Oil Can Fix and Flight Controls

Time: 5 Hours

I started the process of fixing the oil canning on the aft bottom skin. I bought some .032 3/4″ x 3/4″ angle from Van’s to take care of this problem. I measured and cut the angle to fit between the two bulkheads with an 1/8″ gap at each end. I cleaned up all the edges and clipped the top corners on the vertical sides to a 45°. I then used my rivet lay out jig to get a proper spacing for the rivet line. I drilled all those and then matched drilled them to the skin, cleckoing as I went. After all the holes were drilled I dimpled, scuffed and cleaned the angle. I had to use my blind rivet pulled dimple dies to get the skin holes.  I primed the angle and cleckoed it into position for when I had bucking help which came in the shape of my beautiful girl, T! This was her first time helping buck and did a perfect job and was a natural!  Did I mention I’m a lucky guy? #outtamyleague

       I finished up the work on the two sections of the pilots seat ramp along with the two ramp end ribs. They were deburred, scuffed, cleaned and primed before riveting the nutplates. I then put the parts in place to see how they looked with just a couple of screws. I Also cleckoed the floor section of the seat back hinge in place from the bottom side. Since these parts where in place I had to grab the seat back to see how it looked.  

I threw a towel in to give a little cushion so I could make a big milestone, sitting in my RV-8! 

 WOW! That was a cool feeling.  So I continued on with the progress and started working on the flight control parts. First up was to make the two tubes that would connect the pilots and passengers control sticks to the elevators. The first goes from the elevator to the bell crank and the second goes from the bell crank to the control sticks. I cut the tube for the first one with the measurements from the plans. I needed to mark marks for eight rivets around the end to hold the rod ends in place. I used a piece of paper with equal marks as a template to mark the tube.  

 I inserted the ends and marked them with the paper template. I used the drill press to drill the holes on both ends. Before disassembling them I marked the ends/tubes with a sharpie so I could put them back in the correct position. Scuffed, cleaned and primed the tubes were ready to be assembled and riveted. They went fast with my pneumatic rivet puller.  

 Next was the tube that goes from the bell crank to the controls. I used the same technique as the previous tube.  

 I turned to the bell crank itself and cleaned up the edges of all the parts followed by scuffing, cleaning, priming and riveting.  

   The control sticks are bolted into a central tube which allows the pilots and passengers to move in unison. Each control stick as a brass tube that acts as a bearing allowing it to move freely. I had to grind down these brass tubes to fit between the two side of the control column. The sides have a slight angle to them so you need to try to replicate this on the brass tubes which was a little difficult. That didn’t take too long to get both of them done and I both of them in place to see how they looked.  

   The rear stick is in two pieces and is supposed to get bolted together, however I am going to use a button pin from Jergens manufacturing which will allow the stick to be removed easily in the event that I don’t want the passenger to have access to the controls. I ordered that pin this week and should have it in a few days. Now to disassemble all these parts scuff, prime and paint the ones that will be visible.

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