Wing Bottom Skins

Time: 7 Hours

I decided today I was going to work on the inboard bottom wing skins as I will hopefully get those riveted in this weekend with the help of my friend. I grabbed the soldering iron and removed the strips over all the rivet holes so I could debur them later. After that I got out all my different grades if sandpaper to finish off the edges. Did I mention before how much I dislike finishing edges? It takes a long time for me to get them to the quality I want, maybe my OCD is a problem here but it’s my airplane! 🙂 It took me 2.5 hours just to finish the edges.

After spending around an hour deburring every hole top and bottom I grabbed the DRDT dimpling tool to dimple the holes. I started with the #8 dimple dies for the center nutplate holes. These holes/nutplates hold the inspection panels in place. There is a slight recess in the skin to allow for these panels to sit flush with the skin. It looked like the edge of my dimple dies would clip the edge of the recess and deform it. So it took dies over to the bench sander and took down a corner of the die to allow for that recess.

I then switched over to the #40 dies and hit all the rest of the holes fairly quick. When I finished those I got out the pneumatic squeezer and attached the nutplates for the inspection panels after I shot some primer on the area where the nutplates attach in the bottom side.

With both sides done I’m now ready to rivet those in this weekend so I just but them on the wings to give them a place to hide until then.

The next task that I wanted to get done today was to bend the aileron skins so I could start the assembly of them. When I got my wood brake that is used for the rudder/elevators I found that I made it around 1.5″ shorter than the aileron skins. I was worried that this might cause a problem when squeezing them and decided to run to Home Depot to grab a longer 2×6″ board. So that took me around an hour to get and replace it in the brake. I then screwed it down to my workbench and added the the left over 2×6″ to the center as 2′ lever/handle. This have me some great leverage to bend the skins and I wish I had done this earlier (sorry I forgot to take a pic of this). I was able to bend the skins really easy and just had to do a little tweaking on both of them.

I had a little bit of energy left so I took the right aileron spar out and matched drilled the reinforcement plates to it, these are made from blank sheet. I also drilled the aileron brackets and opened the holes with my new 3/16″ reamer for the AN3 bolts that will holed them on. I will finish the left side up later this week.

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