1ST QTR 2003           •   •   • 
01/08/03 8.0 540.5 Modified my engine stand to hold the fuselage by two of the motor mount holes, so I can get the firewall on and start fitting sheet metal and formers. I also made the stand hold the fuselage up higher, and use bolts to hold it in any position. I wish I had done this BEFORE I started the finish welding, it sure would have been nice.  Frankenstein's engine stand! Fuselage holder Finished stand
01/11/03 1.3 541.8 Cut some 3/4" thick particle board blocks to hold belly formers at proper height above crossmembers. Marked centerlines on sheetmetal, formers and blocks so that I can line them up on the crossmember tube centerlines. Block dimensions are:  FS 24.9 = 6"x18",    FS48.0 = 5"x17"  and   FS75.75 = 2.75"x14".  Belly former blocks with formers and sheetmetal Centerlines marked to align with centerlines of fuselage crossmembers
01/14/03 1.5 543.3 Cut some sheetmetal surrogates to put in place of sheetmetal panels, since I can't get access for welding with the aluminum panels on. Surrogates are 26.75", 23.75" and 29.0" long as you go aft from firewall. Discovered I might have to modify the blocks for better fitting and welding access for the support tubes. Sheetmetal surrogates test fit
01/21/03 7.5 550.8 Back on the 19th my friend Phil came over and sat in the front seat and l discovered he wouldn't fit in there with the canopy closed (he's 6'5" but sits really tall) so I decided to design and install a new lower front seat, with the intention of using cushions for shorter people as needed.  I spent a good 4 hours plus designing the new seat, torque tube action below had to be considered. I also consulted the guru Kevin Kimball before finally deciding on a modification. Finally today I took out my cutoff wheel, dremel tool and hacksaw blade and cut out the front seat. I then carefully cleaned up the tubes of excess weld. I was able to save the forward 1" seat crossmember, and drop its vertical supports about 1.5" or so. See the drawing. Another interesting fact: I thought the front seat was all done before this, but I discovered that I had forgot to put the horizontal crossmember in between the seat back tubes!! It won't be forgotten again. Drawing of new LOWER seat Goodbye old front seat !! Front seat 1" crossmember supports cut and fit
01/22/03 3.4 554.2 Cut and fit tubes for the new seat. Heated and bent the short 3/8" diameter 210-68 tubes down to the height of the new 1" crossmember. This time I got SMART, and drilled tiny holes in the joints of the tubes for pressure relief during welding. I remember the blowouts really pissin' me off the first time I welded the seats up. New tubes in position Detail view of tubes fit
01/23/03 1.6 555.8 Cut and fit 2 new rear seat crossmembers out of 3/4-.035 tube. With the new design, I needed to add one since the seat bottom drops a bit before angling up to the fwd 1" crossmember. So I needed to add a tube to support the wood seat bottom. Damn, more weight!!! Ah, the cost of taking friends flying....Tacked the tubes in. Also note that the seat bottom crossmember is slightly forward (up the seat slope) from the angle joint so it will have adequate clearance with the torque tube with full aileron input. New crossmember and forgotten one tacked in Location of added crossmember
01/26/03 3.4 559.2 Finished welding up the new seat tubes. No blowouts, easy welding.
02/01/03 2.5 561.7 Cut and welded in some 3/8 wide strips of .063 for strapping around the bottom of the angle joints the seat now has. This was suggested by Kevin to make the joint stronger. It sure looks strong now too. I heat formed the straps around the bottom of the joint too for better fit and welding. Reinforcement strap tacked & heat formed Strap welded Strap welded
02/03/03 1.5 563.2 Cut, fit and welded the 210-66 belly former support tubes at FS 24.9. Did some setup for the former at FS 48.0. HINDSIGHT FROM 3/10/04: Install the 210-105 Aileron Stop Bushings before this step to allow easier welding of the bushings. Skip ahead to see build log from 1st Qtr 2004 Belly former at FS 24.9 done
02/04/03 4.3 567.5 Setup belly former at FS 48 with 5x17 block of particle board and sheetmetal surrogate cleco'ed in place. Checked alignment then clamped in position. Tackwelded the ends to the longerons, then tacked the mitered joints. Took out the 5x17 block and put a 5" short block in its place. Cut and fit the 210-66 tubes, then clamped them in place on the former. I then tack and finish welded the joints of the -66 tubes to the 210-29 crossmember BEFORE tack welding them to the belly former. I then released the clamp and retightened it which allowed the -66 tube to relax the stress before welding to the former. I didn't do this on the FS24.9 former and had to whack it with a hammer & block a few times to straighten it out afterwards. After completing the FS 48 former I setup and welded the FS 75.75 former to the longerons and tacked the joints. Note that I used a straight edge when tacking this former to the longerons to assure a nice fabric transition there later. I then replaced the big 2.75x14 block with a short 2.75 block, leaving it ready for the standoffs to be put in next. FS 48 belly former installation Former at FS 75.75 ready to tackweld
210-66 tube ready to weld at FS 48 Welding the GAP between the former and the longeron
02/04/03 3.0 570.5 Since I knew I was going to need four, I got out all the laser cut and bent standoffs that I got from Kevin, so I could figure out which ones go where. It took a bit of time using pictures from my website to help identify location and orientation of them. Once I did so, I made a picture to help me keep track of them in the future. Since Kevin uses 4 standoffs at the FS 75.75 belly former, I had to figure out the spacing. Using a picture I had shot earlier of a Kimball fuselage, I estimated the center gap to be about 4.25 inches. Since I had a block of wood already cut to 4.6 I used it to set the center gap. I didn't want to use less gap, since I was concerned about elevator pushrod side movement during full aileron application. I then tacked the 4 supports into position. Kimball laser cut and pre-bent standoffs Ready to tack the inner supports
Outer support at FS 75.75 tacked All 4 supports tacked in at FS 75.75 belly former
02/11/03 1.2 561.7 Tack welded a 210-104 fairing angle onto the upper right longeron between FS 0 and FS 22. Clamped and test fit the R1 (forward right side) panel into position. Sent a request to Kevin Kimball for advice on fitting it. R1 Panel test fit CAUTION: BIG FILE     Detail of fit in corners
02/12/03 1.2 561.7 Readjusted the fit of the R1 panel to square up with the firewall angle. Had to trim the panel a little bit around the forward cabane fitting. Tack welded the steel former on the right 210-7 tube. Inserted the firewall ring for spacing between the firewall 226-3 angle and the panel, then marked locations for holes in the bottom aluminum attach angle. I drilled the holes and attached it to the two tabs welded on the bottom longeron. Tack welded the upper fairing angle on the left top longeron forward section. Test fit and trimmed the L1 panel pretty much the same as the right one. Slight trim required to fit well Marking 7" and 14" waterlines with a square clamped to a yard stick.
Detail view of aft side of longeron marking waterlines Lower aft corner of panel L1
02/13/03 2.9 564.6 Tack welded the left former to the left 210-7 tube. Welded up both of the formers along the 210-7 tubes. Skip welded the fairing angles to the upper longerons. Located, drilled the bolted the lower left aluminum angles to the two tabs on the lower left longeron. Marked lines for screws on bottom and top edges of panels. About to mark holes for lower brace. Marking lower screwline
02/16/03 1.5 566.1 Since the B1C (bottom tunnel)  sheet metal is just a little wider than the angles riveted to the firewall, I drilled out the rivets and removed the two firewall vertical aluminum angles, 226-3. I then made new angles from some 3/4 x 3/4 x 1/16 aluminum angle I got down at the hardware store. Its not the 6063 specified in the plans but should work just fine in the little short sections I'm using at that location. I drilled and clecoed them into position. The tunnel now fits good and will install easy with the two side panels (B1L & B1R) riveted to it. I trimmed and test fit the B1L lower panel to the tunnel. Ryan likes playing with clecos New firewall angle in position
Trimming Panel B1L to fit Tunnel B1C Test fit of lower left panel B1L
NOTE: DURING SHEET METAL INSTALLATION I WILL BE USING A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SCREW SPACING FOR EACH DIFFERENT SCREWLINE. This is done so that screws will be spaced evenly among their neighbors for each section of panel, of which they are ALL slightly different in length and number of screws. The idea is to have an OVERALL pleasing screw layout, with no glaring variations of spacing catching the eye. Hopefully I will be successful !!!!!  I calculate the spacing for each section of screws by dividing the screwline distance by a whole number that results in the closest to 3" spacing. I expect my spacing to vary between 2.75" and 3.25" on-center screw spacing. Also, see my Sheetmetal Hardware List.
02/17/03 0.6 566.7  I trimmed and test fit the B1R lower panel to the tunnel. 
02/18/03 3.0 569.7 Drilled and clecoed the fwd and aft edges of the B1C tunnel. Drilled and clecoed the fwd and aft edges (not the angled sections though) of the other two bottom panels. Deburred the cowl ring, and clamped it in position on the top center of the firewall. I then clamped, drilled and clecoed the upper holes, being careful not do the holes near the joint of the top panels so I can later fudge the hole spacing a little if needed to make it look nice. My strategy was to work the cowl ring from top center around to the bottoms and also drill as many holes with the panels attached to avoid hole alignment problems later. I then attached the L1 panel and marked where the screw lines for the UPPER and LOWER longerons will go. I then calculated the rivet spacing (3.08) needed to get approx 3" spacing but still be even for good appearance - see picture. I then marked, clamped, drilled and clecoed down the front edge of the L1 panel, locking it in position with the cowl ring and firewall angle. I then drilled and clecoed B1L onto B1C and then drilled and put 2 clecos in the aft edge of B1L to the belly former. I then figured out the spacing for the front edge of B1L (2.83, the difference is not noticeable) and put clecos in the front edge of B1L, cowl ring and firewall angle. Starting to locate the cowl ring with clecos Setting the screw spacing for panel L1
Putting the B1C tunnel and B1L side panel together Overview of progress so far
02/19/03 0.8 570.5 Discovered that I had misunderstood the the B1C and B1L joint relationship and had them together the wrong way, (see a pic of N360KC for the right way), so I relocated B1L. While I had the B1L panel off I decided to use 3 screws to hold aft edge down better, so I welded up the two holes I had drilled and smoothed them out with a dremel. Its nice that Kevin uses 6061 for the panels and I can weld up any mistakes. Re-attached the panel and re-drilled the holes, which were slightly off after moving the panel a little. Three new screw holes, welded over old ones Changed tunnel so its edge is exposed Inside view, showing edge of B1L now inside the airplane
02/23/03 1.6 572.1 Installed the 3 front instrument panel tabs onto the 210-40 crossmember. There are 3 of them, 1 on centerline, then the other two are 11.0" either side of center. The jig I used to hold them was just 2 lengths of square tube bungeed togther. It was a bit ugly but worked well, it held the bottoms of the tabs level, while the clamps kept them from moving out from being tight on the crossmember. Front instrument panel tab ready to tack weld
02/24/03 2.2 574.3 Found out from Kevin that the canopy instructions state the need to install the front windshield (w/s) along with the front instrument panel, so now I'm working on that. I usually like to complete on section at a time, but now I'm skipping all over the place. I'm sure when I get it all finished I'll come up with a really good plan on how I should have done it, but that don't help me now! Anyway, I mounted the bottom of the front inst panel so the rear face of it is 3" from the crossmember C/L. I then put the delrin bushings in the fuselage bushings, then put the canopy on. Then I got the canopy hoop to fit by trimming the ends of it a bit, and also bending the stub posts just a little to allow the hoop to follow the canopy contour. I bent the stub posts by slipping a thick wall tube over them and making small bends. Then I test fit the front windshield. Note that I'm going to try a "flat wrap" front w/s that I got from my friend Jimmy who made 2 when he was making one for his airplane. Locating the front instrument panel
Setting hoop height on the windshield stub posts
02/25/03 5.4 579.7 Replaced the paper on the windshield (w/s) with plastic. Fitted the w/s as per Kevin's canopy instructions, which basically says to trim the w/s as needed so that with an even 1/4" spacing with the canopy, the w/s meets corner to corner with the front instrument panel so the sheet metal side corners will fit. I will probably have to adjust the angles on those metal parts where they fit the w/s, since the flat wrap is at a slightly more raked angle. I marked the areas to trim away and used my cutoff wheel to cut the w/s which worked very well, even with the standard metal cutting disk. I just used high rpm and very light pressure, and it made very clean cuts. It took several trims to get it where I wanted since I didn't want to cut too much off at once. I then marked, drilled #40 and installed a 3/32 cleco in the top center of the w/s into the hoop.  Then I put more clecos into the w/s and hoop, working out from the center. I used a #40 drill that I had dulled just a little with an abrasive disk, so it wouldn't be too sharp, catch in the plastic while drilling, and cause a crack. I used a sharp #40 for the hoop though. Marking and cutting windshield This is the "corner to corner" relationship desired
Top center cleco installed Progress so far
02/28/03 2.4 582.1 I discovered that the canopy pins were too wide at the front, and I would never be able to fly solo without someone up front to pull the canopy sides together to close the canopy. So...by taking my time and carefully experimenting in small increments, I squeezed the canopy and its frame closer together at the front which allows both front pins to engage right in the centers of their bushings. Using a bunch of clamps, blocks of wood and rope, I eventually squeezed the canopy a little over 4 inches to get .35 adjustment, of which I then widened back out .10" later to get a net movement of .25". Next I adjusted the alignment angles of the pins on the right side by putting the canopy in position with only the left pins engaged, which allowed me to see and adjust the pins on the right side. I adjusted them so they were parallel to the bushing both left/right and up/down. I then engaged the right pins and adjusted the left pins. The canopy worked pretty well but was still a little tight when fully latched, so I removed the dried grease that was on the pins and bushings. After polishing the pins with 600 grit sandpaper,  I then sprayed just a little bit of silicone lubricant on the pins & bushings. The canopy engages and latches easily and slides back pretty well too. Making the canopy about .35 more narrow at the front pins Measurement of canopy movement Making the canopy a tiny bit wider
Adjusting a short pin on the Right Middle of canopy Adjusting the long middle pin on the left side of the canopy Alignment of pins with fuse after adjustments made
03/01/03 6.6 588.7 Welded the top fairing angles on the top longerons, that took about an hour and a half. Welding on the longerons must have moved them a little, because it made the canopy work even better, what a nice surprise it now latches with one finger. Then I spent 5 hours (until 2am) on the canopy hinge arms. First I had to figured out which was front and back, it took some test fitting since neither of them lined up exactly with the long 1/4" slider bolt. I worked on the front one and was able to bend it so it would line up and slide ok. The rear one though was at least 3/8" off, too far to bend in my opinion especially since the front one distorted a little after bending. I decided to cut the mitered joint loose, shorten the little horizontal tube out and re-weld it. After tack welding, it worked great and the canopy slid ok, but when I opened the canopy up....the arm hit the longeron as it rotated up...Dangit! So I took out my torch and reworked it a bit and got it working, but it was so ugly with all the changed bends that I decided to make a new curved tube. I cut the old tube away from the angle bracket that attaches to the canopy, bent a new one (1/2 x .035 tube) into a nice curve a torch, and tack welded it. After it tested ok, opening up with plenty of clearance over the longeron, I welded it up. I now have a lot more appreciation for all the work Kevin has in designing this canopy system, it works great! Front canopy arm Failed attempt to shorten rear canopy arm
New arm - Canopy closed New arm - Canopy open
03/02/03 2.0 590.7 Worked on front w/s sheetmetal, adjusting the fit. Also took a little more off the aft left edge of the w/s itself, for a more even gap between it and the canopy.
03/03/03 3.3 594.0 Did some layout for screwlines on the w/s corner panels. I used the depth gage of my calipers to figure out where to drill to place each hole in the middle of the instrument panel flange, basically depth from edge-.35" equals distance from edge to drill. I measured the overall length of the screwline and spaced them equally by using marks on tape. I then drilled and put clecos in the top center of the front instrument panel where the w/s corner panels overlap. Note that when I drilled I had 2 clamps on either side of the hole, this keeps the gap between sheets getting filled with chips and messing up a tight cleco joint. Also put 2 clecos each side in the bottom edges of the panels and top longeron fairing angles.  Then added clecos on the rest of the front instrument panel upper edge. Layout of front instrument panel screw holes Drilling holes for clecos Clecos in
03/04/03 2.1 596.1 Finished layout of screwlines for the w/s base edge. I drilled through the aluminum and plastic with #40, 7/64 then 9/64 to get a nice hole for 6-32 screws and nuts with washers. I also drilled and installed screws in an even pattern skipping around to spread any clamping forces around, as opposed to working from on end to another. Note that hardware shown in pictures is not final aircraft hardware I'll use, I just can't wait for UPS to come everytime I need to get work done.  Installing w/s base 6-32 screws Windshield aft view Top view
03/05/03 1.7 597.8 Installed canopy / windshield closure strip. I found my set of long feeler gauges were pretty handy for marking where to drill the strip so the holes would line up. The two strips were labeled top, but I had to figure out which was left and right. They have a 3/4" overlap at the top and the left one was installed first, just like the w/s base panels. I also had a couple of layers of duct tape temporarily on the canopy edge to make sure I didn't get the strips too tight on the canopy. Left side strip was installed first Locating and drilling holes for closure strip Right side strip installed second with 3/4" overlap at top center
03/08/03 1.2 598.8 Marked the w/s corner panels and trimmed the forward edge of them flush with the front edge of the fwd instrument panel flange. It took awhile because I had to disassemble the w/s from the corner panels to cut with the snips and debur them.
03/11/03 3.5 602.3 Marked the centerline of the top center panel T1C (has cutouts for fuel cap and sight gauge) and then positioned to cowl ring in front and windshield panel with clecos on c/l at each end. Using my dremel with flex shaft attachment to drill #40 holes in T1C through the existing holes in the cowl ring and front instrument panel, I clecoed my way from center out to the edges. I then set the T1L and T1R upper side panels into position getting them even with T1C and then drew lines on all the panels for the screwlines. The strap and square tubing act to keep the lower edge of T1C flat without bowing up. Basically the lines go 3/8" from the edge of the panels, which makes them overlap by 3/4". I drilled and clecoed the corners of T1L and T1R. Fitting top panels T1C and T1L&R Screwline detail Overview of fuselage so far
03/12/03 1.6 603.9 Removed the top panels, then drilled and clecoed the 3 T1 panels together. Took them apart, then put them on the fuselage, and drilled & clecoed the rest of the holes in the T1 L & R panels, except for the top longeron strips. I'll wait and do them when I have the L1 and R1 panels up in position. More clecos in top panels Top view
03/25/03 3.5 607.4 Did the layout work, drilled and clecoed the rest of panels L1, B1L & R1. All work done a little here and there since march 12, I had my airline proficiency check 15th-17th then sinus surgery on the 21st. All but bottom edge of panel R1 clecoed Left side panels clecoed
03/26/03 1.5 608.9 Located drilled and clecoed panel B1R into position. Now have all forward sheetmetal fitted and ready for screws and nutplates. A giant bud light can under construction
QTR TOTAL 76.4          
 1ST QTR 2003           •   •   •