Fuselage     318.5 Hours
Timeline sort: Forward Reverse
01/06/09
1.0 hrs
Today was the big day, got the quick build kit delivered by Michael with Partain Transport. The unload would have been faster but we had to move a Legend Cub kit out of the way first. The craftsmanship on that kit was amazing, but so is the price.

The picture of the friends helping didn't turn out at all, but I want to say a big thanks to Ken French, Dave Hintenlang, Steve Ulmer, Joe Lisanke, David Courtney, Jon Simonds and Kim. Having so many made for quick work to get the truck unloaded and safely in the garage.


01/13/09
1.5 hrs
Kim and I started the process of inventorying all the parts of the QB kit. It may be 49% done, but there are still a pile of extra parts. We concentrated on the big box of loose parts.

01/18/09
3.0 hrs
Spent a lot of time in the garage moving parts around and re-organizing the layout. This was mainly to put away the new parts that we wouldn't be getting to any time soon, and so that it would be much less of a hassle to get at them later. Now that everything is put away, it's time to get back to building.

07/25/09
3.75 hrs
Today was a big step, we moved the fuselage into the A/C work area! Which means the wings as basically as far along as I want to take them now.

08/02/09
12.25 hrs
This is just an accumulation entry covering Jul 29 - Aug 2. During this time we were just covering the plans and what had been already constructed on the fuselage.

It's pretty complicated to find all the parts and verify that they are done. In several cases they have just been pop-riveted together so they are held in place for shipping.

I almost think it's harder to go through the plans with it already built versus building it yourself. At least then you are following along with the directions and it's very difficult to determine what has been left undone from the factory and for what purpose.

That being said, if you were ever considering just getting either wings or the fuselage as a QB kit, I'd recommend the fuselage as QB. There are some very tricky things to be done with bending the longerons, and a definate attention to order with the fuselage. The wings seem like they would be a bit of work, but they are very much like the empennage to complete.


08/04/09
6.0 hrs
Tonight we started on finishing up some details that were left to be done on the fuselage. The first item was to finish installing the HS attach straps. The bottom most rivets were not installed because the QB fuselage could be for either a RV-9 or RV-9A (tailwheel or tri-gear).

Mainly we concentrated on the F-712 aft most bulkhead. This thing was just a giant PITA to get riveted in place. The lower 6 rivets are really fun to finish rivet. The sides were mostly accomplished with the squeezer. A couple aren't the prettiest rivets I've driven, but doing them on the compound curve is extra fun.


08/06/09
3.75 hrs
It seems like every little detail on the fuselage that involves going back on the quick build takes much longer than it should. Tonight the entire time was spent getting these gusset plates off and cutting the 1/4 circle out of them.

It was harder than expected because laying them out per the plans with the hole center wasn't on the material. So we had to break out the old drafting skills and a compass to get it set right. One cut beautifully with minimal adjustment. The other was just off, so we ended up tweaking by eye.


08/08/09
6.5 hrs
Today was more little item clean up. First was to realise that for a slider you don't use the F-705-G angle. So I removed that. Then I squashed the rivets in the 705 bulkhead that were left out for a tip-up canopy.

Later in the day we fabricated the flap hinge blocks, fairly simple just made sure that the drill press drill was perfectly perpendicular to the support surface.

After that there was a lot of discussion about how in the hell we will rivet 2 of the outer most rivets on the 705 bulkhead. On is completely under the side skirt that is already installed, the other is deep up there. We punted and I emailed Van's. Though on the VAF Forum people claim that Van's says you can do it. I just don't see how though.

After dinner we started working on the brake pedals. I opted for the dual brake system, so I had to fabricate 8 of the angles. More work than it seems. We devised the system we are going to use to drill out the holed and will complete that tomorrow.


08/09/09
8.75 hrs
Today I finished drilling and cutting out all the brake pedal assemblies. We then moved on to placing the rudder pedal assembly into the fuselage and proceeded with trying to determine the correct location. This yielded the initial flight of the aluminum canoe.

Later in the day I countersunk the brake pedals and drilled out all the rudder pedal bushing blocks for their mounting hardware. Kim worked on trying to layout the maddening center rudder mounting plate. Once we are sure we are happy with the layout, I'll cut it and we can figure out how to mount it.


08/11/09
3.75 hrs
Tonight was a lot of just looking at plans and determining what we still have left to do. Pretty much I have to commit to drilling the holes for the steps before we can really continue.

08/16/09
6.75 hrs
Today it was time to make large holes in the fuselage. Kim helped me drill out the holes for the external steps. This was very much a pain and required several different tools and a lot of head scratching.

I think part of the problem is that many builders (myself included) try to take the instructions too literal. That's not to say you can't pay attention to them, just you have to be willing to exercise some judgement. They are usually for several models of plane and each are slightly different.

Today we got both of the holes drilled and fitted the left step on and drilled the initial holes. We still need to locate the holes into the stiffener before we can complete this side.


08/20/09
3.75 hrs
Spent tonight fussing over getting the gusset plates installed and the extra holes in the longeron's drilled. It seems like everything left to do requires a lot of fiddling to get it right. Probably why they don't do it as part of the QB.

08/22/09
7.0 hrs
Finished the other gusset and pop-riveting the two remaining rivets into the F-705 bulkhead. I know Van's says you should be able to buck these, but I couldn't come up with any way to do it.

We also fabricated the weirdly complex seat back recliner adjustment thingy. I have no idea what to call it, but it's the 3 parts that go on top of the F-705 to allow you to adjust the angle of the seat. The most fascinating thing to me was the 4 degree bend I'm supposed to come up with on the part. I really wonder how many people actually bend this or just wedge it in there.

Later we installed the seat pans to the ribs. It seemed like were were having to be in and out of the fuselage more so I wanted to get these installed to help keep the structure more solid as we were getting in and out.


08/23/09
7.0 hrs
Kept working on all the little bits of the fuselage. I'm trying to get enough parts together for a painting session. Mainly we worked on fabricating the seat backs and remaining skin on the back deck.

09/01/09
3.5 hrs
Too long of a break on the project. Tonight Kim worked on laying out the holes for the seat backs and I started on a pile of deburring that's been sitting in the corner for awhile. (My least favorite job.)

I also finished fabricating the seat back adjustments with their lightening holes and some trimming.

We also got the 4 degree bent F705-K plates that go on top of the shims. Thanks to my step-father for taking them to his work and using their brake on them.


09/03/09
3.25 hrs
Tonight we worked more on the seat backs.

09/05/09
4.5 hrs
Spent more time on the seat backs. I have a greater respect for plans builders because when you don't have holes pre-punched, layout takes a long time to get everything to fit the way you want. I also had to do some repairs to the compressor which cut the work short.

The last thing I did was round over the corner on the top F-637C parts that fit in the pre-bent part of the seat. I'm sure there is a better way to do this, but some time with a file and then finishing with the scotch-brite wheel seems to have done the trick.


09/06/09
6.5 hrs
Today Kim helped me by laying out the last seat back and hinge combination. Then I enlarged all the remaining holes to #30 and deburred all the parts. So the seat backs are finally complete. I still need to do some final work on the angle adjustment bracket, but once that's done I believe I'll be ready to prime this batch and get some items permanently installed.

09/08/09
2.75 hrs
Tonight we finished up several small details left with the seats and the seat back supports. All the parts for the seats, the brake pedals and seat supports are ready to prime. We started working on the F-6111 supports and Kim is having a hard time figuring out how to trim them and such.

09/10/09
1.5 hrs
Tonight I returned to the steps. I removed the baggage compartment rear side panels. This was a real pain, every rivet seemed to fight me all the way. I know I enlarged the holes on the back panel bulkhead, but thankfully these really aren't load bearing rivets.

I made the executive decision to go with only 3 rivets in the step flange to the vertical rib. I would have had to get much closer to the existing rivets holes than I would like. I feel that most of those rivets in the step flange are really there to prevent the step from rotating. The majority of the force as someone steps on it will be borne by the baggage floor ribs. So with 13 rivets into the skin and 3 more through the rib and skin, I think that should be enough. (Famous last words I know.)

I had a small gap under the step flange and tube. It's not that bad, but I'll make sure to spackle in some proseal when these go on permanently. I plan on waiting quite awhile before the steps and baggage area get finished. I think I'll be putting a lot of things under the baggage floor.


09/12/09
8.0 hrs
Today we worked on the right side step more and got it in it's final aligment and tweaked the flange to conform. I also removed the bottom rear bits per instructions.

We next worked on the F-6111 rib. This thing is a real PITA. We tried to follow the instructions we found on the VAF site and some other builders, but we still seemed to mess up one side. We are going to try again with the left side and see if we can figure out how to make that go better. Van's must keep about 2 dozen of these on hand because it seems like everyone screws it up.


09/13/09
6.5 hrs
Kim and I worked on determining where to put the rudder pedals. This is really hard to do when you don't have the interior cushions. We found where I was most comfortable (I'm taller) and by moving Kim's seat forward she was able to use the pedals as well.

We also worked on the F-6118 rudder pedal center support. This was pretty simple to lay out once you understood what all you were cutting around. We haven't commited to making multiple holes for adjusting the pedals yet. Since it works where they are for both of us we may opt to just remove the extra section of the center support for weight savings.

One thing to be very careful with is the plactic bushing blocks for the end of the pedals. The main holes are drilled at a slight angle and you need to make sure you use the correct angle on the sides. This allows the blocks to compensate for the narrowing of the fuselage as you move to the front.


09/15/09
3.5 hrs
Tonight I started working on the many covers in the front. Mainly I constructed the front tunnel cover. It's pretty straight forward, just do like the instruction say to attach the legs first, then locate the holes for the top.


09/22/09
2.0 hrs
Tonight it was just me and I started working on all the covers at the front of the fuselage. Mostly this was just fitting them up. In reality I've just got to sand down the edges and enlarge a few holes. The 5/16" hole for the screw is just way too tight for my liking. I have to have the threads chew a bit on the metal to get into the nut plate. So I'm making them 11/64". Oddly that seems a bit sloppy, but it's better than the alternative.

I flipped over and bent down the F-983A plate since I'm using electric trim. This gives it a nice finish, even if I did manage not to cut the extra off perfectly straight. It's will be hard to ever see it once installed.

I also finished off the F-741B cover by dimpling and counter-sinking the Z brackets. Slowly I'm massing up a pile of parts to be primed. In many cases I'm going to just prime the covers and such and dimple after the fact. These parts will never be exposed to the elements, so just a light priming so the interior paint will adhere well.


09/26/09
6.0 hrs
Kim and I worked some more on the cabin area. We started on the other F-6111 rib and that went better than the first one, but I don't think either of us are happy with the results. So I'll be ordering up another set and we will try and hit up some people at a local fly in and see how they managed to do it.

We also started on the electric flap motor assembly. There was some confusion because on one drawing it appears that you are supposed to have the baggage floors go under the rear seat pans. But then when you make the bushing block in the center flap level arm, you cut a notch to clear the rear seat pan. We had to look at a few more plans and then figure out that we need to have the baggage floors go under the rear seat pan.

Lastly, I ordered up my angle drill adapter from Brown Tools. I need to make too many holes in tight spots so I needed to get one. Also I'm trying to make a bigger effort to be in more pictures so there is no question that I'm the builder for the repairman certificate. So I'm sorry you have to be subjected to this.


09/27/09
0.0 hrs
This is what happens when you have a friend that is a mechanical engineer that works with aluminum. I asked him if he could make me a few fancy nut plates for the tie down rings to be stored in the baggage compartment. This is what I got. They are way too nice to install burried inside of an access panel.

For any that are wondering, he used some round bar stock, cut it to about 3/4" length. Then he turned down the OD until he had the "nut" part. I'll drill and tap it once I decide on what ring I'm going to use.

Thanks Jon.


10/03/09
5.75 hrs
Worked on the eletric flap assembly mainly. Had a few small parts to fabricate and then we really just spent a lot of time deburing parts so that I can prime tomorrow. There are so many small nut plate and other operations, I've elected to prime all the covers and such, then drill the holes, debur and dimple as needed. Anything big will get a shot of rattle can primer. It was just becoming too hard to keep track of everything, and I wasn't going to prime a cover at a time. It's not like these parts will be subjected to any kind of weather, the primer is there just to make sure I get good adhesion on the paint.

We did make one creative use of an odd part. The flap kit came as a retrofit for a -6. In included a part that is pre-bent that you don't need in a -9. However I needed to fabricate the top attach bracket for the flap channel. This part was perfect thickness and already bent! I cut it down to size and flattened the bend out a bit and now it's perfect.


10/04/09
4.25 hrs
Priming! That wonderful task of suiting up and spraying nasty chemicals that the EPA probably won't like. If you weren't paying attention before, go get the water based primers! As soon as I use up the last of the stuff I have that's all I plan on using.

10/09/09
2.5 hrs
Started to assemble all the parts that I primed. I really like to try an make big batches of parts to prime, but eventually I want to see some permanent progress!

Didn't do as much as I would have liked, but I got the seat support parts installed on the F-705 bulkhead and made some of the smaller parts.

I was going to make the brake pedals, but apparently I'm out of the rivets I need. So I'll have to wait until Monday to order that up. Likewise I need to get some #30 nut plates since I'm going to try the "Opps" rivet style of installing them.


10/10/09
2.5 hrs
Found some time today to build the seats. Pretty straightforward, but there were a few rivet sizes missing. So I had to actually measure the thickness and calculate the correct length. One set was a 0.5 too long and two others that could have used a 0.5 more. However, these are just the seats, it's not like a cracked rivet will cause us to fall from the sky.

Kim tried out the seating position and approved.


10/11/09
4.5 hrs
Hit one minor job this morning. It was testing out using the method of using the NAS-1097 (aka "Opps") rivets for nut plates. This is totally the way to go. Simply drill the hole to #40, use the deburring tool to make a slight countersink then squash the rivet. Much faster and easier to do.

Tonight we started working on the electric flap tunnel cover. I got the center support completed except for the interior attach bracket. I need to rig up the motor and run it to get it into place before riveting that.


10/17/09
4.5 hrs
Finished up all the tasks for the electric flap actuator and covers. It takes an amazingly long time to locate, drill and install 8 nut plates. I really need to get a nut plate drilling tool.

I also finally painted the steps where they will be installed into the fuselage. This is just for protection and to keep them from rusting.

Looks like the last few items I have is to do some front cover work and drill the holes for the landing gear legs. Then I'm to the point I need to attach the wings. Guess I need to find someplace to stash my cars, but at least it's becoming the cool time of year.


10/20/09
2.0 hrs
Finally got more 426 4-6 rivets today and finished the brake pedals. I then mounted them to the rudder pedals. In my exuberance I forgot that I'm going to have to paint the pedals, and install grip tape on them. There seems to be an issue with the length of the AN3-5 bolts on the non-cylinder side. They will need a second washer. Though after some research about dragging brakes I'm just going to use the AN3-56 bolts that others used.

I didn't install the brake master cylinders since I was thinking about using the Grove cylinders. However, after reviewing the price, I'll probably stick with the Matco's. I'm also going to use the return spring upgrade that others on the forum suggested.

Lastly we fitted the assembly into the fuselage and verified that it's where we want it. So now I have to drill the mounting holes.


10/21/09
1.5 hrs
So much time for such a small hole. I read where many people had issue with drilling this hole. I talked to other builders in my area and to be honest there seems like there should be a better way to handle this situation, but we can't come up with it.

Overall, took my time and clamped everything in the drill press and it came out just fine. Just remember to actually snug down the jam nut. I have 2 holes now, but no big deal.


10/26/09
2.0 hrs
I received my parts to make the brake upgrades. The two upgrades are using an AN3-56 bolt to connect the pedal sides and adding a stronger return spring to the existing Matco cylinders. I spent the evening putting this all together.

One item I'm a bit lost on is how to drill the lower mounting hole for the cylinder to pedals. I'm supposed to do it "in assembly" so there pedals are relative to each other. So I decided to think about that before I do it.


10/28/09
1.25 hrs
Really just screwed around in thw shop tonight. I was trying to start working on making the baggage floors removeable, but found that I bought a #6 and #10 screw dimple die set. I meant to get the #6 and #8 at Sun 'n Fun, so I got frustrated with that and gave up before I made a real mistake.

So I went in and put together another order with one of the many online tool sites. At least I did make myself a nut plate jig to make my life easier.


10/30/09
2.0 hrs
I haven't been feeling well and Kim's been gone so it was hard to get motivated. Tonight I was ready to get going and was able to work on the cabin heat cover and install the seperation bulkhead and all of the nutplates for the side cover.

I also built the fuel selector box with it's nut plates. Lastly, I bolted most of the covers in place. I still need to drill all the mounting holes for the covers and rudder pedals, etc. I'm getting all the 90 degree stuff ready and will do that soon.


11/01/09
2.0 hrs
Today I drilled and installed the nut plates in the center cover to mount it to the lower stiffeners. It takes an amazingly stupid amount of operations to install a silly little nut plate.

11/03/09
5.25 hrs
Tonight was time to cut more big holes into the fuselage. I started on the landing gear mounts. First a couple of hole saws to get most of the material out of the way. Then I used a router bit in my dremel to remove the remaining bits. After that I cleaned it all up with the scotchbrite wheel in the die grinder.

The hole fits well, but there are a couple of places that don't want to sit flush still. So I asked on the forums to see if I need to grind more or if I've done something wrong.


11/04/09
2.25 hrs
Found that I'm not alone in the world of the lower 5 bolts not fitting. Seems many people needed to shim theirs. So I'll have to make a 0.05" thick shim for the gear weldments.

So tonight I cut the left side hole and made sure it all fit nicely. Once I make the shims, I'll be able to bolt this part in for good.


11/07/09
5.0 hrs
There are certain tasks that should be straight forward and easy, but still take forever. I borrowed a 0.311" reamer from my buddy Jon and reamed the landing gear legs and weldment, then I proceeded to make the shim for the lower five bolts. This invovled taking the leg in and out a few times. For anyone else, save yourself some trouble. Remove the outboard most nutplate on the spar center section. That will make life much easier.

I finaly got everything back in and the bolts through on the left weldment. Before I put the nuts on I'm going to get some hardware store 7/16" and 1/4" bolts to make as drift pins. I want to be sure the real bolts will go through the weldment when the time comes, and enlarging the holes now will make sure I don't damage the spar trying to do it later.


11/08/09
6.75 hrs
Tonight the landing gear weldments were permanently installed. This process took much longer than I thought it should. I think that was mainly because of fabricating the spacers, drilling them, priming them and getting them installed. I ended up with the left side having 0.063" and the right side having 0.050" thick shims.

Also a bit of warning for other quick builders. The floor stiffeners in front of the spar need a small "adjustment" by the spar. The weldment foot goes behind the stiffener. I couldn't get a socket or wrench on the bolt, so I took the hand seamer and bent the stiffener a bit in that area. I couldn't come up with any way to tighten the nut way down at the bottom of the spar. So I had to spin the bolt. It's not the correct way, but sometimes you have to work with what you have. Getting torque seal on those bolts will be extra fun.

Later we finally driled the mounting point for the rudder pedals. I'm probably not going to make them adjustable since they seem to fit Kim and I just fine in one spot. That way we can remove a lot of extra material from the center support.


11/12/09
7.5 hrs
With the wings on I decided that I should finish up the baggage floors. Really kind of stupid timing, but there it is. Since I decided to make the floors removeable this was an exercise in plate nut hell. Sadly, it really took all this time just to make all those nut plate holes and attach them.

I'm going against the plans, because I have the baggage floor on top of the rear seat floors. There is a bit of a gap, but none of this is structural and I plan on sticking my strobe controller and ELT under the floor. Too much useable space to let go to waste. The floor will be covered with carpet so if there is a crease there, no one will know except all 3 of you reading this web site.


11/13/09
6.0 hrs
Today I had to tweak the left baggage floor. I cut out a notch in the forward right side, where the center flap bearing block goes. This is because of the fact that my floors go over the rear seat floors. I used the material that I cut out as a shim for the bearing block, so the geometry is still correct, and it's installed UNDER the seat floor per plans. It's also permanately attached with the nut plates.

I also installed the flap motor and all the flap weldment busing blocks. Next I moved on to the fuel tank attach brackets. You get to work out a lot of aggression to move the 2.5" flange side a measly 2.5 degrees. No other good way I could come up with than to whack the hell out of it with a plastic mallet.

I'm hoping to have my digital protractor soon so that I can set the wing incidence and install the alierons and flaps.


11/14/09
3.5 hrs
Worked on the baggage wall and finished that up. I fabricated and installed the seat belt wear blocks. Not difficult, just took a lot of time to get it centered and drill out the cable hole. I did have to enlarge the hole in the upper wall part to get it so the cable won't rub metal.

Lastly I somehow missed finishing the elevator crank, so I made the spacers and finished that up as well.


11/17/09
0.0 hrs
Forgot to take a picture, but we had our EAA chapter over for dinner and project review. A good time was had by all.

12/01/09
1.25 hrs
Some things are getting harder to classify what is the fuselage and what is the wings, so sorry if you find yourself hopping back and forth.

Now that Thanksgiving is over we can get back to the plane. Tonight we just made the stick to elevator bellcrank rod. Nothing big here, just some careful measuring and drilling.

I also made the wing incidence block as required. I cut it a bit big and then sanded it down to the precise length. I know that Van's directions will tell you that a bit off here or there won't kill you. However, I think you should try and be as precise as you can, it usually just takes a little bit of extra time.


12/12/09
1.5 hrs
Didn't do much today. I recently hurt my back so I'm been having to stay away from working a lot on the airplane. Today I just finally finished up safety wiring the flap actuator per plans. So that's completely finished now.

I also fabricated the two F-996A fuel tank attach brackets.


12/13/09
2.5 hrs
Today I started to attach the brackets to the airplane. This turned out to be one of the areas that the direction timing sucks. I suppose it's more of an issue with a QB than if you did plans. The holes were NOT drilled for the tank attach, and trying to measure them inside the fuse is hard. I managed to get the right side on ok, but completely hosed up the left bracket. Now I'm waiting on replacement angle to make another.

If I was doing this again, I would drill the holes from the outside of the fuselage first. Spacing is 1" from the other undrilled, but dimpled holes in the skin. So just measure down in a straight line and pilot drill, do all this before putting the wings on. Then put the wings on and mark the bracket from the back side. This way you can determine if the holes will line up where you want them. Then continue the pilot hole through the brackets.

Today I should have quit when my back started bothering me. Nothing was going well and consequently I screwed up the part, I hurt myself, I broke the angle attachment for my drill and later in the day I tried to tap someting and broke the tap wrench. I only say this as a reminder to others; WHEN IT'S NOT WORKING GO INSIDE, TAKE A BREAK, CALM DOWN, THINK ABOUT IT! You'll just screw up more if you try to push through it.


05/16/10
6.0 hrs
Finally got back on the project today and it feels great. I'm working on cleaning up all the fiddly little tasks that I had not gotten to before. I finished fabricating the elevator control tube. Learned a stupid little trick to make evenly spaced holes around a tube. Use a piece of tape or paper, wrap it around the tube to get the diameter. Then remove it and use your rivet hole guage to make evenly spaced holes. No measuring requiured!

After that Kim and I worked on final drilling the brake pedals to the master cyclinders. Kim suggested we make a jig to mount the assembly external to the fuse which was a great idea. Once everything was measured as best we could I drilled the holes and mounted it back in the plane to test it.

I am really happy with the extra brake spring mod. Without it I could easily see the pedal sticking and applying pressure to the brakes without knowing it.


05/23/10
2.0 hrs
I'm getting better about recognizing that I'm getting frustrated and putting the tools down. I did manage to locate where I wanted the static ports and drilled their holes. After that the camera broke and everything else I needed to do required two people, which I didn't have. So rather than struggling to make something work (and then screwing it up more) I stopped. I went inside and ordered my flaring tool and started looking at the finish kit and what I wanted to remove from it so I can place that order.

05/29/10
4.25 hrs
Well this just plain sucked. Wedging my fat self into the tail of the plane to install the clips to hold the static line to the bulkhead. It wasn't fun or comfortable, and I know it won't be the last time I'm in there. Now I think I finally understand the reason to have children.

Later in the day Kim laid out a jig to drill adjustment holes for the rudder pedal assembly. I did some minor work on parts for the brake system as I need to do some priming to rivet them in place. Next we are going to start on the plumbing.


05/31/10
4.5 hrs
Today I painted some miscelaneous parts. I didn't have much so I used the rattle can primer I have. I was really disappointed by the results and was amazed that even after it was dry we could just take some mineral spirits and wipe it right off. So I mixed up a small batch of the Sherwin Williams PG60 and sprayed everything. That's why the color is off and there are some runs from the rattle can and re-spray. It's ugly, but it won't be seen, and likely painted in the future.

After lunch Kim and I riveted on the F-6112-1 brake fitting mount and completed the elevator push tubes. We didn't get as much done this weekend as I would have liked, but it seemed that everything was sort of fighting us. I'm hoping that once we get back in the regular rythym of things things will start being easier. I also think it's time to build a rolling fuselage holder as I'm about to start getting very intimate with the interior.


06/15/10
2.25 hrs
Just finishing up a few odds and ends. It's slow going because I've been off helping a lot of other people with their projects. We came up with this creative way to apply pressure to glue on the static ports. It's a very strong magnet with a couple of steel bars on the flange of the port.

I used this E-6000 stuff from Michael's craft store recommended from a VAF user. It's not toxic like Proseal, and it's used to glue just about anything to anything. Time will tell, but others report good results. I may even use it for the steps.

Kim also laid out the lightening holes for the rudder brace. I'm going to see my buddy Jon in a couple of days and I'll ask him to cut the holes along with a few other metal working tasks.


06/17/10
0.5 hrs
Just glued on the other static port. That K-6000 adheasive really seems to work well, and bonus that it's only $4 a tube at Michael's.

06/20/10
7.0 hrs
Excellent progress today, I drilled out the holes for the vent and fuel lines to the prescribed size. Kim and I managed to bend up most of the vent tubing. In most cases we used a tubing bender, but several of the bends could only be done by hand. These are some complicated bends to get it right, but with some careful hand banding it can be tweaked nicely into place.

07/18/10
2.5 hrs
Back on the project some. Been busy with other house projects and work, it's really true, you need to put in 10-15 minutes every day. If you do that it makes it easier to keep the progress fresh in your head.

Today I had to take some time to figure out where I was and what needed to be done. It was mostly fiddly bits of stuff to do, I first final drilled out the fuel line holes to 1" (I only had a 7/8" step) as the plans call out, not sure why so big. I then started the process of mounting the Andair fuel selector valve. It was pretty easy, as I just had to attach some nut plates and drill some holes.


07/22/10
1.25 hrs
Just a simple task tonight, borrowed a circle cutter and made the lightening holes in the rudder pedal brace.

09/03/12
6.0 hrs
Got back on task today. Kim and I reviewed what needed to be done, and started formulating a plan of what to start on. Also of note, I've put in my request with Van's for pricing on the finish kit minus the cowl and any plenum parts. Once I get that back I'll order it from them.

I also returned my SafeAir1 pitot mast for replacement. There was a problem with the gold annodized versions with weld cracks. Since mine wasn't installed, I opted for changing it out to the new version. Here is the safety notice. Great company to deal with, just ship them the old one with your name and address and they will ship you a new one. That's how all customer service should be.


09/04/12
1.5 hrs
Getting back in the swing. Deburred the edges of the F-7112 skin and then dimpled the holes in the skin. Got to use the pneumatic squeezer and still love that thing.

09/09/12
4.5 hrs
Back in the groove of things now. Finished all the material work on the F-7111 aft turtle deck and Even got the new F-6111R rib fitted, drilled and dimpled. They gave me such a fit the first time around and now it just "worked".

09/22/12
4.5 hrs
Finished fitting the F-6111R rib, dimpled and primed the skin and other parts for this skin. Found that taking extra time to clean the surface allows the rattle can primer to stick better. Still not as good as the two part mix, but good enough for smaller pieces.

09/30/12
4.0 hrs
Started today with placing the aft fuselage skin in place and it's ready to rivet. My bucking bar partner is out of town so it will have to wait. I finished the forward vent lines, these too a lot more time, very fiddly bits to get it right. Don't forget to the shorten the screws that go into the plate nut in the gusset. They need to be about half the length.

I made the vent line fittings, but honestly found these nice streamlined ones from JD Air and just couldn't resist. I think if I was doing this again, I would go with the coiled vent line inside the wing root. It would be much simpler, but these will probably perform the best.


10/07/12
7.75 hrs
Kim was finally available this weekend to help with bucking and we completed riveting the forward aft top skin. We ran into some issues with the F-707B bracket. I missed that the bracket is pop-riveted because our kit is a quick build. Unfortunately we started riveting the skin on and then figured out that there are two closely spaced rivets and one is right above the rivet.

The only fix that we could figure out was to drill out the bracket pop and solid rivets. It didn't go very well, but finally got them out. I was able to squeeze the 470-4-5 rivets back into the bracket. They aren't the best, but they aren't very structural and they aren't going anywhere.


10/14/12
4.0 hrs
Tonight Kim and I worked on the steps. We final fit them, drilled the blocks and made sure they fit to the ribs and didn't distort the ribs to where the baggage area floors can't be screwed down.

One tip that we picked up from the VAF list is to get some Nerf balls and put them on the ends of the steps. This way if you walk into the step it's just annoying and not blood letting. We couldn't find any standard Nerf balls, but Kim thought the Hulk was relevant for something you might smash into.


05/04/13
4.0 hrs
Today I finished up the brake hard lines. I went with an alternate design where the lines are run under the side longerons directly to the landing gear mount. I added 3/8" OD polyethelene tubing around most of the tube to ensure that ther won't be any chafing. I ended up splitting the tubing to be able to install it.

VAF Alternate Brake Line


09/28/13
2.5 hrs
Kim and I stored the finished wing away and moved the fuselage back into the shop. I started laying out the forward canopy deck. For some reason, it made it look much more like an airplane now.

10/02/13
5.0 hrs
Tonight my friend Ken came over and we started deburring and preparing the forward deck for assembly.

10/05/13
8.0 hrs
Spent all day in the shop! Sadly, it doesn't look like much but it was making many fiddly brackets for the instrument panel. Looks like soon I'll have a batch ready to prime and then I can finish off this portion pretty quickly.

10/09/13
5.0 hrs
Tonight Kim, Ken and I worked in the shop. Mainly fitting the center rib to the firewall and laying out the reamining brackets.

10/12/13
6.5 hrs
Worked on getting the top skin fitted and started final drilling all the holes in preperation for a priming session.

10/19/13
7.0 hrs
Spent the morning drilling all the holes in the firewall, that was extra fun. After that I final drilled all remaining holes, took everything apart and began the deburring process. The biggest hassle was locating all the little brackets to hold on the instrument panel.

10/21/13
1.75 hrs
Just finished up some deburring.

10/29/13
2.75 hrs
More deburring and dimpling. Working on next primer batch.

11/03/13
4.75 hrs
Finished up a few items, first was to drill out the cover plates for the spar sides and then it was a priming session to get all these parts ready to be installed.

11/12/13
6.0 hrs
Lots of progress today, I final riveted most of the framework for the upper cowl and instrument panel. I am a bit concerned about attaching the skin later, but everything I read says leave it until the very VERY end so you still have access. So that's what I'm going to do, hope I'm right.

12/15/13
3.75 hrs
Spent most of the time sorting out how to mount the SV-2/5 vents and finishing those out. Once complete I attached the F-793 angles to the side skins. This effectively finishes the fuselage part for now. I'm moving on to the canopy.

I also took some time to remove the grooves from my 3M deburring wheel. I found that using a cheap shapening stone from Harbor Freight did a good job once I cranked the wheel up to max RPM. Just remember to move the stone around a lot, otherwise you may burn through to the inner core of the stone.