Finishing the tapes on the upper wing, Making rudder cable fairleads, Taping the ribs of the left horiz stab

November 19, 2011

Yesterday I got in an order from Aircraft Spruce which had a 1 ft stick of 3/4″ delrin plastic and 6″ Ceconite 102 light for the the aileron coves. I also got some other stuff but they are unimportant to this post. The reason I needed the delrin plastic is that I 4 of my rudder cable fair leads are 3/4″ 0.049 tub rather than the standard 7/8″ 0.049 tube. Well I couldn’t find a parts supplier that has the fair lead so I decided to make my own for the 4 that I needed. I used my drill press and angle grinder similar technique as a lathe and turned out 4 new fair leads. After the fair leads were fabricated I started working on the large tip tapes on the upper wing. I cut out another tip tape for the right side of the upper wing. I went ahead and installed the two tapes and glued them down. They tape alot of heat to get them to conform to the shape but they do. I then cut out a finishing tape for the aileron coves and glued them in. While things were drying I marked out and started tapes for the left horizontal stabilizer.

Time spent today 5 hours
Total time spent 944

Finishing the Elevator trim tab and covering the right elevator

November 18, 2011

Today I got right to work finishing the elevator trim tab which I folded last night. I got everything situated (piano hinge and tab) then I drilled 9 holes and use some cherry blind rivets to secure everything I checked the fit and everything was good so I started in on covering the elevator. I got the elevator completely covered by the nights end.

Time spent today 4.5 hours
Total time spent 939 hours

Installing the rudder cables, torque tube, and starting on the trim tab

November 16, 2011

Tonight I received my torque tube mount bolts, custom rudder cables, and fairleads from aircraft spruce. I got right to work with the installation of the rudder cable to make sure they fit, and they do. I had to pull the aft end of the fuse out of the rotissere so that I could temp install the rudder to check the cables and measure the exit points of the rudder cables for when I do fabric work. I then started working on the torque tube install. I had installed the stick and the control tube within the torque tube already but realized that I had to remove everyting to get the torque into place. So I did all that go the torque tube in place and got everything tighted down. I then hooked up the control tubes from the elevator to the torque tube idler. I have a bit of travel issues on the aileron because the bearings only move 10 degs either direction and I need them to move 20 deg either direction. I think if I offset the bearings I get a full 10 either direction but I need to mess with that. I would just install a HEIM bearing that had 20 deg of mis-alignment but I can’t find one that is 1/4″ bore and 5/16-24 threads in the female side. More work to be done there. I then moved on to the elevator trim tab. The last trim tab was installed using PK screws through a piano hinge I re-drilled for K1000-8 nut plate for a #8 screw. I need to make to the airport to fold the trim tab up for install. I then can cover that elevator since it is ready.

Time spent tonight 3 hours
Total time spent 932 hours

Rib stitching continued and hardware installations.

November 5, 2011

I have been working on the upper wing rib stitching for a few days now. For various reasons I hadn’t done much on the plane this week. I spent tuesday night Nov 2 measuring for a huge hardware order from aircraft spruce. So nothing constructive on the plane occured. I was able to get two ribs stitched on wednesday and then one more on thursday. Friday I was able to get a few more ribs stitched, but my aircraft spruce order had arrived so I spent the evening re-installing things back onto the fuse. I was able to get the elevator controls, and bearings installed. The gascolator was installed along with the rudder pedals mixture control and fuel valve.

Time spent 6 hours
Total time spent 887 hours

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

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