
  • Welded the elevator hinge collars
  • Welded the lower stringer aft attach brackets
  • Welded the lower stringer mid attach brackets
  • Fabricated and welded the elevator fuse idler
  • Welded on the front of the torque tube..
  • Routed bent and welded the trim tab tube in the right elevator.
  • Welded the elevator splice and elevator pitch horn to the elevator
  • Fabricated, bent and drilled the elevator hinges.
  • Fabricated, bent and welded the rudder stop.
  • Cut out new lower stringer plywood stringer guides/attach pieces.


The reason I have been on a hard push is that I have a powder coating date for all my metal and I need to meet it as they are a 5 week lead time right now and I am on and off of travel so if I miss my date I will need to reschedule and wait several more weeks which could delay me a much as a month due to my busy work travel schedule.

The list of things I have left to do prior to powder coating.

  • Rudder pedal brake reinforcement
  • Stick to torque tube idler tube
  • Torque tube idler to fuse idler control tube
  • Fuse idler to elevator control tube
  • Torque tube mount bushings.
  • Gascolator mount bushings.
  • Remove Engine
  • Remove rudder pedals
  • Remove throttle and linkages

Time spent (alot!) Im not actually sure but my best guess is approx 40 hours

So Total time spent 851 hours