More Painting & Fabricating

Time: 8 Hours

Like yesterday today I worked on more priming/painting with some fabricating work in between. The paint job wasn’t as good as an ABITL Finishing, but it was satisfactory. I had breakfast with the guys this morning and they stopped by to see my work and grade me! Good news is that they gave me the thumbs up on my overall work and Glenn looked at my battery mount and said it looked good. I had also asked him some other questions about my Andair fuel valve and its placement and that’s where I started today and figured I would work on the battery mount later since all I need to do is drill for the attach bolts. Before that started I grabbed one of the mid side skins and cleaned it so I could start the priming on it.

IMG_5094.JPGThe fuel valve has 3 positions, left tank, right tank and off. The goal is to have the “off” position located in the aft or pointing towards the back of the aircraft. This would have the left pointing 45° to the left of center line and the right pointing 45° to the right. I also wanted to have the center post of the valve to be located on spot of the measurements of my buddies.

IMG_5095.JPGSo I first sat down and did some thinking on how I wanted it to be attached to the mid side console. I decided that I would use 3/4″ x 3/4″ angle stretched between the inboard brace and the outboard mid longeron. In between those I would lay a piece of sheet that the valve would be screwed to. You have to worry about the thickness of the materials that you use as there is a cover plate that has the labeling on and it can only be 1/8″ max above the valve body. So my first goal was to find some scrap sheet that was close to the same thickness of the mid brace. I ran out to the airport as they have a scrap bin that they put old and new scraps in and was able to find a matching piece that was big enough. I used the template that Andair sends and made the required holes.


IMG_5097.JPGI then cut that sheet a little larger than I needed so that I could make the final size cuts later after the support angles were in place. I placed the angles where they were close and made some measurements from forward to aft. Once I had that measurements I was able to drill some #30 holes for thru the brace/longeron and the angles. On the outboard holes I enlarged them to a #19 for #8 screws. I made some likes on the angles and braces so I could be sure to line them up again. Then I removed the angles and added a single sided nutplate to the outboard ends.

IMG_5098.JPGThe inboard ends I will leave at the #30 size until the skins and longerons are riveted for good as it will probably move the location of everything slightly. I can enlarge the holes then and if there is any misalignment it will be corrected with the larger drill bit. I then countersunk the 2 larger holes on the outboard ends for flush screws. Now I could screw those ends tight and clecko the inboard ends.

IMG_5099.JPGNow I had my forward to aft measurement all set I could now slide the plate inboard or outboard to get that measurement. Once I had that all set I marked and drilled 4 #30 holes in those spots. I then enlarged those to a #19 for the same flush screws.

IMG_5100.JPGI could now remove all the parts and drill for the 4 #8 nutplates that would be used to hold the plate on the angles. I countersunk the rivet holes for those nutplates and used the pneumatic squeezer to rivet them in place.

IMG_5101.JPGNow I could put everything back in place and clecko the valve in position.

IMG_5102.JPGThat stuff took me hours to figure out and make al the fabrication, again I may not be as quick as others but it turned out perfect. In between all that work I finished priming and painting both the left and right mid skins, I picked those only because they were on top of the pile of skins I had waiting. I will keep those in my spare bedroom to help cure in the warm house for a few days.

IMG_5104.JPGI removed the battery mount and made some measurements for the 8 bolt holes, 4 on each side, for the work tomorrow.

IMG_5103.JPGAnother great weekend in the Hangar and I always feel really good after spending so much time getting to work on the plane. I cleaned up shop and called it a night.

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