Misc. Wing Work

Time: 6 Hours

It’s been about a week since I was in the Hangar to do some work since the Memorial Day weekend and my flying. When I got to work I decided to finish up some items on the left wing before working on the right wing inboard skin. I started out working on the CPVC conduit I’m using for running my electrical wires in through the wings. So I grabbed the pipe and slid it into position. I was real happy with the fit and it had just the right amount of tension between ribs. The holes are off just a hair which is good as it helps grab the pipe with friction and help hold it in place. I cut each end square and even with the skin overhang on the last inboard/outboard ribs. I will eventually add some ProSeal to hold these pipes permanently.

Once it was in position I marked a hole in between the ribs where the pitot heat controller will be housed. I then took the pipe out and drilled a hole with the drill press and pipe drilling jig. I then cleaned up all the edges on the hole and both ends. With the pipe back in position in the wing I inserted a rubber grommet that I got from Ace Hardware to protect the wires from chaffing. Before I permanently install this pipe I will run several strands of string from inboard to outboard as well as inboard to the middle hole I drilled. These will be used later to pull the wires through the pipe.

I was holding the left flap/aileron together with a clamp and wanted to make up something that I could leave on there for a longer period as I would need that clamp later. I will eventually buy a gust lock that will go there to hold it all together in storage but for now I will make mine. I just used 2 pieces of 1/2″ plywood cut at 2.5″ x 5″. I used the drill press to drill a single 3/16″ hole at the proper angle to correspond with the angle of the flap/aileron skins. I then used some self adhesive felt sheets to line the inside of each piece of wood. A 3″ 3/16″ carriage bolt, washer and wing nut finished it off. I repeated the process and made a second one for the right wing when needed.

I then turned my attention to the right inboard bottom skin for a little while. I need to rivet it to the wing like I did to the left wing but before I do that I wanted to tackle the vent first. There is a NACA vent hole in this skin that Van’s has you rivet a plastic NACA scoop to later in the build. This scoop will funnel air to a vent for the back seat passenger. My friend Glen said it is much easier to tackle this now rather than latter when the skin is all riveted to the wing. Off the wing it was a very easy task to complete. I just took some measurements for 6 rivets and where I wanted them to go around the edge. I then used some tape to position and hold the scoop in place on the inside of the skin after positioning it just as I wanted. I then flipped the skin over and traced the outline for later. I removed the scoop and flipped the skin and drilled the 6 holes. I then re-tapped the scoop into position using the outline and tapped it down real good. I could now use the 6 holes I just drilled as a guide to drill the scoop.

I deburred all the holes in the skin and dimpled them. I used my countersink bit with my fingers to countersink the holes in the plastic to accept the dimples on the skin. I scuffed the skin up just inside of the outline I made and on the flange if the scoop then cleaned everything up with alcohol. I grabbed a little bit of ProSeal and mixed it up and buttered the flange of the scoop, this is just to help hold it in place and seal it to the skin so all the air makes it into the cabin.

I then placed some soft 426 rivets in the holes and taped them with my back riveting tape. With the skin flipped and now resting on my back riveting steal plate I riveted the 6 holes at a low pressure since they were the soft rivets. This came out beautiful and looked very nice.

I’m going to let the ProSeal cure overnight before I start riveting that bottom skin so I don’t get it all over my arms. So I moved on to the outboard bottom skin prep. I’m not going to rivet these for a while or at least until I’m sure I’m not going to change and internal wing stuff that would need access inside the wings. So I will just deburr and dimple these skins so they will be all ready to rivet once I decide to. I also primed the inside flange of the access hole and riveted the nutplates on just like the inboard skins.

Before dimpling the inboard edge holes I formed the edge with the edge roller, leaving a small section at the aft edge undone as it doesn’t overlap the inboard skin for a couple inches. I then clecko’d the skin in place.

One last item that I wanted to do was complete one if the access hole plates. These have #8 screws around the perimeter except where it overlaps the spar and those are #6 screws. I debured the edges and drilled the holes to the correct sizes and dimpled them with the pneumatic squeezer. Pretty easy but I wanted to see how it looks in place. I will finish up the 5 remaining ones as I have time.

A pretty good day in the Hangar and it felt good to get back at it!

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