Getting Started.
The Sonex plans arrived yesterday and I am eager to get started. I should have ordered the plans years ago but have been involved with boating and cruising during my retirement years. I hold a Private Pilot license but haven't flown in years and decided to give it a go again in the Sport Pilot category. I always wanted to build my own - I guess a carryover from my youth's model building days. The plans, at first glance, are a bit overwhelming, but I'm sure will make sense as I get started. I am busy on another retirement project for the next few months but will get started on this dream shortly.

 
First pieces cutout for the tail assembly

Construction started.
Today I did an inventory of the materials ordered through American Spruce (AS) and got started making a few small parts for the vertical tail assembly.

Tail assembly
Today we got started on the tail assembly and getting used to using the tools (band saw, table saw, drill press, air scotchbrite buffer, and step drill) on Aluminum instead of wood. I transfered the plans drawings to the appropriate metal sheets and then cut out T12-05, T12-06, T12-09, and T12-07. T12-05 was cut out using the Compound Mitre Saw and the others on the bandsaw. The parts were then marked and drilled and bent as directed by the plans.

TAil assembly
Today three larger parts were fabricated - T9-03, T12-03, T12-01, T13-03. These were cut from .190 and .125 sheet using the bandsaw and table saw. Today we used a different blade and a large stiffening washer which resulted in an almost perfectly smooth cut that was cleaned up with only a buffer wheel. Yesterdays cut required filing to clean up the blade wobble marks.

purchase of brake
Today we went to Miami to pickup a 48 inch finger brake. Located it at a used industrial machinery dealer and other than a little rust on the unit it was in very good condition. Paid $200 dollars and the machine will be able to bend most of the parts for the Sonex.
Sent an email to tech@sonex to clarify a discrepancy on SNX-Z02 that at one point called for .025 and at another .032 aluminum.

Making channel
Today I made .025 and .032 channel for the vertical and horizontal tail assembly.

Making parts
Completed components for the VS today and started assembly. Drew the outline on the workbench and tried to get all of the parts to fit. I have an issue with the length of the ribs in getting them to fit correctly inside the outer frame or spars.
Don - 4hrs

Correcting mistakes

I had problems trying to assemble the Vertical Stabilizer and after checking back I found several measurement errors. I must have flunked Measurement 101! and was so angry with myself for these errors so early in the project. Today I made all of the corrections and was able to salvage most of the metal. With correct dimensions the VS went together very well and was well aligned. I hope I learned a lesson and have switched to using the metric system. Part of my problem was reading, for example, 29/64ths and then marking 29/32nds. With metric I shouldn't have that problem.
Don - 3hrs

 
VS frame
 
VS frame and Rudder horn

Vertical Stabilizer frame complete

Today we completed updrilling riveting and bolting the VS frame. Also completed the rudder horn assembly.
Don - 4hrs

Pats preparation
Cut out the main spar webs and aft spar webs from the .032 sheet. These will be put aside until work of the wings and spars begins.

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