It is the day after Christmas 2015 and I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas this year. I got a new tool, for bleeding the brake system, when I finally get to that point in this project. This post starts with the boot cowl clecoed in place and ends with the formation of the hole in the bottom skin of the forward fuselage, for the step that will be used to make it easier to get in and out of the plane. There are several other items in between, as I am doing whatever I can to advance the project, while, waiting to get the interior parts painted. I think I should have either just done it myself and accepted the results, or just not painted the interior. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, for building the next airplane, isn’t it.
Here you see the boot cowl all trimmed out and ready for anchor nuts to be attached.
This is the cheek formers and the cowl attach flange on the firewall. I am marking it for trimming. Next, I installed the cheeks. These are basically fairings to match to the cowling.
I needed an extra pair of hands, so substituted tape. This is to get the cheek in place for clamping and checking for fit to the cheek former. On the first try, it did not fit the former, so had to be moved back a bit from the starting aft location. I arbitrarily used a tongue depressor stick width and it was perfect, so I did the same on the other side and it worked out for that side as well. Now Clamping with special clamps and drilling the cheeks.
Notice the large and deep clamp aft and the seeming clamp holding the upper edge in place. I purchased these quite some time ago after reading ahead in the BM. They really worked out well. You will see in the manual that it requires hands to hold the edges in place and drill. This worked on the top and lower edge very well because of the huge depth. On the left, you see the angle attached across the firewall, to each of the cheek formers. This is to keep the formers on plane for checking fit, and later for drilling. So, what is next. Because I am an “early builder”, SN #20, all the manuals and parts for the entire kit were not available, so I could follow an orderly, step by step, progression thru the build. So now, I have to go back to find what I missed and what I now have parts and instructions for. As of this post, SPA, has most, if not all, of this available for future builders. I picked the seat bottom for the next preparation.
Here you see it assembled as much as possible at this point. I did rivet the seam in the middle to join the two large sections, where they do not rivet to the frame. I must wait till later in the build to rivet to the frame.
Next, I chose to get the gear legs temporarily installed, so I could find out if I would have to do any trimming on the bottom skin. You will see, that the skin fit perfectly and is ready to attach permanently after it get’s painted on the interior. I will permanently install the legs as well, before the skin. I think it will be easier that way.
The last task for the day was to make the oblong hole where the step will be inserted. Instead of using a drill bit or hole saw, I used a step bit on different angles and did the final trim using my special bit on the die grinder.
I drew a square in the corner, .785″ and marked the center of that square. I then punched and drilled a pilot hole and finished with the step drill to a diameter of .75″. Then I attached the skin and followed up with the step drill bit on the angle of the step tube, and finished that off with the small bit on my die grinder. I will have to show you that bit, because I used it for grinding mods to the gear legs, and found it to be most useful for removing the “proud” from proud rivets.