Back to work! More horizontal stabilizer and deburring

Now that I'm done studying for my checkride, I'm back to working on the RV :)

Some new tools arrived, including - finally - the primer and the Prekote! So expect priming tests and actual priming soon (I still need to buy the gun for priming)

Akzo 463-12-8 primer
Another important one that arrived is an additional deburring tool, with which I spent some time deburring those tight corners, such as between flanges.

New deburring tool
Finally, I got some more random steps of the horizontal stabilizer done (it was late, so didn't want to make much noise), like marking parts for trimming and clecoing some parts together.

Part marked for trimming and drilling
More work on Wednesday, after I'm back from a business trip.
As usual, time lapse of everything:

Total horizontal stabilizer time: 4.9h

Horizontal Stabilizer started!

Today I took the very first step in building the horizontal stabilizer, which is just about deburring a few parts. Still trying to understand why the very first page has priming/riveting instructions since the same part still needs to be drilled again a few pages later, and whether I can do the priming/riveting of those later and prime them along with everything else in a big batch.

Ok, this is big! (horizontal stabilizer spars)


Total horizontal stabilizer time: 0.9h

Rudder ready for riveting

Drilled through all of the rudder skin, deburred all the holes, machine-countersunk the trailing edge, and it's now ready for the primer (which I'm still waiting for).

All drilled!
Disassembling for deburring
Countersinking the trailing edge
I'll probably move slower until after the 24th, as I have an upcoming checkride that I want to study for.

Time lapse:

Total rudder time: 17.9h

Rudder ready for skin drilling

Deburred the rudder skins and attached them to the skeleton:

Attaching the trailing edge requires trimming off its ends:

Trailing edge before trimming
Trimmed trailing edge
First skin and trailing edge attached
Clecoing the second skin

Second rudder skin attached
With this, the next step is final drilling #40 all the skin holes, disassembling the whole thing, deburring all holes, then priming/dimpling/riveting.

Time lapse:

Total rudder time: 10.4h

Rudder part preparation

Worked on preparing (specially deburring) parts for the rudder today.

Deburred parts
I'm starting to think that the bench grinder is also not really optional, since edge deburring is taking me a long time (or maybe I'm just being too perfectionist about it).

Had some trouble countersinking the top holes in R-1015, first because the hole wasn't drilled to #30 size (and my countersink bit has a tip which expects the right size), then because that part is curved and didn't let me keep the microstop countersink flush - ended up drilling the hole to #30 (with the proper assembly) then countersinking by hand (using my deburring tool and the countersinking tip):

Those two holes took a lot of work to countersink
I also realized that the prop filter (which is a neutral density filter) on the camera was causing the video to be darker than it had to be (and as much as Youtube can do to fix it, the quality was still poor), so I switched the lens back to the original one - much better, and no Youtube filters needed:

Total rudder time: 5.5h

Research: primer (wars)

After digesting a LOT of threads on primers at VansAirForce, discussing with a couple of other builders, and using all the chemistry I (didn't but should have) learned at university, I have decided that:

  • YES, I do want to prime all the inner parts
  • I'll leave priming of the outside skins for whoever paints the plane (I don't plan to do it myself)
  • I don't want a ten-step process that requires me to immerse the whole airplane in multiple tanks of nasty chemicals while passing 400V of electricity through them (i.e. no alumiprep/alodine/etc.)
  • I'm ok with dealing with ONE hazardous chemical if it's easy to deal with (e.g. no forced-air respirators required) and will give me significantly better corrosion protection than the non-hazardous ones
  • Preferably I'd like to use something standard (meaning, to use a process that others have tried and worked)
So, the verdict for my priming process is:
  1. Etch with maroon scotch brite
  2. Apply PreKote to prepare the surface (non-toxic, substitutes alodine)
  3. Apply Akzo 463-12-8 (epoxy 2-part primer - toxic, but also easy to use)

I'll be ordering the chemicals soon so we can move forward and finish the vertical stabilizer.

I'll leave some useful links for anyone trying to decide on primer - these seem to have somewhat concise information:

Comments box is open and any hints/tips/thoughts are appreciated, but also remember primer-flame-war type of comments will be ignored unless you present scientific data :)

Rudder started

Taking advantage of day time (when I can make a lot of noise), instead of doing all the deburring of the vertical stabilizer (which I instead decided to leave for the night), I started the rudder construction, the first few steps of which are trimming a bunch of parts:

Parts marked for trimming
More parts marked for trimming (some of them already trimmed)

All trimmed parts

Time lapse:

Total rudder time: 2.3h

Vertical stabilizer ready for priming/riveting

Match-drilled all the remaining vertical stabilizer holes, then deburred all of them (that's a lot of deburring) and countersunk the rear spar flange skin holes.

Shiny countersunk holes
Deburred skin holes
With this, the next step step is priming the parts before dimpling and riveting them. I'll make a separate post about primer (wars), but in summary I don't have any primer to do it right now, so the vertical stabilizer construction is halted until I do.

Timelapse as usual:

On the workshop, we added locking casters to the second workbench and attached the dimpler and rivet squeezer to it:

Total vertical stabilizer time: 25.7h
Total workshop time: ~24.0h