Log Entries

Project Location: MI US

Entry Date Summary Description
Entry Date Summary Description
2009-11-17 Emp kit arrives Just happened to be home when the Fed Ex girl came by (you have to sign for it). She was very pregnant, but insisted that she help carry the boxes into the shop. no pictures of her.
2009-11-18 Inventory Just like the tools, you have inventory to make sure you got everything (I did). but just as important is putting all the parts in storage so its convenient to get at later. I put all the big parts it in 4 groups . . . horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, elevator and rudder.
now I need to organize all the "little" stuff(mostly rivets)
2009-11-21 Sheet Metal Tools Arrive Sheet metal tools arrived today(Isham kit) took inventory . . . took a couple hours.
everything was there except the dimpler and a flush set (?)they are coming later
2009-12-12 Working on the shop The work area needed lots of work. Painted the floor and arranged the air so the compressor stays outside the room I'm in. (its loud)
Still reading the contruction manual to see what other tools I need
picked up a craftsman drill press on Craigslist.
2009-12-18 Joe Phelan - EAA Technical Advisor visits Called joe during the week (he works nights @ douglas aviation in battle creek) and he agreed to come out today. he was here, looked at the shop and talked to me for a couple hours.
On his recommendation, I have:
1. reserved a tail number - N930RV (anniversary date)
2. called the FDSO in belleville and requested they send a "Builders kit"
3. Obtain a AC4313 (Nate Bovia has one I can buy)
4. find the kit serial number and give it to Joe
5. tools - more bucking bars, files, a 3-4' ruler, a regulator for the drill.
6. self etch primer
Joe recommended a local tool company (ATS), Aircraft Tool Supply
2009-12-22 Horizontal Stabilizer - Rear Spar Finished the sanding and shaping of the HS609's with 400 amd 600 grit sand paper. Tried getting sandpaper that fit my little electric black and decker "mouse" but no luck finding anything that fit it. ended up sanding by hand. (not fun) Need to invest in a pneumatic disc sander for the next time.
Got the parts nice and shiny, then cleco and drilled to the HS609's to the HS603's then the HS412 and HS413 brackets (cleco and drilled)
Lastly the (2) HS411 and VA146 bearing go together in a sandwich and cleco to the spar assembly. Only one side of the HS411's have the 6 holes in it, so after clecoing to the spar they are matched drilled (#30)
Debur, prime and RIVET the HS411 / HS 176 together
2009-12-23 Primed and RIVETED the VA146 bearing Things went kinda slow today.
when out and got some primer. . DUPLICOLOR self-etch, $4.95 at Meijers.
Scotchbrite, then cleaned with mineral spirits, then Primed the bearing. smell not too bad, and it drys quick.
Assembled the newly primed bearing and the HS411's, clecoed and RIVETED.
Took a while to figure out the squeezer directions, (didnt want to have to drill out the first rivets shot)I thought I remembered from the EAA metal class I took, that to adjust the gap you just 'turned the bottom set in or out, apparently thats just for hand squeezers.
I was able to get a nice rivet by installing a thicker bottom half of the set. no washer "shims" were necessary.
The machine head is slightly small for a AN4704-5 rivet as checked with the gauge, but when you re-read the section on rivets (5-D) it mentions that sometime its acceptable to go with the shorter rivet, a thus a smaller machine head.
This must have been one of those times.
2009-12-29 Front Spar -trimming, dimpling, countersinking, ect Christmas 2009 is over , house guests are gone. Time to get back towork building.
I left off having match drilled the HS-702s to the HS-710 and HS-714 (frt spars and reinforcement angle and the splice angle)
Todays Activities:
1. Marked off and trimmed both ends of the HS710 and HS714 using belt sander and scotchbright wheel.
2. The bending of the reinforcements was pretty quick, but the spars are thin and require trimming and drilling and filing of the parts prior to bending (relief holes are a pain in the butt)
3. Because 4 of the center spar rivets are the 'flush' type . . had to dimple the spar (easy) and countersink the reinforcement brkts.
4. Spent alot of time trying to see how other people setup their microstop . . .looks to be trial and error and practice. Need to drill just enough to allow the dimpled metal to 'sit' in the recess without any gap.
I think I got it right. .
2009-12-30 Things were going so well . . . Seemed to be making real progress today. Got to where the LH Horizontal Stabilizer had the skin clecoed on it and I was drilling and fluting and trimming flanges then . . . WHAMMO

The manual said to use the right angle attachment to the drill motor to drill the HS-405 / HS-702/ HS-714 / HS-404 sandwich of metal at the end of the HS. This DID not go well.
The bottom 2 holes are elongated.
Not sure IF, or HOW MANY parts I've screwed up, or what the fix is . . .But THIS A SET BACK.
2009-12-31 Finish drilling the LH HS. . .started on the RH HS 1. Final drilled the LH HS-603 skin.
2. un-cleco'd the LH skin
3. drilled the outer 3 holes on the LH HS-710 & HS-714 into the LH frt spar.
4. Joe Phelan returned my call. . he's coming to look at LH HS-405 problem tommorrow.
5. started on the RH HS. . . much faster this time around.(didn't have to stop and study the drawings as much)
I stopped at the point where I had the problem on the LH yesterday. I'll let Joe show me how to do the RH correctly.
2010-01-01 Built the Experimental Areo Dimpler Table The EAA adviser guy didnt show . . or call.
So I busied myself with things other than making airplane parts.
Last month when the Dimpler arrived, it came with plans to build a support table. I think the Empennage skin will all be flush rivets . . . so the dimpler needs to ready soon.

Looks good. Just needs to be carpeted so it doesn't scratch the aluminum when positioning parts through it.
Maybe I'll hear from Mr. EAA Technical Advisor Man tomorrow.
2010-01-02 Carpeted the Dimple Table Called Mr. EAA Technical Adviser and left a message.
No response yet.
I carpeted the Dimple Table today. Major skin dimpling will start soon. Glued the carpet down with contact cement. Nasty smelling and very flammable . . . kept the door opened and wore the respirator. Didn't notice the smell until I took it off. Thing must work. . . will use it a lot when priming parts.
Halley saw this neat chair at Varsity Ford while getting her oil changed, said I had to come look at it. Looks good and now I have a place to sit once in a while.
2010-01-03 Visit by Joe Phelan - EAA Tech Advisor Joe made it 'official'. Told me to scrap the LH HS-405, the elongated hole was too big. The GOOD news is that its the cheapest and least troublesome part to re-do.
The new one ordered from VAN's is $13.40 plus shipping(?)
Other sugestions from Joe . . . .
1.Use the Sherwin Williams P60G2 2-part self etching primer with the R7K44 catalyst. (JUST BRUSH IT ON THE MATING FLANGES !!)
2. Need to buy a good 12V drill to use to countersinking (and other things)
3. need some more clamps (welding clamps?)
4. Acid Brushes (for the primer application)
5. Need a "spring-loaded center punch" (bought on line from ATS)
6. Need to do a better job of getting rid of all the drill shaving so they don't scratch the parts.

Project will have to sit for awhile . . . going on a little trip, the replacement part and new tools should all be here waiting for me when I get back in about 10 days.
2010-01-14 New Part Arrives
The new HS-405 came in the mail while I was on vacation. (been gone 10 days) Hope I dont scrap any more. . . the shipping of this stuff is pricey. Should be able to get back to work on this a little this weekend.
2010-01-16 Deburring the HS Started with completing the new HS-405 that I ordered from Vans. Took A while get get it back in the sequence, The LS was easy 'cause the holes were all ready there (just drilled from the other side but on the RS this time the holes look good just by using a regular short drill bit. I'll avoid the use of the right angle attachment.
Once drilled, everything is un-clecoed and de-burred. All the spars, all the ribbs, and the skins. . . inside and out.This is VERY time consuming, but easy.
Decided to use the soldering iron to remove the blue plastic from the outside skin hole areas (totally removed from the inside.this will still offer some protection during assembly.
On to 'dimpleing' tomorrrow.
2010-01-16 Deburring the HS Started with completing the new HS-405 that I ordered from Vans. Took A while get get it back in the sequence, The LS was easy 'cause the holes were all ready there (just drilled from the other side but on the RS this time the holes look good just by using a regular short drill bit. I'll avoid the use of the right angle attachment.
Once drilled, everything is un-clecoed and de-burred. All the spars, all the ribbs, and the skins. . . inside and out.This is VERY time consuming, but easy.
Decided to use the soldering iron to remove the blue plastic from the outside skin hole areas (totally removed from the inside.this will still offer some protection during assembly.
On to 'dimpleing' tomorrrow.
2010-01-16 Deburring the HS Started with completing the new HS-405 that I ordered from Vans. Took A while get get it back in the sequence, The LS was easy 'cause the holes were all ready there (just drilled from the other side but on the RS this time the holes look good just by using a regular short drill bit. I'll avoid the use of the right angle attachment.
Once drilled, everything is un-clecoed and de-burred. All the spars, all the ribbs, and the skins. . . inside and out.This is VERY time consuming, but easy.
Decided to use the soldering iron to remove the blue plastic from the outside skin hole areas (totally removed from the inside.this will still offer some protection during assembly.
On to 'dimpleing' tomorrrow.
2010-01-16 Deburring the HS Started with completing the new HS-405 that I ordered from Vans. Took a while get get it back in the sequence of build, The new LS was easy 'cause the holes were all ready there (just drilled from the other side, but on the RS I got the holes to look good just by using a regular short drill bit. I'll avoid the use of the right angle attachment in the future.
Once drilled, everything is un-clecoed and de-burred. All the spars, all the ribbs, and the skins. . . inside and out.This deburring is VERY time consuming, but not hard to do.
Decided to use the soldering iron to remove the blue plastic from the outside skin hole areas (totally removed from the inside.this will still offer some protection from scratches during assembly.

On to 'dimpleing' tomorrrow.
2010-01-17 DImpling the HS ribs and spars Somehow when I picked up after vacation I missed a step. The RS skin wasnt final drilled (?)discovered the dimpler wouldnt fit into the holes like they did on the LS. No harm. reassembled the sparrs and ribs, cleco'd the skin back on, and drilled away. Then deburred again.

Had time to dimple the 'skeleton' (thats what the plans call it)

Dimple the skins tomorrow maybe
2010-01-18 Dimpled the HS skins This was kinda nerve racking ( like drilling the first holes . . . is the dimple die the right one, am I dimpling in the right direction ? am I dimpling the right holes? I did enjoy using the squeezer for dimpling the small parts, but used the C-frame to do the skins.
Pretty sure I got it right. we will see.

Next up . . . PRIMING PARTS !
2010-01-30 Prime booth built and vented, parts cleaned and engraved So last weekend I made the down-draft prime booth . . . constructing the box , mounting the blower. Today I finally ran the duct out the wall of the shop and got all the proper reducers and couplings and clamps all connected. Thought it best to put it over on the east wall of the room and shorten the legs an inch or so so that it will store under the bench top when not in use . . . I'll need the space when bigger parts are in here.

After that was all done, I wiped down all the parts to be primed with acetone (to clean and de-grease) problem is it also removes all the 'sharpie' marks (part numbers, LH , RH labels ect.)
Alot of builders use an engraver to re-write on the parts. This is controversial. The plans say you cant "scribe" or "stamp" into the parts 'cause it will cause stress cracks eventually and that fine point sharpie pen is best. But it latter says it is acceptable to use and engraver to mark parts. some people just re-write with the sharpie after cleaning . . . I think the engraver will be just fine.
Prime parts tomorrow!!??
2010-01-31 Finally Primed Got the work area nice an warm (its 20 deg. outside) then mixed up about 10 oz of paint. the paint takes lots of stirring the 'catalyst' is like water, but the 'wash' is like Jello. Weird stuff, but it all dissolved in about 5 min.
The booth needs some fine tuning, thank goodness the respirator works... not a lot of over-spray, but I think I can do better on the next batch (adjust the air down on the gun ,maybe)
The finished product looks just fine. just a light green film ... no excess buildup and weight.
Drys to the touch in about 10 min.

So now on to RIVETING...rear spar to rear spar reinforcement(HS-603 to HS-609) taped off all the stuff that doesn't get riveted now.
Joe Phelan, the EAA tech. advisor wanted to come out and see the first rivets go in. Will call him now.
SO a little clarification ...Joe said he needs to be here when I use the rivet gun and a bucking bar. He's already seen the squeezing I did on the center bearing and thought it was good. so, he said go ahead and start squeezing. He's coming out Friday evening to see how I'm doing.

2010-02-01 So why doesn't this line up??!! You would think that if I matched drilled the rear spar and the rear spar reinforcement ...it SHOULD go back together so it can be riveted. It just seemed to a 'little' off (the bottom spar) . tried inserting the rivets into it and some went in... some wouldnt.
Took it all apart several time and reassembled several different ways thinking I mismarked the parts and got my LH and RH mixed up.
FINALLY put it back together the first way and it lined up (??!!)
must have been slightly twisted, or bound up, or maybe alittle primer in the holes?
Whatever. It'll be riveting time tomorrow maybe.
2010-02-02 Riveted the rear spar Finally . . . got the squeezer set up with the right yoke (longeon) and the right die set (started out with a set too thick)
and started the rivet process.
I'd say the first 2 rivets have shopheads slightly larger than spec (according to the gauge) and the rest of them consistently slightly under spec.
I rather be under than over. But I think it will pass inspection.
Joe Phelan comes on Friday to check on my progress
Bob Heller came over to watch ...talk... and give the # to his dentist.
2010-02-03 Rivet HS-412, HS-413 and Bolt HS-411 to Rear Spar You have to read the drawings carefully each bracket uses different length rivets. Put on the HS-411 and torqued to 25 in. lbs.
The rear spar looks done for now. working on the front next.
2010-02-06 a couple mistakes . . I wanted to get as far as riveting the skin before stopping today . . . Joe Phelan still might come out soon and look at all this, but I was forced to quit after a couple hours after a bad rivet in a bad spot.

Thought I'd try to drill out the offending rivet , but that didnt go well either , so I thought it best to stop before I really screwed something up. (so far I don't think I have)
Have 2 issues . . .
1. Have a "smilley" on the head of a rivet where the squeezer slipped off. This might not have to be fixed.
2. Squeezed a rivet in a hole without putting the attaching part in place (stupid) This has got to be removed somehow.
maybe Joe will have some suggestions.
2010-02-13 Drilled out my first rivet
I'm at a spot where I dont want to go any further until Joe Phelan - EEA tech advisor, comes and looks at my work so far.
(rivets to the HS-603 skin)
so I tried going back to the bad rivet that forced me to stop last weekend. Used the new drimel to carefully grind down the 'shop' side of the rivet... (I had drilled the 'machine'side way offcenter)
then using the auto centering punch that Nate Bovia showed me how to use... put a dent in the middle of the shank ... then after drilling it with a #40 bit, the offending rivet came right out.
Put the HS-708? on the frt spar with 2 rivets and now I'm ready for Joe to come tomorrow.
2010-02-14 Joe Phelan - EAA Technical Advisor visits Joe brought presents!
He called a homebuilders CARE package. razor blades, acid brushes, foam brushes, brissel brushes, drill bits, aviation wipes, scrapers, aluminum tape, masking tape, lots of stuff.
So he looked over my work . . . and I've got (1) rivet to drill out (the big smiley) and one to squeeze a lttle more.
But, I not exactly rolling yet, my rivet gun ... the 3X that Ive been using ... is not what I should be using on the skins (will leave dents. Need a 2X rivet gun... so i ordered one from Aircraft Spruce. It looks exactly like the 3X that came in the Isham kit. I checked Isham but didnt see a 2X of anykind. Checked ATS , Brown, Avery, Isham and Aircraft Spruce... BIG price difference in rivet guns out there. Top of the line is the Sioux @ $327, but the one in my kit seemed to be of good quality (and its more in my price range), so I bought the matching 2X to it.
2010-02-27 Riveting LS HS-601 After a 2 week delay (waiting for the new 2X rivet gun and last weeks missed appointment, EAA tech advisor, Joe Phelan came over and got me started on riveting the HS skin. Got the HS-707 to the top of the HS-601 while he was here. He had me practice on some scrap metal, then we did the real thing.
After he left, I got the HS-707 riveted to the HS-601 skin(front and back) the HS-706 is riveted to the HS-702 and the 707, 702, 708 together are 'pop' riveted together.
Joe found the regulators on the rivet guns were mis-adjusted badly...and found that they worked after you screw the adjustment all the way in then back it out.
Tomorrow I should rivet the the entire length of the LS 702 to the 601 and the 708 to the 601 thus finishing up the riveting on the LS and start on the RS.
I did have to drill out a couple rivets, but even that didnt go badly.
2010-02-28 LS HS done ... starting final riveting of the RH Finished the LH horizontal stabilizer and started on the RH side.
Got the 707 top and bottom riveted. Put the front spar assy in ... riveted to the 706, then all clecoed up with the 708 pop riveted to the 702 and 707.
Tomorrow after work may be able to rivet the 702 and 708 to the skin.
2010-03-01 Completed RH HS Had the RH HS all clecoed the the front spar assy yesterday , so today got right to riveting the RH HS-601 (skin) to the 702 and 708 top and bottom.
Using caution to use the longer AN470 3-4 rivets where required (4 per side) marked the skin with a sharpie where the unique rivets when so I wouldn't get carried away shooting the AN470-3-3.5
The rear spar assembly is clecoed in place ready to rivet (squeezer time again) to the HS-404,405 and 706.
2010-03-02 Horizontal Stabilizer is DONE ! Riveted in the rear spar to the 601 and the 706 (ends) to the 601 and the 404 and 405 to the 601.
was able to use the squeezer on all of them.
Final step was to pop rivet the rear of the 708 to the rear spar assy.
Now . . . where do I store this while proceed to the vertical stabilizer ?
2010-03-03 Start of Vertical Stabilizer Today I ...
1. Clecoed the VS-803 to the VS-808 (rear spar and doubler)
2. clecoed the 410, 411, and 412 brkts the the rear spar
3. preped and clecoed the ribs to the frt and rear spar
Ready to drill tomorrow (#30)
2010-03-04 Clecoed VS skin on Drilled the 803,808,410,411,412 all to #30. back drilled the VS-410 as described in the plans.
Drilled the ribs to the front and rear spar to #30. Started to mark each hole as I drilled them so as not to miss any (easy to do)
Clecoed the VS-801 skin on.
There is an extra hole on the rear spar thats not on the plan (??)
in the middle. . . all check VAF forums but it may be worth calling vans tomorrow.
Should be able to drill the VS skin tomorrow.
2010-03-05 match/drilled the VS Matched/drilled the VS-801 skins (#40) then dis-assembled and marked everything. Then I sat down and removed the blue plastic and deburred everything.
tomorrow is dimpling, and maybe priming?
2010-03-06 Dimpeling the VS Dimpled the ribs, spars, and skin.
Countersunk the doubler using an electric drill going SLOW.
Although I had debured all the edges of the ribs earlier, I had neglected the skin edges, and the spars until now.
Wiped everything with Acetone and primed.
Not happy with my little downdraft setup. It still fills the room with the smell of primer and I think 's get better results if I didnt have to spray down.
But overall every thing looks good for maybe riveting after everything dries.
2010-03-07 Riveted VS Rear Spar Paint was still a little 'sticky' this morning so I put the pieces near the stove... seamed to cure the paint better.
Riveted the VS803 to the VS808 with hinges (410,411. and 412)
Was very careful to use the correct rivet in the correct hole. AND in the right direction. Was able the squeeze them all.
Clecoed the front spar to the ribs and started to rivet w/ the squeezer but couldn't find the right yoke that would fit. So I tried the first one with the rivet gun ...and drilled it out it was so bad. Then I "misplaced the 4/32 rivet set. cleaned the whole shop looking for it. (found it eventually in one the yokes)
Will rivet the front spar tomorrow?
2010-03-08 Riveting the VS801 (skin) to the Front Spar - 1 side Finished the riveting of the 404,405 706, and 707 to the VS-702 (front spar). If you 'flex' the ribs a little you are able to squeeze in situations where you wouldn't think you could.
Clecoed the VS-801 (skin to the frt spar and started riveting.
Made sure to mark all holes that dont get riveted until later... and the (4) places the require the longer AN426AD3-4.
so far so good.
2010-03-09 Vertical Stabilizer DONE! Finished riveting the skin (VS-801)to the front spar assembly.
Clecoed on the rear spar assembly and squeezed as many rivets as I could without hitting the shop heads of the rear spar. In the end it was only the ones at the hinge brkts that I couldn't squeeze. Was able to use the 2X gun and a bucking bar on those.
Last step was to install 3 pop rivets through the rear spar into the VS-707.
On to the RUDDER.
2010-03-10 Rudder Stifeners This part was confusing , called Van's, studied the drawings for about an hour, checked VAF forums, but the biggest help was MIKE Bullocks website. showed exactly what those "half moons" are supposed to be cut.
Band saw was useless for this thin stuff, used the tin snips with good results. the Scotchbrite wheel finished up everything.
clecoed and matched drilled both LH and RH rudders skins.
should be able to dimple tomorrow.
2010-03-11 Rudder and Stiffeners Deburred Only had 90 minutes to work on this, but was able to gently deburr all the stiffeners, and both sides of the LS and RS rudder skins.
Then dimpled the siffeners.((I just know I'm gonna dimple something in the wrong direction some day!)
Because the stuff is so thin (.016)... the plans tell you to use the C-frame to dimple instead of the squeezer. Would of had to on most of the skin anyway, but the stiffeners I could have used the squeezer... but the C-frame is more "gentle" I guess.
Tomorrow dimpling the rudder skin.
2010-03-12 Rudder and Stiffeners Dimpled and Primed Dimpled the R-901 (rudder skin)
Primed the stiffeners. This would have gone alot faster if I had just used a rattle can on these parts...instead of mixing up such a small batch of primer.
2 oz. wash + 3 oz. of catalyst and I still threw away some.
riveting tomorrow?
2010-03-14 Back Riveted Stiffeners to Rudder Skin The back-riveting came out good... dont understand the need for 'special tape'. This scotch 811 tape that I hunted all over for stuff wasnt very reusable and was $4.00 a roll. Masking tape would have worked better.
now just getting started the front spar, Drilled the spar to bottom rib to 3/8" with the unibit ... came out good.
2010-03-15 Rudder counter balance rib Finally figured out how the R-405 (horn?) got drilled...and the shim.
seems like the instruction could be worded more clearly.
but it all looks good.
cleacoed and drilled the tip rib and the counterbalance rib...(I didn't know there was a counterbalance on the rudder)
clecoed on the upper counter balance skin.
should be able to drill tommorrow.
2010-03-16 Drilled Counterbalance Skin - Clecoed Rudder Skins short night tonight . . .
Matched/Drilled the counterbalance skin to the tip rib and counterbalance rib.(#40)
Then clecoed the LH and RH rudder skins R(-901)to the spar and rib assembly.
It says to "drill all holes to final size" . . . does that mean just where the clecoes are? ... every hole in the R-901? what about the R-606,607 and 608 reinforcement plates that havent been drilled yet?
so many questions.
A little research is in order before I start poking holes into pricey aluminum.
2010-03-17 Match/Drilled Rudder Nice day out 63 degrees
Took Ginger out on the first scooter ride of the year . . . help the daughter pick up the paddock. . . and OH YEAH, spent and hour working on the plane.
Drilled the R-901 rudder skins.
Next the R-710 ... trimming off excess material per drawing
I think I read in someones log to be CAREFULL with this (trimming too much) will read up before cutting.
2010-03-18 Trimed & Drilled Rudder Horn - Made (2) R-918 Only had an hour to work . . .
Got the horn trimmed, installed and drilled. I read lots about people scrapping this part because of too much trimmed leaving not enough edge clearance when the skin holes are drilled, so I trimmed it on the 'short' side and then would fit it and grind it a little at a time until it lay flush in position. Looks goo so far.
Next step was to fabricate (2) strips R-918. At first I thought it was made out of the same stock that the "shim" was made out of, until I saw that its 18' long ... and there's 2 of them... then I found the piece that is suppose to be used. It's already cut the correct width .
Next is to clamp the strips to the bottom of the rudder and drill to match.
Probably on Saturday.
2010-03-20 Deburred & Dimpled Rudder After match drilling the R-918's to the skin lower holes, it was time to take it all apart and debur everything. Then on to dimpling the ribs, spar, and the skins. this took awhile (lots of holes in the thing). Was able to squeeze everything EXCEPT a few on the forward edge of the LH R-901 (C-frame)and the narrow end of a couple ribs (used the pop-rivet die set for the first time)
Then I drilled the counterweight in to the rib ...It mentions that its a #10 dimple die for the rib, and a #10 countersink for the weight, but the bolts are 3/16" which looks like a #12 drill bit (I got one with the Isham tool kit). Anyway it all looks good.
Tomorrow is the countersinking of the trailing edge (R-916) and then priming I think.
2010-03-21 R-916 mistake?
2010-03-21 R-916 mistake? I think a couple phone calls are in order tomorrow. I called Joe Phalen today, but its Sunday... He usually doesnt answer his phone on the weekend. I will call Van's builders assistance in the morning.
I was careful to set up the countersinking operation as I've seen on some builders log sites so as not have the table surface get in the way and interfere with the countersink tool getting flush against the R-916.
But it looks like I went too deep.
What looked like great looking hole on the first side, got bigger when flipped to the other side and countersunk.
The new hole overlapping with the other countersink results in a BIGGER hole.
The #40 drill bit fits looser now ... a #30 still wont fit ... but its diffently too big.
New part is $32 + shipping (ouch)
I'll know either way tomorrow.
2010-03-22 No Mistake - Prime Rudder Called Van's.
The bigger holes resulting from the 2 sides countersinking on the R-916 is " the way its suppose to be".
So tonight I prepped the parts with Acetone and primed everything.
This downdraft spray booth doesnt work very well. Need a better set up so I dont have to smell this stuff. Cant be good for you even with a respirator on.
I still like the down draft concept... maybe it needs a "hood"
make it a seperate piece (for storage) that sits on top of the setup I have.
2010-03-23 Rivet Reinforcement Plates and Platenuts I was out there more like 2 hours ... but most of that time is spent starring blankly at the drawings. Seems like the rivet info would be centrally located, but NOOOOO., Its everywhere.
There are so many different stack ups of metal you have to be real careful about what length rivet you grab.
so going very slowly , I was able to rivet all the reinf. plate to spar rivets and the upper 2 platenuts.
The bottom one is a little tough to get at. I'll try to pick there tomorrow
2010-03-24 Riveted the Rudder Horn Brkt and Brace to R-902 and R-904 When you work for only an hour you spend must of the time trying to figure out where you left off and what to do next.
working slowly and reading everything carefully.
Didn't get a lot done , but what is done looks good!
(getting the squeezer into the Horn Brace was a pain)
Next . . . counterbalance rib
2010-03-25 Riveting R-912, R913 to R-902 Front Rudder Spar Riveted the R-912, counterbalance rib to the Frt spar (surprisingly the rivet type wasn't called out ANYWHERE... but in similar situations AN470AD4-4 were used , so thats what I put in.
Used the squeezer to flush rivet the R-913 counterbalance skin to the R-912 counterbalance rib. easy and the skin surface looks perfect.
As with other people's counterbalance weight... I also has to "trim" away material to accommodate the rivets holding the R-913 to the R-912 (not much) No torque listed for the attachments... must not be critical (?) maybe I'll call Van's in the morning ans ask.
then it was time to cleco on the R-901 skins.
2010-03-26 R-913 to R-901 and R-902 rivets Basically I shot 18 rivets tonight.
The (6) on each side that hold the R-913 to the R-901 ... then the (3) on each side that hold the 913 and 912 to the 902 spar (longer rivets).
Clecoed on the tip rib and then stopped for the night.
Had to drill out 2 of the 18 'cause of a bad squeeze (?).
But I'm getting better and faster at it.
Going flying with Tuan tomorrow... dont want to forget what to do with it, when I get this this thing done.
2010-03-28 Riveting R-901 Skins to Skeleton Riveted everything (almost) in preparation of the dreaded "leading edge". I've got to figure how to get the last (2) rivets shot . . . can't get a squeezer yoke in, and I don't have a bucking bar that small. It mentions a pop rivet that will go there, but I think that should be my last resort.
Need to buy some stuff to proceed . . .
1. a really small bucking bar 1/4" wide
2. tank sealant or epoxy (for the leading edge)
3. about 5' of "ridged aluminum angle (for the leading edge)
2010-03-30 getting ready for the trailing edge
Ordered the fuel tank sealer (1 oz.) from Van's yesterday. Hoping it arrives before the long weekend. Got a piece of aluminum angle from Lowe's and match drilled to the 'wedge" . . . need a tube of "RTV" to put on the stiffeners before closing the rudder up. Some builders have had issues with cracks in the rudder from the stiffeners hitting each other at the trailing edge area ... the RTV is suppose to prevent that.
No pics
2010-03-31 Clecoed the Rudder Leading Edge to Aluminum Angle Didn't have any time tonight (2 hour commute home) . . .
was able to cleco the leading edge together with the Aluminum angle that I match drilled yesterday.
2010-04-02 Epoxy to the Rudder Trailing Edge I've the had the fuel tank sealant from Van's for a couple days now (but no time).
Put a dab of RTV to the stiffeners where there is potential contact (precaution against rubbing a cracking)
Then mixed up the 1 sealant ... its just like JB WELD ... and smeared a thin coating on the wedge (messy stuff)
I used about 8 little paint brushes to hold the skins apart while slipped in the wedge. . .
Now that I think about it , Im not sure I put it in right-side up or upside down (?) it seams to fit though, and all the holes line up.
Lots of squeeze out , even in the holes and all over the clecoes
Used alot of paper towels soaked in thinner to clean off the excess.
Now it "cures" for a couple days. . .
2010-04-04 Formed Rudder Leading Edge Went a little out of sequence while waiting for the epoxy on the trailing edge to cure...
Got a piece of 1/2" pipe out of the barn and duct taped it to the leading edge and "rolled it" ... this is a two person job to squeeze the 2 side together and match the holes and get a cleco in.
Its funny how the the instructions leave out little details now... like drilling/ deburring the holes for the leading edge. I figured it out when the pop rivet wouldnt fit in the hole.
It finally went together with lots of effort . final product looks pretty good with no crease at the spar that I could see.
Removed the aluminum angle and the clecos from the trailing edge and got the rivets all in and ready to back rivet. . . maybe tomorrow.
2010-04-06 Double-Flush Rivets to the Rudder Trailing Edge They make this soooo intimidating in the instructions ... an entire page is devoted to this double flush process so you don't warp the leading edge.
Took only an hour and came out very nice. Nice and straight and back-riveted using my newly made backing plate ($10 worth of cold rolled steel). I need to polish it though ... it left a little 'texture' on the heads of the rivets.
Oh, and I bought some cheap carpet for the work tables. . . and got rid of the yellow blanket.

2010-04-07 The Beginings of Elevator Construction Only had an hour to work on this (no pictures) . . . read the manual to get an idea of whats involved the next steps.
Laid out the stiffeners and marked them all up to start cutting (maybe tomorrow)
Looks to be about 28 stiffeners of various sizes and shapes in total, but the Left side elevator is the more difficult and where more of the build errors occur... so they make you start with the Right side first.
2010-04-10 Match-Drilled Elevator Skin / Stiffeners Used my trusty tin snips to cuts the stiffeners and then used to scotch-bright wheel to finish the all.
Then clecoed everything to the E-701 skins (LH& RH) and match-drilled them.
There seems to be improvements to the parts that the drawings dont know about and haven't been updated. After cutting and trimming all the stiffeners, you are suppose to cut 3- or 4 of them down even more (making them unique) per dimensions on the drawings. But when I lay all the parts out to the skins ... nothing needed revised. they were all at the correct length already.
the E-615 is clecoed to the LH E-701 and gets match drilled next.
2010-04-11 Drilled E-615 Went to Church this a.m.
But then Halley gets these GREAT tickets to todays Tiger game from Marie Setton at the last min, so I didnt do alot on the plane.
1. study the drawings at length to get the orientation of these parts .
2. Drill the E-615
3. Un-cleaco in all and ID all the stiffeners with the engraver,

Tomorrow deburr it all
2010-04-12 Deburred Elevator Skins Deburred the LH & RH E-701 (drilled holes and edges)
Deburred the E-702 stiffeners (all of them)
Deburred the E-615 edges and drilled holes

time consuming, boring work, but has to be done.

Dimpling tomorrow... then priming on Thursday? If it is warm I'm gonna try to do it outside.
No Pictures
2010-04-13 Pulled Plastic- Dimpled Elevator Thinking about just pulling all the plastic off rather than just where the rivets are to save time.
1. Dimpled all the stiffeners
2. Dimpled the E-615 trim brkt
3. Dimpled the skins E-701 L&R
priming tomorrow?
2010-04-14 Primed E-702 Elevator Siffeners Nice warm day . . .Primed outside to avoid the fumes
No pics
Have the whole day off tomorrow. . . will start back riveting
2010-04-15 Back-riveted LH & RH Elevator Stiffeners & E-615 The stiffeners were all dry from priming yesterday, so today I back-riveted it all. It goes a lot smoother with the big bar I used for the rudder trailing edge.
No issues.
Next is 'bending the trailing edge with a home made "break". They are partially bent already, but not all the way. Otherwise you cant rivet in the stiffeners.
Going to the lumberyard to get a good straight 2x8 and some hinges.
2010-04-17 Bending the Elevator Trailing Edge and Beyond I was out out there just starring blankly and the drawings for 2 hours today (and searching websites for info)Not counting that as build time.
Seems this part of the manual and drawing 5 leave something to be desired.
Where is the bend radius on the drawing?
How about the rivet size for the E-703 and E-704? ... info is missing. and other dis-connects between the manual and the drawings. Frustrating.
1. Built the 'Bending Brake' apparatus. (2x8x10 and 5 hinges)
2. Bent the E-701 L&R as far as they would go (based on someone else's experience on the web)Looks good and straight.
3. Assembled the RH elevator skeleton. The plans mention using a "lubricant" when drilling the #10 holes into the E-714 (of course I didnt have any . . used a light machine oil this time, Need to order some "Bo-lube"
4. Decided not to counter-sink the E-702 spar at the E-709 attachment point (seemed too thin) so I dimpled it instead. Should be better than what they call out in the plans.
5. De burred everything
Tomorrow ... Dimpling
2010-04-18 Dimpled RH Elevator Thats about it.
Went to the red wing game (they lost)Had enough time to dimple all the RH elevator except for those pesky narrow rib areas...
Need a new tool
2010-04-19 Those Last Hard-to-Reach Dimples & Prime RH Elevator The pop rivet dimple set wouldn't fit...
the squeezer wouldn't fit...
Rather than buy another specialized tool and wait for it to get here, I did what this one guy in Canada suggested ... bend the tight spots open, dimple them, then bend it back. I think it worked (see photo)
Then I primed the 'internals ' ... spraying outside cuz its so nice out.
2010-04-20 Riveting the RH Elevator Skeleton Riveted the following . . .
E-703 to E-704
E610, E-611 and nut plates to E-702
E-709 to the E-702
E-703/704 to the E702
WD605 to the E-702 and E-709
2010-04-21 Riveting RH Elevator Riveted the platenuts to the E-610 and E-611 (some how missed installing them earlier)Then partially riveted the E713 to E-701 ... loose installed the E-714 counter weight, then clecoed and riveted all the 426- 3-3.5 rivets I could using the slim-nose yoke and squeezer.
All thats left to rivet in the outside end where the weight is
2010-04-22 Almost Done with the RH Elevator Was able to rivet all the ouside end of the elevator tonight. Have one bad rivet thats sitting up too high (on the top too!) . . . grrr...
Will drill out the bad rivet then tighten the E-714 counterweight tomorrow.
2010-04-24 LH Rudder drilling ,Deburing, Dimpling, Priming I think yesterdays entry was lost . . . or maybe I just wanted to put it out of my mind.
Drilled out the 'high' rivet on the RH elevator and screwed it up ... now its too big , not sure what the 'fix' is but I need to walkaway from it and do it later.
Got a LOT done on the LH elevator today ... It's VERY similar to the RH so its going faster.
All drilled, deburred, dimpled, and primed. I'm more than a little confused with the instructions as how to build the electric trim servo ... it just says to "refer to the drawing" and it's easier to do it now before the skins close up. (?)
Think I need to study some web sites to see how others are proceeding.
2010-04-25 Riveting LH Elevator Skeleton I'm avoiding the trim tab, so I skipped that and did the riveting of the skeleton today.
E-610 and E-611 plates to the E-702 spar...
E-703 to the E-704 then that assembly to the E-702 spar...
E-705 to the E-702 ... this looked real nice when I was done with the flush rivets, then I realized that the E-705 was on upside down.(drilled out and re-riveted).
E-713 is on the E-701 with 2 rivets top and 2 rivets bottom.

Back when I riveted the stiffeners to the skin, I put in the E-615 reif. plate... looks like I missed the part apout dimpling the #6 holes that secure the E-616 with countersunk screws... was able to drill out the nut plates and dimple it in place, but I might have a issue with a crack in the forward edge of the E-615 ...
Will have call Van's tomorrow.
Must read drawing more carefully.
2010-04-26 Getting Ready to bend the LH Elevator Tab Step 1 ... pull the blue plastic
I was going to stop there for the day but I called Vans and they said to file the crack thats on the E-615 ("no one can see it" ) and keep going!!

Went back out and reinstalled the 7 nutplates to the E-615 ( back-riveted...squeezing didnt work)
Opened up the electric servo box and screwed the brkts to it.

2010-04-30 Screwed up the elevator tab This has to be the worst part of the instructions. The steps describing the trim tab bending are better than those describing the elevator tab bending ... and of course I didnt see the better instructions until after I had moved on and was working on the tab... the blocks kept 'sliding' even with 2-sided tape (the blocks didnt "hook" as described in the trim tabinstructions)
VERY frustrating.
I'm going to just leave the elevator alone for now, but I plan to just cut off the tabs anb make (buy?) a RIBLET.
Bending tabs SUCK.

2010-05-01 Trim Tab step 1 . . . cut off the trim tabs. I'm not bending these things. Will make some riblets and install to each end. Gotta look better than what the directions have you do.
Got as far as the hinge , now I'm confused again (these directions suck) need to do more research before I drill.
Gonna order the wings Monday... I see that there is now a 12 week lead time ... more than I thought. Oh well, it will give me lots of time to finesse some of the "issues' with the elevator tabs and trim tabs.
2010-05-05 Trim Tab Hinge Drilled Boy these directions are vague... But I think I'm on the right track.
Clecoed and drilled the E-717 and E-718 to the tab skin
Match drilled the bottom E-607 to the tab skin
matched drilled the top tab skin to the top E-607 (without the hinge) then clamped the hinge E-721 to the top of the E-607 and drilled it.
the directions dont really tell you to do it this way... but I thought it best. You cant cleco the 607 to the skin and drill the hinge at the same time.
was able to deburr and get the parts ready for priming tomorrow
2010-05-08 Primed and riveted Trim Tab Probably the smallest batch of parts I have primed yet. Just 4 parts... the hinge, the 2 little brkts for the clevis rod (E717 E718) and the E-609. hardly worth all the cleanup afterwards.
Riveted the bottom skin of the trim tab to the E-609 and the 2 brkts... then the top tab skin to the E-609 and the hinge
I going to have to make those riblets soon.

I see now why they wanted the top of E-606 countersunk ... so the hinge at the bottom of the E-606 would mate up to a 'flat' surface... (I dimpled it) had not seen that technique before.
I see some builders have done this as well and end up dimpling or countersinking the hinge. I'll have to do one or the other as well.
2010-05-09 Removed The Elevator Tab I hated the result of bending the tabs...maybe if I had made the blocks that interlock at the top, they would have looked better , but these were bad. Anyway , they are gone now, cut them off with the dremmel tool.
Now I need to make 3 very small riblets. no picture
2010-05-11 Making Riblets - Finally I finally did it. Been avoiding this part , putting it off. Doing everything but this.
I made 3 riblets tonight.
These replace the tabs I screwed up... and actually they look better than if I had been successful bending the tabs.
Used the bending block, trimmed it a little, and used it to make all 3 riblets (each a different length)
Made sure it was bent 'against the grain' of the aluminum stock (.025 mm) then made a 'sandwich' with 2 blocks and the aluminum blank in the middle, then clamped it in the vise, and whamo, beat it with a hammer and an wooden block until bent flat.
Looks great I think.
2010-05-21 Drill and Dimple Riblet to LH Elevator Just worked for an hour.
Now that the flush pop rivets are here, I decided to install the riblet to the LH Elevator so I can get the trim tab on at some point .
First measured and drew a edge line on the elevator, then I saw that all other pieces have the rivet 20mm from the edge of the bend, marked that first rivet location.
then determined that most rivets are 30mm apart , and marked from the first drilled the hole.
Ends up being 3 per side.
2010-05-23 Trim Tab Hinge to LH Elevator Well, I don't actually have it riveted yet... but its all drilled and dimpled .
The gap to the elevator tab looks pretty good. Have the the trim tab riblet drilled and dimpled as well, I will rivet this on the trim tab PRIOR to riveting the hinge. would be pretty hard to do it the other way around.
2010-05-24 Inboard Trim Tab Riblet Read where there can be "twist " in the trim tab and that the last point to get it out in BEFORE the hinge is riveted to the top of the elevator and BEFORE the bent tabs are pop riveted. That convinced me to install the inboard trim tab riblet next (the last of 3 riblets).
Pretty much just finessed it so it fit good... then Ill drill and dimple.
2010-06-04 Riveted the Trim Tab Hinge to the Elevator
Been awhile ...planted the garden went to Tennessee for decoration day, long days at work , yada yada...\
Pulled the hinge pin, seperated the 2 halves of the hinge and riveted the one half to the elevator, then re-assembled the 2 halves of the hinge ... Looks good.
Next , roll the leading edge
2010-06-05 Rolled LH Elevator Leading Edge Might have over-rolled it... but with Ginger's assistance, was able to get ll the hole aligned and clecoed.
think I'll just let "set" in designed position foe a while and drill/ rivet it later.
Will roll the RH elevator tomorrow?
2010-06-06 Both Elevators Forward Edges Riveted riveted the rolled, leading edges of the elevators. I forgot how difficult this was. (and I didnt get any better at it since the last time this was done)
One bad pop rivet to content with... not sure how to drill it it out. Will investigate.
2010-06-12 EAA Technical Councilor Visit - Joe Phelan Joe Phelan came at 10:00 to review progress. I have a couple things to rectify . . nothing major.
1. He noticed that I had the wrong sized washers on the elevator counter weight bolts. Easy to fix.
2. He will bring his gage to determine what size "cherry-max" rivets to use on a couple areas. where I have oversized holes
3. Need to file off some metal at the trim tab riblet area where a half-moon is.
4. verticle stabilizer has a tight spot where the metal is touching a spar. Will have remove a couple rivets to get at it)
5. The WD-605 ... the those big brkts at the inboard end of the elevators , well one of the rivets has a 'smiley' on the shop head...has to come out, but you cant get a solid rivet back in there. Joe this is the perfect spot for my first "CHERRY-MAX pop rivet repair job.
2010-06-27 Van's called about the wing kit I ordered ... . . . they want to know if it would be "OK" to ship the wings now instead of July 24th. (about a month early).
Needless to say I said YES!!!
So now that they are on the way, I realize I've been goofing off and are not ready for them. I still havent fixed the issues that Joe Phelan pointed out to me when he came by weeks ago.
Read that drilling out 'pop' rivets was more difficult than the solid rivets. I found that not to be the case. Once you drive out the center piece of the shank, it comes out just like a solid rivet. So. . .
1. I replaced all the bad leading edge pop rivets on the elevators and the H.S. that were not sitting flush.
2. Drilled out the rivets holding the H.S. skin at the bottom 'horn' area and used my dremmel grinder to remove the metal that hit the horn on both sides.
3. Drilled out the one AD 470 4- ? rivet at the end of the elevator, Joe is going to 'gage' for me 'cause it will take a cherry-max rivet (totally inaccessibly for a solid rivet now)

2010-07-02 Wing Kit Arrives - Taking Inventory Took the day off work to be here when the truck arrived. (it came 2 hours late) and I'm on vacation all next week... So I should be able to lots done.
Even the though the elevators still had a couple steps left to do before they are fully complete... I had to get them out of the way before the wing kit got here. They are hanging on the wall with nylon rope.
Myself and the driver were able to unload both boxes with out much difficulty...glad they weren't any heavier though.
Started taking inventory. Got about done I think. Everything is there. Nothing damaged that I can see, but I havent opened up the main spars (all wrapped in plastic)
Tomorrow I will throw away all the packaging materials and breakdown the shipping containers... will need some of that wood to make a wing stand/jig.
And there is a couple really long pieces of aluminum angle that really go with the fuselage kit that came ... going to hang them high on the wall out of the way. It will be awhile before those are needed.
2010-07-03 Finish Inventory - Re-Organize Shop Got the long fuselage parts stored out of the way. . . threw away all the packing materials . . . Start step #1 - become familier with the orientation of the Main spars (W706-L &R) and mark them.
2010-07-04 Broke Down shipping Containers Boy theres a lot of staples in those shipping crates!... Spent most of the day continuing to organize the work area.
Leaving all the flat aluminum in the box... got the curved pieces up high on shelves.
Visited lots of websites, and read and re-read the plans and manual to get an idea what the first steps are ...
2010-07-05 Fuel Tank Plate nuts 4th of July Observed (Holiday)
There are 60 fuel tank plate nuts on each spar. 120 total ... each with 3 holes to prepare (360 holes total !)
The rivets used to secure them ( 2 each) are the AN426 'flush type'... so thats drilling each with a #40 drill bit, then counter sinking each one to accept the flush rivet. Then drill the center hole that the #8 screw will go into with a #21 drillbit, (plans say a #30??) then countersink those until its .370 inches diameter (per various websites)
Anyway lots of drilling done today. ALl the rivet holes for the plate nuts are done... have the platenuts clecoed to the W706 spar and have started squeezing the rivets.
Oh, I primed the platenuts (rattle can)
2010-07-06 Lots of Spar Countersinking Long day... in the 90's and humid.
Riveted all of the tank access panel platenuts, was able to squeeze them all. Now on to the the countersinking the center hole for the #8 screw. This takes a while. Got the microstop dialed in and measured each hole to make sure it was the .370 in. (didnt want to over drill one) ... 120 total.
Next the W-822 access plates... 3 go on the bottom of each spar.
with 4 #6 platenuts each. Got the spar drilled, countersunk and platenuts riveted on ... tomorrow I'l start with dimpling the W-822 access plates, then countersinking the spar to match.
I would have gotten more done but went to get my 3rd class medical renewed!
2010-07-07 More Countersinking and Platenuts. Started Tie Downs Started by countersinking the the bottom spar for the W-822 access plates... seemed if I get close to the .312 in. dia. the hole edge gets too close to the spar edge. check the web and saw they are all like that. Primed all the exposed countersinks (rattlecan)
Dimpled the spar edge of the W-822 plates.
Installed more platenuts where the center spar intersects.
Then worked on the tie downs. Tapped the W-731 where the eyebolt goes... made the spacers...match drilled everything to the existing spar holes...
Need a 1" circle saw to put the lightening holes in the spacer brkts. (trip to Lowes in the morning) then install (4) platenuts
to the tiedown , then bolt it all to the spar?
2010-07-08 Tie Downs and Bell Crank Bracket But mostly today was tie-downs ... boy these suckers are time consuming!
Drilling those lightening holes with a fly cutter (circle cutter takes some effort. The boelube seemed to help with the cutting.
Have to get better about SCRIBING the parts rather than marking with the felt markers , then having it wash off. It caused me to mis-mark the spacer orientation of one tie down... had it ready to bolt onto the spar and it wasn't close to fitting... but I'm getting good at drilling out rivets, and no damage was done. This time I was lucky. Got to be more careful.
Was able to get the tie downs bolted on the spar (but not torqued) along with the (4) W-823 bell crank brkts.
2010-07-09 Rear Spar Drilling and Deburing Pulled out the rear spars and the W-707E, F, D, and G... pulled all the blue protective plastic off and started to smooth all the edges ... This takes awhile!
Then to trim the W-707D & G per the drawing using bandsaw.
Then its time to clamp and cleco every thing to the spar and drill.
theres one odd shaped hole in the spar and the W-707E that takes the unibit to make several small holes in a cluster then the dremmel to make it one big odd shaped hole.
Got all the holes debured after drilling
Tomorrow there some tricky parts about which holes get dimpled ... and what doesn't get riveted till later.
Must research
2010-07-10 Last Couple Things To Do Before Priming Rear Spar Went to Miejer Garden in Battle Creek on the scooter and didnt get back until late, but did have time to do some important stuff ...

1. Dimpled the top flange of the rear spars, only where the W-707D&G will interfere with this operation later.
2. Counter-sinked the outboard edge (4) holes of the W-707E reinforcement plate.
the riveting step has some pitfalls coming there are lots of holes that dont take rivets yet... will have to mark them carefully.
I did drop my counter-sink tool and it BROKE! still usable I think... but should get another (along with a new #40 countersink pilot cutter that the tip broke off) $$$$

Tomorrow I can acetone everything without fear of wiping out any needed info I've written on the parts (its all scribed I hope) and then prime. I have enough parts to paint that it's worthwhile to mix up a batch the real stuff and not use the rattle-can self-etching primer.
2010-07-16 Primed Rear Spar and Associated Parts The pony is lame and confined to her stall so I can't paint inside. the barn, I had to spray outside.. kinda windy out but the parts came out fine (no Pics)
tomorrow maybe I rivet
2010-07-17 Riveted LH & Rh Rear Spar to Reinforcement Brkts I think for each hour I spend actually doing work... I spend at least that amount of time reading and re-reading the plans.
there's such a risk at this point, of mix up and riveting the wrong thing. Everyones web site (and I look at lots of them) warn you to GO SLOW... understand the plans Before you start drilling holes asn riveting things together.
Used masking tape to cover up all the areas that get riveted LATER...and riveted the holes that were left.

Time to set the rear spars aside and prep the ribs.
2010-07-22 Engraved the Part Number into each Rib Don't think I really worked the whole hour... (no pics) but just to avoid the chance of a future mix up, I engraved the part numbers on all the ribs. Think I'm going to skip the writing it with a 'sharpie' step. It only makes a mess when you prep the parts with acetone... and you wipe away the number anyway.
Going to try to mount the scotch-brite wheel on the drill press an see if its easier to use that way.
My new counter sink tool came today (lifetime guarentee).I dropped and broke the old one. I have ordered a 2" scotch-brite wheel from ATS at the recommendation of Brad Oliver's web sight and Vans plans.
2010-07-23 Deburring the Wing Ribs Got a little done before the storm rolled through and knocked out all the power for 3 days...
Mounted the scotch-brite wheel to the drill press. I like this better than on the grinder. Got most of the L/S parts, outside edges done before the electricity disappeared.
Then took mineral spirits ans removed all the stickers. (have already engraved the part numbers)
This is going to take awhile . . .
2010-07-25 Deburring the Wing Ribs - continued Weekend is almost over and the power is now back on (went out Friday)Will try to make some progress on the ribs before the wind blows and we lose power again.
Got the R/S wing ribs deburred (just the periphery) ... I'm taking some #400 sandpaper per Brad Oliver's site and "flossing" the tight spots on the leading edge flanges.
This is going to take a while . . .
2010-07-26 Deburring the Wing Ribs - continued No pictures can adequately convey how unexciting it is to deburr the edges of these parts... and how unrewarding it is.
The sad part is that the ribs looks the same as it did before doing all this work.
it feels smoother though... and hopefully will never develop cracks as a result.
2010-07-28 Deburring the Wing Ribs - continued more of the same
2010-07-29 Deburring the Wing Ribs - continued more of the saame . . .
2010-07-31 Deburring the Wing Ribs - continued
Back is killing me. (unrelated to airplane construction)
Able to get a little done on rib preparation. All the outside edges and flanges are deburred.
Started on all the lightening hole. Not happy with the 2" scotch-brite wheel I ordered... I think its too course.
I'm getting good results by first using the deburr tool on the holes, then followed by the 400 grit sandpaper I used on the leading edge "flossing" ... then finally a scotch-brite pad.
A couple hours of this, and I'll be straightening flanges
2010-08-01 Deburring the Wing Rib Lightening Holes - Was able to deburr all the remaining lightening holes in the wing ribs. Got LOTS of aluminum dust everywhere.
Theres probably faster ways to do this ... but I must have ordered a COURSE 2" scotch-brite wheel , instead of a FINE 2" scotch-brite wheel ... any way , the 400 grit sand paper did fine... pretty much destroyed a fine scotch-brite pad on all this sharp metal.
Results are pretty good I'd say.
Spent an hour straighten flanges after dinner...
Tomorrow :
2010-08-03 Fluting Wing Ribs All Fluted !!!
Whats next?
2010-08-13 Cleco the Wing Ribs to the Front and Rear Spar The back quit hurting long enough to work alittle on the wing ribs (plus Dad was here to help)... Decided to skip the wire drilling part until after I see the wing ribs clecoed together between the spars.
Then I'll decide the hole locations.
This takes up lots of room ... in a wing stand will help though. That task is coming up quick.
Needless to say I will review this all again tomorrow before I drill a single hole
2010-08-15 Match Drilled & Deburred Main and Leading Edge Ribs Decided to skip the wire conduit drilling step till later...
So I double checked the ribs for orientation then started match drilling. No issues. The instructions mention some rib hole that are missing ...no biggie just use the spar holes as guides.
Then before taking everything apart for deburring, I put a rough mark on where the dreaded wiring conduit hole should be, so as not to mistakenly drill the wrong side of a rib. (as some other builders have done)
Deburred all the ribs, deburred the rear spar and the front spar.
Decided to use the 'mike bullock' method of transfering the conduit pilot hole from one rib to the next. No template used, just drill the first (the master) then cleco to the next and match drill it.
Then drill with a unibit the 3/4 inch (max unibit size)
Got all the Left side and Right side done.
Both the Mike Bullock site and the Brad Oliver site drill the first 10 main ribs, on both sides with some "extra" wiring holes for Pitot-static system, Autopilot, AOA, ...I may do the same tomorrow.
2010-08-16 Drilled Main WIng Rib Wiring Holes - Deburr At the forward edge of each wing rib, are a couple tooling holes (1/4'?) and a nice 7/16 " hole in the middle... what I'm seeing on Mike Bullocks and Brad Oliver's web sites is that they choose to open up the tooling holes to 3/8 inch on the first 10 ribs... that along with the existing 7/16 " hole will used for Pitot, AOA, and AP tubes and wires.
Maybe the 3/4" conduit is just for wing tip wires and antenna?
Anyway, the main ribs look to be about done ... should be able to prime them soon.
2010-08-17 Labeling Ribs and Prime Prep No Pictures.
The were handled alot , and because there are 28 total (14/side) I usually stacked them on each other. Lots of little scratches that didnt really hurt anything but needed rubbed out with a scotch-brite pad.
And I used the engraver to put a number of orientation and a "left" or "right" on it.
Tomorrow ... maybe Priming
2010-08-29 Priming the Wing Ribs Halley's horse has been confined to the stall (my priming area) until today. So... while she's out in the paddock eating grass, I took the opportunity to re-claim part of the barn and prime the wing ribs. 14 per side, 28 total.
Too much metal to lay flat and spray, so I stretched 2 ropes. each 25 feet and put the LS ribs on one , and the RS ribs on the other.
Had some paint runs, but it doesn't have to be pretty.
Going to let it 'cure' over night (still slightly tacky) and cleco and rivet tomorrow.
Today is Sunday Ginger noticed a box on the front door today (must have delivered yesterday) Its the Van's order with 2 deluxe fuel caps, 2 forged tie-down rings (MADE IN CHINA stamped in BIG letters) and 25 feet of conduit for wing wiring.
The fuel caps are nicer than what came with the kit... but instead of $29 each, they're $100 each (OUCH). Not sure they are worth that much. But they are defiantly better quality. The tiedowns and the conduit I probably could have got a Lowe's cheaper.
2010-08-30 Cleco the Primed Wing Ribs to the Front and Rear Spars
Title says it all...the paint is dry on the ribs, so its time to clecoed the ribs to the front and rear spars.
Taped off the outboard rib to front spar holes so I dont rivet in error... need to apply "protective tape to the W-706-B/D to prevent damage from the bucking bar (?) not sure what part gets taped... the RIVETS?
The garbage disposal is broken (frozen) may have to do that before I get back to riveting the wings.
2010-08-31 Rivet L/S Wing Ribs to Rear Spar Opps....

Should have read Brad Oliver's builders log BEFORE I started...

When and I going to learn that just because the Van's manual says to do something, that there's not a 'catch'.
Looks like I didnt pay attention to the drawing ... and now have 8 rivets to drill out where the W-721 and W724 share common attachments with the ribs.
Wish the manual was written just a LITTLE CLEARER.
Oh Well. Should'nt set me back that much.
2010-09-01 Fixed My Mistakes of Yesterday... This is not as "deep" as the title sounds
Removed 8 rivets from L/S wing ribs to rear spar that I installed in error.
Got the front spar ready to rivet. (Doing it first now) removed the first 2 inboard ribs , to access #3, then to 2, then 1 , then 4,5,6,...
tools out
double off-set thingy,
tungsten bucking bar,
AD470 4-7 rivets
ready to go tomorrow maybe.
2010-10-15 Taking a Unexpected Break from Building Had a couple building setbacks.
I was hospitalized breifly for back pain issues on Aug.6- 10 ... that was the biggest setback. (STILL NOT 100%)
But I also had real problems with these larger/ longer rivets on the front wing spar to the wing ribs. They just bend over and not setting right. Tried researching on the internet... got lots of good advise, but I'm still screwing them up.
SO . . . I've joined EAA chapter 333 in Ann Arbor .. met a fellow whos very experienced with RV aircraft ...J.D. Woods. He has a GIANT squeezer at his place (from the B-17 bomber plant)... says I can come over and use at his place in Milan.
I've got to travel for work next week (IMA convention in CocoaBeach,FL)...then on to a little "vacation".
The first available time I can get over there is first week in November when I get back.
2010-11-02 Success! ... Back To Building Just back from vacation and got the day off for election day.
Took the opportunity to see J.D. Woods of EAA chapter 333. He was availabe in the morning ... so I got up early and loaded the wings into the truck and went.
J.D. has a N.I.C.E. shop, and saw he saw right away what I was doing wrong.
1. Rivets should go front to back(not back to front)
2. Use a regular bucking bar (bigger surface area than my tungstan)
3. Use about 60 lbs of pressure at the gun
4. use a glove to hold the bar (better grip)

Got it all back home and went to work. The L/S front spar is riveted to the wing ribs and the rivets look MUCH better. Got a couple 'smileys' to fix ... but at least now I'm building again.
2010-11-03 R/S Front Spar to 9 ribs I riveted 9 wing ribs to the Right side front spar with no smileys, thats 5 rivets x 9 ribs = 45 total rivets ... I've got several to replace on the left wing.
Key for me is is to focus less on the bucking bar, and more on the gun orientation and pressure on the rivet head, keeping the gun square.
I may need new glasses too.
No pictures. . .battery in the camera is charging.
2010-11-04 Left and Right Front Spar to Ribs complete Completed the last 5 remaining R/S ribs to the front spar. . . then started to repair the 'smileys ' I had on the left side. (9 total)
I was making more mistakes than I thought in the beginning. No major issues in drilling them out. All the new rivets look good.
Tomorrow , finish the rear spar to the ribs... maybe I ca use the squeezer on them?
Will need a wing stand soon.
2010-11-05 Main Wing Ribs To Rear Spar I have to go slowly with this so as not install the wrong rivet in the wrong hole ... it's easy to screw up.
Once you get the squeezer 'dialed in' to a particular rivet size... I try and get all of that type before moving on. Saves time not having to set up the squeezer all the time
Most of the rear spar to the main ribs in complete.
2010-11-20 Building the Wing Stand/ Jig Went to Lowes and got the straightest 2x4's I could find... then glued, and screwed them together. Had the first 2 of the 4 posts are up and 'plumb"....butI screwed up and used Loc-tite Heavy duty construction adhesive to hold it to the cement floor... the stuff looked like toothpaste, and didnt hold very well. After a couple hours it was STILL wet, so I gave up and removed it. Went back to Lowe's and found some that was not 'water-based', but made with real chemicals... seems to work better.
Should be nice and solid in the morning.
Will set the other 2 posts tomorrow.
2010-11-21 Wing Stand/Jig Continued Got the 'other' (2) posts set... and tied into the first 2 posts using scrap lumber from the wing kit boxes. Its not very stable yet, but I got it 'plumb' and wanted the glue to the floor to set first, before I braced it all up.
Yesterday's (2) posts look very stable. Good thing I got better construction adhesive... made all the difference.
While waiting for the glue to set, I made the (2) outboard wing mounting brackets out of 1.5" aluminum angle....5" long ea.
Then made (4) pieces for the cross-bars of the jig out of the same 1.5" wide aluminum angle , each is aprox. 16" long.
I'll mount them to the posts tomorrow maybe.
2010-11-24 Wing Stand/Jig Continued The 4 post seem solid. they are 'plumb'.... time to hang the arms.
I have the top of the arms at 48".
I started by just permanently bolting (and leveling) the arm at one end, then using the string level to get the opposite one level to it... then repeat for the other stand.
Not happy with the turnbuckles I got from Lowe's... they are maybe too short? Anyway, I mounted them as well.
Got the outboard wing 5" mounting brkts made and drilled but not mounted to the wing rib as yet. Going to to re-read Todd Moeller's log to see if I'm putting it in the right place. Van's says to just make it "parallel" to the main spar, But I think It'll be easier to level and get the skins on without interference if I get the brkt in the right spot
2010-11-26 Wing Doublers Found the W-702's and laid them out ... took awhile of studing the drawings and looking at pictures on the web to figure out which way is up, down, left and right.
The doublers were confusing as well... the drawings and the manual both reference them as (2) AS3-025-9 3/4x26 ... trouble is, I dont have such a part. Checked the parts list and it shows a (2) AS3-025-10x43's as "WING DOUBLER"... it looks like they dont give you a part that is correctly cut to size anymore.
So, I cut it to the proper length ans width, matched up to the W-702's then drilled it to match and clecoed it.

The WING STAND is not totally done as yet...need to go the junk yard and get (2) scissors-jacks to take the 'swag' out of the wing main spar. Seemed like all the junkyards were closed today.
2010-11-27 Leading Edge/ Fuel Tank Cradle Got up and went to find a couple car jacks ... bottle or scissor type. But because of the holiday weekend, nothing is open, so still no progress getting the 'twist' and 'swag'out of the wings.
So I read ahead and got to work on the leading edge cradle. Now after using it and think I could have done with out it just fine on the leading edge... maybe they're more useful on the tanks... we'll see.
Got the left and right leading edges (W-701)clecoed to the ribs
2010-11-29 Fuel Tank 'Z' Brackets OK... I skipped ahead.
Without the jacks to take the sag out the middle of the wings, I cant proceed as scheduled, so I read ahead in the manual a little and looked for some work to do. Found that soon I will need to start prepping the 'Z' brackets for the fuel tanks.
Maybe tomorrow the junk yards will be open.
2010-11-29 Wing Stand/Jig Completed Finally... the junk yard was 'open' and he had a couple scissor jacks from some old Honda's that looked usable. Set them on a cinder block and a 2x4 to get the height needed to hit the middle rib on the rear spar.
There must be some twist in the left side post I set ... it causes the arm to closer, reducing the 114" distance between posts. Had to do a little grinding off of the arm at the outboard rib to allow the skin to extend past. (the right side was OK)
Ready to proceed further tomorrow.
2010-11-30 W-702 and W-703 Started by hanging the top wing skins today... the W-702 with the doublers on it go on first. Followed by the W-703 (just a big square piece of aluminum).
The 2 parts side by side cover the top of the wing from the main spar to the rear spar.
Things were going so good .... then
Going to need a bunch more... about 250 of the 3/32" size...
I think i would have enough to just one wing at a time.... but most people suggest building both if you have enough room, and enough clecoes.
2010-12-03 Right Side Top Wing Drilling Bought more clecos (250) from a friend of JD Woods who lives on Grosse Ile. He asked for $0.30 each. So for $75 I'm back in business.
The W702 (with doubler) and the W-703 are all clecoed to the top of the wing... with a cleco every 4th hole.
Was able to start drilling to #40 ... got most of the R/S top done.Will get on to the L/S in the morning
2010-12-04 W-702, W-703, W-704, W-705 Cleco and drilling ...that about says it all.
The L/S Wing is all match drilled (top and bottom) the R/S top was done yesterday.
Will do the bottom R/S tomorrow.
The directions are alittle 'vague' about "marking the main skins lining uo with center of the tie downs??? Does that mean the top? the bottom ?... or both sides?
Need to figure that out.
2010-12-05 Prepare to Drill R/S Wing Bottom I forgot to check for "twist" in the wings.
Got the plumb bob out and suspended it from a cleco at the inboard main spar ...measured. Then suspended it from a cleco on the outboard main spar...measured. Both sides of both wings measure the same... 2 20/32"
Thus no twist.
The rest of the time was spent removing the clecoes from the L/S bottom skins, which are already matched drilled, and installing the clecos on the R/S.
Its ready to drill next
2010-12-05 Checking for "Twist" I should have done this earlier, but I was so focused on getting the wings level, I forgot this part.
Got the plumb bob and string out and checked the distance at each end of each wing. Got the same 2 20/32" everywhere. Looks like no twist to me.
Spent the rest of the time un-clecoing the bottom skins of the L/S wing that are already drilled and getting the B/S bottom skins ready to drill.
2010-12-06 Bottom R/S Skins Drilled / Leading Edges Clecoed Busy tonight, got alot done.
Completed the drilling of the "skins". Finished the R/S bottom (W-704 and W-705) then unclecoed the bottoms and removed the skins.
Next was to cleco the outboard leading edges on ... thru the face of the spar into each leading edge rib, then along the main spar edge. Hoping not to run out of clecos again. If the directions had not said to remove the bottoms skins, i wouldn't have had enough clecos for the leading edge.
2010-12-07 W-408 and W-423 Very cold outside (25F). Took awhile to make a fire in the stove and get the place warm enough to work.
'Slipped into position the W-408 ribs... these have no hole in them but just solid flanges. Back drilled thru the spar and clecoed the back of the rib to the spar.
Just FINDING the W-423's took awhile ... then I found a reference to it on the drawing that gave the dimensions ... then found 2 pieces of aluminum mark with those SAME dimensions on them.
Hmmmm ...those Van's people are tricky.
Anyway I made a mark 1/2" from the edge and tried squeezing it between the W-408 rib and the skin.
Didnt get too far.
I'm done for the night.
2010-12-08 W-423 -Lap Joint
Get the W-423 squeezed into position and drilled on the R/S ... still playing with it on the L/S.
2010-12-09 W-423 Drilled to Leading edge & Tiedown Holes Completed the fitting and drilling of the W-423 lap joint to the W-408 rib and leading edge skin. I'll know when I take apart if the rib is got the holes in the correct position (a common error) It is tough to get the rib aligned correctly.
Also drilled out the tiedown holes in the bottom skin using a unibit... I made alignment marks as called out in the plans, but the pilot holes supplied by Van's were right on. Very pleased with the position of the hole in the skin to the tiedown bracket on the spar.
In my reading , its apparent that MOST people leave the tiedown eyelets off the airplane and store them while flying. Makes the plane go faster?
I will need something that fits 'flush' to the bottom skin to 'plug' the hole thats easy to remove when the eyebolts are needed....
2010-12-11 The dreaded "Z" Brackets Read, and re-read the plans trying to figure out how to proceed with these brackets... this is where lots of people screw up.
Decided to go the Todd Moeller/ Dan Checkoway method rather than the Van's method which seems prone to mis-alignment.
SO I drilled a #12 hole in the center of one side of each Z-bracket...then bolted it to the forward side of the main spar, then drilled the remaining 2 holes/ bracket using the spar as the guide.
Got the R/S drilled... tomorrow the L/S
2010-12-12 Z-Brackets to Main Spar (oops) and Fuel Tank Stiffeners Snow day. Didn't go to church... so i went out and began where I left off yesterday, drilling the #12 holes into the main spar to match the Z-brkts. Well ... I didn't look close enough and drilled where the p-nut attachment goes (much smaller hole required there... not sure how to fix it yet. But I don't think its critical.All it does is hold the pall nut into position.
Been stealing them off other parts to work on others... need a couple hundred more
Well I'm running low on cleclos again need to buy more.
Spent the rest of the day making the T-711 fuel tank stiffeners.
cutting them to length, scotch bite til smooth, cleco to the T-701 tank skins and match drill.
2010-12-13 Primed P nuts Totally out of clecos (again)... bought 300 more online from ATS (Aircraft Tool Supply)
Really cold outside , single digets this evening. Spent time tonight just geting parts ready. Counted out 42(3x14) P-nuts and An3-4 bolts for the Z-brkts. Then I got out the rattle can of primer and paints the P-nuts.
I can see in the plans that the nuts are riveted to the brkts with AN426 rivets so they have to be counter-sunk..
2010-12-14 Drilling and Countersinking Z-brkts Lets see . . . 12 brkts x 6 holes each = 72 little 3/32" holes that hold the rivets , that will hold the P-nuts on the Z-brkts.
THEN those 72 holes have to countersunk..
Took over 2 hours.
Should be able to rivet on the the P-nuts tomorrow.
2010-12-16 Rivet P-Nuts to T-712 'Z' Brackets Tool delivery from ATS (aircraft tool supply) ... 300 3/16" gold clecos.
Trouble is I wanted 300 3/32" (silver) clecos ... pain in the butt , now I have pay to ship these back.
Riveted the P-nuts to the Z brackets ... then drilled and countersunk the main spar for the P-nuts that hols the inboard z-bracket.
2010-12-18 Z-Brackets Bolted to Main Spar Had some alignment issues... the holes in the Z-brkt and the platenut hole dont allow the bolt to 'start' easily... so I oversized the Z-brkt 3/16' hole one step up. It's really the spar hole thats critical. Cant see how the Z-brkt hole matters. Every thing lines up now... so far.
Bolted the Z-brkts to the main spar, set the T-702 baffle on ...looks good , I can see center lines thru all the holes. Not dead center on all of them ... but not bad.
Ready to start 'dry' assembling the tanks , got the T-711 stiffeners ready, got the T-703 and T-704 tank ribs ready, the tank skin is in the craddle...
need more clecoes (in the mail)
2010-12-20 Cleco the Fuel Tank Top Skins Found a a 10 lb. box from ATS on my doorstep when I got home from work today... 300 CLECOES. I'm back in business.
The stiffeners are are now clecoed into position to the bottom of the T-701's and the top of the ribs are clecoed to the top.
I might need a second set of hands to get the bottom ribs and tank skins to lines up.
Tomorrow is the my last day of work for the year... looking forward to getting lots done.
2010-12-21 Cleco Tanks Must be because the tank sksns are thicker than regular skins , but getting the ribs in is a royal pain. Best technique so far is to install 1 cleco on the top,front then one at the bottom,front ... then keep alternating front to back.
2010-12-22 LH and RH Z-Brackets Drilled Got the LH and RH tanks all clecoed... then before prceeding, I double checked for twist and sag in the wing stand.
The fit of the tank at the leading edge was gapped to the tank (too high), looked to be because of the W-423 adapter was "lifting" the tank...
Someone on a web site somewhere said to just remove it... and rework it later.
Fit is perfect now. On to the Dan Checkoway method.
1. Drilled the inboard Z-brkt first using rib as guide.
Then removed the leading edge assembly and drill the outboard Z-brkt using rib and baffle as guide.
Then pull the tank skin off and drilled each of the remaining Z-brkts using baffle holes as guide THEN drill the ribs.
Started to re-assemble the leading edge to the spar ...LH is almost done . Will re-install the RH leading edge tomorrow before leaving for tennessee (christmas holidays) ...be back monday the 27th.
Will have all next week to work on "da plane".
2010-12-23 Pulled Plastic Pulled the plastic from the T-701-R and T-701-L (tank skins as well as all the tank stiffeners (24 pc's).
Inscribed ID marks on the stiffeners so I can get them back where their suppose to go.
2010-12-27 Re-installed Tank Skins, Drilled T-701 to W-423 Back from Tennessee and a quick Christmas visit with relatives.
Re-installed the tank skins (T-701) to the wing. When I re-installed the wing skins, they didn't fit like they did before ... ended up with a 1/16" gap at the aft tank skin and the skin on the the wing.
Seems like other builders have had this issue as well and some said a gap was actually desirable...(?)
So I went ahead and drilled the T-701 to the W-423 adapter,
then removed the tank assemblies and match drilled all the "rivet holes to #40 ...3/32". This took hours to do.
Then I realized why I was getting the gap in the skins.
I had counter-sunk the Z-brkt platenut rivets holes not deep enough and the rivet heads were sticking up a little ... this was not allowing the Z-brkts to sit flush on the main spar... thus raising the entire tank assembly too high and thus the 1/16" gap in the skins.
Tomorrow I can take a scotch- brite wheel a remove a little of the offending rivet head (they only hold the platenut in position)and everything should fit better.
2010-12-28 Drilled 264 #40 Countersunk Holes Lots of drilling today.
All the holes that hold the T-702 baffle to the tank skin (T-701)are countersunk (don't know why they don't just dimple this - it would be easier) 66 per side x 4 sides...
But I got in trouble the last time I decided to dimple something instead of countersinking as instructed... so i stuck with the plans.
Then more drilling (#19 drill of the tank skin to spar screw holes and the W-423 adapter plate holes)
Then dis-assembled the tanks, and mark everything,.
Started the fabrication of the T-405 brkts using the cardboard template technique...
2010-12-29 Fuel Tank Access Plate, T-405 Brackets Its amazing how much you can do when you can stick with it for 8 hrs ...
Finished up the T-405 brackets from yesterday. They look nice.
Studied the plans trying to figure out how big the access hole needed to be. Doesn't spell it out in the directions, but i FINALLY figured it out.
I HATE using the fly-cutter for this kind of stuff ... but nothing else works for BIG holes (2 5/8" radius) I always afraid the cutter with "loosen" up (all the centrifical force and parts of it will fly off and hit me.
Anyway got the access plate retainer ring countersunk, the rib holes dimpled, and ready to rivet the platenuts tomorrow.
2010-12-30 Fuel Fill Housing , Fuel Drain, Lots of Deburring Going to see TSO (Trans Siberian Orchestra)and the Palace with the daughter and her BF tonight (our christmas pressnt).
1. Drilled and coumtersunk the flanges for the fuel caps into the top of the T-701s. Boy, I like these caps...glad I upgraded.
2. Match-drilled the fuel drain into the bottom of the tank skin. (no picture)I got to skip a step. The plans says to counter-sink the fuel drain BUT IT CAME PRE-COUNTERSUNK... yeah!
3. The plans say to start dimpling the ribs and skins now... but I haven't even deburred all these holes yet.(?)
...and the step after that is preping the parts for sealing and riveting.
I guess I better get started.

2010-12-31 Deburring and Dimpling the Tank Skins and Ribs Well the instructions were right.
They DO mention the deburring step. I just didnt see it.
Today, I must have deburred for about 4 hours... and dimpled for another 4... included in the I had to de-vinyl the skins prior to dimpling. I'm tired.
Happy New Year
2011-01-01 Deburr Z-Brkts, and T-701 Edges Didnt do much today...
Finished the dimpling of the the #8 screw holes along the bottom and the outboard edges.
Then realized I hadnt deburred the Z-brkts holes and the edges of the tank skins.
Then off to my mother-in-laws birthday party.
2011-01-02 Prep for Fuel Tank Assembly Today is the last day of Christmas vacation and full days dedicated to plane building...
1. Finally found a tool to bend the vapor clip properly...used a fluting tool that Ive never used before. Worked great.
2. Took a course scotch-brite pad and scuffed up all the fuel tank mating surfaces... ribs...skins...stiffeners...baffle. Used a cross cut pattern as suggested in Brad Olivers builders web-site.This took a while.
4. You are instructed NOT to prime anything that is on the inside of the tank (fuel contamination)...that doesnt leave much. So I primed the Z-brkts.
Back to work tomorrow. The Pro-seal from Vans should be here tuesday. But I have a list of needed items to get first.

1. Scale to weigh the sealer.
2. invisible glove?
2011-01-03 T-715 Brackets Didnt do much tonight ...
Made a list of things I need before the pro-seal arrives from Van's and the tank sealing can begin.
1. Scale - shopped aroud on my lunch hour... walmart and target. Target has quite the selection of "kitchen" scales from $5 - $49.
Not sure if a digital is more accurate or just easier to read.
2. MEK - I thought I could use the acetone to clean mating surfaces but it suggests MEK or naptha.
3. Plastic syringes.
4. butcher paper
I did split apart the T-715 brackets and prepped them on the scotch -brite wheel. I will need one the brkts soon to hold the fuel pickup tube to the inside tank rib. Probably took longer to document its fabrication than to actually do it.
2011-01-09 LH Fuel Tank Stiffeners Pro-sealed Took awhile but I'm finally building again.
The pro-seal came in the mail on Friday... got a digital scale, butcher paper (freezer paper), syringes, ect. I read and re-read the directions AND other builders web sites. Decided to use the "FAY METHOD" I kept reading about. This is where you apply the pro-seal, cleco it in, fillet the edges, then wait 24 hours until it semi-cures , then rivet the parts together.
So today I roughed up the mating surfaces again with the maroon scotch-brite (I had mistakenly used the gray one which I found out is "ultra fine") then cleaned all the mating surfaces with MEK. Because MEK is so flammable, I couldnt have any heat in the shop while I was using it. Once I was done cleaning and the shop had ventilated enough, I was able to get some heat before applying the sealer. I mixed up 100g of the white stuff with 10g of the black stuff and mixed it in a plastic cup. smoothed it on the stiffeners and clecoed every hole in position. Now it sets up.
Went though about 15 pairs of gloves and half a roll of paper towel...
Will rivet it tomorrow after work.
2011-01-10 Back Rivet LH Fuel Tank Stiffeners It's been over 24 hrs since I pro-sealed the LH tank stiffeners and I can see now what "partial cured" looks like ... a lot easier to work with.
The stiffeners appeare "stuck" on pretty good so I was able to remove all the clecoes, dap a little newly mixed up sealler (22g) to all the dimples, then 'wet set' the rivets in, apply the backing tape and back rivet away...
I dialed down the air pressure to about 45lbs with about 3-5 'hits' with the rivet gun.
All rivets look good , some are slightly proud, but not worth screwing with.
Cleaned up the outside skin with MEK... then soaked the rivets in some overnight so they dont get all sicky and hard to use.
Tomorrow it's either encapsulate the shop head of the rivet, or proseal the RH stiffeners...
2011-01-11 Pro-sealed RH Tank Stiffeners Same as the LH. Maybe a little less messy this time
(but not by much)
110g of sealers used and lots of disposable gloves. All clecoed up will back rivet tomorrow.
This took about 2 hours.
I may have tried to finesse the fillets too much?
2011-01-12 Back Rivet RH Fuel Tank Stiffeners Same as LH procedure ...
1. wait 24 hrs since appplying proseal
2. remove all the clecos
3. "wet set" the rivets (apply with toothpick)
4. apply back rivet tape
5. back rivet
6. remove tape
7. clean up with MEK
Tomorrow ... proseal the fuel fill housing and the drain valve.
2011-01-13 Pro-Seal LH and RH Fuel Drains and Filler Flanges Made sure I wore my respirator... last night I got a little 'woozy' out there.
First I re-cleaned everything with MEK.
Then made up a 44g batch of sealer , then using my best cake frosting technique, I coated the drain and the fuel filler flanges and clecoed then into position. I filleted the fuel flange (its on the inside of the tank) but not the drain (its on the outside).
Let it semi-cure for 24 hrs, and rivet tomorrow.
Had a little sealer left over so I used it on the shop heads of the stiffener rivets... then cleaned off any squeeze out with acetone and MEK
2011-01-14 Riveted the Fuel Drains ...Screwed Up The Fuel Fill Got the fuel drains riveted in ... both look good. However NOT so good with the fuel fill flanges.
I have been able to remove all the clecos after a night of 'semi-curing to "wet set" the rivets and set them with the rivet gun or squeezer... but the fuel flanges pulled away from the skin swhen the rivets were removed. I didnt notice until AFTER shooting the rivets. Maybe because they're heavier?
So I drilled them all out and will start them over tomorrow.
I also I forgot to put in the vapor line retainer clip on the most forward rivet so I would have had to drill that one out anyway.
Oh well, this will set me back a couple hours.
Maybe I got too tired ?
Because the fuel filler is on the top of the tank... maybe I'll try not using the "fay method" tomorrow... it'll go quicker.
2011-01-15 Removed and Re-Proseal the Fuel Filler Flange What a mess...
got the fuel flanges off and cleaned with MEK (no small task) Then re-installed back on.
Going to rivet tomorrow.
I did put the little vapor clip into position ... I'm guessing it'll be easier to rivet if its semi-stuck there in the proseal.
Tuan came over and checked the shop and my progress. This made us hungry so we went to Stivers.:-)
2011-01-16 Need Two AN470AD6-XX Rivets So ... there is a tooling hole in the outboard end rib (T-703) and the hole needs to be sealed. I can either fill it with a AN470AD6-XX rivet (that doesnt come with the kit, I dont have) or fab a small plate that covers it and secure it with rivets and create more holes that need to be sealed. seems like a no- brainer to me... need some AD6 rivets.
Called JD Woods ... he doesnt have any, so I ordered a 1/4 lb of them (probably 100 rivets) for $8 plus shipping.
2011-01-17 Riveted LH & RH Fuel Fill Flanges ...& misc prosealing The fuel fill flanges are riveted now (both tanks)... I mixed up a little extra proseal. First to wet set the fuel flange rivets, and second to touch up the stiffener rivets, and third to encapsulate the fuel drain that I havent done yet.
Dont know if it effects the proseal or not, but I can see lots of 'fibers' from the MEK soaked cloth in the proseal left on the shop head of rivets ... I think once I clean an area ... I wont bother to clean away any that oozes out until AFTER encapsulation.
2011-01-22 End Rib Tooling Hole, Resistance Check of Fuel Sender Been out town with work (going again Monday)...
I'm hesitant to start the rib sealing and riveting until I have a good block of time to finish them... so instead I did some little things.
1. Wet set 2 of the AN470AD6-4 rivets into the tooling holes in the end rib (outboard)
2. Mixed up a batch of proseal (22g)and encapsulated these big rivets.
3. Touched up some the the fillets on the stiffeners...
4. pulled out the fuel senders from their boxes and put a ohm meter to them and checked for "full'(32 ohms)... and "empty" (240 ohms)

2011-01-28 Proseal LH Fuel Tank Interior Ribs The pre-made fuel pick ups from vans came while I was out of town... so to begin tonights build session I first got out the MEK and cleaned the tank and 5 interior ribs.
Made up 150g of proseal (not quite enough) and started.
Just used a popsicle stick... well lots of popsicle sticks really. 1 to scoop out the white proseal, 1 to scoop out the black, several more to mix and apply.
Probably didnt apply thick enough , the fillets were 'skimpy" had to apply more after clecoing.
I read online that guys using this stuff for a living dont use respirators cuz its not harmful... I decided to wear my respirator anyway. the stuff stinks.
2011-01-29 Riveted Interior Ribs to LH Bottom Fuel Tank Because it's so cold out side I waited til noon to start riveting so that the proseal would cure alittle. (still pretty gooey)
Stinks pretty bad still ,so I wore a respirator while riveting...And hearing protection... and blue nytril gloves.
Quite a site.
I kept the 20g of proseal in the unheated part of the barn so to slow the curing effect , just getting a toothpick full each time I wet set a rivet. All the rivets look good. Just hope there is enough proseal in the right places.
This is SLOW going.
2011-01-30 LH Top Interior Ribs Riveted Getting faster at this.
By getting enough proseal out of the cold to last for several rivets... I saved myself a lota walking back and forth, (not bad for an IE huh?)
Got a couple concerns... proud rivets mostly that I can fix tomorrow, but no major problems.
nest step.... proseal the RH?
2011-02-01 Getting Ready tp Proseal RH Tank Spent a couple hours just getting ready for the next step. Before I can proseal all the RH interior ribs, gotta clean stuff.
Cleaned the old proseal off the rivets used on the LH tank...that takes a while.
Then I got out the MEK and wiped the inside and outside of the lines of rivet holes that will hold the ribs. then cleaned both sides of the rib flanges themselves.
Had a resiprator on the whole time (nasty stuff that MEK)
Theres a blizzard out right now (9:00pm) been snowing and drifting since 6:00pm...forecasts are for 12" of snow.
If its a mess in the morning , I'm goona stay put and work some more on 'da plane'.
2011-02-02 Proseal RH Fuel Tank Interior Ribs Decided not to go to work today... blowing and drifting snow. Not sure how much , but it was enough for me to decide to stay put.
Made up 220g of proseal.
Applied it to each of the 5 interior ribs.
100% cleco to the tank skin
let it set over night, maybe rivet tomorrow.
2011-02-03 Rivet 2 Rows of Top Ribs Didnt have much time building tonight. Stayed at work too long.
Was able to mix 20g of proseal (too much) for the wet set of the rivets. Adjusted the air pressure to 40 lbs.
Ive found thats its easier to stand the tank on end... so that the rib flange is pointing up. that way the bucking bar will sit on the flange at the right height ... and all I have to do is push it onto the rivet...not holding bar it up as well.
anyway... 2 rows of rivets on the the top of the tank look good.
I can see why its good to have a bucking partner ... really strains the should reaching around to rivet with one hand and buck with other.
no pics tonight :-(
2011-02-04 RH Interior Ribs Riveted Pushed it tonight to get done with this step. FINALLY got the interior ribs riveted on both tanks. My arm hurts from trying to reach the rivet...bucking with one hand and riveting with the other. This is a 2 person job really.
I'll be sooooo glad to bo done wiht proseal.
Need to "encapsulate" all the rib flange rivet heads next.
2011-02-05 Encapsulation of Rivet Heads Cleaned proseal off about 100 clecos for a couple hours. Started the encapsulation of rivet heads which is a little harder when you use the "fay method" as opposed to the methood in the manual... its not as easy to see
2011-02-06 Interior Rib Rivet Encapsulation Aplying the proseal with a toothpick. Finally done.
2011-02-07 Proseal LH and RH Inboard Ribs Title says it all (almost)... MEK on all the mating surfaces.
mixed up 88g of proseal (20g per flange) ... buttered it up and 100% clecoed into place.
Tomorrow I'll rivet them in
2011-02-08 Riveted LH and RH inboard Tank Ribs Ran out of Proseal.
Cant believe I have to buy MORE of this stuff. I dont need much more... but apparently Ive used more than normal or wasted too much.Putting it on to thick?
If the tanks dont leak... it be all worth it. Anyway...Im scraping the bottom of the can and still have to encapsulate the inboard end rib, install the outboard end rib, wet set the rivets and encapsulate them, and install the baffle.
Tonight I wet set the inboard rib rivets. used the squeezer. It all came out well but the proseal would make it 'slippery' and rivet set would slip off, but all the rivet set flush. nothing to drill out.
Will have to refrain from activities that use proseal that I dont have.
2011-02-11 Proseal the T-410 to the Outboard Tank Ribs Scaping the bottom of the can of proseal to get enough to put on the outboard tank rib and T-410 mating surfaces. This is the only ribs left that are NOT rivited to the skin yet.
Used what little proseal was left to encapsulating some of the inboard rib rivet heads.
A new can of proseal should be here soon.
2011-02-12 Cleaned Clecos and riveted the Outboard Rib T-410 Even though it is a saturday... I didnt do alot today cuz I'm out of tank sealer. Cleaning the clecos takes is teadious, and take a while , so that what took the majority of the time today. the outboard ribs take these AN470AD4-4's. Used the squeezer to set them.
2011-02-13 Lots of Misc, Fuel Tank Prep I was thinking that because I'm out of proseal, there wouldnt be much I could do until it got here ... wrong again.
Lots to do and lousy instructions from which to do it. The manual mentions that before closing the tank with the baffle theres this 'other' stuff to do... not really saying HOW to do it.
1. Just put in the vapor line. Cut it, flare the ends, bend it, install it with all the associated fittings,bushings, nuts and misc. hardware.
2. Install the fuel pick up...
3. Install the fuel sender (float)
the step-by -step directions are gone now ...just study the drawings and "make it look like that" (per Van's)
but enough ranting...
Was able to partially bend the float arm per the drawing.
Rivet on the the fuel sender platenuts per drawing.
Match drilled the anti-rotation brackets for the fuel pickup tube (gets riveted later)
Have lots cof questions right now... need to find a good website to follow along with.
2011-02-14 Drilled Holes for Vapor Line Fitting in Inboard Tank Rib Funny... nowhere in the directions does it come out and say "drill a 3/8" hole with a unibit so that the vapor line elbow fitting has somewhere to go into". But thats what you have to do.
The drawing, if you look close enough, says to put a hole aprox. "here"... you have to figure out the size (it never tells you).
So now the holes are there and I can loose assemble the vapor line fittings to see that every thing kinda goes together(it does). Will be probably easier to run the line though the ribs and hook it all up before install installing the outboard end rib.
Can see now that I should go out and buy:
1. a safety wire twister tool soon ... there's an AD to wire up the pickup tube fitting.
2. a set of crows foots for the torque wrench.
3. get the wrench calibrated (its 50+ years old)
4. Kerosene (to mix with oil) for flaring aluminum tubes

2011-02-15 T-708 Issue . . .Called Vans's Amazing.
I been looking at the T-708s that I've got, and the drawing plainly says to "rivet the platenuts with the flush head inside"... so thats what I thought did to both the LH and the RH .
But I cant figure out why its that way... seems like with those rivet shop heads like that AND would make it harder to seal..
So I called Van's and asked about it. I talked to "Scott".
He tells me that it is confusing ...but it means the "inside with reference to the plane , NOT INSIDE OF THE TANK!!!
He suggested that I countersink the INSIDE of the T-708...which is the OUTSIDE of the tank.
Oh, and by the way, dont use the gaskets that come with the kit... the rubber one for the fuel sender OR the cork one for the T-708 access plate. Just proseal them in.

Tonight I drilled out the 20 rivets that hold the 10 platenuts, of the LH and RH T-708.
It could have been much worse.
2011-02-16 Re-Riveting Platenuts to T-708 This is fixing the 'orientation' issue I had.
Took the T-708 and counter-sunk the INBOARD side of the T-708 then re-riveted the platenuts the correct way. Much better.
2011-02-17 More Misc. Tank Prep... Went to the local fuel distributer (Wacker Oil) to get kerosene. dont need much... but its what they recommnend for flaring aluminum tubes (ex. fuel vent lines)
Got 1/10 gallon (less than a pint) for $0.57
Although the directions dont say to, I scuffed up the all mating surfaces I could think of that still have to be sealed.
where the fuel sender goes.... the inboard rib T405 and T-410 surfaces... the acccess plate, ...ect.
Then I M.E.K.'d the mating surfaces and mixed up 22g of proseal (new quart) and put a thin layer on the T-405 and T-410.
Going to let it stay clecoed overnight (FAY METHOD) and rivet it tomorrow.
2011-02-21 Riveted and Prosealed T-405 & T410 Didnt get much done this weekend.
Lost power on Friday night ...must if had a power surge when it came back, cuzz it blew all the dimmer switches , the GFI, the motion detector switch and the computer router.
Anyway I riveted the inboard tank rib reinforcements and then sealled it inside and out.
2011-02-25 Fuel Vapor Line and Fittings Been working late ... first time in the shop in several days.
Decided to work on the vapor line and associated parts. Cut off about 55" of tubing for each tank. This is too much but I didnt want it to be short. the outboard end rib is not in yet... so bending and cutting that end will be easy.
Cut tube ends were cleaned up and scothbrite'd then on to my first attempt at flaring. First I routed the tube into the rib holes and grommets. Then bent it slightly and pulled it out the access plate hole to work on the end to be flared. Put some 50:50 kerosene/ oil onto the 1/4" tube and 'flared away' ...
once flared , any burrs are smoothed with a scotch-brite pad.
Decided to proseal the elbow fitting into the rib hole, then proseal the spacer to the rib before putting on the nut.
I've read everything to see what the torque is on these aluminum fittings... cant find what the torque is for the AN924-4D nuts. The VAF forum has an entry saying its 50-65"/lbs for any aluminum -4 nut. Guess I'll go with that.
2011-02-26 Install PickUp Tube Probably went about this wrong ... but it came out ok. Started first by putting a little proseal (I'm sick of this stuff) around the rib hole seating surface of the elbow fitting.
Probably should have just forgot the proseal until everything was torqued and riveted to avoid the mess...
I tightened the pickup tube fittings to 65"/lbs. Then riveted the anti-rotation bracket into place. Because the pick-up tube is in the way,it wasnt my best looking rivets (AN470AD4-5) but heck all the do is hold the anti-rotation brkt ...tried first to squeeze them but didnt have a yoke that could make it work . Had to drill out the first one.
Now that Ive got the torque wrench out I also tightened the vapor fitting to the collar nut.
I'll do the finishing work on the vapor lines tommorrow.
2011-02-27 Fuel Tank Vapor Line Thought I screwed this up... was getting ready to order the new parts to re-do, but apon closer inspection ...
So the vapor line is in, cut to length, and all bent... at the outboard end its bent to the highest part of the tank. At the inboard end its bent from the first grommet to the fitting.
Then the part I thought I botched.
The torque for aluminum FITTINGS is not the same as aluminum NUTS and BOLTS. I really thought I had over-torqued these fittings when after getting resistance, is started to 'spin' oh-oh...stripped???
Nope , the proseal on the back side let loose.
All is well.
2011-02-28 Proseal Last RIb - Access Plate Mixed up 40g of proseal and installed the LH and RH outer ribs to the tanks. Will rivet them tommorrow.
MIxed up 30g of proseal and installed the access plates. diped the #8 screws in proseal and then secured them ... torque is very confusing. read that anything less than a #10 ...just go by feel (?) some of the screws ran down harder than others (platenuts are just glorified automotive J-clips) so once you overcome the resistance to get them seated they are almost at torque already.
Threw away the cork gaskets and just used proseal per VAF forums... less likely to seak they say.
2011-03-01 Riveted Outboard Tank Rib Both Tanks ... the last rib. Mixed 11g of proseal to "wet set" the rivets started to use the squeezer, but it wasnt getting at it right ... so I just decided to buck them instead. Dialed the compressor pressure down to about 35 lbs. ..using a 2X gun.
all looks good . no drilling out anything.
2011-03-02 Cleaned Clecos... Bent ,Cut , Fuel Sensor Floats Boy I hate cleaning the proseal off clecos ... Takes forever, MEK is nasty, but it takes it off with a little rubbing.
Got the SW (Stuart Warner) mechanical fuel senders clecoed into the tank and the the floats cut, bent and installed.
3" from the float to the 90 degree bend... then 3" to the 'shepards hook 90 degree bend ...0.84" long.
Snapped it in the sender and tested it's travel from "full" to "empty".... looks good. No adjustments required.
Tomorrow I'll try to proseal it in (with no gasket)
2011-03-05 Prosealed in the Fuel Tank Senders (Mechanical) 30g of proseal mixed ... a little extra to cover the heads of the outboard rib rivets that were just recently insalled.
For the LH tank... I put the proseal on the opening in the access plate (mistake). It made getting the sender difficult to install without getting sealer on it.
On the RH side I put the proseal on the sender unit flange (much better)...put sealer just below the head of each screw and installed . Torqued by feel. #8 screws are small so I just snugged them up. With all that proseal on them they will never loosen up.
Getting ready to close these babies up... think I'll try to see if JD Woods is available to looks at my work before it becomes impossible to to anything about it.
2011-03-06 Seeking Build Advise . . . Didnt do any real building today...
Got ahold of JD Woods (who has built several RV's) asked if I could swing by and get his opinion on the tanks before I closed them up. He was available so I went right over. His suggestions are as follows:
1. bend the float so that it fully to the bottom of the tank.
2. bend the pick up tube so that it also goes to the very bottom of the tank.
3. put proseal on the fittings
4. proseal the nutplate rivets

Other than that, it was pretty good. no bad rivets, nothing crazy wrong... just a few little things to do and then proseal the baffels in.
2011-03-07 Final Prep Before Closing Up Tanks Mixed up 30g of proseal and went about fixing all the little areas the JD suggested get a some more proseal.
Then slightly bent the pick up tube so that it touch the bottom of the tank... so as to be able burn every available drop of fuel (hope it never comes to that) and adjusted the floats on the fuel sender so it hits the bottom of the tank (if the gauge says 'E' you want it to really be empty)
Howeever, in my zeal to apply just a little more sealer near the end of the vent tube... I may have gotten a little sealer in it...cant tell. tried to blow from the other end with compressed air ...tried to suck on the fitting to see if its cloged... still cant tell.
I may wait until it all cures some then bend it out alittle and file off the end , its SO close to the rib its tuff to get at it.
Read ahead alittle to see what envolved with installation of the baffle...
1.Need to grind off part of the pop rivet tool head (for 'Z' brkt clearence.
2. Looks like 3 different types of rivets used ...AD-41's....AD-42's ... and AN426AD3-4's
2011-03-08 Read and Re-Read the Instructions Before closing the fuel tanks up I wasnt to make sure every thing is ready to go ...
1. Was able to find a piece of plastic hose that fit over the vent tube fitting and I was able to blow through the entire tube...so its NOT pluged with sealer.
2. Such a shame... took a brand new pop-rivet tool and ground down one side of the head so that it acesses the Z-brkt holes.
3. Got all the rivets laid out and marked up the baffle as to the various sizes (AN4-4's AN 4-5's 41-H and 42-H )
4. I can visualize the sealer bead now, where the globs go in the corners, why the bead goes forward of the skin rivet holes.(no use putting sealer where it wont do any good)
5. Drilled out the ends of a couple 35cc syringes... havent used syringes so far but I can see how they would be helpful now.
Almost ready.
2011-03-12 Rear Baffle to Fuel Tanks Could it be that the fuel tanks are finally FINISHED??!!
maybe ... maybe, we'll see if they leak or not in a week or so.
Mixed up 110g of proseal per tank. applied to the perifery of the baffle with a veterinary syringe. Made the bead 3/16" high with a nice big blob of it in the corners.
clecoled it 100% around then started pop riveting the aft end with the 41-H and 42-H solid-end pop-rivets, the z-brkts , then #1 and #7 z-brkts get solid rivets (AN470AD4-5)all the way around the skins with AN426AD3-3.5's,.
I'll set them aside for awhile for the proseal to set up, before leak testing.
2011-03-13 Deburr and Dimple Skins (LH Bottom) On to something OTHER than fuel tanks. . .
1. Deburred holes in the LH wing bottom skins
2. removed all the plastic from the inside...removes only at rivet holes with soldering iron on the outside
3. Dimpled holes in the LH wing bottom skins
2011-03-14 Deburr and Dimple Skins (RH Bottom) Same as yesterday's entry ... except doing it to the RH bottom skins
2011-03-17 More Dimpling and Deburring and Opps Got the LH inboard top section deburred and dimpled with the wing walk doubler but then had a couple issues
1. dimpled the doubler the wrong direction...the whole thing... seems OK when I just reversed them all (no cracks)
2. the RH doubler was installed wrong when I matched drilled the skin... upside down ??? I now have about 30 extra holes in it.
Time to call Vans
2011-03-18 Called Vans's ... More D& D Called Vans at work... they said not to worry about the extra holes in the RH wing doubler... "not an issue".
so I was able to do more dimpling and deburrings.
Started on the outboard piece of the top skins...
2011-03-19 Done Dimpling Skins .... Cleaning clecoes Finished the deburring and dimpling of the Skins... then while straightening the shop and barn I found all the clecos used during the fuel tank baffle installation. I had them soaking in MEK then put a cover over it , then I forgot about them.
It took several hours to clean.
2011-03-20 Dimple the LH & RH Wing Ribs and Rear Spar This was pretty easy but time consuming...
Now that all the skins are dimpled and off wings, this exposes the ribs.
The instruction say to dimple in position. This goes pretty quick with a pneaumatic squeezer.
1. all the ribs are dimpled
2. one side ( the easy side) of the rear spar is dimpled.

I skipped the part where I drill the 7/16" hole in the W-701 for the pitot tube, I'm still agonizing over weather to order the pre-made stainless steel version that Vans sells ($15) or look at getting a Piper "blade style" or other commercially available type... Heated pitots are expensive ($450) non -heated around $200? ... maybe something used???
2011-03-21 Dimpled and "Dressed" the Rear Spar The rear spar is .40mm thick ... after dimpling, the instructions want you to "dress" the holes so that the skin dimple fits better.
I hit each hole with a couple revolutions of the debur tool (this is the first time I've ever used it)and a #40 countersink bit.
2011-03-25 Opps ... Think I Missed a Step - Match Drill Leading Edge I was counter-sinking the main spar to accept the main skin dimples when I see that I cant counter-sink anymore until I take the leading edge off. The bottom aft edge of the leading edge is too close to be able to counter-sink the sparr.
But I havent matched drilled the leading edge yet (or dimpled it for that matter)
I see that I missed that step earlier... when do I prime the leading edge ribs? did I miss that too?
2011-03-26 #40 Counter SInking of the Main Spar These instructions leave alot to be desired.
I cant see anywhere in the directions where it says to to do this... but it HAS to be done.
There are alot of holes to counter-sink to allow the leading edge (both side) and the skins to attach to the main spar.
They are all AN426AD3-x rivets so the skins are dimpled... and the attaching point on the spar has to be counter-sunk.
Shot alittle primer from a spray can on each of the holes when done.
2011-03-27 Disassemble & Deburr LH Leading Edge I'm my own here... nowhere does it say to do this yet, but its obvious to me that is requiered now.
Took the LH leading edge off the wing stand and removed all the cleoes. Deburred the skin, used the soldering iron to remove the plastic near the holes and started some dimpling.
2011-03-27 Disassemble & Deburr LH Leading Edge I'm my own here... nowhere does it say to do this yet, but its obvious to me that is requiered now.
Took the LH leading edge off the wing stand and removed all the cleoes. Deburred the skin and started some dimpling
2011-03-29 Dimpled the LH Leading Edge Skin and Ribs Pretty boring stuff.
Got the skin all deburred and dimpled, as did the ribs, and the W-423 splicer plate.
Think I'll prime the ribs tomorrow.
2011-03-30 LH W-423 platenuts Didnt have much time tonight.
First I found that I had somehow omitted the drilling of one of the #19 screwholes in the W-423. (easily fixed by clecoing it back on to the fuel tank, then drilling
I didnt really get the platenuts on tonight... but was able to cleco them
through the screw hole ...
will try to drill , debur and dimple tomorrow.
2011-04-01 LH W-423 Prep Was able to so the follow ...
1. drill the platenut rivet holes
2. Debur and dimple those holes
3. Dimple (#8) the screw holes
4. Prime the platenuts (maybe unneccessary)
5. Cleco then rivet the 14 platenuts (AN426AD3-3.5)
2011-04-02 RH Leading Edge 1. Drilled ,deburred, dimpled the LH & RH W-423. Primed and riveted the platenuts.
2. Deburred and dimpled the RH ribs
3. Deburred and dimpled the lelading edge skin (W-701?)
Put a 'slight dent in the skin that I thing can be bumped out... (activated the c-frame a little before the die was in the hole (ouch!)
2011-04-03 W-704 ,W-705 Skins & W-422 Access Plates 1. Drilled the bottom of the wing access plates ...
#19 for the screw holes and #40 for the AD3 rivets that hold the nutplates.
2. Deburr everything.
3. Prime the 48 nutplates required.
4. Dimple everything.
5. Rivet the nutplates.
2011-04-07 Fuel Tank Leak Testing Bought a small hand pump a Meijers , but it doesnt have a schreader valve fitting. WIll have to return it for another type.
Got the fuel cap taped shut. The fuel fitting capped off. The hose connected to the vent and water in the hose.
Will try it again tomorrow with a good pump
2011-04-08 Both Tanks Leak...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Have (1) leak at the rear baffle on the LH tank. . .
and (2) leaks at the rear baffle on the RH tank.
Went to the store and bought some Touelene to thin the next batch of proseal with the plan to stick the shop vac into the filler neck ... get about 0.5psi of vaccumn and try to get it to "suck" the thinned proseal into the leak.
if this doesnt work, I'll have to cut access holes into the baffle.
2011-04-09 Fixing Fuel Tank Leaks (Hopefully) Positioned the tank in the cradle and set it up like I was doing a leak test, but removed the fuel cap and stuck the shop vac in and turned it on.
I got 0.5 PSI of suction (about 13 inches of water). Then a 10g batch of proseal thinned by 10% with touelene.
Put into a syringe and put it along the baffle / skin joint. I could really see it get suck into some of the spots ... couldnt see it in others ... but maybe it got in there.
Will wait to pressure test in about a week.
Start to route the wire conduit through the wing ribs.
Slow going.
Wonder if I can "lube" it to make it go faster?
2011-04-09 Fixing Fuel Tank Leaks (Hopefully) Positioned the tank in the cradle and set it up like I was doing a leak test, but removed the fuel cap and stuck the shop vac in and turned it on.
I got 0.5 PSI of susction (about 13 inches of water). Then a 10g batch of proseal thinned by 10% with touelene.
Put it into a syringe and squeezed it along the baffle / skin joint. I could really see it getting sucked into some of the spots ... couldnt see it in others ... but maybe it got in there.
Will wait to pressure test in about a week.
Started to route the wire conduit through the wing ribs.
Slow going.
Wonder if I can "lube" it to make it go faster?
2011-04-10 Prime Leading Edge Ribs 83 degrees today ... the air is so suddenly warm that the shop floor is "sweating" cause the ground is still cold.
So... wiped down the ribs with acetone and hung them in the barn on a string. Mix up about 70 oz of primer and sprayed away.
2011-04-12 Riveting RH Leading Edge Its nice to rivet something that doesnt require proseal smeared all over it first...
Assembled the RH leading edge (skin, ribs and W-423 ) then started riveting starting from the aft working your way forward.
Got about half way done.
2011-04-13 RH Leading Edge Complete Bucked the remaining rivets at the forward portions of the front and back RH leading edge. There are 1 or 2 "wavy" spots in the metal (at the nose) ... but all the rivets are flush and look pretty good.
Tomorrow we start the LH
2011-04-13 RH Leading Edge Complete Bucked the remaining rivets at the forward portions of the front and back RH leading edge. There are 1 or 2 "wavy" spots in the metal (at the nose) ... but all the rivets are flush and look pretty good.
Tomorrow we start the LH
2011-04-14 LH Leading Edge Riveting Got the LH leading edge 75% done. Clecoed it all together then riveted same as the RH.
Was able tp. get all of the top surface riveted, and about half of the bottom
2011-04-16 LH Leading edge Complete plus Scarf Joints Tied up alot of loose ends in preparation of riveting this wing assembly all together ...
1. Completed the LH leading edge. All done.
2. Revisited the wing stand. Made sure it was all level and the swag was still out of it.
3. Made "scarf joints" where the skins overlapped (top and bottom). I thought breiefly about just skipping this step because the task was made more difficult by the dimples I had already put in the skins... fortunately you can reverse, or in this case, just return it neutral, the dimples. Then remove material on the inside of the overlapping skins. Just in the top overlapping corner. This is suppose to make the transition smoother.
4. Rolled the top skin edge at the overlap.
5. Primed the scarf joint. I didnt like the idea of grinding the inside of the skins in the first place... seemed like they would need to be primed after I did so.
2011-04-17 Leading Edge to Wing Spar Was getting pretty frustrated, but its all right now...
First I had issues clecoing the leading edge ribs to the spar. All but 2 holes were lining up , the same 2 holes on both wings were note lining up. Upon examination , I must have drilled it wrong , cuz the they were WAY off. Drilled new ones and alls good.
Then, once the entire assmbly was clecoed to the spar, Time to rivet.
Starting with the ribs first I got 3 bad smileys in a row that had to be drilled out. ????
Figured out that the holes are so close to the rear spar ribs, it wont let the off-set rivet tool properly seat on the rivet head. Time to 'customize' the tool... took it to the grinder and removed enough of the shank to make it fit.
Works good now.
Checking the quality of the shop head is a trick,,, cant see it, but you get your hand on it so I'm going by "feel" with a gauge
2011-04-18 Leading Edge #3 Rib to Front Spar I am riveting the leading edge rear rib flanges to the spar starting from the most outboard rib and working my way inboard. Tonight all I was able to do was the #3 rib (starting from the outside) of the LH and RH tank.
My hand is almost too big to get into the spar access hole, and my hands are not that big. Once in there I leave it in until all 5 of the rivets are bucked and checked with a gauge (by feel) .
Thoses are 10 tough rivets.

2011-04-20 Leading Edge Inboard Rib to Spar Three (3) more ribs per side to do ... In no particular order (according to the instructions)_so I did the easiest ones next.
The inboard rib has the best access from the top, just reach through the rib hole. You still have to contort yourself to buck the rivets, but it was do-able by myself. Ten (10) more rivets down.
Which brings me to the next step...
The last (2)ribs per side remaining are going to require 2 people. One to shoot, and another one to hold the bucking bar in position.
I mentioned this to the wife, and shes not that enthusiastic about the idea of helping ...yet.
2011-04-21 Both Tanks Still Leak Hooked up the manometer and capped off everything. When the tanks pressurized both tanks still leaked...
So I cleanned off the soapy water and sealed the entire rear baffle edge from the outside with thinned proseal while appling about 13" of water (0.5 PSI) of suction.

If this doesnt work I'll be cutting big holes in the rear baffles next.
2011-04-22 Leading Edge is Permanently On Nate Bovia (my nephew) came over at 8:30am to help with the leading edge rib to spar riveting. No way the #2 and #3 rib can be done by one person. Nate is getting his airframe and powerplant tickets (takes the test next month) so he's the perfect guy to assist.
Knocked it out in about the 1.5 hours.
Once done with ribs I was able to squeeze the tank skin lower edge rivets top and bottom.
Next step is to install the tank which isnt leak free yet. Maybe I can skip ahead to something while I wait to see if its sealed completly.

2011-04-23 Aileron Stiffeners Made, Drilled and Dimpled I skipped ahead while waiting for the tanks to cure and saw that I could work on the ailerons without affecting anything.
they are very similar to the elevator constructions. Was able to fabricate the stiffeners, clecoe, drill, debur and dimple them.
Tomorrow I'll try to dimple the A-801 skins and prime the stiffeners.
2011-04-24 Dimple Ailerons and Primed Stiffeners Today was Easter, but even with travel and visits I was still able to get some plane work in ...
1. Pulled the plastic from the inside of the A-801 aileron skins as well as use the heat gun to remove strips of plastic at the lines of rivet holes on the outside.
2. Engraved a "position number" to each of the stiffeners so I can put them back on in the place it was drilled.
3. Once done I dimpled the A-801's where the stiffeners go.
4. Then mixed up a batch of primer and sprayed the stiffeners.

Tomorrow I be able to back rivet them on (maybe)
2011-04-25 LH and RH Aileron Stiffeners Back-Riveted I love back-rivetting... the results are soooo nice. Easy to produce great shop heads , even for me!
First you tape the rivets in place (AN426AD3-3.5) then just set the stiffeners over the rivets (good thing I marked them), Then with my trusty back rivet set on the 2X rivet gun... whamo.
Even had time to find the 'break' and get one of the ailerons bent.
Should be able to re-test the tanks again soon.
2011-04-27 A-408 Reinforcement Brackets Only had an hour tonight.
Cut the 2 1/2" X 2 3/4" reinforcement bracket out of 0.040" stock , using the bandsaw). Polished them smooth, then clamped them to the A-403 spar. The manual says to start drilling using the spar as a guide ... but Im not sure which ones . Not ALL of the holes I wouldnt think. (need to research)
I didnt have an entry yesterday, but I did work alittle on the ailerons. used the "break" and bent the skins to match the drawing.
2011-04-30 Drilled, Deburred and Primed A-408 ,406,407,403 Drilled the A-408 reinforcement brackets,the A-403 and the A-406 and A-407 brackets then deburred them.
Un-clecoed everything and identified each part and its orientation. Mixed a small batch of primer and shot it.
Drilling a combination of #40, #30 And #12 boles.
2011-05-01 Misc. Aileron Stuff Took it S.L.O.W today
... Its so easy to mislabel something, get it turned the wrong way and screw it up. Almost mess up first thing.
Manual says to just "rivet the reinforcement to the spar just not the ribs yet. But I saw the plate nut was a flush rivet (so the holes has to be dimpled so the flush rivet-head would lay under the a-406 Brkt. So after the plate nut is riveted ...I see that the rib rivets that under a brkt too. thought about tearing it apart to dimple it ... but fortunately the C-frame can dimple through the spar and the reinforcement at the same time. Didnt know until I tried it.
Proceeded to match drill the rib ends to the spar. Now I'm ready to cleco the nose skin to the spar, but wait ... WHERE ARE THE (2) PIECES OF 1/2" GALVANIZED PIPE (A-409)????
Do I have to go to Lowes ? or did they send it and I just cant find it?
Done for now.
2011-05-02 Match Drilled A-801, A-802 to Aileron Skeleton The hardest part tonight was figuring out how the pipe err... A-409s go in. Tried setting it on the nose spar and gently placing the nose skin around in. (doesnt work) Keeps falling off.
Realized that you just cleco the forward nose skin to the spar (bottom first) then the pipe just slips right in, then roll the skin around the nose rib and cleco. The friction of the skin just holds it into position.
Drilled all the top holes (they are all #40)then drilled all the ribs top and bottom ... theyre all #40 as well.
That left the bottom length of the spar to the 801 and 802 skins to drill (#30).
I didnt drill the #30 holes in the counterbalance pipe yet. Looks tricky... may have to investigate further...
2011-05-03 Match Drilled A-409 & A-802 - LH only The daughter asked that help her with her horse tonight so I only had an hour.
Couldnt find anything online that described the drilling on the counter balance pipe as "diffficult" ... so I went at at.
Went really well. I had thought that drilling on the curve of the pipe would be hard. but it seems like the drill bit really "bites" into the pipe well, guided by the pilot holes in the skin.
I'll do the RH tomorrow...
2011-05-25 Match Drilled A-409 & A-802 - RH only Long time between entries ... been away on vacation. Getting back into it slowly, all I did was to drill the counterbalance pipe on the RH aileron.
no problems
2011-05-26 Matched Drilled A-702 Drilled (4) 1/8" holes tonight..
They are the tabs that are on the A-702 and rest against the counterbalance pipe. To keep the hole straight they recommend that you use a long drill bit and go through the existing holes in the aft flange of the A-702. Of course you have to un-cleco the trailing edge portion of the the ailerons
2011-06-11 Still Deburring, Dimpling, and Priming Been a while... but life does get in the way on plane building sometimes.
Thers been such a backlog of springtime house and lawn chores that I'm just now getting back into building the plane.
First had to figure out where I left off!
I'm at the debur, dimple, and prime stage of the ailerons...
But today I was able to countersink the counterweight pipe, and dimple the skins (#30 and #40 sized holes).
then a small batch of prime on the pipe (inside and out) and end brackets.
Not happy with the dimpling of the curved skin pipe holes... left little 'flat spots' ... but I'm thinking you wond see them after its mounted to the wing.
To start riveting tomorrow?

2011-06-12 Riveting the Ailerons Finally.
Riveting the ailerons together. All the prep work is done... unless I've missed something, and parts are going together permanently.
Started by pop riveting the nose brkt tab to the counterweight pipe.
Then clecoing the leading edge to the brkts and riveting the spar to the nose brkt (AN470-AD4-3) then and this going to take awhile... riveting the top trailing edge, leading edge and spar together (buking bar and rivet gun)
Got about 1/3 of the LS done top done before having to stop.
2011-06-19 Rivet Top Leading and Trailing Edges,A-705 Happy Fathers Day 2011!
I got to work out in the barn on the plane a little today. Rivetted the topside RH and LH A-801, A-802 and the spar together. Riveted the top of the "nose " brkt.
Then install the A-705 and Rivetted the tops only ...
Almost made a BIG boo-boo... where the leading edge and the trailing edge overlap... i didnt trim away enough of the blue plastic and it was trapped betreen the layers.. was able to pull it out.
2011-06-20 Rivet Bottom of Ailerons Getting close to being done with the ailerons.
Basically after riveting the top first... you flip it over and rivet the bottoms. Lots of 'pop' rivets on the bottom.
If I had it to do over again I would 'roll' the overlaping edge of the top skin like is done on the rudder (and like I did on the wing skin). You would never notice it , but it would be nicer if I had it fit a little tighter to the skin. But like I said ... it looks pretty good as is.
I also would try to dimple the counterweight pipe attach holes alittle less so the die didnt create a 'flat spot' on the curve of the metal. Maybe it doesnt show when its painted ?
2011-06-21 Ailerons are Done The ailerons are complete. Tonight all I did was to finish the pop rivets on the bottom of the RH aileron that attach the forward skin to the aft skin. If I had a lot of pop rivets to do (like on a Sonex aircraft) I would consider the purchase of a pneumatic riveter to save wear and tear on the hands... but for this design they are used only as a last resort and thus, there are just not that many. A hand gun will do me just fine.
The final touch (out of order from the instructions) was to attach the inner and outer brackets at th rear of the ailerons.
Torqued down to 25 inch pounds, and marked with yellow torque paint.
2011-06-22 Started the Flaps...
The flaps are SUPPOSE to be the easiest part to build on the whole plane... well see.
First I hunf the ailerons on the wall and out of the way until time to hang onto the wing.
Next find the flap parts FL-703 (spar) FL-704 (end ribs) and Fl-705 interior ribs.
Had just enough time tonight to orientate the parts deburr the spars and cleco all the ribs on.
Tomorrow... drilling and cleco to the bottom skin.
2011-06-23 Drilled Flap Spar and Ribs , Clecoed bottom Skin Maybe the flaps are the easiest part to build... doestnt mean you cant screw them up.
Usually the drawing shows just the LH assembly... with the idea the its a mirror image of the RH side for parts like wings, ailerons, ect.
So when I drilled the ribs into position on the RH flap they were postioned "opposite" or mirrored to that of the LH side.
It wasnt until I tried to align the RH bottom skin thatI saw the little disclaimer on the drawing (no warning in the written instructions) that ALL the inner ribs should face to the left and not "mirrored".
No wonder the RH holes arent lining up!
Fortunately the drilled holes on the bottom rib flange still line up to the spar when I flipped the ribs over to face the correct way.
Tragedy averted once again.
2011-06-24 Fabricated FL-708 , Drilled Bottom Skin Also drilled my finger with a #40 drill bit, but I'll live.
made the 4 FL-708 spacers out of scrap.
Drilled the ribs to the bottom skin.
The plans say to cut the AN257-P3 hinges to 56" in length... looks too short when a measure the rear spar. Think I'll add 1/4" so that it spans the spar holes better.
2011-06-25 Flap Hinges Match Drilled Hinges make me nervous.
These werent so bad.
Cut the RH and LH hinges alittle long 56 1/4 inches. I thought any less would have made the end holes too close to the edge.
Drew a line right down the middle of each half of the hinge and although it would be positioned between the spar and the bottom skin... I "sandwitched" it in between them to drill the holes . Helps to hold the hinge into position.
Now its time to disassemble, label the spars, and dimple the bottom skin.
2011-06-28 Disassembled, ID, and Debured Parts
Pretty boring ... but had to be done.
Still more to do before dimpling the bottom skin.
2011-07-01 Deburring Still Only had an hour to devote to building...
Finished deburring the spars, ribs , hinges, and bottom skins.
Not sure the directions have you do this now. Cuz' the top skin hasnt been installed as yet. (?)
Next step is to dimple.
Holiday weekend coming up, SHOULD be able to spend more time working on the plane.
2011-07-02 Countersunk spar , Fabricate FL-706B 1. Countersunk the bottom of the flap spar using the honge as a pilot guide.
2. Clecoed the top skin on and match drilled.
3. Decided to make the optional shims for the rear rib flanges (8 in total)
4. Fabricated the FL-706B angle brackets and drilled the 1/8" holes.
2011-07-04 FL-706-A , FL-706-B Bending, Fitting and Drilling Finnished deburing and dimpling the top skin. The top side of all the ribs needed dimpling as well. (Dont know why the instructions dont have you do the top and the bottom all at once)
Not sure I got the sequence right, but after bending the 706-B I "fit" it to the 706-A and the inner 704 rib and the inner spar...not sure what fit includes , but I bent and hammered it until it matched up and then clamped it to the spar and rib and drill away.
Think its time to prime tomorrow.
2011-07-05 Primed Parts, Clarifing Details. I thought I was a lot closer to putting it all together than I was...
I'm having to rely more and more on the drawings and less and less on the written instructions.
1. Primed all the parts (except the skins
2. Riveted the FL-706A brkt to the spar.
3. Drilled the bushing attachment hole to 1/4"
4. Had the nut plate riveted into position on the rib... then realized that 1 of the rivets goes through the rib and the FL-706 as well... thought breiefly about leaving it the way I had it , but drill.ed it out and made it conform to the drawing.
Slow going
2011-07-07 Riveting Flaps Started by riveting the ribs to the skins. Squeezer is no good for this so I bucked most all of them. There was one rivet I couldnt get with a bucking bar or squeezer at the very rear tip of the flap. Just marked it in red and moved on ... probably will put in a "pop" rivet later.
Then after clecoing the spar and hinges on ... I found that I drilled the forward end flange of all the ribs too small. I thought the MXXX 4-3 ment that it was the same size as a #40 or AN426AD3 rivet ...Wrong.
And ... I had installed the FL-706A doubler to the spar and forgot to drill the 3 holes for the rib ends .
I realized just as I was starting to rivet the spar. All fixed now.
End rib flanges are 'pop' rivered.
Should be able to finish tomorrow.
2011-07-08 Dyslexia and its Sad Consequences So... went out to admire my my work from yesterday and almost imeadiately I saw a problem....
A big problem.
Theres not much left to do before finising the flaps:
1. a long span of rivets at the top of the spar
2. a long line of rivets on the top of the spar
3. AND .... a long line of rivets that join the top and bottom skins (48/side)THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO ACCESS NOW ?????
Seems I should have read the instructions more carefully (where have heard that before?)
This step was missed and should have been the first rivets shot.
Will be calling Van's today to see if these can be 'pop' riveted.

Van's sais that its "probably overkill" but would like to see a MK-319-BS rivet where I messed up... he did say it was on the bottom of the flap and would look fine. The MK-319-BS is a stainless steel rivet (not aluminum).
I'll need 98 of them @ $0.11 each from aircraft spruce.
2011-07-08 Riveted FL-703 Spar Gone as far as I can with the flaps for a couple days... waiting for the MK319BS rivets to arrive from Aircraft Spuce.
So I completed the riveting of the top and bottom of the spar.
the bottoms (with the hinge) can be squeezed... the tops are bucked due to that curved overhanging metal wont allow any yoke to do the job.
2011-07-13 Flaps are Done The pop rivets came in the mail from Aircraft Spruce.
Stainless steel pop rivets. They are equivellent to MK319BS but are called CC-32 (?)... or are they??
I was surprised they were 3/32 and not 7/64 ...so I didnt have to enlarge the holes.
Installed 46 x 2 = 92 of them... looks good.
Not as good as if I had installed the correct flush rivets... but pretty good.
2011-07-19 Flap Brackets Done The (4) flap attaching brackets are done now, but it was accomplished over a couple of days. An hour here and an hour there...
They were a nice little project that was able be to be done without the tank leaking problem having to be resolved first.
Of note ...
1. I only primed the outsides of the mating surfaces so that prime buildup wouldnt be a issue. Seems they want less than .005 " gap between parts. Used shakercan of self-etching primer.
2. First time shooting AN470-4AD-11 rivets. too big for the squeezer but bucking them came out fine.
3. Several countersinks required for AD426-4AN-7 rivets

Running out of things to do ... will have to fix tanks soon
2011-07-19 Tackling the Leaking Tanks Dad is in town (he use to buck rivets for a living at willow run in the 1940's) Made me wish I wa ready to rivet the skins on... could use his help.
Pressurized the a tank , but having a difficult time sealing the fuel cap. Have used electrical tape , a couple different types of duct tape... STILL leaks at the fuel cap.
THe interesting thing is that its the only leak I can find (GOOD)...but I'm sure I had baffle leaks before setting it aside.
2011-07-24 LH Fuel Tank Leak Free Couldnt get the fuelcap on the to seal with duct tape... must have tried 8 times before I realized that tightening the adjustment nut on the inside of the fuelcap made it seal better.
Now the water level in the manometer is stable after 24 hours.
On to the RH Tank.
The RH Tank has a leak at the edge of the rear baffle. :-(
Made up a batch of proseal thinned with 10% tolulene and "sucked into the baffle seam with a 1/2 lb. of suction using the shop van in the fuel fill housing.
Need to let is cure a couple days and re-test.
2011-07-31 Back from Oshkosh 2011 Great trip. Got LOTS of ideas and took LOTS of pictures. Spent the majority of my 3 days there checking out RV's in the camping area and the general parking area.
I did managet to hit all the vender areas as well to check out there wears.
I saw lots of different ways to do the same thing. Some good ... some not-so-good (engine cowl hinge pins for example)
Now that I'm back home its time get motivated again...
THe RH Tank is pressurrized (1 psi) ...lets see if it holds.
2011-08-01 RH Tank Still Has a Small Leak? Hard to tell.
After 24 hours with 1 psi in the tank, all the water 'blew out' the tube (?) so I had to re-do the test.
Either the water level on th tank side must have gotten too low OR its gotten hotter today and the air in the tank expanded) .
Looks like its leaking ever so slowly, but not sure. Maybe the barometer is going down? or the tank pressure takes awhile to equallize?
Will see what it looks like after work tomorrow.
2011-08-02 Leak Free RH Tank!! All is looking good. In fact the the water level in the tube is now higher after work, than it was when I checked it this morning before work.

2011-08-04 Stall Warning - VA195 C and D So I really think the tanks are leak free now. Moving on to 'other' things.
The stall warning device that Vans supplies is probably going to be redundant to a AOA (angle of attack) meter that will come with a GRT or Dynon flat panel display.
It couldnt hurt to have it.
Drilled deburred and dimpled the access panel and double
2011-08-05 Stall Warning - Finished Doubler - ORDERED FUSELAGE Riveted all the plate nuts to the doubler... then riveted it into the access opening on the leading edge.
Scarriest part so far is making the 'slot' for the vane to sick through.
Not real happy with the hole I made ... but it'll have to do . Used a dremmil tool to make it ... got a little carried away and nicked one side of the opening.
Dont know which is worse ... make the sloot bigger to smooth it out, or leave alone.
Says to drill the micro switch attaching bolt holes with a #31 ... problem is I have a #30 , but no #31.
going to check online if the #30 will work.
Faxed in my fuselage order today at work.... 8 weeks from now it should be here. Still lots to do before then.
2011-08-06 Stall Warning Assembly You would think a store as big as Lowes' would have a #31 drill bit... (they DONT) ...but after calling around I found one in a litle hardware in Dexter.
Drilled and countersunk all the rivet and screw holes, primed the parts, and assembled the stall warning.
Because I want to use real rivets (not pop rivets) you have to rivet the brkt into the leading edge first... then install the stall warning assembly to it after.
The brkt is in the leading edge and the flush rivets look good.
Took some time to install the RH tank screws and check the fit... not bad, had to file the tank edge to the leading edge (too tight).. the Z-brkts look to be shadowing the spar holes... (so much for that Checkoway method). May have to elongate the holes to get bolts in there. But at least the skin fit is looking good.
Looks like Van's sent me a wrong part. (a first?) its just an electrical ground connector , but the one in the kit , (an eyelet) wont fit over the bolt.
Too small.
Will get one tommorrow after church.
2011-08-07 Conduit through the Wings Ribs I've had the flexible plastic wire conduit for months now ... attempted to run in through but only got as far as the 4th rib before quitting cause of the difficulty.
So I had the thought that it might be easier if you started at the outer ribs first and pulled the conduit all the way through one rib before pulling it through the next.
I as able to get both the LH and RH sides done in about an hour.
No luck on finding a #8 electrical eyelet at Lowe's of Miejers.
I have a 8-10 ... but it looks too big.
Maybe Radio Shack?
2011-08-08 Installed Stall Warning Assembly to Brkt I see why they want you to use the pop rivets and sub assemble the vane assembly to the brkt first.. You have to tighten the 9/64" allen head screws from the back side. (difficult)
But I'm glad I used the flush rivets ... looks better.
Now that I'm routing the stall warning wire thru the wing ribs I see that I need bushings for all the electrical access holes I drilled in addition to the conduit.
Trouble is I have never ordered the parts. $7.00 worth of plastic bushings coming. Enough for all the hole and then some.
2011-08-09 Fuel Tanks Partially Installed So I set the fuel tanks on the wing, fitted it to the leading edge and put a screw in every other hole (per instructions) .. .
but the Z-brkts dont seem to be alligned with the spar holes.
Has the "checkoway" method failed? I'm I going to have "elongate" these holes in the spar after all?
Nope... with the use of a scratch-all and a little push here and a shove there... the z-brkt bolts go in.

Next step ... rivet the top skins??
This will really be a 2 person job.... would like to get nephew Nate out here for a day either that or teach Ginger how to buck rivets.
2011-08-11 Proseal Conduit, Trim Length and Install String Just doing misc. stuff today. . .

1. Trimmed the root end of the conduit at 12 in., and the tip end at 6 in.
2. Used the shop-vac to "suck" the string through the conduit after taping the end to a cotton ball (really works well!) then tie-strapped it into place.
3. Mixed up a batch of proseal and put it around each rib / conduit mating point to prevent metal from "cutting" into the plastic.
2011-08-14 Riveting the Top LH & RH Skins W-702 My assistant, Nate Bovia baled on me today ... (had to go to work). So faced with prospect of waiting until Nate was available again next weekend, Ginger graciously volunteered to help with the bucking of the top wing skins rivets.
After only 2 practice rivets in some scrap metal, it was on to the real thing.
She ended up being pretty good at this and it went better than I had hoped.
Out of over 160 rivets shot... maybe one (1) bad one in the bunch.
Got 4 ribs on the LH and 4 ribs on the RH done.
2 hours as all she was up to today.
2011-08-15 More Top Wing Skin Riveting Ginger is getting good at this ...
The wings will be ready to come out of the stands soon.
Only thing left is the wing walk ribs on the root of the wing , and the double row that join the inboard to the outboard skins.
Technically , the wing walk area should have been done earlier... however Ginger was sill uncomfortable with bucking in such a tight spot. So we moved on to the outer... maybe tomorrow we'll try it again.
2011-08-16 Still More Top Skin Riveting ... Didnt have much time tonight, but only 15 min.? ... Ginger was 'bruising' her arm (not good) while trying to access the rivets in the wing walk area.
These ribs are close together making getting the bucking bar on difficult. We'll try again some other day.
But the wiring grommets came in the mail. I HATE when the shipping cost are higher than the part price. This time DOUBLE.
$6 of parts... and over $12 in freight cost.
2011-08-19 Even More Top Skin Riveting - Wing Walk Ginger's knees hurt from all the crawling around the wings holing the bucking bar...but she was able to work (1) hour and and finish the wing walk ribs on both wings tonight . Only rivets left to do are the "double row" between the inner skin and the outer skin, and the very top and bottom (or forward and aft) of the wing.
Then the wing stands can come down.
Got a letter from Vans today ...the FUSELAGE will be shipped the week of 9/26... about 5 weeks from now.
I also must send them a signed copy of the order before they'll ship ... Lets see...
1. RV7-A
2. Tip up
3. dual brake option
4. cable credit for elevator trim
5. electric aileron trim
Looks correct to me!
2011-08-21 Double Row (Top Inner to Top Outer) Riveted Horse show all day with the daughter. Got back just in time to do a little riveting with the wife.
Riveted the double row of rivets on the top skins. Had one bad one that I'm going to drill out tommorrow...
2011-08-27 LH Top Wing Skins to Main Spar Had to go in to work (saturday) but got to work acouple hours on the plane today. Ginger went out to the barn with me to help with the top wing skin rivets. All the rib to skins rivets are done ...the only rivets left to do is the ones that go into the main spar and the rear spar.
Got the LH wing, top , forward skin edge all riveted today.
Tomorrow the RH top skins.
2011-08-28 RH Top Skins to Main Spar (partial) Worked for about an hour (my helper gets tired!).
Put in about half the rivets in that go along the entire length of the the wing.
2011-08-29 Misc. Solo Riveting No helper tonight. Was able to do the following alone:
1. Install (2) AN3AD3.5 rivets at the stall warning access opening that were left open for the template for the vane.
2. Riveted down the wing root area of the RH wing ... no partner necessary.
2011-09-01 WTF ... Bent over (4) rivets in a row. (eeeerrrrrggggghhhh)
My helper cant see what she's doing. ???? they couldnt be salvaged so I ended up drilling them out.
Not sure how to proceed now.
Only about 20 more to go that I need help with.
2011-09-03 Top Skins Done at Last Finally.
After much work, delay, anguish and frustration ... the top wing skins an on.
Ginger regained her "touch" and was able to help buck the last rivets on the RH forward spar to top skin rivets.
I spent the rest of the afternoon on my back riveting the LH abd RH top skins to their rear spars. (gonna be sore tomorrow)
The wings can come out of their stands now.
2011-09-04 Misc Activities These wings are heavy ... no way I can move them alone. They need to be on tables now with the top side down for all the work on the rear spar. Dont think Ginger is strong enough to do this ... someone should be by this weekend to fish... maybe I can get them to "assist".
So today I just got out all the parts to installed next.
W-724 reinforcements ... W-710 reinforcements ... are all out, marked , and de-burred. Need to read up, study the drawings and get going on this ... the fuselage will soon be here.
2011-09-05 Wings Out of Stands & Onto Tables Labor Day 2011.
Mike and Gene came by to do some fishing and I solicited their help to remove the wings from the stands , and get them onto tables.
I forgot how big the wings are when they are not standing 'on end' like they have for almost 12 months.
Once the stands were emptied, I disassembled them to make more room (need it). What to do with 2 car jacks , the lumber, and the hardware?
Anyway, I installed the aileron brackets (W-413 and W-414)to the rear spar (built earlier) and have drilled , debured, and primed the flap reinforcements(W-721) ...
Should be able rivet them on tomorrow.
2011-09-06 RH Flap Reinforcement Brace (W-721) Was only able to spent an hour out side... able to rivet the RH flap reinforcement brace (W-721) to the rear spar.
Big rivets AN470AD4-8's and 9's on the inboard end ... AN470AD4's and 5's on the rest.
No issues thanks to the Dave Checkoway air pressure / rivet guide.
2011-09-08 W-721's Finished ... W-724's Started Was able to get the LH Flap Reinforcement (W-721) riveted to the rear spar tonight.
Had a big smiley on on rivet ans had to replace it.
Then it was on to the W-724's ... drilled, debured, cleaned, and primed the Aileron hider? is that whats it called?
... gonna take awhile to dry . Must be 100 % humidity today... been raining off and on for 48 hours.
2011-09-09 W-724's Finished ... Aileron Gap Fairings The primer was dry from yesterday humid spraying session, so just clecoed the parts on and riveted away.
Bellcrank push rods are next...:-)
2011-09-10 Aileron Push Rods Lets see . . .
Cut the push rod tubes to length ...this was a pain in the butt. Using a hacksaw takes forever, bandsaw cant handle long stock, ended up using a Dremmel with a cutting wheel. Not the best way to do the job.
I think I need a "chop saw" (harbor freight).
Sprayed primer inside and outside of the tubes ... then:
had a heck of a time getting the bearing ends onto the tubes. Too much primer? dunno but CONSIDERABLE effort was exerted getting them on. Almost a press fit now ...(but I riveted the ends on anyway)
Reading the drawing and trying to figure out the bell crank next... something about a brass bushing?? (dont see any)
2011-09-14 Bellcrank Bushings W-421 Drilled out to .25" ...so that the bolts fit. Now they have to be shortened to 1/32" longer than the brkt.
Tomomrrow maybe
2011-09-15 Misc. Bellcrank Assembly Tasks These direction suck.

The bellcrank bracket that installed way back during the main spar drilling and countersinking had to come off now (after I had final torqued and marked the bolts long ago) to be able to get the long bellcrank bolt in.
I DONT see why the bellcrank brackets were installed so soon anyway.
But thats not all...
These bellcrank brkts, and the bellcrank itself are all nicely powder coated... but the holes for the attaching bolts are all too small. Had to drill out to 1/4" the main pivot bolt hole on the bellcrank and well as drill to 3/8" the pushrod attachment holes.
IT nowhere does it tell you to do this. ????
So now the bellcranks, the prushrods and the brkts are all loosse installed.
Now I need to find some "allignment tool" that I supposedly built at the beginning of the wing construction (????)
No Idea what they are talking about.
2011-09-16 Pushrods Adjusted to Length and Torqued Tried to call Van's today , no luck ...their phone system was down... so, no answer as to what this "mysterous" allighnment tool is I supposedly have thats required to install the ailerons.
Took the pushrods and adjusted the lock nuts to get the proper length per drawing.
Tried to get Ginger to hold a wrench on one end of the pushrod locknut while I used the torque wrench on the other end... she has NO upper body strength. Tried to pull just 15ft/lbs ...ended up putting a wrench in the vice, inserting one ends lock nut into the wrench , then using the torque wrench on the other end.
Worked fine.
The little pushrods I could torque properly without any crazyness.
2011-09-17 Installed Pushrods to Bellcrank Got up this morning at drilled , deburred, dimpled and riveted the aileron reinforcement bracket... seems the directions werent too clear (again) and I did exactly what it said. the directions say to rivet it to the rear spar, it didnt say anything about installing it to the top skin. Fortunately, I was able to get at it.
No harm done.
Also ... while looking a Mike Bullock's RV7 website, I noticed that he shot a coat of white rustoleum on the pushrods so that it matched the bellcrank. Glad I did it... looks cool. When dry, I torqued everything down.
Think I'll build the wing 'cradle' next.
Fuselage should be coming soon and I think it'll be easier to do the rest of the wing stuff with them standing on-end.
2011-09-19 Making the Wing Cradle Started with wing rib template to get the shape of the wing ... really I used a carboard tracing of the fuel tank cradle, then just kept replicating it.
Cant use the 2x4's in the wing stand posts cuz I glued & screwed them together to make 4x4 posts.
I'm really slow at carpentry things ... so this might take awhile.
2011-09-21 Still Making the Wing Cradle Dont know where 2 hours went ... but still scrounging around for scraps of lumber to make this thing.Was able to cut some pieces according to the plans , even "notched" a 1x6" to accept the inboard main spar.
Should have something to take pictures of tomorrow (maybe).
2011-09-22 Almost Done making the Wing Cradle I have most of the pieces cut to length and laying around ready to be assembled. Used either scrap wood laying around or pieces of the wing kit box that Ive been saving for just such an occasion as this. I've got wheels and carpet ready to use.
Another hour or two and it'll be ready.
2011-09-24 Wing Cradle Complete Now all I need is some help loading the wings into the cradle.
Was able to screw it all together, install the wheels , and glue the carpet to the outboard rib cutouts.
If I had it to go over again, I'd use better plywood or particle board instead the scraps of T1 siding that I found laying around. Its a little weak at each the grooves and required reinforcing.
Halley and her friend A.J. came by more dinner tonight... He helped me load the wings into the cradle... didnt make the rib cutouts big enough (too tight) will modify tomorrow.
Install flaps and ailerons next.
2011-09-25 LH and RH Ailerons to Wings Found all the required hardware for the LH & RH hinges and the pushrod joints on each aileron.
No small task. Just finding the right bolts, nuts, and washers is a job.
Made the (2) sets of spacers out of the tube stock ... 17/32" and 3/8" long. Primed the spacers with the rattle-can stuff.
I fouond it very dificult to slip in the washers to assemble to the bolt. Had to use tape , glue, scratch-awl... finally got it loose-assembled , execpt for the pushrod connection.
2011-09-26 Setting the Aileron to Neutral Finally figureed it out. Theres a illustration of it on drawing 12-A that shows it all.
Had to undue the torque on the aileron end of the pushrod so that it can adjust to find neutral.
But my trusty 48" rule has parrallel lines already on it exactly 3/16" apart , just perfect for use as an alignment tool. Just drilled 2 holes to match the spacing of the outer rib tooling holes. Worked great.
Got one done tonight ... will do the other side tomorrow.
No word on the FUSELAGE today (?)
2011-09-27 Tightening Aileron Hardware Didnt do much tonight ... Figured out that all AN3 bolts get torqued to 20-25"/lbs.
So I finished the LH aileron (i think) loose assembled the pushrod to the aireron (NOT much room for my fat fingers).
Then got out the 'ol antique torque wrench and tighten the hinge pivot points and the pushrod connection.
STILL no word on the fuselage today.
2011-09-28 Ailerons All Mounted to Wing Set the 'other' aileron to neutral (cant remember if its the LH or RH)
All the associated hardware is torqued... 25"/ lbs for all the AN3 bolts , and 50-70'/lbs for the attaching pushrod nut.
Mounting the flaps is next. Looks to be pretty straight forward , but the only thing described in the instructions is the hinge pin options ... you have to just interpret the drawings to attach it to the wing... better read some builders web sites for clarification.
FUSELAGE is to crated friday. (called Vans to enquire on status)...perfect timing.
2011-09-30 Tightening the Tanks So as the bottom skin is clecoed on, and the wing is close to closing up... I realize that before I rivet them on that ... the fuel tanks have to be tightened yet.
For some reason, back when the tanks were installed to the main spar the instructions said to "install half the bolts" ... it never said to install the rest of them!!
I wonder how many RV7's are flying with 1/2 the tank bolts missing?
NOT mine... all the bolts are in and tight.
Ready to install the flap hinges next.
2011-10-01 Flaps to Wing Almost done ... still have the hinge pins to bend and safety tie... but everything else is almost complete.
Started by drawing a line on the hinge at 3/16" minimum edge distance. Then clamping the flap to the wing and adjusting it until I got a .25" gap from aileron to flap, and even at the trailing edge. Then match drilled the bottom skin, flap reinforcement and flap hinge.
After dimpp;ing the skin and countersinking the reinforcement, it was all riveted together AN426AD3-4.
Decided to use the hinge eyelet removal technique to secure the hinge pin ... cut the eylet off the flap side hinge with a dremmel , and cut the wing side hige with the bandsaw (before riveting to the wing)
No drastic mistakes... butI did scratch up the the flap reinforcement by trying to drill the hinge by making a "sandwich" out of it with the skin and the reforcement. The reinforcement would not allined with out clecoes and I knew it , so I tried to NOT drill through it on the first pass , just the skin and the hinge. ended up knicking it a couple of times.
But you cant see it , but I would do ti different next time.
2011-10-02 Flap Hinge Pins Cut... Go In... But the flap hinge pins aren't bent.
I thought I could cut and install the hinge pins THEN bend them in position ... not so. No access.
And the pins dont just slide in, and slide out. Takes considerable coaxing.
So I think I need a pair of needle-nose vice-grips to remove. (will get a pair tomorrow.) Then the task of bending and safety wiring. THEN THE WINGS WILL BE OFFICIALLY DONE (for now)
2011-10-06 Fuselage delivered Spent the morning finising the wing flap hinges .... ended up looking pretty good. MUCH easier to fit and bend the hinges without the flaps on. (2 hours)
The delivery guy was pulling a 45' trailer with his semi and couldnt get to the house. . . so I met him out on the main road with my truck and we slid the box out of his truck and into mine.
There was some damage to the box, but nothing inside was hurt.
Spent the rest of the day (6 hours) unpacking and taking inventory. Theres alot less ribs, and alot more aluminum angle in this kit.
2011-10-07 Inventory Completed Finished the fuselage inventory ... everything is there. How do they do it?
I've got all of the big stuff stowed away but I'm in need of some more storage trays to hold all these small parts.
But I should beable to start the firewall tomorrow.
2011-10-08 Firewall Started O.K. ..maybe 2 hours spent organizing all the new hardware and 1 hour spent trying to make a couple 2"x21/2" brkts.
Ended up breaking my bandsaw blade in the process, 1 brkt is almost there ... the other one will have to wait til tomorrow.
Assembled most of the stuff that gets put to the firewall. Finding anything now is tuff when theres so much of to choose from. Gets easier as you go.
2011-10-10 Firewall Brkts F-601E and F-601J (L&R) Finally got another bandsaw blade and finished the cutting of the F-601J brkts... and the F-601E brace.
Match drilling it all tomorrow (maybe)
2011-10-12 F-601 Drillerd Lots going on as late , daughters B-day, Tigers in the playoffs, Lions playing in Monday night football ...
Finally got to work on the fuselage tonight.
1. Drilled all the attachments to the stainless steel firewall. used new drill bits and lots of "Boelube" and slower drill speeds. #30's around the pherifery, and #40's on the inner braces and brkts.
2. Made the .063 3"x 5/8" F601P brkts/ shims ...
Tiger 3 ... Rangers 3 ... gong to extra innings ...
2011-10-14 F-601-E and F--601-P Really tired from all the late nights listening and watching the ALCS (tigers and rangers) took a nap when I got home and only spent and hour or so in the shop.
Positioned the F-601-P and back-drilled it.
Positioned the F-601-E and back-drilled it.
Next is back drilling the 601-J brkts .... not sure they are positioned correctly. The directions say to trim the brkt to fit the curve in the 601-M ... but with the shims under the 601-J it doesnt really need to be trimmed because it doesnt fit into the curve of the angle...but sits higher (that is unless I'm missing something here).
Time to check some fellow builders websites for clarification.
2011-10-15 Firewall Stuff Back drilled the 601-J brkts (looks good), then installed and drilled that big square recessed stainless steel part (I forget the name and # of it).
Then matched drilled the brake tube brkt.
I spent +20 minutes looking for a aux fuel pump doubler F-601-P... only to see that you fabricate it from some .063" stock.
Had it all cut to size and all the holes makes , but then tried to use the drill press to drill the 1/4" holes... mistake. It ended up "walking" off center (both holes) but all the holes I drilled just using my hand drill came out great.
Think I'll scrap it and make another one tomorrow.
2011-10-17 Disassembly and Deburring of Firewall Just a little unsure as to weather I should install this F601Z , aux fuel pump doubler to the fire wall if I'm going to install a fuel injected engine. Tried to call Vans but no answer. Will try in the morning maybe.
I maybe able to wait and install it later if I need to. So tonight I skipped ahead and un-clecoed everything and deburred and scotch-brited most of the brkts. Because the F601A is stainless steel ... I'm thinking the rules governing aluminum construction dont apply to it(deburring and such)... Heck, some builders dont debur aluminum unless its a pressurized aircraft part.
Priming any stainless parts seems like a waste. but all these brkts and doublers will need it.

2011-10-18 Finished Deburing Firewall Brkts Called Van's today ... the 601Z (aux fuel booster pump doubler) is for carburetor engines only (not EFI engines) ... so now that I have the part fabricated, I think I'l just put on a shelf "in case" plans change.
The rest of the firewall brkts are now deburred, and scotch-brited... and all wiped down with acetone ready to prime ... and maybe painted.
2011-10-19 Dimple F-601A and F-601K The flush side of the rivets go on the engine side of the firewall. (to give a "smooth surface for easy cleaning (?) The acual dimpling the stainless steel firewall was just like dimpling any of the aluminum skins so far using the same #30 or #40 size dimple sets.
Pretty boring stuff.
Going to stop at the Sherwin Williams store tomorrow to ask about "jetflex" ... their 2 part polyureathane enamel top coat...
something in a gunmetal gray?
2011-10-20 Countersinking Firewall Parts & Checking out Paint Countersunk the 601-E, and the 601-N's ... more countersinking tomorrow.

I did stop at the Sherwin Williams store in town and ask about Jetflex... They know what it is but they dont carry it... (different division of the company), BUT they do have something called "POLANE" and after checking on several websites it sounds like "Polane 700T" is the same as "jetflex" and IS available here... and its compatible with the SW wash primer that I've been using for corrosion protection.
2011-10-21 Countersinking is Done (F601) Firewall Parts Knocked it out (finally).
Got all the firewall parts countersunk and ready to prime and paint.
Now if I can just find the right interior paint for this...
2011-10-22 F704 A,B,C,D,E,F, . . . So I had to walk away from the F601 firewall until I get some interior paint ... except for the riveting of the stainless steel "recess".
Moving on to the F704 ... the center spar that came with the wing kit. I laid it all out ,and started identifing the parts envolved per DWG #11.
First thing to do is to drill 5/8" bushing holes... some are there and have to be enlarged... some are measured for the location then drilled.
Too tired to drill any tonight . Afraid I put a hole in the wrong place. Will wait til tomorrow.
2011-10-23 F704 Drilling Started out by drilling the 5/8" grommet holes in the aft and forward center spars. 6 in the front and 6 in the rear.
Then onto clecoing the end pieces to the center spars claping on the 2 spacers and then match drilling it all.
I have to leave town next week... MODAPTS training in Oakville, Canada ... so I wont be back at this untill next friday at the earliest.
2011-10-28 Deburr and Countersink F-704 Deburred the fwd and aft F-704 's ... counter sinked the 704-G spacer blocks (forward side)
Hope to rivet tomorrow.
2011-10-29 Center Control Brkts to F-704 Brackets come with the bearings in them but need the mounting holes drilled ... and sections removed to reduce weight.
No issues.
Once installed and torqued (25 in/lbs) the 610, 611 and 612 control mechanisms get "fitted" .
2011-10-30 Misc F704 Stuff Worked sporatically throughout the day on the plane. Probably 4 hours total.
Was able to mount the center control brkts to the aft spar, and "fit" the control mechanisms to it (F-610, 611 and 612). Searching for the attaching hardware takes a long time. Need a better system ( and more storage bins ).
Moved on to the aft F704 spar and the 4 brkts on the forward side (I forget the part numbers right now...) Was able to drill the 3 unique grommet holes in each and install the nut plates.
Still no decision on the interior paint.
2011-10-31 Getting Re-Organized Spent 4+ hours just organizing small parts tonight.
Seemed like when ever the plans called out for a nut or bolt, everything would come to a halt and the ordeal to find it began.
So at lunchtime I went to a Walmart near work and bought a couple small part organization trays.
Spent the evening labeling and sorting nuts, bolts, calmps, washers, grommets and cotterkeys.
Now if I cant find something, its really lost . . .
2011-11-01 Finished Organizing (for now) Got rid of all the "baggies" and found a drawer for everything.
I'll get back at real building .... soon.
2011-11-04 F-704M Brackets Now that things are organized ...
The 'Jetflex' literature came in the mail today. Color chart, price list, ect. Going to go with a shade of gray ... just not sure how dark to go.
The F-782 and F-783 cover support ribs were fabricated , but I hadnt match-drilled into the spar yet. so thats where I started today.
Next was the F-704M web stiffeners. made from 3/4" angle , they are matched drilled then plate nuts are installed.
these parts need to be primed only (they dont show) Will start there tomorrow.
2011-11-05 F-704 Almost Done Only thing left to do is make some spacers 1 7/16" wide out of particle board and bolt up the 2 halves of the F704 (just to make sure it all fits correctly) then take it all apart and store it 'til later. I'll bet most people skip this and just move on. Think I'll check around and see what other builders do.
Anyway, I was able to prime the center support brkts and then rivet them to the forward F-704.
then I did all the riveting Ive been putting off ... the F-704 c,d,e,f, .
Made one mistake... drilled the bolt holes for the center support brkts in the wrong place (where rivets are suppose to go)
I found some large rivets to fill in the hole and re-drilled the correct bolt holes. Should be a very acceptable substitution.
2011-11-06 Bi-Annual Flight review Didnt build anything today ... but I did go flying with a CFI (Tom Kennedy) for 1.4 hours. We flw from Mettetal to Willow Run to Ann Arbor back to Willow Run and Back to 1D2... (3 night takeoff and landings thrown in as well.
Good for another 2 years I hope.
2011-11-07 F 705-H , F 605-C Havent finished the firewall yet ... Havent finished the F704 yet ... but I'm moving along.
Havent ordered the interior paint yet, so I'm just making parts to different assemblies. Not really completing any of them ....yet.
Made the F705-H and the F605.
Tomorrow I'll try clamping them all toether and match drilling the holes.
2011-11-08 Clamping F705 Stuff Together and Drilling It... I think this is the bulkhead that the seat backs up to. F705...?
Anyway, rather than clamp it all together and drilling it all at once. . . I started with just the F705A and used it to matchdrill it to the F705B.
Then I removed the 705B from the 705A and clamped the 705H and the 605C to it. (to be drilled later)
Seemed like too much to control if I tried to get all of it aligned up at once.
Anyway, so far , so good. Holes are AN4's for the rivets and 3/16" for all the AN-3 bolts.
AS FOR INTERIOR PAINT ... right now I'm leaning towards "fog gray"... I'm afraid the "dark gray" isnt dark enough. Went online and looked a interiors, and I seem to like the darker interior scheams the best.
Probably thinking about it too much . I noticed that N3738L ... which Ive been flying for almost 20 years has a GREEN interior. (YUK)
2011-11-11 Drilled the F605-C to the F705B You are suppose to drill the 605 with the 705A and 705B ... but I thought I it would be better to use the 705B as the guide for the 605C.... after the 705B was match drilled to the 705A. (?)
Anyway it turned out well... the holes look nice and centered, and there are no "edge" problems.
Tomorrow the F634 seat belt brackets.
2011-11-12 F634 Seat Belt Anchors Match drill the LH F634 to the F705 ... bolt it down , then stick a 3/8" drill bit between the LH and RH ... clamp it all up... drill the RH and Volia' its done.
Then it tells you to remove material where it covers up any adjacent rivet hole ... put one to the band saw and oopps ...?? doesnt seem to cutting it to good.
Thats because its made of STEEL not aluminum. Now the band saw wont cut anything.
Time to go out and buy a new blade.
2011-11-13 Fabricate F705 J,K &L Drove all the way to Harbor Freight to get a new band saw blade.
Thinking I should have got a new paint gun while I was there ...
Now I can continue... Mostly just cutting metal to length to make parts used in the upper F705 Bulkhead.
2011-11-14 Upper F705 Bulkhead Gotta watch out for proper orientation of these parts ... almost had LH and RH all turned around.
Things are close to prime time... I deburred everything then wiped it all down with acetone.
When I prime , I'll have firewall parts ... a couple rudder brkts from the F704 assembly. and all these F705 parts.
2011-11-16 Dimpled F705 F and CounterSunk F605C Spent most of my time tonight cleaning the shop.. (metal shavings everywhere) and putting together the new HVLP spray gun and die grinder/cutter. Cant believe Harbor Freight can sell a die grinder for $9.95
I did study the drawing to see about rivet sizes and types . Found a couple AN426 flush rivets in the F705 that needed dimpled and countersunk.
Need to prime this stuff soon.
2011-11-17 F 661EF Flap Blocks These are (2) white nylon blocks that need mounting holes drilled in them ... #10 mounting holes. You think I would have a #10 drill bit ?
Gotta #12 ... so I tried that .
Makes a nice hole but a little snug for the AN3-22A bolts that need to go in . Dont want to 'pound ' on them.
SO I just ordered (1) #10 cobalt drill bit from ATS... shipping is twice as much as the part.
Should be here Sat. ... but there no rush. Its not keeping from prceeding.
2011-11-18 Priming the Parts for Firewall, F704 & F705 Priming session with the new spray gun... can tell it uses less paint than the other gun. Had a bunch left over than I didnt use.
Coverage seemed OK ... but then again I not good at this.
Not sure my skills are good enough for a acceptable topcoat... but for just primed parts I'm "good nuff"
Have the parts in a heated area overnight ... should be good and cured for riveting tomorrow.
2011-11-18 Priming the Parts for Firewall, F704 & F705 Priming session with the new spray gun... can tell it uses less paint than the other gun. Had a bunch left over than I didnt use.
Coverage seemed OK ... but then again I not good at this.
Not sure my skills are good enough for a acceptable topcoat... but for just primed parts I'm "good nuff"
Have the parts in a heated area overnight ... should be good and cured for riveting tomorrow.
2011-11-19 Firewall & F704 are done Lots done today.
1 Bolted and torqued the F633 control column brackets to the F704 bulkhead. Its now complete (I think)
2. Riveted the entire firewall (less the center protruding part in the center. This took awhile. found that instead of lying it flat and riveting ... it worked better to hang it vertical. It was easier to buck rivets with this orientation.
Now I've started the final assembly of the F705... more riveting tomorrow.
2011-11-20 F705 Done (Almost) Complicated little bulkhead, but I think I've avoided most of the pitfalls by proceeding SLOWLY. There are lots of rivets that dont get shot until later. And there was one rivet that definately had to be shot first before getting covered up by the F705B.
The nice thing was I was able to squeeze all the rivets in the F705 and all the shop heads turned out very nice. So... Its not quite complete, but almost except for a couple items.
1. I want to touch up the paint on the seat belt anchors where I filed them make room for adjacent rivets... I was able to pprime them ,but the can of white rustoleum crapped out (will buy more tomorrow).
2. THe F705G needs to have a 'slot' ... I drilled it best I could with a 1/8" drill bit , but It needs a little finesse... will check to see if there is a Dremmel tool attachment that will work (will check Home Depot tomorrow).

2011-11-21 F705 Done ... Start F706 Touched-up the seat belt anchors with a little rustoleum , baked them in the oven (wife wasnt home yet) and bolted them in.
F705 done.
So as not to loose items that dont get riveted or bolted down yet... I just loose installed them to the assembly.
On to the next bulkhead (F706). First they describe what parts the F706 is made from, but then tell you to drill "all" the bulkheads for the rudder cable. (?)
Its described in note 1 on the drawing.
Then started the fabrication of F729C ... a small 3/4 x 3/4" aluminum angle
2011-11-22 F729 A,B, &C Technically this is the aft fuselage not the F706 bulkhead... whatever.
Forgot to handstart the drill bit before drilling the 4/32" hole in the F729C and the drillbit "walked" ... scraped it and made another.
Direction suck on this one , good thing I hesitated before just matchdrilling the F729-B to the F729-C... how was it going to align with the F729C ???
So I clecoed it all together to see how it would fit... LIKE CRAP.
Had to slide the 729-B to meet the 729-C but it could have been way off if I had just drilled it first.
Same with the 3 holes in the F729C to the F730... It just says to make it flush to the top...no reference to the left to right orientation... good thing I waited to fit it to the other parts first.
It's always something.
2011-11-23 F728-B Confusion Fabricated the F728-B , went well ... now to match drill it to the F728-A , except its NOT clear to me which way it goes.
It can either go with the 4/32" hole at the top ot at the bottom.
(?) Will have do some research online.

Moved on to other stuff to do...
Matched drilled the F708 and the F709 , then deburred and scotch brited them ... Ready to prime.
The F709 has no drilling or riveting yet ,but will need to be primed, so I deburred & scotch-brited it.Ready to prime.
The F710A and a angle reinforcement (F710B) ... i fabricated it and will be able to match drill tomorrow (THNASGIVING DAY)...

2011-11-24 Now I Get It... F728 Clarified Sometimes these directions make no sense... Why would the drawing specify you drill a 4/32" hole on the F729 AND the F728 and then never mention what its for???
Seems other builder use it as one of the rivet holes that hold the aluminum angle to the rib ...I was thinking it went on the other flange and mated with another part.
Thanks to Brad Oliver's web site for having a picture showing it in the correct position.
Matched drilled the F730, F706, F728 and F729. Counter sunk and dimpled. After some deburring, should be able to have a priming session tomorrow.
2011-11-25 Primed F706, F707, F708, F710 ... Was able to prime abunch of parts today.... Let them cure til tomorrow , then start riveting stuff.
2011-11-26 Kenny Comes to Visit ... Got lots done today.
F706, F707, F708, F709,710 Bulkheads are done.
Stared on F711 and F712.
A couple of the fabricated parts. . . the F711C's "horizontal stabilizer straps" came out nice. As did the F712 "tie down reinforcemnt". No knwn issue so far, Although the F706 isnt "square" I'm not sure it has to be.
I'm tired ( its almost midnight)... going to bed.
2011-11-27 F711 and F712 Done Started by checking out what rivets go into the holes drilled in these parts to see what dimpling is required. Once done I thought I'd try priming in the heated area of the barn. The old prime booth works MUCH better now that I'm using a real HVLP spraygun ... this will work out nice now that winter is almost here.
Primed the F711 & F712, then after drying ... riveted it all together.
Now on to the LONGERONS (?) ... took a while to find them, but I figured out which of the 3 pairs of long aluminum angle it had to be. These parts were shipped with the wing kit with instructions to store until later.
The F718's need to be cut to 173 7/16" long.
Only 1 set of angles was that long.
2011-11-30 F718 Longerons Cut to Length The instructions say to triple check the length before cutting... I must have checked it 10 times... (cant be too careful) 173 7/16" on the nose.
To eliminate the error in the little "hook" and the end of the ruler, I taped it to the F718 at the 1" mark and added an inch at the end and cut at 174 7/16" (mike bullock's idea)
Cut it a little long (+1/8") ... the use the belt grinder to get it exact.
Before I do anything else I wanna mmake sure I have these things orientated correctlly (drawing isnt real clear)
More research is required.
2011-12-02 Preparing to Bend the F 718 Started by clearly marking "top", "side", "front", "back" on each F 718.
Then the triming of the aft , horizontal surfaces .
Finished the evening by measuring and marking the various points along each F718. then I got out the red marker and labeled the "NO BEND" areas .
to attempt to do the shallow bend tomorrow.
2011-12-02 Preparing to Bend the F 718 Started by clearly marking "top", "side", "front", "back" on each F 718.
Then the triming of the aft , horizontal surfaces .
Finished the evening by measuring and marking the various points along each F718. Then I got out the red marker and labeled the "NO BEND" areas .
One note of concern... the bending template doesnt seem to match the contours of the F721-B... (?) of course why do you even NEED a template in the first place , just use the F721B(?)
Will attempt to do the shallow bend tomorrow.
2011-12-03 Bending the F718 Longerons Took the plunge. Started the bending today. After a few minutes I figured out that bending these things is alot like my golf swing. I tend to try to do to much and "muscle" it.
These things will bent with out beating on them. Got half way through the first one and had over bent it already!
Just a firm bend, with a "tap" of the rubber mallet is all it takes...
Did have an issue with putting a unwanted "twist" in the bend area. . . and it DOES lessen the bend , when you take the twist out.
BUT I think I got it close. The F721B seems to fit!
Also discovered that the template is a waste of time ... just use the F721B as the template.
As is typical of these things , it wasnt that bad... and I worried about too much.
2011-12-04 Shallow Bend Done... Drilled the F721B (LH) Gone most of the day today ... (church , then a funeral) but when I got back I went out and tweeked the bend of the F718 longerons...to the point I'm happy with it now. The F721B seems to match up to the bend pretty well.
Had time to clamp the F721B to the F718 and match drill ... starting with the outside holes, clecoing as I went along, and finessing the bend until I had a .032" overhang of the top surface of the F721B...
2011-12-05 Big Mistake... Longeron is Scrap? After match drilling the second F720B to the longeron... it hits me ...
ITS IN THE WRONG PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ????
The F720B fit soooo nicely in the exact spot that I bent... I naturally figured it went there.
Looks like it goes forward to the 28" line ... I have a lot of holes in the wrong place.
Pretty sure the longerons are both scrap now.
But Ill call Vans tomorrow.
2011-12-07 Scapped The Old F718 's... Got Some New F718's So... when I called Vans yesterday, they said to indeed scrap the longerons and start again. Found a place in Ann Arbor (Alro Metals Plus) that has exactly the replacement material.
T6061-T6 3/4 x 3/4 x1/8 with an round inside radius.
(2) 175" pieces cost me $46.39
I say I got off cheap. the shipping alone from Vans would have been more than that!
2011-12-08 Cut to Length, Marked Aft End Cut Out All this should take less time ... the second time around.
1. Cut length to exactly 173 7/16"
2. Marked all significant areas for bending latter.
3. Marked the rear of each longeron for the cutouts.
2011-12-09 Re-Fabricating the Longerons Made the cut outs on the rear end of the F718 , then started bending .
the template doesnt exactly match up with the F721B when it came time to drill it... more bending to make it fit .
Now lets see if I can DRILL in in the right pplace this time ...
2011-12-10 Lonerons done? Sick of messing with these things... but they miight be done for now.
Got the F721B's drilled , deburred, and clecoed to the F718s. the front portion is bent and twisted. as per scribed.
Forgot the part about matching it to the fuselage skin.. and just measured it .
5.6 degees down...
17 degrees tristed

I'll check it later
2011-12-29 Cut Stringers, Clecoed Rear Fuselage Assemblies Been on a little European vacation during the holidays (14 days) ... so I didnt get as much done on the plane as in years past.
Back at it and made real progress today.
Clecoed the rear tail bulkheads (711 and 712?) to the bottom skin.
Cut and trimed the aft end of the J stringer... but I see now that the fronts need to be trimed too. Its not clear in the directions.
Clecoed big parts ... bottom skin (F7??) to the 708 and 709 bulkheads.

2011-12-30 Fitting The F779 I thought I'be drilling the stringers today but ran into some fit issues.
the bottom skin at the rear (F779) is really thick material (0.40mm)and unforgiving. When clecoed in place the stringer holes are off location . Starts off good in the forward section of the rear skin , but gets worse as you go aft. (both sides)
Have taken the aft skin and the 2 small bulkheads on and off tooo many times attempting to get in to fit.
no luck.
In researching this , it seems its a VERY common problem (so why doesnt Vans fix it?) and thers a couple ways to make this better.
1. drill the stringer holes without the aft F-779 assemble on. this helps pull it into allignment when clecoed (these holes are un-clecoable now because of the undrilled stringer.
2. remove all the side clecoes and use a big clamp to squeeze the sides of the bottom skin and side skins , then drill.
I think I'll try method #1 tomorrow.
2011-12-30 Checking for Twist
After only a couple adjustments and shims ... it looks pretty square.
I like the idea of "flipping" it , then leveling it (Mike Bullock idea) that way its more stable and more accessable during the drilling , but my saw horses are too narrow as is to do this ...
may modify the saw horse width and do it anyway ...later
2011-12-31 Flipped The Canoe I worked a little while making the saw horses more stable. Dont want the things moving around after I check for twist. Much better now.
removed the rear F779 assembly , then turned the rear fuselage over so that is easier to drill AND maybe more stable than rewting on the bottom.
Re-check for twist ... still good. The stringer drilling stopped when I drilleded into my right thumb.
Its not good to bleed on the parts... good place to stop I guess.
2012-01-01 Drilled the Stringers to the Skin Had a couple hours in the morning to work on the plane. I keep checking for twist cuz I still dont like how unstable the assembly is on the saw horses, but it keeps checking out ok.
I have to be MORE CAREFUL ... have a boo-boo on each side that will require a little filler. somehow I missed the hole and put one right next to the skin hole.
At least its on the bottom om the airplane where its hard to see.
2012-01-02 Drilled the Rest of the Rear Fuselage I match-drilled the rest of the rear fuselage assembly ...less the F779 (tail piece).
Having SO much difficulty getting the small rear bulkheads to fit the lower skin that I just stopped and called JD Woods.
I took the part to him to have a look. He said it was pretty close... I just needed to finesse it some more.
What I did notice was it helped the fit alot after he used his 6" C-clamp vise grips on the web of the bulkhead rib.
He also uses a small piece of hardwood in the shape of a wedge to help modify the radius of rib web.
Came home an worked on trying to get all the the clecoes into the F779 assy before installing ot to the rear fuselage.
2012-01-07 Rear Fuselage All Drilled Got the F779 assenbly clecoed into position finally... and after much "finessing" it appears to fit good.
Was able to match-drill all the remaining holes and tape over the holes that dont get drilled yet. (rudder stops, longerons, and F706 bulkhead)
I have a cold, and I'm probably over-medicated... so I went even slower than normal.
2012-01-08 Deburr Rear Fuselage Un-clecoed everything and started deburring ... and deburring ... and deburring.
(boy, there are alot of holes!)
Once that was finally done, I got out the soldering iron and removed blue plastic from the outside skins. Removed ALL the blue plastic from the inside skins.
Now starting the dimpling... got the stringers dimpled, and the F779.
Will try to dimple the skins tomorrow.
2012-01-11 Dimpling the Rear Fusealge
Went flying after work ... this is suppose to be the last mild day for awhile (snow coming) so I went to 1D2 and flew the pattern in N3738L with Tom Sechrist from work.
Still had time to dimple the rear side and bottom skins.
Almost done dimpling I think.
2012-01-12 Done Dimpling... Primed the Stringers and F779 Completed the dimp.ling of the bottom skin. Time to re-cleco everything back together. But the stringers never got primed.
So i made up a small batch of primer and sprayed the stringers.
Once done I still had some primer left so I sprayed the F779.
I'm not going to start priming the skins , but I thought this most rearward piece of the tail could stand it.
Tomorrow I re-cleco everything
2012-01-13 Started Riveting Rear Fuselage Only had an hour to get into the plane (daughter called and asked for help with her pony) ... was able to cleco the bottom skin to the bulkheads and position all the stringer.
Even shot a couple rivets to the F-712 bulkhead to the F-779.
2012-01-14 Riveting the Rear Fusalage Having issues with the instructions again ... Its saying to rivet the j channels before the skins are on ?? Dont see how that possible.
Have all the bottom rivets in like the rivet diagram says, and the entire assemby clecoed back togethere again for riveting.
Some of this would be easier with a helper, but I'm not seing volunteers today.
2012-01-15 Sitll Riveting the Rear Fuselage Made some good progress today...
Put the assembly on the saw horses again and leveled the fuselage frt and rear. Then wrote all the rivet sizes on the assy so as to lessen the likelyhood of installing the wrong size.
Started at the front and started riveting as far as I could reach. With the assy upside down... the side skin to the bottom skin will be unreachable and need a helper to rivet, but I was able to rivet the j-channels by reaching up under with the bucking bar.
2012-01-16 Still More Rear Fuselage Riveting Getting closer to being done with the rear fuselage, but Ive just about riveted everything I can without a helper.
Ginger might be available on Wednesday. Should only a couple hours more... tops.
I was doing pretty good at 'feeling' the bucking bar and getting a nice 'level' shop head, but i can close to just catching the edge of rivet with the bar a couple times. What helped eliminate this was to draw a red line at the center of the bar face, then when you saw it through the rivet hole, you knew the bar was centered.
This helped alot.
With most of these 'blind' rivets, you could just rest the bar on the j-channel and be level.
2012-01-17 F- 916 Spacers Only had an hour to work on da plane... Came home from work to find a tree down across the drive , blocking the road and then a 6:00 Pillates class) then Ginger wasnt available to help rivet the rear fuselage tonight, so I jumped ahead and started the center fusalage.
First step is to make (4) spacers out of AB4-125x1 1/4 stock... each with a 4/32" hole in the middle.
2012-01-18 The Inboard F-716 Again tonight ... only an hour or so to do plane stuff.
Found the F-716 ribs and picked out 2 LH and 2 RH to drill a 1 1/2" hole with the fly-cutter (that thing STILL makes me nervous)
After drilling the big holes ... 2 are done , the other 2 ribs get more extensive trimming and cutting. Started to cut with tin snips but switched to the band saw for all this . Cuts ribs like butter.
Almost threw away the metal after cutting it out of the rib,(had to retreive it from the trash) but after looking at the drawing some more I see that its still needed with the F716-B to form the top of the rib.
Will get back to the rear fuselage this weekend. The daughter is going to help buck rivets.
Should be fun.
2012-01-19 F715 and F716 Rib Prep Only an hour again.
this was strange... the drawing and the instructions both say to install platenuts to "F715 and F716" seat ribs. OK I see where each F716 gets (3) platenuts each, but the F715s?? theres no holes on the flaneges and nothing in the drawing picture, (just the comment)
Called Vans... he said theres no platenuts on the F715. error on the drawing (and instructions).
I did trim off the excess metal on the 'other' 2 F716 inboard ribs with a dremmel.
Next to flute the ribs and install platenuts.
2012-01-20 Even More Rear Fuselage Riveting
Had the daughter, Halley, come over an help with the riveting of those 'hard to reach' areas of the rear fuselage.
We practiced on a piece of scrap.(shot only 1 rivet) then went to work.
It all went really well. No bad rivets... she even check rivets that I had done previously and found a couple that weren't up to her high standards.
Had to stop at 9:00 , with about 1/2 hours worth left to go until the assembly is done.
2012-01-21 Preparing Seat and Baggage Ribs I'm still bouncing between finishing the rear fuselage when I have a helper... and working on the center fuselage when I'm alone.
So being by myself today, I deburred all the ribs and fluted them so they're nice and straight.
Then on to clecoing the ribs to bulkheads. One problem I ran into was the interference between the F-916B spacers and the seatbelt anchors on the bulkhead (F-705?) ... had to remove the anchor and grind off enough to allow the spacers to sit. This wasnt much of a probem, but it would have been nice if the plans had had you make them the right size in the first place.
Started to cleco on the bottom skin, but I see now that I need to flip the rib assembly upside down and cleco the skin on to make it easier to drill next.(thanks Mike Bullock)
Tomorrow Halley come by to hopefully finish the rear fuselage.
2012-01-22 Rear Fuselage Almost Done / Center Fuselage Clecoed Halley and AJ came over around 4:00 and we knocked out all the rivets that require 2 people. This only took an hour or so. Halley handled the bucking bar... and AJ and I took turns running the rivet gun.
For all these AN426-AD3.5/4/4.5 rivets, I have pressure set at 40lbs. and would 'pulse' the rivet gun 3 times ...waited for Halley to re-center her bucking bar ... then pulse the rivet gun 2 more times. That usually produced a quality shop head.
Only thing left on the rear fuselage is a dozen or so rivets on the very rear portion that I can do myself... (have 1 to drill out already! ....grrrrrrr)
The rest of todays (3 hours) was spent clecoing the bottom skin to the center fuselage. The baggage area went quickly... however the darn seatbelt brkts needed MORE trimming again to allow the ribs to seat properly and allow the skin to line up. This took awhile to disassemble and re-assemble.
But its all clecoed and ready to match-drill now, I think.
2012-01-23 Drilled F-726 (skin) and Fabricate F623A's Took half a day off to run around and get the mandatory medical physical for work ...so I had some extra build time (for a Monday).
Match-drilled the F726 bottom skins to the seat and baggage ribs... but the instructions say to "drill everything" except the 2 rear rows ... but do they really mean "everything?... I hate these directions.
Was I little hesitant to clamp and match drill the F623 to the skin as directed. so I skipped ahead and made the F623A brkts ...a little more straight forward process. Then called it a night.
2012-01-28 F-623's Fitted & Drilled ... Misc Rivets in Rear Fuselage Fitted and trimmed the F-623 ribs (the ones with no holes).
I have read that this particular part was originaly designed to be in the RV-6 aircraft. But to use in the current RV-7 design, has to be modified to fit. Again the instructions here are vague as to where, and how much to cut off. Thank goodness fot the internet and all those who have documented their projects construction before me.
There are only 3 or 4 rivets left to shoot on the rear fuselage assembly to be caught up.
But I really need a "setting" tool like JD showed me to be able to do them.
I'll have to call him to see how to make my own tool before proceeding.
2012-02-05 Drilled F-704 H Side Doublers Been in Kansas City for the last couple weeks with no time to work on plane stuff till now. (gone next week as well)
Tried using the supplied "close-tollerence" bolts to match up the 2 halfs of the F-704... what a pain even getting them into the holes... read on-line that several builders just go to the hardware and buy some 4" long 7/16" bolts just for this... works much better!
Also bought some 1 1/2" oak to make spacers out of. I set up the table saw to rip 1/16" off an edge... one spacers came out perfect, the other ended up alittle short. but a little tape on the edge made it exactly the 1.438" (1 7/16") required.
Once the 2 halves of the F704 were bolted up, the forward edge of the F776 (bottom skin) is matched drilled.
Next step is to cleco and drill the F704H side doubler to the bulkhead.
Confusing part here is what to do with the outer seat ribs (F715)at this point... directions have them just "clamped" on here... but the forward end flange will get drilled with the F704H 'cuz they are right behind it.
After some reading ahead , it looks like the F715's gets drilled later , so I pulled it out of the way for now.

2012-02-11 Seat Ribs Ends to F704 Back from Kansas City for awhile... maybe I'll have some time to do "plane work" now. Spent the day getting the barn ready to bring the daughter's horse home. Cant be ridden for a month (hyper extended stifle) so rather than pay to board him, he's home for a while.
I see that when te directions said to "drill everything" I missed some stuff. Today I drilled the seat rib ends to the F704... then counter sunk the F704 top flanges.
Screwed up and over-counter sunk one ...had to enlarged it to a #30 and will use a AN426AD4-4 rivet.
It will be just fine.
2012-02-12 Misc Drilling According to the directions, the next big step is to uncleco everything and prepare for riveting.
But I can see by the drawings I still lots to do... so I made a little list of tasks of things that have to be done prior to priming and almost got it all done.
1. Install the (4) F623A "straps" and match-drill... again the direction were vague , it said to make the parts... it never said to put them in.
2. Finish drilling the rib ends to the bulk heads.
3. Back drill the (2)AN3 bolt holes in the F715 end flanges.
4. Using a unibit, drill a 5/8" wiring hole in each of the seat ribs.
5. Trim the rib ends that block existing wiring holes in the F704 and the "other" bulkhead.
This took awhile, but I'm almost ready to prime.
Still have install platenuts to the seat ribs... and do a little trimming.
2012-02-16 Platenuts to F716 Seat Ribs Talked to JD Woods the other day about to make a tool to "set" rivets before completely squeezing or bucking them. Theres been more than a few times where the 2 pieces of aluminum that you're try to join "spred apart" as you shove in the rivet. A setting tool holds the metal together while letting the rivet slightly expand... anyway I gave a local shop the dimensions and for $30 he'll make up a tool for me. I'll need it to finish the rear of the rear fuselage (thoses last couple rivets).

Tonight I was able to drill, debur, then rivet the platenuts (3 per rib) to the (8) F-716 seat ribs.
Getting very close now to priming this stuff.
2012-02-18 Deburring Parts Went to the FAA safety seminar at Ann Arbor airport this morning.
Place was packed. J.D.Woods was even there.
Tuan had suggested that we go for a short flight after the class, but it ended up being too windy. Winds @ 22, Gusts to 27, so I just came home and did a little work onthe plane.
Lots of holes deburred today ... tomorrow maybe dimpling them all.
2012-02-24 Dimpling Center Fuselage Only got around to dimpling the seat ribs and the baggage ribs.
Plan on dimpling the F776 skin tomorrow.
Also drilled holes for aft battery cable into the access ribs. Not sure if the battery is going on the firewall... or in the 'aft' position. Depends on center of gravity and how heavey the enging / prop combination is.
2012-02-25 Completed Dimpling Rear Fusalge Parts I think I'm finally ready to prime parts tomorrow.
1.Started the day by drilling the aft mounted battery cable holes in the baggage ribbs. (not sure where the battery will be on this thing... but if I neeed it in the rear, there will be holes for it)
2. Dimpled the flanges on the F-704 and F-705 bulkheads. I know the directions say to countersink some of them , but it seems most builders ignore that and dimple instead.
3. Dimpled the F-776 bottom skin.
4. Dimpled the F-623 "straps" or doublers
5. I dimpled the tops of the middle baggage ribs. Directions dont mention a thing about this, but I cant clearly see that platenuts go on them but arent installed until later... its gotta be easire to do it now.
6. Cleaned everything with solevent (MEK)
2012-02-26 Primed Center Fuselage Parts Someone in the Chelsea Rotary gave Ginger a can of clecos. They are mostly 1/8", are all in good condition and of an old design, but they are much better quality than what you buy these days. Who knows how old they are.
Primed parts today. Was torn between using the down draft table in the comfort of the heated shop... or spray in the cold barn.
I decided the results might be better if the parts where not cold.
All looks good and ready to start riveting tomorrow.
2012-02-27 F-716 Seat ribs to F-704 with Bolts and Rivets Didnt get much done tonight, but spent an hour getting ready to do something. Sometimes thats enough.
Bolted the F-716 seat ribs to the F-704 bulkkhead and then clecoed them together.
Will rivet them tomorrow.
Have the day off tomorrow, should get alot done.
Picked up the "JD Woods Rivet Setting Tool" from the welding shop over in the next town. I think it needs to alittle smaller than JD told me... maybe 3/4 in. cut off of one side would do it.
Oh well... will try it again tomorrow.
2012-02-28 Rivet Bottom Skin to Center Assembly Started riveting the forward seat rib flange to the F-704 and touqueing the AN3 bolts at the top and bottom. Then clecoing on the F-776 bottom skin to the F-716 center seat ribs. Then I stood the assembly on end and started riveting. They are all AN426AD3-3.5's which is nice.
Was able to get all but the middle 2 rows of rivets (my arms are not long enough)... maybe I can get a "helper" this week end to finish it.
Of course, AFTER starting the riveting, I realize that I have a crotch strap brkt that would have been easier to install BEFORE installing the bottom skin... but to late for that now. Direction NEVER mention this by the way and its not even on the drawings. The cortch brkt looks to bean oversite and wasnt included in early RV designs, but comes now as an extra feature with its own bag of hardware and 8 1/2 x 11 drawing.
Thinking I really should get the 5 point harness (Crowe maybe) and thus install these brackets now.
2012-02-29 Crotch Strap Brackets Decided that a 5-point harness is really what this beast should have ... so its time to install the required parts.
(and I dont have a helper to buck the last 2 rows of rivets in the seat floor today)
Directions say to ensure a burr-free surface on the belt contact area... so I've spent at least 30 min. deburring all the edges of each bracket until everything is nice and smooth.
Then marked the ribs to allign the forward bracket surface and loose installed the forward brackets in between 2 ribs. I'll drll this tomorrow with a right angle adapter.
2012-03-01 Drilled Crotch Brackets Read on VAF Forums about other builders who planned to use the Crowe 5-point harness and except for the anchor tang hole being a different size (smaller) they fit the standard bracket dimentions used for the Vans belts.
For the 0.125" space between the 2 halves of the the crotch brackets, I used 1/8" drill bits.
Then with the right angle drill adapter (never before used) I drilled the bracket half that lined up with the marks. Then once that half was clecoed into position, drill the other brkt half, maintaining the 1/8" spacing between them.
Need to debur, prime and pop rivet in next.
2012-03-03 Crotch Strap Brackets Complete Got them in.
Used the supplied 'pop' rivets supplied by the Vans kit. Wish I had done this before riveting on the bottom skin thus allowing for the use of solid rivets, but thats behind me know.
2012-03-04 Riveted Seat Ribs ... Riveting on the F-705 Gosh these direction SUCK!!!!... Cant believe what they put you through with these lousy instruction. OK enough ranting.
Halley came over and help rivet the 2 inner seat rbs to the F-776 skin that I couldnt reach. She's good at this and is a big help. All the rivets are good
Now that its done , I'm putting the F-705 and the baggage ribs on to the 'skeleton" (should have done this earlier but the directions dont mention it at all).
Decided tht the J.D. Woods style setting tool I had made up , needs to be smaller . Gonna have to take it back and get 3/4" cut off to make it usable. grrrrr.
2012-03-05 Rivet F-705 to Seat and Baggage Ribs Should have done this BEFORE riveting any of the F-776 ... but tonight I shot the AN470AD4 rivets that hold the aft seat ribs and the forward baggage ribs to the F-705 bulkhead.
I used an offset in the rivet gun , necessary to get at most of them. Some the angles are a little awkward and now my right hand is swelling up (occupational injury?)
Once the F705 was done, I flipped the assembly over and clecoed the F-776 bottom skin to the ribs.
Tomorrow its time to rivet the skin to the baggage ribs.

2012-03-05 This doesn't look right to me.... So, I'm working on this center fuselage assembly ... and I notice something odd.
At the very top of the F705 bulkhead assembly are these thick aluminun brackets. The F705-G LH and RH brackets.
They are just clecoed into position, but at the top, there are 4 holes on each, that are way off location.
Did I get the LH and the RH mixed up??? ...
I think what I did was to position the F-705G's into the top piece (so as to exactly match it's radius) and drilled the top holes ...problem is , there are 2 pieces of the bulkhead that go between the 705G and the top radius, thus forcing it back.
or do I have to remake this part?
2012-03-07 F-776 to Baggage Rib Riveting Must have bucked another 50 rivets or so before my hand got tired... some of these positions are pretty awkward and really strain the wrist.
Must be careful of my back and now my hands. Only anoother 30 or so before I'll need a partner to finish the center section.
2012-03-08 More F-776 Riveting Got as far as I could by myself again. Cant reach any farther without injuring myself (tough on the wrists and shoulder). Thoses last 2 center rows of rivets need a second pair of hands to come out right.
My helper is available on Sunday .... maybe I'll go back and install thise last couple of rivets in the rear fuselage tail cone section tomorrow while I wait.
2012-03-09 Last 4 Rivets Was putting this off (for 2 months?)
Finally shot the last 4 rivets in the rear fuselage ... at the tailcone.
The metal was spreading apart as I inserted the rivet and its in a blind spot where a mirror and a light are need to see it.
After playing around with it I used a longer rivet than whats called out for (AN426AD3-5 instead of AN426AD3-4.5)
From what I can see of them,,, they look good.
2012-03-11 Flipped Ther Center Fuselage Its 65 degrees here in march... so there was some yard work calling me and the motercycle needs some attention before ridng season starts.
Halley and AJ came by at 4:00 and we knocked out the 35 or so rivets left in the F-776. Had to again remove the seat belt brackets on the F705 bullkhead because they block rivet access.
(wish the directions were better)
Anyway, once the riveting was done we 'flipped' the assembly upright, which allows me to cleco and match drill the seat and baggage floors.
Using a #19 drill to drill the seat floor (the removeable part).
Although the screws go into the existing holes , I'm drilling them to #19 and stopping when I slightly hit the platenuts on the rib.
The non removeable parts of the floor look to be 'POP" riveted.
2012-03-17 Drilling Baggage and Seat Floors Been busy with everything EXCEPT building the plane. It suddenly got warm (70's) and the bike needed some attention. It took a couple days but its ready to ride.
And so back to the plane ... drilled all the holes for the baggage floor (1/8" for the pop rivets) it looks like these floors never have to come off ... other wise they would have screws and platenuts holding them down. Same for the rear of the seat ribs Only the center sections and the the forward areas are screwed down.
2012-03-18 F-715 Futed and Drilled to F-776 I think all the baggage and seat floor holes are drilled. Now on to the F-715.
Fluted it to roughly match the contour of the line of holes in the skin. I used Mike Bullock's "mirror image" method. Got it close with the idea I'd finessee it as I drilled. Came out pretty good. It was hard to tell when fluting, how close it would be because as it bends in one direction... it also curves in another .
The holes are now all drilled in the bottom skin. Got it flipped over again (Thanks Halley) so I can drill the F-715 holes into the F-705 tomorrow.
2012-03-19 F-715 Outboard Flange to F-705 A couple observations...
1. I do better work it seems if I've got clasical music playing on the radio instead of rock and roll.
2. On that same theme... I need a better stereo system out there in the shop. What I have out there is an alarm clock. Should be able to find something on Craigslist that would fit the bill.
3. Removed the F-739 and F-740 floor panels to get access to the
F-705 hole so as to back drill the F-715's... even at that I had to use the right angle drill. I have been attaching it to the variable speed electric drill rather than the pneumatic drill... more control , and lower speed.
In the the mail today was the seat belts I ordered from Crow Enterprizes. These are nice.
5-point harness with shoulder pads and cam locks. From everything Ive read, these are the way to go. The Van's belts are so-so quality, and the "hooker' belts are great quality but hundreds more $$.
Tomorrow , drilling the top flange of the F-715 to the floor.
2012-03-20 Drill F-715 to F-739 and F-740 (Seat Floor) They tell you to have the flange of the F-715 rib to be outboard of the seat floor by .032" ... which is a common thickness of aluminum . So i found a scrap piece of .032" , I just gaged it along the edge and drilled away.
About 20 holes drilled in an hour or so.
So this is the last step of the center fuselage before joining the rear section to the center section.
Parts are going to get BIG very soon ...
2012-03-21 Crotch Strap Anchor to Bracket Now that I have the belts ... I should work on the crotch strap (and before the center section gets married to the the rear section and thus easier to access)
The Crow hardware comes with, I believe 1/2" holes, which are way too big for the bolts that Vans give you to use with their belts. Rather than use bushings and /or washers to fill in the difference in hole size, I'm going to drill new 5/16" holes and then cut off the excess material. WEIGHT SAVINGS!!
Anyway, I think it will be best way to mount these.
Was able to mark up the parts tonight ... wil try my hand at reworking them tomorrow.
2012-03-24 Crotch Strap Anchors Was able to cut off the excess material with the extra hole and shape the anchors very nicely. I thought I would easily drill the new 5/16" hole and be done.
My drill bit would only get 1/3 of the way through the material and then stopped cutting .. . tried sharpening the bit but no improvement.
So I went out to Lowes and bought a $7 titanium, 5/16" drill bit....STILL NO LUCK.
Going to have a machine shop drill it for me on Monday...GGGGRRRRRRR
2012-03-30 Misc Stuff I took some time to work on the motorcycle (still not fixed) and finish the taxes.
Need to get back into building plane parts.
So, tonight I took the crotch belt anchors to the local welding shop (Klapperich) and he was able to put them on his "bridgeport" mill and drill the 5/16" holes... tested them for fit and they were just fine.
I only had to deburred them a little and stuck them back into the box with the rest of the belts and the attaching bolts.
Halley, back fron Costa Rica, helped me flip the rear fuselage upside down onto the saw horses.
Now I'm ready to put the longerons (ahh , remember those?)... to the rear fuselage tomorrow.
2012-03-31 Installing Longerons Brought out the longerons and set them beside the rear fuselage. I then discovered what others say in their build experience... Its easier to install these with the rear fusleage upright, rather than upside down (how the instructions tell you).
First I cut the notches to allow the top flange of the longeron to fit around the F-711 on the rear fuselage. Its suppose to be 3/16" wide, bandsaw wont work, hack saw is too slow. Ended up useing a dremmel to start it and finished up with the edge of a file. Fits well.
After getting both longeron into position ... Ginger came out and helped flip the center section and position it to the rear section.
I was a little unsure about proceding further. The mating of the center and rear bottom skins doesnt seem to make sense. Two parrallel rows of rivets with no holes that match the most rearward row(?).
Will have to read ahead and look at othere web-sites to figure this out.
2012-04-01 Cleco the Center Section to the Rear Section I had read that people struggle with this part... now I see why. These parts are getting so big and unwieldy. It makes it tuff to align them together just due to their shear size and weight.... you push in here... but you cant see how it poped out over there on the other side.
This is almost a 2 man job (would have gone faster) but I FINALLY got it aligned and clecoed.
Side skins are next.
2012-04-02 F-770 Side Skins Partially Clecoed Started today by doubting the way I've got the assembly supported ... Its not exactly as specified, but its the right idea. The center fuselage is on the workbenches and the rear fuselage is on saw horses. From pics Ive seen of other builders it shouldnt matter.
Labeled (L&R) the F-770 side skins and started to cleco them... Started with the F-704. No Problem.
Proceeded to the F-705. No Problem
Then the F-706. Big problem.
Not even close to lining up. Directions say to lift the tail slightly to help alignment... We'll see.
The longeron are off location (both sides) and will need a little "finessing" to get right.
2012-04-04 Two Steps Forward... Confused...
never a good feeling when you're about to start drilling holes in expensive aluminum.
So, I shuffled the shop around so I could get the saw horses under the inverted fuselage like the direction tell you to.
(not on the table tops like I had first done)
Daughter, Halley, helped me out again lifting and moving the fuselage around.
Looks like the top of the F-704s DONT rest "in" the longerons like the F-705 does...but rather just "sits" on top of it. It seems to fit better that way.
Clecoed the side skin starting front to aft ... but the aft doesnt line up now.
A tip from Brad Oliver's website says to start aft to front.
I'll try that method tomorrow.
2012-04-06 Put the Part On... Take The Part Off ... Making progress I think.
First I put the F-770 side skins on starting from the front ... progressing to the rear. Then when that didnt work. I start from the rear and worked to the front... with worst results.
Now I'm back to clecoing the F-704 first, then the 705, and trying to push the rear fuselage down enough to get at least one clsco into the F-706... getting very close.
But I need a helper to push the fuselage while I try to slip in a cleco.
Called J.D. Woods and asked If he ever had this issue (he hadn't)
Maybe tomorrow.
2012-04-07 F-770 Still Not Aligned Still stuck on trying to get the F-770 side fuselage skins alligned. Tried pushing , pulling, lifting the tail, lowering the tail, ...nothing.
Calling Vans on Monday if still stuck. I might try laying the assembly on its side to see if that helps.

On the plus side , Tuan and I had a great flight to Owosso. We had lunch at the little cafe on the field ...making plans to go to Oshkosh this year.
2012-04-11 Success! ... F-770 aligned and Clecoed Thought I'd have to beat this thing to get to align. In the end, it was just the 'right' combination of changing the height of the aft section and the lowering of the front section to get the skins close enough for just one cleco in (at the longeron)... after that they all got easier as you go along.
Glad thats over.
Next the forward ends of the longerons need "tweeked" to match the skin (they dont exactly)
but I'm skipping ahead to the armrests tonight...the F-720's ...just cleco them in, match-drill, and remove until later.
Finally , an easy step.
I'll bend longerons another day.
2012-04-12 Preparing for Conical Bends 1. Checked the twist and angle of the forward longerons, ... look close enough to me.
2. Removed the F-770 side skins (I hate to remove them after working so hard to put them on!)
3. Researched and prepared to perform the "conical bend" ... checked 2 websites and read the VAF forums on the subject.
Working up the nerve to do the actual bending .... maybe tomorrow.
2012-04-16 Connical Bends Done Title just about says it .... did it exactly as the instructions tell you to. No cracks yet, will try and put the F-770's back on tomorrow.
Alot is taking me away from building right now. Landscaped all yesterday, the motorcycle's ABS system is on the fritz, bad fuse in the electrical panel ( I think), the electric fence charger died (3 months old) yadda,yadda yadda...Did I mention I got a speeding ticket and have to take a "refresher" course ??!!
2012-04-19 F-623 and F-770's back on Now that the conical bends are done, they have you put the skins (and the F-623's back on.
Went together much eaiser this time :-)
My 30 year old sears 6" bench grinder died .... not from use, but from a lightening strike.
Took out the fence charger too.
Anyway got a new 'skil' 6" with LED lights for $49.
2012-04-20 Getting Ready to Drill Longerons A couple issues ...
1. The F-623's probably shouldn't be drilled and dimple, or the bottom skin where they meet as yet (they are) , cuz the overlapping F-770 hasnt been match drilled to it yet. Hhhmmm...Going to just drill open the holes in the F-770 and dimple later. This will be just fine and shouldnt matter.
2. NO CRACKS ... as yet , at the conical bends.
3. Started the clamping of the longeron to the skins... making sure its flush to the corner of the angle.
Start drilling tomorrow?
2012-04-21 Lonerons Drilled (almost) Took about 2 hours just to drill one side of the longerons up to the F704 main bulkhead (174 holes/side!!). After both sides are done you measure and cut so that the forward end of the longeron is 3/4" from the front edge of the F-770. Had to cut about 3/8" from each side using a die grinder and a file.
Got the LH longeron drilled all the way (forward of the F704). The RH longeron will take some "adjusting" to get it to match the curve of the F770 skin. Its close ... but not close enough.
I quit for the night before I got frustrated.
2012-04-22 Longerons All Drilled Tweeked and bent and hit with a rubber hammer the last forward bit of the RH Longeron until it was flush with the edge of the F-770 skin. All drilled now.
Made the F904L straps ... 4 of them.
Then to finish the day I positioned the firewall to the longerons. theres some confusing put about marking a centerline on the firewall ... but I'll figure that out later.
2012-04-23 Mounting the Firewall - Forward Bottom Skin F-772 So when I hung the firewall and clamped it to the longerons yesterday I was 'technically' starting the forward fusalage.
Found the F-772 botton forward fuselage skin and clecoed the 2 rear rows to the bottom of the F-704 bulkhead .... then drew a bright red centerline along the bottom firewall angle and clamped the skin to the firewall so that the 2cd row of rivets is centered in the red line. This sets the distance between the F-704 and the firewall according to the manual.
Drilling tomorrow.
2012-04-24 Drilled 2 Holes that set the F-772 to F/wall Distance Only did a couple things tonight...
1. Convinced that the F-772 was in the correct position and the 2cd row of holes was alligned with the red line drawn on the f/wall flange... I drilled the 2 most outboard holes and clecoed.
2. Thoses big F/wall corner brkts dont allow for clecos, so they have you just shove in a bunch of AN4 rivets to keep the longeron and F-770 side skin alligned
2012-04-25 Drilling Firewall Flanges Firewall to side skin and bottom skin allignments look good. Not exactly the 5/8' they want, but VERY close and not off enough to matter.
Drilled (#40) up the forward sides of the F-770 , and into the stainless steel flange of the firewall.
Then the last (7) forward holes of the longerons / F-770 / firewall brkts with the #30 .
Good place to stop.
2012-04-27 F-904 Drilled - F772 Wheel Socket Hole I had the F-904's made and just sitting around, and although the instructions dont mention it yet... other builders do this now.
Just clamp up and back drill through the skin.
Next I took the drawing and ran a copy of it to use as a template (thanks to the bruce swayyze website for the method)
I have it all marked now... will try to drill it tomorrow.
2012-04-29 F-772 Brake and Wheel Socket Holes Drilled Where does the weekend go??
Only had an hour of real plane work today...
Drilled out the brake fitting holes to 5/8" (seems big, but a double checked ) then I used the unibit to remove material in the leg socket holes and finished it up with the dremmel and the new aluminum cutting bit.
Fitting the actual leg bracket to the F-704 is next.
2012-05-01 Trimming F776 and F704 for the Leg Gear Dremmel time again.
Used the same template I used on the F772 holes, for the F776 and F704 cutout.
Now to set the leg gear assembly in place and see what needs to be trimmed.
Rita Fisher and son D.J. came by to look at the project ... he's a CAP cadet ... she might be too!
2012-05-11 Gear Leg Holes in F-772 Been out of town on a little conference in Cocoa Beach, FL.
so Ive missed about a week of building. Now.... where did I leave off????
Got both leg holes made in the F-772 but when it came to slipping the bottom skin over the gear leg sockets, it wouldnt fit. . . Didnt look like it would EVER fit without making the holes WAY bigger than they're called out to be.
The solution is to first install the F-772 without the leg gear sockets ,,, THEN install the gear legs thru the holes.
Much better. Gonna have to repaint the gear legs... having scratched them up with the F-772 holes.
Next step is to install the F-713's. Finding them took some time and now draw a centerline down the length of the flange.
2012-05-12 F-713 Auxillery Longerons Drilled & Clecoed Got a couple good hours in today.
These F713's are only about 3' long ... and they do pre-cut a nice radius into the forward end to clear the mounts on the lower firewall. So with just a little trimming on each end to get the length and the angle right, its time to clamp and drill.
Seems like I could have "twisted" these alittle more to make them fit to the skin alittle better. oh well. Maybe I can tweek them a little before I prime and rivet them.
2012-05-13 F-719B Started Mothers Day ... but I did slip out to the shop for alittle while (with Ginger's consent of course).
Started (but not finished) 2 little brackets. Theses 2 parts are just made from stock aluminum angle (AA6 063 3/4x3/4). Needs about an hour more to complete.... tomorrow maybe?
2012-05-14 F719B' s Finished Directions are starting to get a little "vague" again. Now that the F719B's are made... just install the F719L and R just like the F713 (?)
Will figure out tomorrow.:-)
2012-05-19 F-719 L&R Drilled Had Ginger help me get these into position ... then I taped them with the centering line in the middle of the holes.
These look good.
The F-719B's however ... probably shouldnt have the holes drilled already. Other builders seem to wait until its in position, then drill.
2012-05-20 F719B's Matched Drilled - F717's Started Worked in bunches today ... hour here, 30 min there, but got some good things done.
Felt like had painted myself into a corner by drilling the F719B hole that goes to the firewall... from the inside of the fuselage it was hidden. Some builders scraped the part and made others without the hole , then just eyeballed it to drill from the inside. That sounded like such a waste. So I tried to partially remove the entire firewall , just enough to expose the F719 behind the skin and walla! I was able to drill it just fine and then reassemble the firewall to the longerons.
Then I got started on the 2 F717's. Cut each to length, trimed the aft section cutout, and deburrred it.
2012-05-31 F-717 Done...F-684 Trashed ... F-902 Started Catching up on my documenting...
Finally bent, tristed and drilled the F-717 to the firewall brackets...used the Brad Oliver reccommendation to get bettr edge distance be reducing the centerline for the 4 holes by 1/16" on the F-717... Looks ok to me.
The new F-684 brkts are on order , having totally screwed up the rivet holes ... again I did it like the drawing , but once positiioned to the plane it didnt fit. I could have made it fit IF I fabricated them and left the holes til last.... live and learn. Both L&R parts are only $8... but its the time wasted (and the shipping costs) that bugs me.
Started the F-902's Drilled out the rudder cable holes to 5/8" and getting ready to install the platenuts.
2012-05-31 F-717 Done...F-684 Trashed ... F-902 Started Catching up on my documenting...
Finally bent, tristed and drilled the F-717 to the firewall brackets...used the Brad Oliver reccommendation to get bettr edge distance be reducing the centerline for the 4 holes by 1/16" on the F-717... Looks ok to me.
The new F-684 brkts are on order , having totally screwed up the rivet holes ... again I did it like the drawing , but once positiioned to the plane it didnt fit. I could have made it fit IF I fabricated them and left the holes til last.... live and learn. Both L&R parts are only $8... but its the time wasted (and the shipping costs) that bugs me.
Started the F-902's Drilled out the rudder cable holes to 5/8" and getting ready to install the platenuts.
2012-06-01 F-902 Installed Platenuts... F-7101 Partially Drilled Looking for stuff to do while waiting for the new F-684's I ordered to come...
Skipping ahead, I took the F-902's that I drilled the 5/8" holes into yesterday, and install platenuts. It was nice to use tools I have not had to use in a while, got to dimple the metal for the flush rivets , then squeeze rivets.
Afterwards I installed the F-902's with clecos to the skin.
Next I found the F-7101's (that took awhile) I got a little disoriented whille looking at the drawing and then tring to find where these parts go.... (the fuselage being still upside down)
These fit pretty good as is. I was able to match drill and cleco to the F-902 before calling it quits for the night.
Nagging questions:
1. had to remove the wing spar slave bolts to get the F-7101's in...do they even need to be in still?
2. the lower longeron isnt drill to the skin yet... do I drill the aft portion of it when I drill the F-7101??
2012-06-02 Drilled F-902 / F-7101...started F-796 C,D,& B's Drilled the required holes (#30 and #40) in the F-902's and the F7101's. Some of these go through mutiple layers of skin, reinf. brackets, and aluminum angle...sothe drill bits need to be sharp.
Once drilled I moved on to these little brackets and shims. I think they go where the wing spar comes into the fusselage(?)
2012-06-04 Replacement F-684's Arrive Over the weekend, while waiting for new F-684's to arrive... I screwed up the F7101's. GGGRRRR....
Fortunately, I can just hack off 2 more pieces of A6-125 3/4x3/4... and make new ones. Too bad, except for a hole drill in the wrong spot, they were really nice!
So, in todays mail was the new F-684's. I proceeded just like before, only now I'm going to leave drilling the rivet holes until I can see how it fits ,and what kind of edge clearance I have to work with.
One step backwards, and two steps forward?
2012-06-06 Things Were Going So Well ... Bottom line . . . Ive order another set of F-684's from Van's Aircraft this evening.
I measured, then drilled wrong and ended up scrapping another set of brkts.
I'm trying to not get to upset about this.
2012-06-09 New Repalcement F-684's Arrive Wow ... these things got here in only 3 days!!??
Anyway, gonna try an NOT screw them up this time. They are all for nowmarked, should be able to fit them tommorrow.
Had a similier issue the F-796B's ... mis-read the drawing and drilled a hole in the wrong place. Fortunately, its made from aluminum angle and Ive got plenty. Finished another set of 796B's today.
2012-06-10 F-684's Done Finally ... after 3 tries... Ive got a good set of F-684's installed. Edges distances are good, fit is good ... DONE!
Spent the rest of the evenign looking at the next steps, installing the F796A,B,C,and D brackets that were made earlier.
At first glance it seems F-796B's are too long??? need to check out on others web sites.
2012-06-13 F-796's Done Just fitted and drilled them. Directions suck.
Dimentions on the drawing are in error IMHO...
Moving on.
2012-06-14 Rudder Pedals Started - F-6177BPP, Building real airplane parts now :-)
I ordered the dual brakes... I may want to fly from the right side some day , so there's double of everything.
Parts are nice. High quality it seams.
So tonight I made the 4" long angles and marked them up to know where 1/2" on one end is so it overhangs the pedal face. The rest of the evening was spend scotch-brite-ing the parts. There are lots of burrs , but I got everything smooth.
Seems Ive seen afermarket parts for these pedals. With "RV" cut into the pedals. But these are just fine. Dont know how to coat them...powder-coat?.... just prime and paint?

2012-06-16 Rudder Pedals Drilled- F-6177BPP, Pretty easy stuff ... assemble and match drill to 1/8" all the holes.
Even trimmed away some excess angle to reduce weight. Optional per instructions.
2012-06-17 Rudder Pedals Riveted I guess when the directions say "assemble" it means rivet too. i thought I was done with pedals for now, but I see from other websites you are suppose to rivet everything together.
AND there was more lightening area that where optional to remove , it still wasnt too late to do it.
(gotta start studing this drawings more)
I found the optional RH rudder pedal hardware... but I'm nut seeing the standard LH hardware.
Getting ready to mount the pedals to the master cylinders and pivot tubes.
2012-06-18 Rudder Pedals Partially Mounted Drilled the 3/8" holes iin the lower angle of the rudder pedals ... I love this part... NO DIMENTIONS ARE SHOWN.
You just have to "guess" and match the other side ????!!!
Then just finding the hardare and then loose assembling the pedals to the mounting tube assemblies.
2012-06-19 Brake Pedals Drilled for M/Cylinders Just when I I think I goot these pedals done,,,, theres more to do.
Directions give you NO guidance on this but I followed the Brad Oliver technique and it seems to be just fine.
1. Let the assemble hang free from the blocks
2. Clamped the rudder pedals into a "nuetral" position.
3. clamp 2 pedals to each other to maintain the same realitive position
4. Use a small drill bit from the right angle drill set (a rusty nail will do)
5. mark the pedal through the M/Cylinder rod
6. find the center , drill to 3/16"
Noow that these babies are done .... thinking I'll get the rudder extentions from JDair and paint them both Dark gray or black.
2012-06-20 F-6116 & F-6115 Rudder Mounting Blocks I measured the Rudder pedal assemblies. Not exactly the right length . drawings says 40 1/8" on the one side and 40 5/32' on the other side (?)
anyway , I hit the ends with the table sander to achieve the prescribed lengths.
The rest of the evenings time was spent drilling the #10 holes in the mounding blocks with the drill press. The center block gets cut in half on the band saw.
2012-06-22 Drilled and Bolted Rudder Assembly to Longerons Removed the longerons from the fuselage so I could drill the end block holes without restrictions.
Drilled 3 different rudder positions. The first is 3 inches from the firewall... then I used the aft hole from the 1st position for the forward hole of next position further aft... then drilled a 3rd position between the first two.
With my long legs I'm guessing the rudder position thats 3" from the firewall will be best for me.
This is something to consider because the seat isnt adjustable.
2012-06-23 F-6118 Srapped... Bad Hole Pattern Worked slowly and got the center rudder brace in and drilled.
Installed two lightening holes ,,, needs a 3rd.
Cant find anything to cut a 1" hole with.
Unibit only goes uo to 3/4... and the flycutter doesnt go down that small.
But the BIGGER issue is that the 3 hole patterns I used for the F-719's (side blocks) doesnt work on the center. Because the center block is smaller than the side blocks the hole pattern that results from the 3 sets of holes on the sides results in unacceptable holes distances on the center brace.
Brad Oliver has dimentions that work. (3" ...4 1/16", 5 1/8")Somehow I didnt realize I was using something different.
Will order new F-719's and a F-6118 tomorrow AND not get upset.
2012-06-24 Starting the Floor Stiffeners F-728's Skipping over the rudders while I await some replacement parts...
The bottom skin is reinstalled F-772 , then the stiffeners are marked up (red centerlines drawn), and positioned to the floor for drilling.
This is going to require a "helper" according to the instructions... and they might be right. The parts are going to have to be flexed a little to align with the skin holes.
2012-06-25 Drilled F-772 Bottom Skin WHAT TO DO...
Waiting for replacement rudder parts so thats out .... dont feel like getting into the stiffeners tonight(Need a bigger clamp)
According to my favorite 2 websites...(Brad Oliver and Bruce Swazye) its time to drill the 2 sets of double row AD3 rivet holes in the F-772. They both say they have read ahead and the directions never mention to do this step. ??
Now seems like a good time
Every thing seems to be lining up well so far.
2012-06-27 Drilling Floor Stiffeners Had to cut notches in the inner 2 stiffeners (forward ends) to get them to lay flat. AND I wacked them all with a hammer at the pre-fab bends (both ends) to allow them to fit to the skin better.
Then with inner 2 stiffeners clamped into position at both ends, I started at the front and started drilling to the bottom skin ...occationally using a big clamp to 'squeeze' the rib together and make the drawn centerline line up with holes.
So far , so good.
Had to quit before compleating , but will tackle again tommorrow.
2012-06-29 Almost Done with the Floor Stiffeners Dont see how you can do this without some help. Good thing Halley was around and willing to assist.
I tried to clamp these on the inside, but nothing really worked well. So I got Halley to drill, while I held, and moved the stiffeners around to get them centered.
No Mishaps, everything looks good. All the holes through the bottom skin and the stiffeners are done , leaving a few left to do at the front of the inner two left for tomorrow.
2012-06-30 Floor Stiffeners Done ... On to F-724 & F-722 Finished the floor stiffeners , all 4 of them. Saved the thickest drilling through the firewall brackets til last.
Using the rightangle drill makes me nervous... but it came out looking pretty good.
I ended up removeing the inner floor stiffeners after the skin holes were drilled, then marking and drilling the stiffener, then re-installing the stiffeners, then match-drilling to the firewall bracket.
On to the baggage area.
Have the F-722's clecoed into position. and the F-724's out and partially installed with plate nuts...
There is a "optional" tie down you fabricate with a custom made plate that holds a big eye-hook.
Dont think I going to do this.
2012-07-01 Baggage Compartment F-722, F-724, F-750 F-722 drilled and clecoed ... no problem
F-724 drilled and clecoed to the skin... no probem.
Then it gets tricky... drilled a 3/32 hole (instead of a 1/8) on the upper tab of the F-724 because the edge distance is just not there if you use the bigger rivet.
The lower tab is even worse,,, one of the existing holes in the skin , just shadows the edge of the tab (SEE PIC)
Some builders just cut the tab and only use one hole .... I'm trying to shim the tab over enough to get both holes drilled.
The edge distance wont be the greatest , but I'll the 2 holes there as designed. Hope it doesnt screw up the fit of other parts.
New rudder pedal parts come tommorrow.
2012-07-04 F-719 L&R Drilled (set #2) New parts came in the mail on monday. Just now getting back into building .
1. cut parts to length using the scrapped ones as guide.
2. carefully drew a centerline
3. installed into position and clamped to the F-719B
4. drilled to skin
5. removed forward portion of skin and drilled F-719A to the F- 719B's
6. reassembled

Its Independence Day... company over then fireworks across the lake ... but tomorrow gonna try to re-drill the rudder pedel positions to the F-719s ... CORRECTLY SSPACED THIS TIME!!!
2012-07-05 Drilled Side Rudder Blockk Holes to F-719s Lost power for most of the day today. Lights came on around 7:00 pm. Just in time to work alittle bit.
This is where the mistake was made last time.
Am now using the rudder position holes at 3", 4 1/16', and 5 1/8' from the firewall (per Mike Bullock's webpage).
I chose to drill with the F-719's out of the fuselage and on the workbench... Then reinstalled them.
Tomorrow , the rudder center bracket
2012-07-07 F-6118 Success! Finally... Ive got 3 rudder positions on the sides and the center with no issues.
While the rudder assembly is in ... rather than keep tightening , then loosening the bolts & nuts, I would instead just slide in the bolts to engage the holes... then leave the nuts off and use clamps to hold it there . Way easier.
Ive cut off about 1" from the aft end of the center brace , but the lightening holes need to be drilled and then the rudder assembly gets put away til later.
Getting close to to disassembling the fuselage but theres a few little things to do first... Not sure what they all are yet, but I'll be finding out.
Today was hopefully the last day of a heatwave of 95 -99 degree temperatures. This has made working on the plane miserable.
2012-07-08 Misc Tasks Prior to Fuselage Disassembly Started by putting the lightening holes in the rudder center brace ... big holes. Hate using the "fly-cutter... down-right dangerous. I just have this fear that it will come apart and spear me. (used a near-by garbage can lid as a shield!)
Then I put some more big holes in the baggage compartment ribs for static lines and rudder cables to route through.
I'm deburring and scotchbrite-ing parts as I remove thses parts.
Now I'm just looking at the fuselage and seeing what still needs done before anymore removal, and have started a list of questions for a call to Van's tomorrow.
1. havent drilled the double row of holes that join the center and forward sections skins
2. the F-774 & F-775 bulkheads havent been match drilled to the F-770 skin
3. outside seat ribs not match drilled to the F-770 skin
4. there is a line of holes in the F-770 side skin, just aft of the seat rib holes that hasnt been drilled yet.
5. AND finally, there is a big funny shaped hole in the middle of the above string of holes. ???

2012-07-09 Lots of Drilling Prior to Dis-assembly According to "Daryl" at Van's ... eerything I had concerns about (holes not drilled in the F770) were legit. Either the direction never specicically mention to do these items, or I missed them.
Judging by all the other omissions I've encountered, I suspect the former.
But in just a little over 2 hours , I think I got everything I was missing.
Now theres just a few more "little" items to do before wholesale disassembly begins.
Need a 1" hole cutter for one.
2012-07-10 Misc Big Holes in Side Skin Only an hour tonight to work on the plane ... (Pillates)
Got a bigger unibit from Habor Freight on the way home... It was cheap, and it got the job done, but it is NO WAY near as nice a tool as the Erwin unibit that came with the RV tool kit from Planetools.
Anyway. . . I think I got all the vent line , brake line and fuel lines holes drilled and should be able to start dis-assembly.
2012-07-13 Getting ready to Drill Landing Gear to Side Skins This "might" be the last misc item prior to taking the fusleage all apart and preparing it for painting.
Although this could be done later .... Bruce Swayze makes a good case for drilling the front gear assemblies now.
So I got the forward bottom skin off , installed the gear brackets, then reassembled the bottom skin .
All the holes are #12 (3/16?) and go through some pretty thick steel and aluminum.
Will tackle this tomorrow.
2012-07-14 Landing Gear Drilled - Part Prep Think I'm to the point of removing and preparing parts for re-assembly.
Got up early (to let the horse out) and rather than go back to sleep, I started the drilling that I preped for last night.
All Good.
Now on to removing parts to de-burr, scotchbrite, and dimple and counter-sink.
This is going to take awhile
Because this is such a big an assembly, I've got to be more 'systematic' about this. As I pull parts off, I need to review the drawing to see if there is anymore steps to be done before painting.
2012-07-15 Removing Parts ...Deburr , Dimple and Counter-sinking Boy these directions suck.
I'm spending sooooo much time analysing every part, its relationship to every other part, then deciding what every hole needs. Does it get dimpled, if so, which way. Is counter-sinking required. If not, why not. Blind rivets? platenuts.
Is providing some detail instructions all that hard?... they did for the empanage, and the wings.
Today I did the following:
1. Removed the F-772 (forward bottom skin) and counter-sunk the
4 stiffeners.
2. Counter -sunk and dimpled the botttom 2 rows of of the firewall assembly that rivet to the bottom skin.
3. Preped the floor-pan skins
4. Preped the baggage area bulkheads and floor
2012-07-29 OSHKOSH - Deburr and Dimple Bottom Skin (F-772) Been 2 weeks since last entry . No, I havent lost interset or died ... been to OSHKOSH!!!
Motorcycled up and around Lake Huron & Superior, then 3 days in Oshkosh (1950 miles). Even got a factory demo ride in a RV-7. So I'm really motivated to get this thing going.
Deburred and dimpled the bottom skin... constantly referring to the drawings to make sure I've got the right holes dimpled.
2012-07-29 More Deburring, Dimpling and Counter-sinking S L O W L Y ... removing parts .... checking how they attach and what rivets are involved, and dimpling and/ or counter-sinking as required.
The forward fuselage is almost all off and preped. The side skins (F-770) mighr be ready to remove and prep next ...
Lots of work, not much to show for it yet.
2012-08-02 Disassembly,Deburring, Dimpling & Countersinking Been getting home late from work all week so... not alot of time to devote to the plane. But I have taken most of the clecoes out and will probbably start countersinking the longerons tomorrow.
2012-08-03 Deburring and Un-Clecoing Got everything taken apart ... Longerons, side skins, & seat section.
Lots to do before I can prime and / or paint these parts. Started by deburring the inside of the longerons (the outside get countersunk), then I started removing the protective plastic from any to-be-dimpled holes on the rear fuselage, and the side skins.
Maybe dimpling next?
2012-08-05 Lots of Deburing No dimpling as yet.... did the countersinking of the doubler at the wing area, then laid out the LH side skin on some horses as deburred the inside and outside.
After looking at the drawings , it looks like almost everything gets dimpled... those few area that dont, I marked on the skin.
Will try to get to the RH skin tomorrow.
2012-08-07 Deburing Finished deburring one side skin.... started on the other side.
2012-08-08 Dimpling Side Skins Was dimpling away and dimpled some of the wrong holes in the wing rib area and had to "un-dimple" them ... probably should have ignored them and let the AN470 rivet just flatten the metal when bucked.... Oh well, no harm done.
Things are progressing I think.
2012-08-09 Side Skins Dimpled, F-706 Too! Side skins are done. The issue with the holes dimpled in error is ok now. After slightly 'reverse' dimpling the holes, I put a flush rivet set in the pneumatic squeezer and flatten the dimples. Looks good.
The F-706 bulkhead SHOULD come out so as to dimple the rear fuselage skins and the bulhead flange, but part of it is riveted... (I seem to remember the directions werent really clearon this) Anyway, I read that others have made this mistake as well, and just drill out the 20 or so rivets to be able to access with squeezer to dimple the holes...
I hate to drill out rivets.
I decided to avoid this if I could and try to dimple as much as I could wiith the squeezer... (squeezing through the skin and the F-706 together worked well) then using a "pull die set" with the pop rivet gun the remaining, hard to reach holes.
Surprisingly, this work well too and all looks good.
On to countersinking the longerons tomorrow.
2012-08-10 Lots of Little Tasks Called Vans...
I really should counter-sink thoses 4 holes where the center fuselage bottom and the forward fuselage bottom come together they said...(DWG 23 , NOTE 1)
I was so tempted to just dimple everything.
2. Flipped the rear fuselage over (for a better working hieght) and deburred and dimpled where the longerons go.
3. I see now that yesterdays great job of using the the pull dimple dies on the bottom of the rear fuselage at the bulkhead was done with a 1/8" dimple die and not a 3/32". How did I not notice that ???? Will have to install AN4's instead of AN3's.
Good thing they are on the bottom of the plane. I MIGHT notice it when I wash the belly.
2012-08-11 Longerons Counter-sunk I should have counted all the holes in these things .... 200?... 300? Lets just say ALOT.
When done, I thought I'd double check to see if I'd missed any....so slowly I checked each hole , and sure enough I missed one. Now they're all done.
In addition I found 10 holes (5 on each side) that require "double-flush" rivets. Envolves counter-sinking BOTH side so that each side is flush... think this was done on the trailing edge of the rudder.
I think I need to get serious about getting some interior paint. Think I'll need it soon.
2012-08-12 Misc Nut Plates - Ordered Brackets Thanks to Bruce Swayze's web sight, I noticed I hadnt installed about (8) nut-plates .
(3)were missing on each of the F715 outer seat ribs... the drawing is VERY confusing on this, and in fact shows these parts on the drawing without the nutplates or the existing screw holes. It is mentioned in the notes off to the side.
Anyway the F-715's are done with excepting of runnig a tap thru the nut-plate.
One nutplate was missing on each of the F-684 gussets...they are there on the drawing ... if you know where to look. The part only drawing doesnt show it, but the part in position drawing does.
Also I ordered from Vans last night 3 parts.
1. a pre-made bracket for the ELT
2. a similier bracket for a lighting power supply.
3. the servo bracket for the auto-pilot
These all mount in the rear fuselage so its easiest to install them now.
2012-08-13 Tapped F-715 platenuts - Still Finding Stuff to Prep ... Started the evening with something easy. Per direction, I tapped the platenuts on the outside seat ribs (F-715's)
Then I found several parts that I have drilled or made , and forgot, about are sitting on a shelf. Time to dust them off and prep with everything else.
The F-720 armrests, and the F-721 aft canopy trim need prep'd.
I can see the the F-720's have been drilled and deburred and just need to be dimpled now.
The F-721's were drilled to the longerons a long time ago and forgot about . They look ready to paint. (if I had some)
Not sure if I'm going to reinforce the arm rests yet... still debating if its necessary.
I'm going to have a lot of stuff to prime and/or paint pretty soon.
2012-08-18 Arm Rest Reinforcement Decided to go ahead and beef up the arm rests like other builders are doing. Even though I'm planning to install a trim kit... I mights not, and it will be nice to have these where they arent so prone to damage.
Bought a Garmin 96c on ebay last night. brand new, $275. Can use it now and as a backup later.
2012-08-18 Arm Rest Reinforcement Decided to go ahead and beef up the arm rests like other builders are doing. Even though I'm planning to install a trim kit... I mights not, and it will be nice to have these where they arent so prone to damage.
Also match-drilled holes in the top of the rear bulkhead that have been missed so far. (Bruce Swayze's website sasys to drill them now)
Bought a Garmin 96c on ebay last night. brand new, $275. Can use it now as a primary and as a backup later.
2012-08-22 ELT and Power Supply Brackets Delivery of the interior paint came today. More expensive than I thought it would be... but I got a gallon , plus the catalyst, plus reducer. Spray cans would have been cheaper, but I'm looking for better wear resistance.
Drilled the ELT bracket and the power supply bracket to the the rear fuselage j-channels one the LH side and one on the RH side.
Had to use a 12" long bit to drill the top and a tight spot adapter with a little stubby #30 drill bit to drill the bottom.
These are pop-riveted in later.
Was able to de-burr and dimple the ELT brkt tonight.
2012-08-25 ELT and Power Supply Brackets Done Finished the deburring and drilling so i went ahead and riveted the nutplates on.
Throw these parts into the pile for priming.
2012-08-26 AHRS Brackets Wasn't going work on the plane today. Feeling a little "fatiqued"
and spent most of the day resting / napping.
Felt better by evening and got out in the barn and got a start on the Grand Rapids Technologies auto-pilot servo brackets. These are the ones that Vans sells.
Clecoed...Drilled ... Deburred ... dimpled. Its a start.
More later
2012-08-27 Platenuts to AHRS Brkt
Worked only an hour. Was able to sort out the correct platenuts (there were 2 different kinds) and get them riveted into the correct holes (I hope)The bracket is made to adapt to either a Garmin or GRT autopilot servos.
Now its time for a little priming.
2012-08-29 Primed AHRS, ELT and Power Supply Brackets
Title says it all.
2012-09-02 ELT & Power Supply Brkts Done, Start AHRS Brkt Had to drill out 8 rivets on the top of the ELT and the Pwr Supply brkts after finding out its impossible to pop rivet the bottom of thses brkts after the top in done.
YOu have to shoot the bottoms first , securing from the inside out (bending the bottom flange a little) ... then secure the top.
Riveted the VA-729 AHRS brkts together (after dimpling) and have installed to the rear fuselage , keeping it parrallel and perpendicular to the F-729.
drilled thru the bottom skin and the bulkheads.
2012-09-04 AHRS Brkt Done With a pop rivet dimple die .... I dimpled the bottom skin of the rear fuselage.
Then with the help of Eugene , who is here visting, we riveted the VA-259 to the bottom skin.
Was able to squeeze the rest of the shelf rivets and pop rivet the forward flane to the bulkhead.
Once done I realized I hadnt completed the bellcrank rib aft flange to the bulkhead and now the AHRS brkts blocked access to one of the rivets...grrr.
After a quick call to Vans, they confirmed that a pop-rivet would do nicely.
Drilled the 5/8" LH rudder cable holes that got missed (the drawing only points to the RH.)
2012-09-07 Preparation rudder Pedals for Paint Used a scotchbrite pad on the (4) rudder pedals tonight in preparation for prime and paint tomorrow. Decided NOT to just paint them (wear) or to anodize ($100) them... but to use a $7 piece of wingwalk material to stick onto the front surface of the pedals. Going to put gray paint on the back and sides of the parts. maybe tomorrow?
2012-09-08 Rudder Pedals Painted and Wingwalk applied Lots of "firsts" today ....
Mixed up a batch of the Jetflex with the intent of just applying to some scrap aluminum and experiment with gun settings and paint thickness, ect.
But then I decided that the rudder pedals are way down by your feet anyway and would be perfect candidates for this first batch of paint.
I figured than even if it wasnt "perfect" ... it would be good enough. I only wanted to get a coat on the parts that the wingwalk material wouldnt cover anyway.
I'm very pleased with results. Coverage is good. Nothing special about mixing it up . Seemed to come out of the spraygun with no additional adjustments from when I last sprayed primer.
After setting 2 hours, I applied the wingwalk stuff. I sharp exacto knife is a must. .. but I think the finished product looks pretty "cool"
Better than anodize? I dunno...
but its $7 vs. $100 and I like the look :-).
2012-09-10 Parts Preparation for Painting Now that I think I can paint... I'm ready to get to it.
Sitting down with parts and vigerously rubbing the scotchbrite pad to the surface... just roughing it up so the primer has something to bite into.
Lots more to do.
2012-09-12 More Prep for Painting Got home late... just some mindless rubbing parts down with a scotchbrite pad...
Went to the store and bought more sand paper to prep the powder coat that comes on the rudder assembly. Other builder say just sand with #300 grit sandpaper and paint.
Debating on just painting the side you can 'see' from the pilot's position.
2012-09-13 Still More Prep for Painting With #320 grit sandpaper I roughed up the powder coat that came on the firewall brkts and the rudder pedal support brkts.
Then with a scotchbrite pad , I scoured the inside on the frt fuselage floor and the side skins.
Getting close to painting everything a lovely shade of gray.
2012-09-15 Drilled Static Line Holes - Primed Parts Noticed on some Bruce Swayze's pictures , that he had more holes and grommets in his rear bulkheads than I have in mine.
Some were for manual elevator trim that I dont have ... but I found that the others are for "optional" static lines. I guess I will need to have a static system ,,, even if its only a back up system.
Once drilled, I set about the task of priming some the finished parts laying around.the biggest one being the forward floor.

2012-09-16 Painting Fuselage Parts Mostly painting forward fuselage parts, biggest one was probably the front floor.
So far I like the quality of the parts painted.
Did a little prep of the firewall brkts.... NOT going to put paint on the stainless steel... just the braces and brkts.
2012-09-17 Primed Longerons... Masked F706 Bulkhead Cleaned the longerons with aceatone, then primed with rattle can of dupli-color self etch primer. Results were "ok" . decides NOT to apply the top coat until the humidity goes down. Its just a little on the muggy side.
Masked off the F706 bulkhead. I sure looks like this gets totally covered up with other parts. .. but more than one other builder painted it , so I am too (maybe the edges show through?)
Need to buy more cans of primer.
2012-09-19 Paintned Longerons, Firewall, and F706 Bulkhead Better results today ,I think. No Runs, but coverage is alittle 'thin' in spots. Will 'hit' gain tomorrow maybe.
Humidity was low today, but a little windy.
Painted the longerons and the firewall outside... the F-706 was painted inside only cuz its attached to the rear fuselage and too big to move outside.
2012-09-21 Riveted Armrests... Misc Paint Prep Its cold and wet outside... Not a good day to paint, so i riveted the armrests to their custom made reinforcements ( the optional stiffeners I made)
You got to be REALLY careful when you rivet now cuz you dont want to mess up the paint.
Then on to the seat floor... Not sure if this gets paint, or just prime ....gotta check.
Oh, and I cleaned the rudder pedal tubes with aceatone and taped wear the nylon blocks rest so they are now ready for some 'color'. Progress ... progress....
2012-09-24 Primed More... Painted More Primed some more parts (rattle cans)... like the side skins (both) and where the rear fuselage mates with the center section.
Then mixed up a batch of topcoat. (aprox. 180oz)
1. touched up the longerons
2. touched up the F706 bulkhead
3. touched up the firewall (missed the brake bracket)
4. first coat on the center section bulkhead (forgot the #)
5. first coat on the rudder pedal tubes (painted over the powder coat... so it would match the pedals)
Will paint the skins next.
2012-09-27 Side Skins Painted... kinda
Not happy with the finish of the top coat. Its a little rough and "grainy".
Gonna try it again tomorrow maybe. I'd like these parts to be good, cuz there so visable.
Perhaps its got too much catylst ??? or... Not sprayed on heavy enough?
Anyway , I'll let is dry tonight and put another coat on tomorrow.
One interesting thing.... the plastic cups I used to dip the paint out the can just MELTED and DISOLVED this time....
May be that had some effect on the poor paint job tonight(?)
Gonna HAVE to use paper cups next time.
2012-09-30 Riveting Again... F-684 to Firewall, F-719, F-719B, F-902, F-7101 Starting the day by shooting a finish coat on the side skins ... happy with the finished job.
Then on to some assembly. Knocked off the first 3 steps in the manual after painting.
1. Riveted the F-684 gussets to the firewall. Was able to get the squeezer on most of them .... had to pull out the rivet gun on 2 (per side)
2. F-7101 gear web to F-902.... hardest part was FINDING the parts. all rivets easy to squeeze.
3. F-719 to the F-719B... only 2 rivets per side hold this together. I see in the web site I like to check that they rivet this right to the firewall now. going to check drawing ans read the instructions again.... tomorrow.
2012-10-01 Pre-Rivet F-704H to F-770 Not sure I'd describe tonights activities as "pre-riveting" ...but the instructions do. Hence the title of the page.
Squeezed a total of 22 AN470AD4-5 rivets (11 per side) to the F-704H doubler to the side skin. Instuctions say that these would be VERY difficult to do later.
Read ahead and it looks like the instructions get very "vague" again... Looks like I'm on my own again on this
2012-10-04 Longerons in Position to Rivet I probably didnt work an hour, but at least I got a little done on the plane.
The longerons have been painted, an just sitting aside for over a week now. I'll check first, but I think I can rivet the to the rear fuselage now. It would easy now as appose to later.
Will have to check my favorite websites and see.
2012-10-05 Rivet F-715 and Rear Longerons Had the day off work today (using up extra vacation days) ... Got lots done.
1. Finally riveted the the end seat ribs to the bottom skin and to the rear to the bulkhead. I really dont know why it wasnt done before with the other seat ribs.
2. Loose installed the spacers and bolts that hold the F-704's together (and the 7A frt gear assy)... forgot that I had already made the spacers and had stored them with the wing bolts and made another set by mistake.
3. Added 2 more "pre-rivets" to the doublers to each side of the F-770 skin. Instruction manual and what I see on various websites dont agree.
4. Installed all the longeron to rear fuselage rivets that are allowed right now.
The center section gets re-installed to the rear fuselage next ...(I think)
2012-10-06 Riveted Rear Fuselage Rather than put the rear and center section together today, I decided to do all that I could do to the rear fuselage (I'm skipping ahead a couple steps)
All went pretty well , with no bad rivets , which is really saying something seeing how thick the metal is and how ill fitting that part of the plane is (everybody complains about this part of the plane)
So now with the exception of the upper fusleage connection points .... the rear section is done.
2012-10-08 Center and Rear Fuselage Re-united Decided that the center section was ready to be joined again to the rear fuselage. Thanks to daughter Halley who helped lift it into position.
After some 'jiggeling' 'and 'wiggleing' and checking to see if the rear of the seat ribs tabs were trying to slide on the wrong side of the rear fuslage flange... it clecoed all together.
To make this all more stable, I have nailed a 4x8 pc of 1 inch board to the top of the saw horses to support the legs of the F-704 bulkhead. This was a probablem during the match-drilling phase... The whole thing kept trying to slip off the saw horses.
Nor sure whats next.... maybe rivet the joining 2 rows before the side skins go back on?
2012-10-13 Rivet Center Fuselage to Rear Fuselage Started the riveting. First got out the drawing and labeled each hole with the rivet size. These 2 rows of rivets have 4 different sizes of rivets (depending on thickness of the material)
Didnt get quite done with them all. This is do-able riveting solo... but it would be easier if I had a helper. My back is sore from contorting to check the quality of the rivet shop heads. i gave up checking them all. If anything, there are several that are probably undersized that I can finish up when I get a helper .
2012-10-21 Baggage Rib Rear Flange to F-706 Havent touched the plane in about a week. The seasons are changing, days are getting shorter ... winter is coming and there is alot to do at the old homestead. (I'm buried in leaves for one thing)
Halley came over to assist with the riveting of the center section to the rear section of the fuselage. Most of the rivets I had installed were undersized ... so we fixed those first. Then we installed all the rivets that I couldnt reach.
I was going to cleco on the side skins but remembered the aft end of the baggage ribs havent been shot yet. Was bale to squeeze some , but had to use an rivet gun with a off-set to rivet the others. Didnt quite finish then all (back is sore) but will tomorrow.
2012-10-22 Outboard Baggage Ribs Done.... Got the outboards ribs riveted to the F-706 bulkhead ...but the inboards look alittle "tricky".
Gonna wait for my helper to finish the inboard ribs.
I positioned the side skins to the assembly and see now that I probably got too close with ajoining rivets from the bottom double row...making it difficult to get the lower, aft 'curve' in place... I forgot that the center sections bottom skin overlaps the side skin at that spot but I think I can squeeze it in between the metal of the center section bottom skin and the F623 corner rib,without drilling out any rivets.
Thought I could easily rivet some of the F-623 corner rib rivets tonight before the side skins go on.... just the forward one (about 16/side) dont wanna get too close to where that side skin "curve" goes... goona be hard enough to slide into position as it is...
2012-10-23 F-770 Side Skins in Postion The lower, aft edge of the side skins ... where it tucks in between the F-772 center section bottom skin and the F-623 corner rib went into postiion WITHOUT having to drill out any rivets.
Halley had to help me position the F-770 and cleco it... but both sides went in just fine.
I havent clecoed the whole thing as yet...and may wait for help before positioning the front section of the F-770 just so I dont scratch up the interior paint.
Making slow, but steady progess.
2012-10-24 F-770 Side Skins Clecoed Reall nice outside 75 degrees... just had to do yard work while its pleasant out cuz it might snow by the week end.
Watched the first inning of the Giants-Tigers world series then went out to work on the plane... the baggage ribs still arent riveted to the F-706... (no assistance today) so I clecoed the the side skins on.
2012-10-25 Re-Assembling the Forward Fuselage Its been apart so long I've forgotten how it goes back together...Have had to re-read the instructions to get the sequence right.
It may be more work in the long run ... be theres less chance I'll have to remove rivets and take something off, if I re-assemble everthing ... THEN start riveting.
Anyway, Halley was able to assist me in installing rivets to the aft ends of the center baggage ribs.
Then I clecoed (in this order) the following:
F-720 armrest
F-724 and F-722 reaar baggage area parts
F-719 forward longerons
F-703 foward longerons
F-7101 and F-902 gear web and bulkhead
2012-10-26 Prep For When I get Some Help All by myself with no help, so I just did some preparation for when I do. Got out the drawings and wrote on the fuselage all the rivet sizes required for each hole. This way whoever is helping me shoot these, wont have to wait around while I figure out what size to shoot next.
Then after some review I figured out that I could rivet a couple things afterall tonight:
1. Was able to squeeze the rivet that goes to the top of each F-724 baggage area bulkhead into the F-718 longeron.
2. There are 3 rivets at the aft end of the F-720 armrests... was able to squeeze 2 of them. Could have squeezed all 3 if I had thought to do it BEFORE the side skin went on.... but its not worth removing it. I'll just buck it tomorrow.
2012-10-27 F-722 and F-724 Riveted - Side Skin Fit Issue? Ginger came out and assisted with the riveting. All went well until her arm got sore , so we quit. Got most of the F-772 and the F-724 baggage area pieces riveted.
Looking at the RH lower rear area of the side skin ( the curve) ... I can see where it's not fitting very well. See gaps in the picture below. It wasnt like that when I drilled it. I took out all the clecoes in an attemp to move it a little but no luck. Not sure if it matters , or will the gap close up when riveted?
2012-10-28 A Rivet Here ... A Rivet There... Only work an hour (family stuff all day) ... anyway, the rivet at the forward flange oof the F-720 armrest is a pop rivet. (?) Seemed like a regular rivet would be better. Then I saw why... Theres a F704K cap assembly that covers the space between the 2 upstanding legs of the main wing spar. The cap assy share a rivet with the arm rest , but because its totally closed, A pop rivet is used.
I did squeeze the 1 rivet each side that holds the F-719B to the firewall using the bruce Swayze method where you dont install it to the firewall when they tell you to... but wait untill the skins are on (and just peel back the forward portion of the skin for access)
2012-11-03 RIveting SIdeskin to Fuselage with Helpers Have lots to rivet.... most of it requires an extra set of hands. Had Halley for 3 hours this morning, Then Ginger helping for an hour in the afternoon.
Things going well... but a couple issues have popped up.
1. several locations require a little longer rivet than whats specified in the drawings. (the F-704 area for example)
2. the outer seat ribs (the ones with the platenuts installed) ... well the plate nuts are IN THE WAY in several areas. Thing I can bend the flange away ... rivet... then bend back.
2012-11-05 More Fuselage Side Skin Riveting Had Ginger help for awhile ... had A.J.helping for awhile .
Just kinda random riveting ... what ever looks like its easy to do with the tools set-up / air pressure / rivet length that I have.
Still running into an occational rivet that is too short for the stack up of metal thats there. Have a couple of those to drill out.
Progress... progress
2012-11-05 Single Handed Riveting of Fuselage Just me out there in the barn all day today, so had to search for tasks to do that DIDNT require any help.
1. the F-718 Longerons to the F770 side skins... had sone all the rear fuelage that I could, but hadnt done any in the middle and forward sections. Was able to do quite a few (squeezed them all), many were left til later on the tip-up canopy.
2. F-772B forward section floor inner stiffeners . Thought I saw somewhere that these are easier to install before the F-772 floor goes in. Able to squeeze these also.
3. Had to drill out 2 rivets in the F-774 area. the rear of the F772 floor goes under it first.
4. Riveted the top flange of the F-902 to the F-718 longerons.
5. Torqued (25"/lbs) the 4 bolts holding each Lower firewall mount to the F-717 longerons
6. Shot some rattle can primer to the overlap of the center section bottom skins and the forward section bottom skins.
2012-11-06 F-772 Fwd Section Floor Sealed to Firewall 1. Put the sealant into a caulk gun and lay a bead on the firewall flanges... then clecoed the F-772 to it. (JUNE, 2015 SEE NOTE BELOW)
2. Clecoed the F772B outer stiffeners into position
3. Countersinked the 2 holes in the F-770 side skins for the bolts holding the landing gear mount.

The CORRECT product is called "3M Fire barrier 2000"
2012-11-13 Still More Fuselage Rivets - Riveting Injured. . . Havent been 100% physically the last couple days. Seems I developed a small hernia which gets worse the longer I'm standing or walking... This really makes plane construction difficult, but not impossible. (wont be "flipping the canoe" with alot of help)

Halley helped tonight...
Together we riveted 2 lines of AN426AD3-4 rivets in the front fuselage and then some AN470AD4-6 rivets to the outer seat rib to the side skin. Stopped before I hurt myself :-)
BTW... These 470 rivets are tougher than the flush rivets.
2012-11-18 F-772 Riveting - F-635 Fabrication Worked a couple hours skipping ahead and making the F-635 elevator bell-crank assembly. No issues. It was kinda nice to work on a simple small part after spendinf so much time on these big fuselage assemblies. Also was the fabrication of 2 spacers and taking the time to select the hardware for the bellcrank. This gets installed AFTER the canoe is flipped.
Then when Halley came by, we bucked rivets. She's tired of the AN470AD4-6 that make up the seat rib areas... so we went to work on the F772.
First we did the double row of AN426AN3-4.5's that join the F772 to the F-776 (along the F-704 bulkheads) Then we riveted the outer F-772B stiffeners to the F-772.
2012-11-19 F-741B Struggling to find this I do do without the help of others... so I'm reading the manual and looking.
There are some tunnel brackets and a cover that fit the bill.
2012-11-24 F-741A and Misc Fuselage Rivets GInger's game was a little off today... so rather than proceeding too far we quit after about 10 rivets ... but we got 10 good rivets AN426AD4-7's in the forward fuselage.
Making slow progress towards the goal of "flipping the canoe"
Skipped ahead to the (2) F-741A brackets. got them cut, deburred and marked for drilling later.
2012-11-25 Finished All the Bottom RIvets Halley came over just to rivet a couple hours.
Got lots done.
Finished the 2 inner floor stiffeners the the bottom skin. I think because the fit was just a little "off" ... had to use a slightly longer rivet to have a good shop head. (went from a AN426AD3-4 to a AN426AD3-4.5.
When complete we did some forward fuselage side skin rivets AN426AD4-7 & 8.
Maybe only a couple more hours until "FLIP TIME"
2012-11-26 Things to do While Waiting for Help . . . No rivet partner tonight , so... skipped ahead in the manual and pulled parts that are to be needed soon. Nothing to stressful, just find the parts, pull the plastic off, write the part # on it, and deburr all the edges with a scotchbrite wheel and sand paper.
This will make things go faster later on. No pictures
2012-11-28 More Things To Do While Waiting . . . Prolly wont get anyhelp until the weekend ... so I'm reading ahead and looking for little things to do.
1. Drilled the mounting holes in the F-741A tunnel cover brackets
2. Fabricated a F-707B bracket out of AA6-63 3/4 x 3/4.
2012-11-29 Rivets Firewall I really don't see why I cant so this now. Ive looked and looked at the drawings and it appears I should do it now ... problem is that 2 of my favorite websites DON'T do it before flipping .... but don't say when they do it,
the worst that could happen is I have to drill out a bunch of rivets....
Lets hope it 'come to that ...
2012-12-02 Center and Rear Fuselage Partially Riveted Had halley over for an hour ... and did as much as we could.
I'm guessing we be ready to flip in and hour ... maybe two.
2012-12-05 F-631E Plates Looking for something to work on while waiting for a helper ... and I think I found it.
Was able to fabricate the (2) F-631E plates that join the roll bar together.
After which , I organized the harware that is used to mount the landing grear to the main spar.
2012-12-06 F-721C Made 2 of these little brkts ... they will eventually go right above the fresh air vents on the dash.
Hoping to get some help to finish the lower fuselage this week end....
So close , yet .....
2012-12-10 Thanks Nephew Nate... Nate studied at Michigan Aeronautical Institute for awhile an knows a little about riveting.
With his assistance we got most of the fuselage done with the following exceptiions:
(31) AN3AD-3.5 rivets just aft of the bottom firewall
(2) LH wing spar area (one is called out as a pop rivet)
(2) RH wing spar area (one is called out as a pop rivet)
(1) AN4AD-7 on the RH ... this was just a "miss"
(5) AN3AD-3.5 assorted drill and replace
2012-12-28 Installed (2) Pop Rivets Just back from vacation in Barcelona Spain and its time to get back into some kind of routine. Was only able to install (2) pop rivets all day.
maybe more tomorrow.
2012-12-30 (4) Rivets to Go Before Flipping... With Halley's assistance ... we bucked ALL the remaining rivet except four.
And they may all be candidates for pop rivets. going to call Vans and see what type is required.
May even go ahead and flip it anyway.
2013-01-06 (2) Rvets To Go ... But Flipped the Canoe Anyway Used my first "cherrymax rivet" where Ive been struggling to put in a solid rivet... a CR3212-4-3. Looks just fine.
Still have 2 rivets left to fix.... but I can do that after the parts arrive. (tomorrow)
While I had AJ, Ginger and Halley all here , we all FLIPPED THE CANOE... FINALLY.
Maybe I can get working at a little faster pace now.
2013-01-07 Leveled Fuselage, F-714 Clamped & Leveled Now that the fuselage is "flipped" ... I can work on it with out assistance.
Moved the saw horses around until the assembly was level forward-aft... then clamped a staight edge across the longerons and leveled side to side....
then after re-checking it all , Found the F-714 and clamped it into position. and WOW.... it just happens to be level too.
So far... so good.
Gonna let is sit overnight.... if its still all level tomorrrow maybe I drill it?
2013-01-09 Drilled F-714 Got the fuselage all leveled so might as well drill away. I drilled into each longeron .... when I notice Parts are missing.... (?)
according to the direction , you just install the F-714 , drill , then rivet.
But after looking at drawing 27A I see parts UNDER the F-714 that I havent made yet.... (F711D, F-711E and F-710C spacers)
Gonna have to check this out further
2013-01-12 F-711D, F-711E and F-710C - (Hernia) Had hernia surgery yesterday ...and thought Id try to get out of the house and see if I could manage fabricating some of these small parts I need, while sitting in a chair.
Lots of rests required still , but I was able to do something. Just getting my shoes on is tough today!
The part that requirers the AS6 x 125 x1" x 1" is gonna take awhile ... For a F710B ,I need 10 1/2 inches of angle and I can only find 5 inches. Must have ruined a piece of it earlier
Maybe on Monday I'll be up to going over to Ann Arbor to that aluminum supply and get some.
I may have overdid it out there. Cuz I'm pretty uncomfortable now.
2013-01-14 F711D Installed ... ...well partially anyway.
It was fabricated yesterday, so today I clamped it to the F-711C and back drilled using a right angle drill... then deburred , and primed. When dry it was riveted (2 rivets) with AN470AD4-9's. the squeezer wouldnt fit so they're bucked.
I thought I didnt have enough metal to make a F-710B yesterday.... thats because its already made and riveted to the plane. (why did I think I still needed to make one?)
Got REALLY tired and sore after an hour of so, so I finished the session by taping the F-710C and the F-711E into position then clecoing the F-714 aft deck over them.
Tomorrow I'll back-drill, prime and rivet it all together?
2013-01-15 Aft Deck Riveted After backdrilling everything, I deburred, cleaned, primed and then riveted the F-714 to the rear fuselage.
With the excepting of just a couple rivets on each side, I was able to squeeze them all.
Had to use a small mirror to see the shop heads and check with a gauge.
All looks good.
2013-01-16 Problems ... F-705F.... F-705G For a while now Ive known that I would be re-making the F-705G's... seems all the holes line up GREAT with the F-705F assembly. Problem is , it's suppose to mate to the back of the F-705 uprights, not the F705 top piece. As a result, the holes are "close" but not close enough.
But now theres another problem.
When the "canoe" was upside-down... and I was drilling the side skins through the longerons, I read that you should remove the F-705G's so you didnt drill through them and damage them. Well when I removed the 705G brkts, I removed the 705F top assembly as well. Then forgot to put it back on.
Now I cant get the F705F back on with the longeron riveted. GRRRRRR...
Called Vans, they suggest gently 'flexing' the sides so that it clears. Whew!
All's not lost.
2013-01-17 New F705G's Crisis averted (again)
Was able to "flex" the longerons apart and got the F-705F assembly into position.
Then fabricated 2 new F705G brackets and clamped them into position. Matched drilled and made the 'slots' that accommadates the tip-up latching mechanism.
Now , wonder if I should paint these parts now before riveting? If so, I would probably need to remove it all by re-flexing the longerons ...
2013-01-18 F-757 "Square Hole" Carefully measured the location of the square hole cut out , then using the drill press a dremmel tool and sandpaper, worked getting the excess material out and edges smooth.
Still needs some "trimming on the outboard edges so that it lays tight against the inside of the longerons to be complete

2013-01-19 F757's, F695's, F636's, F728A to F706, and F728B to F728A Not fully recovered from surgery as yet, but it did seem like I got alot done today.
1. Drilled the aft portion of the F757's to the longerons.This area needs to be taken apart, primed & painted, then riveted. The weather's not the greatest for painting right now... so I moved on to other tasks.

2. F695's are gussets that go ot the firewall and the longerons. They are all drilled and ready for prime & paint, then riveted.
3. F-636's are the shoulder harness anchors. they mount to the longerons, way back in the fuselage. they only require prime, then they are bolted in.
4. The direction are a little screwy here... says to "remove the F728A & B...rivet together.... then rivet in the fusealge. Problem is its already riveted to the floor. It seems better to complete the riveting of the F728A to the bulkhead... then rivet the F728B to the F728A.
got it partially done before I got too tire to continue.
Tomorrow is another day.
2013-01-20 F-728A to F-728B, F-656 's , Bellcrank, F-786A Stringers, Started where I left off yesterday and completed the line of rivets that hold the F-728A to the F-728B. No pop rivets used and no bucking bar / rivet gun. Was able to squeeze everything.

I had assembled the bellcrank while waiting months ago for riveting help. So today i just assembled the hardware and loose installed it to the fuselage to check for fit, and for any side to side play. All fit well. Plans call for (2) 5702-95-30 washers... cant find anything labeled that. VAF forums mentions that they a stainless steel washers ... by process of elimination I "may" found the correct washer, but I may call Van's to be sure.

The F-786A stringer were also made earlier, so today, per instructions, I taped into position on the F-706, F-707, and F-708 bulkhead.

Partial installed the F-656 gussetts (drilled to the bulkheads) it says to drill and rivet to the longerons now , but some builders wait to see how the top skin aligns first. I may wait as well.
2013-01-21 Priming Parts, Riveting F-656's Let me just say... priming, preping, and painting parts is really time consuming. Got a coat of fresh gray paint on the F721 & F705 parts as well as the front gussets (not sure you can even see them).
I went with just primer (rattle can) on the F656's and the rear shoulder harness brkts. I first tried to mix up a batch of the SW wash primer that I had been using when I fist started priming parts (2010?)...but I think its past the expiration date . probably 3 years old... it wouldnt mix well, and rather than try to spray it , I'm gonna just throw it away.
While I wait for the paint to dry ... I bolted dowm the shoulder harness by mistake (directions say to wait), and I riveted the little F656 brkts after clecoing on the aft deck skin to see how it alligned. All looks good so I went ahead and drilled the longerons and riveted the little gussets.
Tommorrow I go back to work for 8 hours (if I'm up to it), but I'll going to do it from home (telecomutting they call it) ... this is so I can "ease" back into this habbit of working for a living that I have.
2013-01-22 F-695's Riveted, Re-installed F-705F & G's Tasked completed today....
1. Finised riveting the F656'S
2. Removed and stored the F636 shoulder harness brkts
3. Riveted the F695 frt gussets. I hate bucking AN470AD4-X's.... the slightest tilt of the gun and you've a "smiley" or worst.
4. Clecoed on the F721's
5. And the trickiest part getting the F705 upper bulkhead back into position. Rather than brute force (which I dont have much of these days) ... I positioned a 2x4 about 3 1/2 feet long and a scissors jack across the width of the fuselage, then spread the longerons apart enough to drop the F705 into place. :-))
I was worried about all these newly painted parts still being "soft" and prove to scratching... so after building a fire in the wood stove (its 5 degrees out) I "cooked" the parts alittle on the stove.
I think it worked just fine cuz I was able to slide the F705G into place with no paintdamage.
2013-01-23 F-775 Partially Drilled, F-774 Clecoed My pitot tube came in the mail today. I bought it on Ebay for...get this ...$13.95. Thats crazy. I ws worried by what I might get, but it looks like a brand new Piper, blade-style pitot-static tube. They are a little different looking from the standard pitot and have an integral static source, but I read that alot of people dont use that part of it... but, still, I see these all the time for $150, more if it's heated...
Back to the construction stuff .
Installed the F-775 rear top skin on clecoed and part drilled ... the stringers get drilled later I guess.
Clecoed the F-774 on. I SHOULD have held off on riveting those little gussets on the F-706 bulkhead.... cuz the skin holes are not lining up very well... maybe some fluting will help? Tomorrow.
2013-01-24 F-774 & F-775 Upper Deck Skins Drilled Started out by 'tweeking the fit of the F706 bulkhead to the F774 skin... not perfect ,but the holes line up now.
Then clecoed in the F788 gusset.
Out of all the holes in the upper skins , only 8 of them are not AD3's... they're at the very center top of the F774, over the F706, has some pretty beefy aluminum there.
the skins are all drilled to the bulheads, (F709,708,707,706) and the 2 stringers , and the F778 reinforcement. What's not drilled is the longerons, directions never say to drill the top skins to them. They WERE drilled earlier to the bottom skins. Maybe the upper skin holes just get drilled, but not match-drilled?
Starting to look like a airplane.
2013-01-25 F-707B Riveted to F-787 This was harder than it should have been... (what isnt?)
I had this little piece of angle already made. but it gives you the dimentions of the 2 holes like you should drill them ahead...but it works much better if you dont and just clamp it undrilled into place and match drill to the F707 on one side , and the F787 on the other. Of course to do this you have to uncleco the entire right side of the F774 and F775 and "duck" in there to work on it.
Which brings up the point of how difficult its going to be for me to get into some of these awkward positions to drill, clamp and rivet this stuff. Will have investigate how others postions the assembly ( Height, orientation, a roitieserie?)
My back and neck already hurt from today.
Anyway, I match-drill, deburred, primed, baked, and riveted the F707B bracket to the F787 reinforcement. Then re-clecoed it all back together.

2013-01-26 Paint & Prime F-750, F=747 ... Route Rudder Cables? How many time do I have to UN-do something to DO something else?????
No where (yet) in the directions, does it say anything about the rudder cables (F-7121) ... I'm just about to install permanently the F-750 baggage compartment side panel, with pop rivets. These panels cover up the rudder gromets that Ive already installed. I can see what a pain in the butt it would be to install these rudder cables if this side panel is in the way.
Now installing the cable WITHOUT the panel install is a pain too.
You think its just a matter of routing the cable thru these existing grometts... NOOOOOOOOO. Neither end of the cable will fit thru the grommet once its snapped into position and I have them ALL installed already. It just barely fit thru the grommet if its NOT snapped in After removing all the grommets, routing the cable thru the hole in the metal, pusing the grommet onto the cable, then snapping the grommet into the hole... my fingers ache. I'm too tired to install the F- 750 and F747 now ... tomorrow.
2013-01-27 F-652 Bulkhead Upper Cover Have to go back to work tomorrow so I kinda took it easy today.
The F652 upper bulkhead must be a cheap part for Van's to produce because they do absolutely NONE of the fabricating for you. There's a 8.5" radius cut to the upper corners, and well as a 3/8" notch cut in (2) places for the sholder harness cable to come through, and none of the screw holes are there for you.
There's a slight bend along one edge of the part (?).... but according to other builders, it doest matter if the bend is on the top, or the bottom. (Dave Checkoway put his on the bottom, so I did as well)
Part looks nice.
Next I found the hardware to connect the shoulder harness cable (F6114) to the anchor (F636) assembled and torqued (50-70"/lbs) now its ready to install AFTER the top skin are riveted.
Its snowing like crazy out.... maybe I wont be going to work after all...
2013-01-30 Dimple F721 Side Rails, Countersink F718 Longerons I ordered some more conduit from Van's ...(tried Lowes and HD but they dont carry it) so while I wait to install the rear baggage area, I backed up and approached the canopy/latch area that I havent riveted as yet.
Looking at what rivets to use is when I realized that I need to dimple the whole length of the F-721 side rail ... and countersink the coresponding holes in the longerons.
Even though I have painted the side rails already, it dimpled fine ... not my first choice of sequence... but I dont anyone will be able to tell.
Didnt get all the countersinking done... but the tool is "dialed-in" and should go quickly tomorrow.
2013-01-31 Countersinking F-718 for the F-721 counter-sunk the longerons to accept the F721 side rails, then after looking at the drawing for rivet type , I noticed there are a couple AD4's that need enlarged. two(2) of the AD4's are fluch head AN426's and need counter-sunk too.
Now it's ready to rivet.
2013-02-03 F-721, F-757, F-705 & F-705G Riveted to Longerons F-718 I had skipped over this step... should have been done right after the fuselage "flip". But I wanted to think it through.
Shooting LONG rivetss witch always makes me 'nervous" , but it all worked fine with good results.
Squeezed what I could get at, but lots I had to use the bucking bar & rivet gun due to access.
For the first time I had to use the rivet cutting tool that came in my tool kit. Drawings call out for AN426AD4-10's... troube is I dont have any, only AN426AD4-11's. Cant see any markings or dimentions on the tool , just guess how much needs to come off, and stack up the shims under the head of the rivet and SQUEEZE.
you get a nice square cut. Seemed to have worked just fine.
2013-02-04 F-750 Prep
I know its the February in the frozen tundra of Michigan, but I spent the evening buying new rubber for the motorcycle (mezeler ME880 marathons) and bought a scooter tire balancer and a couple tire irons from Harbor Freight.... Now if the weather would just break.
The 3/4" conduit came it the mail today so I can run that under the floor soon.
I did spent a little time out in the shop tonight getting readdy to install the F-750 rear baggage side panels. Found that somehow I missed drilling the pop rivet holes (7/64")
Will vac up the shavings and install tomorrow (hopefully)
2013-02-06 Conduit Brackets Before installing the floor... I need to run conduit through these little brackets made. I remember what a pain it was to pull this stuff though the wings ribs. This will be even more difficult with these little brackets.
We'll see how it goes.
2013-02-07 Another Attempt at Conduit Brkts So after looking at yesterdays (8) brackets I made... I decided that stringing them each through the conduit would be REALLY difficult (it was on the wings as I recall)
So I tried the 'aviation dept' at Lowes and Home Depot on my lunch hour and pick up some 3/4" plastic clamps, aluminum rivets and tie-straps ...trying to find the right combination that would work.
I like the clamps, but they are too small (3/4" in the inside dia. of the conduit)
The tie-straps looked promising, the rivets fit the eyelet, but it doesnt lay flat to the mounting surface and the end of the strap terminated into (not away from) the surface making it difficult to tighten and secure.
Good thing I saved the reciepts.... Going to try a REAL hadware store tomorrow.
I was able tonight to saw off the legs off the saw-horses to 21" to make the fuselage sit at a better working height.
2013-02-09 Finally!! ... Conduit In Fuselage Done Well , sometimes its the little things that take up the most time, and this took WAY too long. My back is sore ... my hands a raw... but its finally done.
Had to abandon the clamps and the tie-straps ideas, and went back to the aluminum brkts I made earlier. I took a dremmel and tried to open up the 3/4" holes in each so that installation would be easier, but I didnt seem to do it enough.
At least it looks good now that its done... not that anyone will ever see this under the floor.
Started on the F-750. Pop rivets in the top ... AN426AD4-4's in the rear and platenuts in the front. All done exceptthe platenutsin the front.
2013-02-10 F-750 and F-747 Done Finished the installation of the F750 side panels... no issues with installing any of the plate nuts.
Moving on to the F747...I see why some people install the baggage floors with screws instead of pop rivets as specified. Theres somthing about permanently putting this part in and never having acces to underneth. I might reget it , but I see no reason not to folow the directions here. These panels can stay on forever I'd say.

2013-02-11 F-751 & F-652 Rear Baggage Panel Prep Not much to show for the night's efforts .... but removed the blue plastic from the F751 panel and clecoed it into place. They give you the bottom holes and 2 in the center on the F751, but nothing is provided on the sides.
The F652 top panel has nothing done for you at all. All the holes, notches and upper corner radius cutting is just shown on the drawing. You have to do all the measuring and cutting yourself. going slow and checking everything twice... these would expensive parts to re-order!
Got alot of the holes measured for the platenuts.
2013-02-13 Rear Baggage Panels (F751 & F652) Drilled to F706 Bulkhead the title jsut about says it all. positioned the parts and drilled. Now its on to drilling , dimpling and riveting about (21) nutplates into the F-706 bulhead.
Wish I had a nutplate jig. hmmmm.
2013-02-14 Platenuts to the F-706 Busy night.
(18) platenuts , each has a center hole for the screw, and 2 holes on each end for the rivets. The rivet holes each had to be dimpled as well to accomadate flush rivets.
While I was at it it seemed like a good time to rivet the platenuts to the F728 ... (3) more there.
AND where the shoulder harness cable comes through the rear bulkhead there are nylon blocks (6114-B and 6114-C) to reduce wear. (wear blocks) Started to fabricate these.
2013-02-15 Misc Rear Baggage Area Tasks Lets see...
1. Dimpled the platenut rivet holes on the F-751 (8 of them)
2.Fabricated th F6114 B&C ... trying to hold nylon steady up against aluminum is asking for trouble... had to use carpet tape to keep those nylon blocks from sliding while drilling.
3. Drilled the 1/8" center hole in the (8) square washers.
4. Loose installed the F-652 and F-751 to the F706 bulkhead with AN515-8R8 screws
5. Debur and loose install the F-748 tunnel cover with more AN515-8R8 screws. I read the by putting a little BOELUBE on the threads of screews before installing helps prevent cross-threading. Working so far.

It's nice to have a cordless screwdriver for all these screws!
2013-02-16 F-749 Fit ... Part Prep for Prime and Paint The F-749 panel is pretty easy stuff... trim off some material , a little drilling ans dimpling for platenuts... and Voila!
Now its time to dis-asssemble it all and prepare everything for prime and / or paint.
Got a pile of parts to prep:
rear baggage panels
F-749 panels,
aft fussage top skins and the j- channels

I loaned my soldering iron to Hally and her boyfriend.... need it back to remove blue plastic .
2013-02-17 Odds and Ends I should be dimpling the top skins ,but I loaned out my soldering iron and it hasn't gotten back to me yet. Cant remove the plastic if I dont have a soldering iron. I DO had an old weller solder gun that I've had for years, but its burnt out and wont get hot , so I finally through it away.
So I did a few little tasks while making arrangements for the tools' return.
Saw that the F-787 stiffener hadn't been riveted yet, so I did that ... and I thought the platenuts on the bottom of the F-749 rear baggage panels could go on now before painting... so that's done .
And I pop riveted the wear blocks onto the the back panels so that the blocks and the attaching pop rivets would be in position to be painted.

2013-02-18 Debur and Dimple Aft Top Skins (F-774/F-775) Not very exciting stuff.
There are alot of holes in these pieces of aluminum... each has to be deburred and dimpled.
Directions say that riveting them now is a bad idea... although it looks cool , they just make every thing harder just by be being there.(kinda like a supervisor I used to know)
So I'll be putting these away for now.
2013-02-20 Seat Hingers Need to prime and paint parts , but its too late in the evening , and its too cold.
So skipping forward to the next section ....
The seat backs are adjustable by 3 positions that are set by engaging 1 of 3 rows of piano hinges in the seat floorpan.
Each section is 15 1/2" long. So using a die cutter (too long for the band saw... I crafted (6) (3/side) pieces of hinge.
2013-02-23 F-637E Seat Hinges to Aft Seat Floor More work on the seat hinges... removed the center(2) eyelets on each of the (6) hinges. Then measured and drilled (1) hinge, then used that drilled hinge to match drill all the other hinges (less measuring that way)
Measured the seat floor and back drilled the hinges to the floor.
Deburred everything ... must be time to paint everything.
2013-02-24 Prime & Paint Parts ... Rivet Seat Hinges As much as I dislike painting... I am pretty happy with the quality of the results. No runs, no drips .. coverage is good.
After letting the parts cure on the hot stove, I riveted the seat hinges to the aft seat floor.
2013-02-25 Pop Rivet Aft Seat Floor to Ribs The seat ribs didnt want to line up with the floorpan holes at first... but if you reach in between the ribs and push a little... pull a little AND use a a AWL to coax the metal... it lines up!
Once clecos are in, everything is pop riveted. Got the RH side done.
A couple other tasks completed as well... noticed that a couple bulkhead bolts were about to "covered up" and needed to be properly torqued (25in/lbs)
and I made the hinge pins (4 of them) for the seat bottoms.
2013-02-26 Finished Aft Seat Floors - Front Floor (F-739 and F-740) Next After the hard work of lining up the seat ribs to the holes in the aft floor (done yesterday)pop riveting the remaining LH side went pretty quickly today.
Next step is to fit the F739 and F740 front floor. Directions seem not to know this was done in an earlier step. I clecoed them into position.
The fabrication of the F741A and F741B , tunnel brkts and cover, was done months ago as well when I skipped ahead, looking for something to do waiting for help riveting the fusselage.
Need to do some research on this tunnel area ... would a center console cover this area? Do I really need this?
2013-02-28 LH & RH F-638 Seat Back Braces Found the 2 parts.
Removed the blue plastic.
Deburred all the edges.
Trimed the edges per drawing
Drilled 4 lightening holes in each part with fly-cutter (hate that thing)
Deburred the (8) new 2 1/4" dia. holes

Called it a night...
2013-03-01 F-637B Angle Using a length of AA6-125x3/4x3/4 ... I cut (4) pieces 26 3/8" long and trimmed each end. Rounded at one end , and angled at the other end.
These pieces will "frame" the seat back and give it rigidity.
2013-03-03 F-637 A,B,C - Seat Back Before the" computer match-drill" aircraft kits, this is the way you had to make ALL the parts (measuring every hole). Thank goodness I don't have to build the whole plane the way these seat backs are constructed.
Very old school.
Van's doesn't do you any favors with this part of the kit. WAY harder then it has to be...so this part might take awhile.
1. Made (4) F637C's out of AA6-063 x 3/4 x 3/4.
2. Put a .04" notch in the bottom of the F-637B's to accomodate hinge
3. Removed the center eyelet from bottom F-637E's
5. Rounded the outside corner of the top angle to match the bends
4. Fit ... re-fit... drill.... more drilling...
2013-03-18 F-638 Hinges Been outta town on a little vacation... (good timing cuz I was waiting for some new hinge material from Vans to arrive) so this is the first time in a week or so making airplane parts. Started with something simple to get going again.
The F638 seat back brackets have been partially made but I hadnt drill the hinges to them until now.
Carefully measured at 15 1/2" (eyelet to eyelet) and drilled.

On to the seat backs themselves. More than a little confused as to a comment to offset the open end of the hinge to the outside on the RH seat (?) Is the LH seat offset too? If so ... which way?
Calling Vans in the morning
2013-03-19 Opps... Times to Re-Order Seatback Hinges Just placed my second order for more AN257-P3x24" hinge material. Its too bad I didn't decifer the drawing alittle better BEFORE I cut the hinge.
Live and learn.
2013-03-21 Drilled the Seat Back F-637's Pretty tetious stuff.... measure, drill ... maesure, drill.
2013-03-22 F-637 Seatbacks Almost Complete Got alot done tonight ...
The seatbacks are almost ready to debur and paint now with the exception of the lower hinges that I had to reorder after mis-cutting them again.
But when those hinges DO get here , I think I know what to do with this time. 3rd times the charm?
Anyway ...on to the F741. I fabricated these parts earlier before I flipped the fuselage, but now its time to fit them to the floor.
The support brkts fit to the floor well and the cover is ready to drill to them....
2013-03-24 Forward Tunnel Cover & Fuel Valve Cover I put down 6 hours... but I was working on this stuff, off and on all day.
Started by installing all the nutplates to the fwd seat floors in the center tunnel area.
Then I was making the tunnel support brkt cover and messed it up.... no scrap around of the required .040 thickness (lots of .032 lying around) ...shouldn't be to costly a mistake. Only need a 3x9x040 piece.
So on to the forward tunnel area.
Bent the heat louvers, cut off the manual trim portion, deburred, drilled, dimpled primed,and installed a bunch of nutplates. Got to the fuel valve support brkt and cover ...more nutplates... everything is loooking good til I try to fit the F-782C BETWEEN the frt floor siffeners as noted in the directions.
Either the stiffenerss are too narrow, or the F-782C is too wide . the cover wants to fit on the OUTSIDE of the floor stiffeners. In fact it looks pretty good that way.
I see online that this is a common problem other builders are having ... bad part?
Gonna call and see if it makes a difference outside of inside.
2013-03-25 Started Flaps If it seems like I'm jumping around, its because I am.
Waiting for new hinge stock so as to get back to work on the seat backs...
Waiting to make a new tunnel support cover if I can get a piece of .040 aluminum sheet locally (or substitute .032)...
Waiting to hear from Vans's about my cabin center cover that is on the outside of the floor stiffeners instead on the inside where ht
they should be...(tried calling but they were busy)
So instead of just waiting to resolve all these issues, I'm skipping ahead to the flaps.
Found the "flap actuator weldment" and opened up (3) clevis holes to .25"...
Then there's a black plastic/nylon block (F-680)to fabricate... measure, cut, drill (2) #10 holes , then cut assembly in half.
Now it says to drill a hole for safety wire into this flap motor (flap actuator) not sure what size drill ... must be very small... need to find out more before attempting this.

2013-03-27 Flap Actuator In...F-766C & B Fabricated Wow .. cool stuff tonight.
Put into position the WD613EF flap actuator tubes. I must have looked for 20 minutes trying to find the end mounding blocks...checked every bag, bin, shelf...nothing. Then it hit me... THEY'RE ON THE PLANE.
These where fabricated and loose installed months ago. (then forgotten about)
Everything seems to fit great.
Match-drilled the center F680 block to the floor and then remove a portion of the rear tunnel cover so that it clears the center block and can be removed without taking the block off.
Fabricated the F766C (plate) and partially made the F766B angle)

2013-03-28 Fabricating flap Components Called Vans about the seatback bottom hinge placement (I think I got it wrong again) ... but I got nowhere with tech support. they couldnt tell how it was suppose to go either. The interference (if there is any) will show up when the roll bar is installed. Think i'll set them aside til then.
Made a bunch of small flap parts... F-766B, F-785B, F-766D, and the F767 attach brace. then riveted 2 little F758 brkts to the F766A flap channel.
2013-03-29 More Flap Work... and Ordered Yet ANOTHER Set of Hinges Losing count of how many times Ive made this part (seatback lower hinge, only to realize I dont understand the drawing and ruined it. Called Vans again and this time got some who knew his stuff... he tells me the drawing showing the seat back is a FRONT VIEW... I had been looking at it as a rear view...no wonder it didnt make sense. Anyway, the RH seatback is now done correctly, but Ive got the LH seatback hinge on wrong (thus the new hinge order).
I also talked to Vans about the F766A and the drawing that doesnt show what type of plate nuts go on it.... the Vans guy "guessed" they are K1000-08 platenuts. I think he's right.
Also I drilled counter-sunk, primed, and riveted the F766C to the F776A.
Dispite adversity, I'm making progress.
2013-03-30 F-766A and F-767 Fit, drilled, deburred, primed, and riveted these 2 parts together. The assembly now get installed into the fuselage and the flap motor gets installed.
2013-03-31 Flap Motor and Covers Only worked a couple hours .... its Easter after all.
But was able to knock off a couple arplane related tasks .
1. Some "fitting" of the flap hardware to make it all line up.
2. Then powered up the motor an ran it in both direction to find the mid-point of the stroke using a 12V battery from the lawn mower.
3. then installed the hardware to connect the motor assy to the weldment assy
4. then grind off a "notch" allowing the LH flap cover to clear the motor bolt head.
Thats enough for today.
2013-04-03 Flap Assembly The flap assembly is almost ready for prime and paint. Was able to match-drill and install platenuts in almost everything.
Melanie Hopp came over to look-a-see.
Anyway, I've got 2 parts on order from Van's.... the hinge for the LH seatback and the .040" aluminum sheet for the tunnel braket cover .
2013-04-05 0.040" Aluminum Sheet From Van's Well, the repair stock for the tunnel bracket cover came yesterday, and I was able to make a new tunnel brkt cover to replace the one I messed up. In a call to Vans last week they said they couldnt recommend substituting it with 0.032 stock.
Looks good now ... Think I'll prime and paint before riveting.
2013-04-07 F-790 Elevator Push Rod Still waiting for the hinge stock to come, so I can finish the seat backs... so I'm reading the manual, studying the drawings...
I see that I can work on the F-790 elevator pushrod now with out effecting the sequence of the build. This part gets totally covered up with no opportunity of later inspection, so they insist you prime it (I was anyway) inside the tube and out.
Pretty happy with the final result. Now I can just store the pushrod assembly until later. Also fabricated a F732D brkt for the canopy.

I see that I'm going to have to buy the Fuel injection boost pump and filter soon. The "airflow performance" parts are $660 thru Vans).... there are other options but this seems to be the one I'm leaning towards. This is all located in the forward tunnel cover area ... modification to the tunnel are required
2013-04-08 F-732E Angles (2) Made (2) little brkts tonight ... part of the cabin frame from Drawing 39...
The seat back hinge should be here tomorrow
2013-04-10 Finally! ... Seat Back Hinges Drilled After 3 replacement sets of hinges ... I've got a set that are install correctly. Between misreading the drawings (wrong orientation) I think they are GOOD.
Hurt my back out there .... (?) bad posture? ... I didnt lift anything. need to rest
2013-04-13 Primed & Painted Seats and Flap Parts Priming and painting took the most time today(and the cleanup) ... but once everything dried, I riveted all the things I could with the pneumatic squeezer.
All the rivets all around the edges of the seatbacks are squeezable ... the ones in the middle that have to be shot (later). All the forward tunnel cover rivets are squeezed (flush rivets) , and the bracket at the bottom of the rear flap brace are squeezed too.
Should be able to finish and install everything tomorrow and then assemble the flap mechanism permanently.

2013-04-17 High Pressure Fuel Pump Kit Well now I'm committed to a FUEL INJECTED engine.
Got my Airflow Performance fuel pump and the Van's mounting kit in the mail yesterday... so I jumped right into it.
Installation looks pretty straight forward, modify some existing parts... cut off a big section of the center cabin cover(F782C) and the front of the fuel valve cover (F983C).
Then on to the new parts in the kit... drill,debur, and dimple the F7115B (L&R) and the F7115C .
I'll prime, paint and rivet these tomorrow.
2013-04-20 Fuel Pump Cover area Short on details... but I did some priming of parts (mostly inside where paint doesn't go) and install a bunch of nutplates.
2013-04-23 Connect Flap Motor to Weldment I was hesitant to put the flap arm in a vice to torque down the eyelet jam nut... but the guy at Vans convinced me that if I padded in with duct tape then clap in between 2 little pieces of angle it would be fine (it was).
Torqued the jam nut to 70 "/lbs... then installed the assembly to the flap weldment and torqued in as well (70'/lbs)
Then I got to use my safety wire pliers and install the "fix" for the flap issue saftey bulletin.
2013-04-24 Flap Actuator Safety Wire Only an hour on the plane tonight... the weather will be getting nice soon (not today) and there's lots to do to get the motorcycle ready for riding (oil change,new tires and such)
Anyway, just little odds and ends done on the plane.
1. Installed the safety wire to the flap actuator per detail 'E' on drawing 33. I also used some green locktite on the jam nut (at Van's suggestion) this is the type that penetrates the threads after you torque the joint.
2. Installed the flap side covers with clecoes... too much trouble to install the screws now... no telling how many times they have to be remove and put back in.
3. Drilled the landing gear leg through the mounting brkt... with a 0.311" reamer. Used machine oil and a electric dril and it seemed to come out ok.
4. Ordered a center console and a 2-lever throttle quadrant from x-tream products (bryan fillman)... I really like the looks of it and the placement of the thottle quadrant and fuel valve. He makes them in batches and should be making more in acouple weeks .
2013-04-26 Painting Parts - AFP Fuel Pump Knocked off a few items on my list today...
1. tied a string around 1/2 a cotton ball and "sucked" it though the conduit that runs from the frt floorpan to aft of the baggage area just get a pull string in there.
2. Primed and painted frt floor pan, the center tunnel parts and the fuel pump cover and brkts.
3. Finished drilled the sides of the center cover to the floor stiffeners...because the cover flange is on the OUTSIDE of the floor stiffeners , I had to put the platenuts in the stiffeners, not the cover.
4. Mounted the AFP fuel pump and filter to the mounting brkt.
2013-04-28 Wheel Leg Brackets Man, what pain theses were to get in!!
Before every thing was riveted and the canoe was flipped they went in easy.
Made the hole in the floor biggerjust to get into position, but alignment was STILL an issue. What finally worked the best was to usea pin to get one bolt in, then tighten to "draw it up" to proper position... eventually I got all the bolts in.
Ive read that others have had to remove platenuts from the top flange of the F-704 .... and although it would have made it easier ...I didnt have to do that. I did revove 2 little screw -in brackts from the F-704 so the leg of the wheel leg brkt would clear it.
4 hours.
2013-04-29 Reassembeled All The Painted Parts - After all the frustration and effort to install the gear leg weldments yesterday , I thought it would be a nice change to do something less taxing today...
Started by clecoing into position all the big painted parts lying around the shop and putting them actually in the the plane.
Looks pretty nice.
After admiring my handywork for a minute I started to wonder if ordering a center console was a mistake... looks pretty good now the way it is. But too late, check is in the mail for the parts.
Moving on ... I continued with work started on the canopy. The beefy rollbar pieces... F631 channels, need to have 1 1/2" holes drilled into the rear portions.
Broke the fly cutter in the process, but not before knocking out the holes.
2013-05-01 F-631C and F-631D Made a L&R F631C and a L&R F-631D
2013-05-02 New Fuel Valve The new Andair fuel valve came in the mail today. I'm sure the stock Van's valve would work just fine ... but it's aesthetics do count for something in my book . It certainly looks and functions like a production aircraft part should, and there's a small safety factor as well I think.
There's no mistaking what tank you are on. Fuel management is more important on a low wing aircraft than it is on a high wing.... its really a non-event on a high wing 99% of the time.
There's even a warning tag that comes on it telling the builder NOT to excessively play with it in a "dry" state.... its IS tempting to play with it. Better just put it on the shelf for now ...
2013-05-05 Filed the F631 Channels to the correct Hieght & Width Stopped by the Lowes after work and got a 2'x4' piece of particle board then cut it to follow the shaped of the canopy channels.
Didnt want to mess this up ... so I took the 2 rear channels and clamped them down to the particle board and kept filing them down until they were ...1. the right width 2. the right hieght and 3. fit together nicely.
Now some bad news .... so when I took out the F631B and the F-631BL strips, the one that should be 56" long ... is only 50" long(?????) AND looks to have been cut by me sometime during the build process. how was I suppose to know I need it all for this F-631B? ... Oh well
Ordered a new piece .... only $9 ... but its gonna be about $20 in shipping costs (like the hinges)
2013-05-06 F-734, F-721C (L&R) , F-703C (L&R) and F768C Waiting for a new part to come in the mail. Like thats never happened before....
Skipped ahead the the Front Deck drawing and started making little brackets. Little sections of aluminum angle mostly cut and drilled but it'll need to be done some day....
2013-05-08 F-703B Dash Reinforcement No CNC matched kit parts here ... just a plain 'ol piece of aluminum angle that you must cut, drill, bend, and fit somehow to the top of the dash.
All I got done tonight was the measuring and marking. Real confusing drawing too... one of those where they give you the dimensions ... but the drawing shows the "post-bend" result ... Its a head scratcher.(kinda like a longeron)
2013-05-10 F-703B & F-703C's After MUCH filing and sanding I think its complete. Thank goodness for a Dremmel tool. I used it alot , and it saved me from having to file all those notches in the F-703B by hand.
I was surprised how easy it was to bend the F-703B to fit the curvature of the F-703 dash panel once all the "notches" were made. Match drilling to the dash panel was a non-event. Looks good.
It mentions not riveting it all together if you're sending the panel out to laser cut the holes for the instrumentation.
Dunno .... more research required.
2013-05-11 F-768 Sub Panel, F-644 Brackets Spent most of the day making just 3 parts... the F-768C and D's. They are not very important parts, they just act as carriers for a rubber seal, but they sure require alot of fabricating time.
Then the remainder of the time today was spent assembling the various parts that make up the sub panel and clecoing them all together.
Maybe match drill and deburr tomorrow.
Looked awhile foe a part references in the drawing "F-697" ... that I don't have . Apparently its in the NEXT kit.

The F-644 brackets (L&R) are made from 1 pc of channel ...not too complicated.
2013-05-12 Installed F-768 Sub Panel to Cabin Finally finished the F768C & D seal carrier brkts... got them drilled to the panel. Drilled the F-644 brkts to thr panel as well.
The sub panel wont go into the fuselage all in one piece... so I took it all apart and re-assembled it to the cabin... looks good in there! . But I'll have to finish all the match drilling the on tp de-burr and priming... no paint.
2013-05-17 Deburr ...Sand ...& Scotchbrite F768 Assembly Took the forward deck assembly off the fuselage and unclecoed it all. Then deburred all the drilled holes ... scotchbrited everything,
Just about to prime it all when I noticed that "some" of the rivets are AN426's and require dimple or couvtersinks.
Quit for the night and will study the drawing more
2013-05-18 F-768 Assembly Primed & Partially Riveted I figured out what to dimple. The firewall where the F-745's attach ... where both F644's attach to the F768A ... and the top 2 rivets where the F768B's attach to the F768A.
Once done , time for a little priming session. Installed platenuts to the dash end of the F745's and riveted alll the rubbers seal carriers. I had one misdrilled hole that I might just skip riveting and fill with body filler (not structural)
I did nothing with the F746 aft and F746 fwd engine control brkts...cuz I'm thinking they are not needed with the center console thats on order. Which by the way SHOULD be here next week (Monday?)
Putting all the forward dash stuff away until later and going to resume work on the cabin roll bar.
2013-05-19 F-631A, B, BL Canopy Drilling Switched back to working on the canopy after the forward deck ...
first was determining how to evenly space the holes not having a fan tool. So I went and worked up a little excel sheet in 1/32" increments, from 1" to 1 1/2" (maximum spacing allowed) to find out what dimension would give me the most "even" spacing ...
Worked out that 1/13/32" divided into the total length gave me the closest whole number of spaces.
Once the F631 B inner strap is marked , you clamp it into the F631A channels that are clamped to the board. transfer the spacing marks and drill. Started with #40 holes ,but will open up to #30 later.
Found this cool way to mark the 1/4" line all along the F631 channels ... cut a small piece of aluminum angle scrap with a pre-punched hole ... bend the angle and you have a 1/4" guide
This saved a ton of time and frustration.
2013-05-21 F-631 Drilled to #30 Opened up all the #40 holes to #30. Now that the rear is all drilled ...on to the forward channels
2013-05-27 Still Fitting and Drilling the F-631 Made some 1 3/8 spacers but dont really need them. Having to force the channel down to get the 1.5" width .... maybe the strips are too wide? Hmmmmmm....
Its probably not that critical a dimention but need to get as close as I can . Seems to be consistantly about 1-2 32nds too big.
2013-05-28 Center Console and Throttle Quadrant Arrive Got my Bryan Filman "Extreme Products" center console, and the corresponding 2 lever DJM throttle quadrant in the mail today.
Took me about 2 hours to sort through all the parts and take inventory.
Going to have to e-mail Bryan with a couple questions ... there's one part I see in the drawing that I cant find (CCQ79-B8)...
and a mysterious parts that I have no idea where it goes.
Hmmmm ...
Other than that it all looks good.
2013-06-01 F-631 Assembly Drilled and Debured Final... its all drilled. This part was really labor intensive and its STILL not done.
Remeasured the height of the assembly and had to file the bottom legs to get it all 17 19/32" tall. Almost filed too much.
Cant prime and paint yet... all these holes have to be COUNTER SUNK first.
Maybe tomorrow
2013-06-02 F-631 Countersunk and Start of the Center Console Took a couple hours , but the F-631 roll bar thingy is all contersunk. Now it can be riveted then painted... OR painted, then riveted (so the rivets arent painted) ... dunno.
While ponder that ... I thought it time to start the center console that came in the mail last week .
After bending a couple parts (top and bottom angles) to follow the contours of the side skins, I just started clecoing parts on.
Every was looking pretty good, and all the holes lined up and fitted. But now I think one of the parts is bad .... it holds the throttle quadrant cables.... looks as if the LH and RH are misbuilt.
2013-06-03 Clecoing Center Console I have most of the parts figured out and clecoed in the right place... however Ive got a couple issues I'm struggling with.
May have to take some photos nad send questions off to its designer. The guy lives in Michigan near Holland.
Bought some "lightwieght" body filler to fill in the tooling holes on the canopy frame... but didnt get to use it tonight.
Oh, I went flying after work. just me. Plane ran well. Took it out for an hour flight to the west (Whitmore lake) playing with the handheld GPS I bought on eBay during the winter.
Alls well.
2013-06-07 F-631 Tooling Holes Filled In Only an hour of really working on the project. more time researching and misc stuff.
I'm kinda 'stuck' on the center console (NOT a Vans part)right now....not sure how to proceed. The drawings conflict with the parts I have. soooo I'm ripping off a note to the manufacturer with my questions.
What I was able to do tonight is mix up a small batch of body filler and apply it to the F-631 tooling holes ... waited for it to dry... (1 hour) then sand down to a primable surface. Just like Mike Bullock's plane.
Gonna do a little flying with Tuan Tran in the C-172 tomorrow, and then the Tiger/ Indians's game on Sunday...so not a lot of building going on this week end.
2013-06-11 Riveted F631 Assembly Ive messed with this assembly long enough... past time to rivet it together.
I could have waited even longer to rivet... but decided to press on. Some folks have a small painting session just to get at the area inside that you can see through the big rear holes.. others try to avoid the pop rivets on the little top, rear header brackets by fitting and riveting them first ... then riveting the 2 halves of the F631 together after. I decided that the topcoat overspray with get inside the areas you can see and that good enough ... and those pop rivets on the little brkts are in the rear , and will be painted over anyway.
So I pressed on.
2013-06-12 Driiling Holes When I fabricated the large 'L' brkts that go on the legs of the F-631 assembly , I neglected to drill the holes.
Now its time. Measured all the holes called out. Will drill tomorrow.
2013-06-16 Canopy Brackets F-631 C&D, F-731... Clamped up the brkts per the instruction/drawings and drilled,countersunk and riveted the "keeper holes" that join the the F631 C&D parts .... next is drilling them into the fuselage, but I dont think I'm ready for that yet.
Moving on to easier to interpret tasks ... I matched drilled the F731 upper channel to the spacer and counter sunk the spacer holes
2013-06-17 Little Canopy Issues Getting ready to fit this canopy channel and seeing little issues... somehow I missed a skin dimple and missed dimpling the F706 bulkhead where the spacer goes
All fixed now.
2013-06-19 Canopy Continues ... Just trying to figure out what to do next took most of my time today. Started by clecoing back on the upper forward skin that the canopy brkts F631 C/D's match up to. Clecoed on the upper channel , this will help set the angle on the canopy.
Then it wa on to cutting the lower , outboard section of the F631A assembly. This is to make the F631C/D fit better.
2013-06-20 Filing and Dremmelling the F-631 No where in the instructions does it say anything about doing this step ... but 2 websites that I follow did it.
the outboard, bottom edges of the F-631 need to be removed to allow the curve of the C&D brkts to fit.
Pretty boring stuff.
2013-06-22 F-631 C&D Drilled / Countersunk / Tapped As Yoda what say ... real labor intensive these brackets are...
Had the whole day to myself to work on this canopy and get it fitted and installed. Got alot done even at my slow pace.
spepnt what seemed like hours just filing and grinding the F631 C&D brkrt to get the curve of the side skin. Lots of time also filing the legs of the F631A to get that 17 7/8" hieght (too tall by 1/4 inch)
Started by positioning the F631 C&D to the fuselage and using the F764 skin as a guide drilled to the fuselage. Once drilled I slipped the F631A over the brkts and check the hieght (dont want it too tall and hitting the glass) anyway it WAS too tall and took lots of filing to get in lower.
Drilled the F732A to the bulkheads and the F631A.
Then finally drilled, dimpled. countersunk and tapped the F631A ..
Just a few things left before it done
2013-06-27 Optional Cover for F-732A Both websites I follow have done this (Mike Bullock and Bruce Swayze). It didn't take to long and doesn't add a significant amount of weight.
Basically a piece of 032 sheet ... match drill 8 holes... install platenuts (K1000-08) and rivet. Attaches with AN515-8R8 screws.
I think the F-732A and the rear baggage area will look better and 'complete' with this on.
2013-06-29 Mounting the Elevators to the Horizontal Stabilizer I'm kinda looking for my next steps of this build process .... dont wanna hang the wings yet(weathers not good)... cant go and farther on the front deck (part I need is in the finishing kit)...
I decided to go all the way back to the empennage and continue where I left off ...fitting the elevators to the horizontal stabilizer.
These parts have been stored on shop wall for a couple years.
First step was to set the elevator rod end bearings to the correct length (13/16" - 28/32") then torque the jam nuts to 160-190 in/lbs.
Then the hinges on the HS have to be reamed with a #12 drill to accept the bolts.
Fitting the elevator to the HS revealed interference (typical)that has to be remove. The dremmel and a file worked just fine.
Now time to rehang the elevator and check the travel ... tomorrrow.
2013-07-01 Drilling the Elevator Horn, ect ... Lots of "little" things today.... all add up to progress.
Started today by trying to find a 1/4 inch OD bushing to act as a drill guide through the elevator hinge bearing to drill the elevator horns. After much research I went to the Auto Parts store in town and bought a $2.50 steel brake line. Its 1/4 inch O.D. and a perfect #12 I.D.
First I re-set the elevator rod ends (I know, I did that yesterday) I decided that where they were set (26/32 inch) was going to result in the drilled hole in the horn to be too close to the tube portion (lots of people report this as an issue) so I unscrewed the rod ends to just under the max dimention allowed (28/32 inch) This made just enough difference.
Drilling and hole location were a non-event.
Other things accomplished today...
1. made a permanent trim tab hinge pin with all the bends and safety wired it.
2. Used the MK-319 pop rivets I had and fixed the unshot rivets in tight areas of the elevator. During the early portion of building, I tried to avoid pop rivets at all costs, now I use them more often.
2. Found all the hardware for the elevator horn/hinge bearing and loose assembled (very time consuming due to the limited access)
I have all day off tomorrow idea what I'm doing yet.
2013-07-02 Elevator Horn Drilling, Horizontal Stabilizer to the Fuselage The hardest thing I did today is sweep and mop the shop floor (it was getting kinda grungy) ... but I was having to more tables, parts and tools around to be able to mount the HS to the rear fuselage and saw how really dirty it was it spots.
Anyway was able to drill the elevator horn assembly where the push rod connects to (just dimensions off the drawing). then on to hanging the HS/elevator assembly to the rear fusealge.
Measuring from the outboard ends to the HS to the corner of the fuselage until both LH & RH are equall (155 7/16 inches)
I stopped for the day. (back hurts from moving heavy stuff around)... but I need to check this out before drilling.
2013-07-04 F798, Drilled HS to Fuselage First thing today I fabricated the F798 spacers ...they fit between the HS frt spar and the aft deck.
These spacers are later drilled through with the outboard & inboard holes that hold the frt HS spar attach angle to the fuselage.
Had to remove the elevators... relaized its impossible to do the F711C drilling with them on.
Next drilling the outboard 2 holes at the frt HS spar and the aft deck. These are easy to mess up cuz your are drilling into the LONGERONS. The longerons are not that wide and you want this big bolt hole to be as close to centered as possible. Found it best to just line up with the existing row of rivets on the longeron rather tahe trying to measure from the edge
Found another mistake in the directions too . it says these outboard hole go through a part that it cant. (one of many errors)
Lastly... shim up the rear HS spar with a couple 3/8" drill bits and use the existing pilot holes to drill the F-711C bars to the rear HS spar.
Anyway, it all worked out well & I'm very pleased at how these holes turned out.
2013-07-05 F-790 Elevator Pushrod Install I had fabricated the F-635 pushrod bellcrank , and the F-790 elevator pushrod earlier, so it was just laying on the shelf ready for this step.
Installing the pushrod (which is about 6 feet long) was easier with the top skin still off but would have been 'do-able' with it on.
After setting the bellcrank neutral position with the aid of a 3/8" drive, 3/8" socket in a tooling hole in an adjacent rib... and the elevators set in 'trail', ... the pushrod length was right on!
Didnt have to adjust the rod end bearings at all. So after slightly tightening the rod end jam nuts... (not to final torque) I decided to paint these parts with gloss white paint. Seeems like the wing pushrods and bellcranks are white... so, I continued with the color theme.
Its real humid out today so it will be awhile drying.
The vertical stabilizer and rudder are coming up next.
2013-07-06 Misc. Tasks Before Mounting to Fuselage I thought I was ready to just slap this VS thing on... but I guess it wasn't quite done yet.
Upon closer inspection I see that the VS still needs some work. I pulled out the old drawings back when this was built... (2010) and see that 2 of the rivets that hold the lower bottom hinge refers you to a fuselage drawing to complete it.... I guess its finally time to complete it... so after measuring , drilling, deburing and riveting the lower hinge bottom half is done.
So checking the assembly some more I see that I left off 2 rivets that hold the top rib to the rear spar. (done) 3 rivets that hold the the lower rib to the rear spar (done) and finally, the rear tie down is missing 2 rivets.... the drawing is pretty clear that the top row and the 3rd row get rivets , while the 2cd and 4th row get bolted with the VS assembly (that's done too)
Now that that's all done .... 5/8 inch the the forward VS spar's lower portion get cut off (maybe the part is the same as another model) and then FINALLY,,, the VS gets clamped to the rear fuselage!
Time to do a little research before more drilling permanent holes...
2013-07-07 F-712D and VS Clamping and Measuring Had so much fun fabricating this part ....(the wrong way) I made it again ..cthe right way.
I clamped up the VS to the rear bullkhead and started measure the VS in relation to the horizontal stabilizer .... this is going to take me awhile to get right.
Not drilling any holes until I'm sure its all postioned correctly.
... and I'm not convinces yet.
2013-07-13 Drilling Vertical Stabilizer This was tough. FINALLY got the VS positioned equally and vertical. First drilled the bolt holes rear spar to F-712 (and the 3 rivet holes in the middle).
Then the lower rivet holes that hold the F-781 to the HS.
Anyway, its all drilled now ... all bolt hole edge distances look good and
The only issue I had with this whole process is the super glueing of the washer to set the off set to the 1/4" to th left... Mine off set without the washer in (putting the washer in messed up the distances LH to RH) so I left it out.

2013-07-14 Hanging and Adjusting Rudder to Fuselage HOT and Muggy today... gonna have eto install AC in the shop.
Removed the rudder assembly from storage ... (very dusty). Then adjusted the rod-end bearings to the prescribed lengths. My bottom rod-end bearing needed to be shorter to align to the HS hinges properly ... (?)but after a couple turns , its all aligned and hanging with bolts installed. A quick check reveals that the rudder swings nicely with no interference.
Thats a relief.
Next is the fabrication of the LH & RH lower rudder stops. Got started and cut the basic shape before stopping
2013-07-15 F-792 Rudder Stops Finished drilling all the holes (4) in each bracket and clecoed them to the fuselage. The 35 degrees of rudder travel is calculated to when the rudder hits the stops, and still is 1 1/8 inches from the elevator inner. I can get it exactly that IF I tilt the stop slightly... Is that ok? or does it have to be parrallel ?
I dont mind remaking these ... but not if I dont have to.
Time to call the factory guys again. (tomorrow)
2013-07-15 F-792 Rudder Stops Finished drilling all the holes (4) in each bracket and clecoed them to the fuselage. The 35 degrees of rudder travel is calculated to when the rudder hits the stops, and still is 1 1/8 inches from the elevator inner. I can get it exactly that IF I tilt the stop slightly... Is that ok? or does it have to be parrallel ?
I dont mind remaking these ... but not if I dont have to.
Time to call the factory guys again. (tomorrow)
2013-07-16 Aftermarket Rudder Stops (Internal) from Flyboys So after calling Vans this morning, its obvious to me that I need a minimum of 1 1/8 inches of rudder to elevator to rudder clearance.... which these F792's that I made don't give me.
I'm out of 1x1.5 angle to make more... so I was getting ready to buy more to make another set .... when I see that some builders have made their own "internal" rudder stops. This internal stop doesnt mount to the side of the fuselage, they wont be anywhere near the rudder cables (one of my concerns) .... but this is a block of HDPE plastic that bolts to the lower rudder hinges.... neater, cleaner and only $29
The only potential issue is the concern by some of "stress" in the rudder hinge area. This is much debated online, but there are hundreds of theses in the field with no issues reported.
It looks to me to be a more 'elegant' engineering solution than the original design rudder stop, so I went with it.
Part is on order.
2013-07-27 Internal Rudder Stops - Critter Guards Drilled the Internal rudder stops to the lower rudder hinge brackets. The directions let you mount them either on top of the upper hinge , or between the hinges. Between looks better and is stronger, so I went with that.
After fitting the rudder back on some filling was required to allow the bearing rod to fit between the rudder stop assembly .
Now on to filling the ends to obtain that 1 1/8 inch clearance between the rudder at full deflection and the elevator.
Also found some screen material and cut some to make "critter guards" to keep bees from getting in the plane through the NACA vents.
2013-07-28 Rudder Stops I've hd this rudder off & on a dozen times now ... seems to need adjustment (rod-bearings) every time you drill a hole of install a cleco.
Securing the rudder stop seemed to change things too... but now the rudder is back on, the vertical stabilizer is bolted (not clecoed) and I'm filing and grinding the LH leg of the rudder stop to get the appropriate rudder to elevator distance (35 degrees)
LH is done.... RH tomorrow.
2013-08-01 Center Console Match-drilling My dremmel tool died .... so I've abandoned the RH rudder stop fitting for now and moved on to someting else.
Bryan Fillman sent me new replacement parts for the center console kit I bought... so I spent the better part of today clecoing the entire assemble together and match drilling it all.
During the deburring of all the holes I discovered how soft this material is swhen compared to the aluminum I'm used to working with. just the process of deburing a hole can make it look like a small counter sink! really soft stuff. but I guess it can be ... its not structural ... only cosmetic. It really could be plastic.
2013-08-02 Center Console Deburring Its just a pile of parts again... deburring every hole and taking a scotchbrite wheel to all the edges..
2013-08-11 Riveting the Center Console Been out of town for work all last week, so its been awhile since Ive done any plane building
the top of the console is riveted first... this is where I decided that a 3-3.5 rivet is too short if the parts are dimpled , its just right of the skin is dimpled and the angle under ti is countersunk (like around the throttle quadrant and the storage opening... so I'm using 3-4's since I dimpled almost everything.
After the top is riveted, you do the storage floor, then the storage bulkhead, then the cable supports, then the side skins .
Had to see what the throttle quadrant looks like in the assembly.
Looks cool.
2013-08-13 More Riveting of Center Console It's all done except mating the top portion ... used a combination of back rivetting, squeezing and rivet gun with bucking bar.
2013-08-25 Rudder Stops - Center Console Only got a couple hours in on the project. Been on vacation and have had relatives visting from out of town.
The internal rudder stops are now trimed to allow rudder travel to within 1 1/8" of the elevators.
The center console top portion is 90% riveted to the sides. Only the #30 rivets remain, then its on to the armrest hinges.
2013-08-29 Center Console- Rudder Stops Completed the riveting of the center console top to the sides...next is the armrest hinge. But I may wait til I decide on whether it gets covered with fabric , paint or some type of coating.
Noticed that with the original rudder stop NOT being used, I prolly should put rivets in that area anyway ... looks like rivets should go there even if the rudders stops are not used. Pop rivets used.
2013-08-30 Misc Tasks Had the whole day to work of plane stuff. Lots of different little tasks.
1. Installed the remaining rivets to where the external rudder stops would have gone.
2. Removed the rudder and stored it.
3. Removed, primed and installed permanently the elevator stop brkt (F-721)
4. Up until now the VS attach brkt had been just clecoed to the horizontal stab ... drilled the 4 holes to accept AN3 bolts.
5. Removed the vertical stabilizer... primed the VS attach brkt and riveted the VS to the VS attach brkt (11 rivets)
6. Noticed that I had left un-riveted the rear end flanges of the inner 2 spars on the Horizontal stabilizer way back when I constructed it .... fixed.
7. Finally I started to re-construct the rudder/brake pedals to the tube assembly.
Lots of castle nuts and cotter pins.
After some reaserch ... it seems that you DONT tighten these parts to torque (causes binding)... even then, there seems to be a real problem with the brakes dragging from the pedal not returning. External springs (from ACE hardware) is what alot of people use.
hhmmmmmmmm ....
2013-08-31 Rudder Pedal Hardware Secured Correctly After some research I see that you DO NOT put a torque to the rudder pedal attachments. its all kinda tighten just past finger tight and then cotter pins are installed. Everything functions and operated smoothly, and comes backs to 'home' position after being depressed. yeaa!
I even looked up the proper cotter pin installation technique and it seems that 'trimming' the pin length after bending is important...(don't want to cut yourself on a long, protruding cotter pin) Anyway , all looks good and the assembly is sitting in the plane.
2013-09-01 Rudder Brace Riveted - Fuel Valve Mounted Started the morning by riveting the F-6118 rudder brace into position ... nowhere does it say to do this now, but I looks like it needs to be there now rather then later. Was able to squeeze all the rivets so they came out very good.
Then progrss was slow & I hit the wall ... not accomplishing anything really, but trying to decide what should be done next.
Fuel and brakes HAVE to be done soon, I thought, so the lets try to install the fuel selector valve. The Andair unit I exchanged the Van's "tractor valve" part for months ago, doesnt seem to come with any mounting hardware (?). I Spent a couple hours looking on-line and doing word searches to see how others do this. This is a very popular option on these planes and there had to be some info out there.
Sure enough, the valve flange comes drilled to accept standard platenuts.... I didnt notice... so after riveting on some p-nuts and using the supplied template to drill the screw holes, then drilling a 1 1/8" hole in the center of the F-983 fuel valve plate,
the Andair fuel valve is now mounted. It looks good, ... But why does it have to be SO HARD??
Bending fuel lines is coming soon.
2013-09-02 Brake Reservoir - Control Column I'm thinking that if Vans has sent you a part ... you should be installing it at some point in that part of the build process. My "fuselage" parts are quickly disappearing into a much larger assembly, but Iv'e still got a few parts that haven't been mentioned in the instructions yet and I'm almost at the end. Clearly shown in the drawings... just not mentioned in the instructions is the brake reservoir (VA-107). Drilling holes in the firewall always make me a little nervous, but this was pretty easy... a big hole for the fluid connection, and a couple bolt holes to mount it (stainless steel is a pain to drill into).
Thought briefly about prosealing the NACA vents into place... but decided to "form" the screens first. Haven't decided if the screens require some kind of seperate fastner ... or just have the hose clamps hold them in place.
Decided to install permanently the control column and stick parts.
This was all pre-fit earlier I think , cuz the parts are all together with all the associated hardware loose installed like I like to do after I take something apart.
There's a small control column pushrod that I painted white (to match all the other pushrods) .... now waiting for the paint to dry
2013-09-04 F-721A.... Prep of Control Sticks The F-721A's "butt" up against the F-721B's .... Just debured and scotchbrite them checked for fit and clamped them to the longerons.
Tomorrow I'll drill.
Decided that the control sticks cant stay that ugly off-white color that Vans powder coats them for you. Nope.
Sanded the part that I think protrudes above the stick boots and gonna paint them grey.
2013-09-05 F-721's Ready to Paint Ready to paint means they have been fitted, drilled, deburred, dimpled, and scotchbrite'd . Then thrown into the ever increasing pile of parts waiting to be either primed , or primed and painted.
Still have to countersink the longerons to accommodate the dimpled parts. maybe tomorrow.
2013-09-07 Was Planning to do More ... I cleaned and primed my pile-o-parts .... and had even poured the Jetflex topcoat into the mixing containers when I opened up the bottle of "catalyst" only to find it wouldn't pour. It was all gel... and expired 2 months ago. Ordering more online is a pain 'cuz there is no local source.
Looking for something else do do, I kinda got distracted with things around the house . Got the wood-splitter running, and split some firewood, yada yada.
Think I'll make vent lines next.
2013-09-08 Started Fuel Vent Lines Got started on the fuel line vents. First found all the parts (no easy chore). Then, put the vent drains in the drill press and use a file and sandpaper, grind off allhte threads from the lower portion. Then with a bandsaw, get a rough 45 degree angle , the smooth it on a scotchbrite wheel.
Now to find a fine screen mesh to pro-seal to the end of the part.
A garden hose gasket with a screen will work if I had one .... Will have go to Lowe's after work tomorrow to get some.
2013-09-10 Pro-Seal Bug Screens Got the screens out of a Wal-Mart sink aerator ($1.97) and it had TWO screens in it!
Cut them to size and pro-sealed then onto the fittings that go under the fuselage floor.
Pro-Seal was still good after over a year in the fridge.
2013-09-12 Rudder Cable Fairings Installed The parts themselves I got from "Avery Tool" in Texas ... Just a couple little stamped parts, but I think they add to the looks of the plane.
Trimmed and bent a little to fit. Then had to decide how to attach them. Some people just "pro-seal them on... I considered it.
But in the end I went with pop rivets. Had some stainless steel cherry pop rivets (CCC-32) and used them. They are #40 flush rivets, so a little dimpling and counter-sinking to get it all lay nice and flat.
Turn out pretty nice... AND they should add at least another 1 MPH to the top speed!... (ha)
2013-09-13 RH Control Stick Safety Bulletin Years ago, the RH control stick just "press fit" into the lower assembly .... no hardware used. After several reported incidences of the stick coming loose in flight, an safety bulletin was issued that required a hole drilled and a bolt and nut installed to hold the 2 pieces together.
With the assembled RH stick resting on short piece of aluminum angle and clamped in a drill vise, I was able to drill an nice, straight 3/16" hole to allow for a AN3-13A bolt to be installed.
I was going to use a "quick release" pin assembly, but decided that I prolly wont be removing the RH stick... besides, once I push it together , it was going to come back apart with doing some serious damage to the painted surfaces.
Now its ready to paint "interior gray" ... Fed left a little note saying they tried to deliver the new quart of Jetflex catalyst that I need ... tomorrow being Saturday, maybe they'll have better luck.
Got out the tube bending, cutting, and flaring tools and start reading the instructions and playing with a piece of electric fence wire to approximate the length and shape of the vent lines.
2013-09-21 Jetflex Catalyst Received my order of Jetflex polyureathane catalyst in the mail. ....$50 for the quart of material + $50 for the shipping (OUCH).
The stuff only has a 2 year shelf life to begin with and the the stuff they sent me expires in 10 months!
Call the guy to complain.
He basically said to use it up quickly. They only make that stuff in batches, and that's all he's got.
2013-09-24 Ordered Finishing Kit I put a deposit on the last big kit from Van's Aircraft 8 weeks ago... but hadnt made up my mind on some really important things like engine, propeller, kit substitutions ect. They said go ahead and "get in line" by placing the deposit and call us with the final details when you decide prior to shipment.
Well this week they are suppose to ship the kit so I called to see what they needed to know.
IO360 with HORIZONTAL INDUCTION (no scoop cowl)

2013-09-28 F-789 Pushrod Fabrication - F790 install Now that the control sticks are in , they look too long. However, everyone says NOT to trim them (unless they hit something) until they plane is flying... Van's even recommends not shortening the sticks because it makes the plane "twitchier" .... Will deal with that issue later.
So, the control columns are in, the F-790 is in (connected the 2 sticks), and I realized that there a push rod I haven't made yet... the F-789. It connects the control stick assembly to the bellcrank behind the seats.
Construction was pretty straight forward, even painted it white to match all the other control surface mechanisms. Yeah, somewhat anal, I know ....
Started countersinking the longerons to accept the F-721 trim pieces.
2013-09-29 F-721 Ready to Rivet - Misc Tasks Started the day by countersinking the top of the longerons to accept the F-721. But now that it's ready to rivet, I see that you probably dont rivet them in until after the dash sub is in.
Been looking all over for tasks to do INSTEAD of the vent lines... but almost everything that looks like it's not finished, is that way for a reason.
I did find a couple items.... the top flange of the F902 (one rivet each side) can be riveted now that the front sub-deck is drilled. ..AND i found (1) rivet per side , just aft of that F902 that wasnt riveted into the fuselage side skin. But that is it.
So back to the LH vent line.... I think its close. Leaving the flaring of the ends until its all bent correctly.
2013-10-05 Finally some Progress on Vent Lines Learning all the little things about a totally new task, say like ... bending and flaring aluminum tube takes awhile.
Having agonized about these lines for weeks now, I think they are FINALLY close to completion.
The LH side is in and fittings started , but not torqued.
The RH side is close.... but still needs some "finesseing" before I can call it complete.
After finding the torque for these -4D nuts that secure the unions to the body , I realized I'd have to covert the torque value to accommodate for the longer (1.25 ") leverage of the torque wrench with open-end adapter set up.
After a little algebra refresher (solving for Y) ...and bingo.
120 "/lbs = 101 "/lbs when using a open-end adapter.
2013-10-06 Vent Lines Done.... On To Fuel Lines Got the fuel vent lines in and secured ... torgued everything , but now I see that I "probably" should be using some "fuel lube" on the fittings (like loctite) .... gonna have to investigate this.
The process for fuel line fabrication is the same as vent lines ...cut, bend, assemble fittings and flare ends ...not necessarrily in that order.
Started the fuel line (3/8") and started with the short one from the "out" end of the boost pump fuel filter to the "in" side of the boost pump.
Next is the middle of the swivel "T" on the fuel valve to the pressure relief valve (top of the boost pump.
So far so good.
I'll have to wait on the final torque of this stuff until I get the fuel lube stuff.
2013-10-09 Drilled Static holes - AP hole in Bellcrank I dunno... just felt like drilling some holes.
Found the static port location on the fuselage rivet callout drawing ... funny, thats the only rivet they dont call out (if you going to use one as a port). Theres a kit (several kits) that you can buy that includes all the fittings, lines, and ports to install the static system. The most tried and true kit is in the cheap ($19) kit from Vans that uses a pop rivet, less the mandrel in the center, as the static port.Haven't decided which way to go ... leaning towards a hybrid of several available kits trying to use the best of each.
Called GRT about their autopilot servo mounting kit I just bought. .. asked if they had any drawing showing the servo installation... they told me that their system is EXACTLY like the "Trutrac" system and that I should use the Trutrac drawings (?!) I hope is all the same company...
Drilled a .20" hole in the bellcrank for a GRT servo arm according to the trutrac drawing...
2013-10-11 Finishing Kit Arrives! Met the truck,,, wrote the man check and we dropped the box close the the barn door. I was a more than a little concerned about some damage to the side of the box, so much so I took LOTS of pictures of it as I slowly unpacked it all. It really looked as though there was some damage to the most expensive part of the kit... the canopy, but upon closer examination it looks like it was just where tape used to hold cardboard around the canopy took some of the protective plastic off.
No Damage Found.
Spent the rest of the evening taking inventory.. Theres not as much to this kit as there was in the other kits ... the parts are bigger , but there's not as many.
2013-10-13 Finished Inventory - Restarted Dash Sub-Panel It never ceases to amaze me how well these kits are packaged ... and how error free the list of parts is. But it's all there, no issues, everything on the list is accounted for... and luckly, no in-shipment damage.
After accounting for everything ...got all the new parts put away... the really big items like the engine cowlings and the plexiglass canopy , wouldn't fit on a shelf anywhere in the barn, so Halley helped me carry them to a spare bedroom in the house. Ginger took the news surprising well.
Now that I have the F-697 from the finishing kit, I got back to work on the sub-dash area, the drawings have you trim off some extra material from both the F-697 and the F-643. then they are match-drilled , deburred, primed and ready to rivet together.
They have you install a couple throttle cable brkts at this point ... because I'm using a center console mounted quadrant, I'm not sure if I need these or not ....need to e-mail the console supplier tomorrow.
2013-10-15 Riveted Hat & Channel to Dash Sub Riveted the center dash assembly together using a combination of pneumatic squeezer and rivet gun. no issues.
The throttle cable brkt (F-7xx) is a mystery ... do I need it? ...probably on the sub-panel, not sure about the one on the dash.
I wrote an e-mail to bryan fillman (the center console maker) and asked about this .... waiting for his reply.
2013-10-15 Drilled F746 - Not much done tonight ... havent heard from the console guy about the throttle cable brkts , but I'm really thinking the one to the subpanel is necessary.
Its pretty easy to install , just (4) holes, and they recommend that you NOT rivet it to the center sub-panel until you can see how the cables run.
Next is to "slip" the center section in between the 2 outer sections and cleco all together.
Thats as far as I got.
In the mail was the static lines and fittings I ordered from aircraft spruce. the order from Vans wont be here for another coupl days. When it does I'm gonna install the static ports and the rear lines.
2013-10-16 F-771 Cowl Skin Good thing was that they had a power failure at the office today and I got to work from home ... bad thing is that I really had to work and only got a couple hours into the plane tonight.
Fit and drilled the F-743 brkt to the F-643 channel (get drilled to the firewall later)
Then the F-771 cowl top skin , clecoed on, (fit well) and match drilled. Had to draw centering lines on the channel and those 2 little 'wing' channels and fit to the skin holes and drill.
Left the drilling through the stainless steel firewall til tomorrow.
2013-10-17 More F-771 Matchdrilling Only had a couple minutes to work but hey, a little every day. Hardly worth a seperate log entry.
No pictures
2013-10-18 Static Ports - Drilling F771 Got 2 different projects going,,,
The dash sub-panel still needed drilling. Was able to drill the F-743 channel brkt to the stainless steel firewall. I was not sure how to position myself to do this. tried leaning into the fuselage and reaching under the sub panel, then I thought of crawling into the cockpit and maybe laying under the dash.... finally just reached through the opening in the firewall from the front and drilled towards me with using a mirror and 'feeling' the holes in the brkts as guides. Then , using lots of "BOELUBE" , I drilled the F-771 forward flange to the top of the firewall. I was dreading drilling through the stainless steel , but it wasnt bad... the 'boelube' on the tip of the drill bit helped alot.
In the mail today came the rivets that Vans specifies to use as the static port. I tapped the mandrel out and got the 'Proseal' out the fridge. The "ports" I got from Aircraft spruce, I was able to drill out to 1/8" and grind down the surface so that it was flat. I'm going to use these on the inside and the pop rivet on the outside Tomorrow I'll glue them both in.
2013-10-19 F-721C , F-721D, Static Ports In Still bouncing between 2 different projects ...
Had to grind off an edge of the inside static port to miss the a row of rivets in the fuselage. Then mixed up a batch of proseal (11 grams worth) and put it on the the outside pop rivet and the inside port assembly. Decided to use rivets that I hadnt taken the mandrel out yet so it could be partially squeezed before removing the mandrel Good thing I bought extra. Going to let it all dry then remove the mandrel completely.
The F-721D brkt is on the the slider canopy drawing (?) maybe it wouldnt fit on the tip-up drawing...? anyway they are now made and drilled
F-721C brkts have been made for awhile and they are now drilled as well.
2013-10-20 Static Ports ...F*721's and F-771 Got lots done... Lets see.
1. Installed platenuts to the F-721C&D brkts and riveted them to the F-721-A deck.
2. Dimpled all the front deck s/a ... basically the F-771 and anything it touches.
3. Pulled the mandrel out of the static port pop rivet. I didnt want to put any pressure on the still curing proseal so I took a dremmel tool and just lightly sanded the exposed mandrel and it pulled right out (both sides).
4. Fresh air vents and associated brkts are next ... but I upgraded to the "steinair" vents... and these units dont install the same way as the stock plastic ones do. I see that Bruce Swayze used the $8 brkt that "Classic Aero" sells. Hmmmm ...I might do the same.
2013-10-21 F-789 So ... Ive had this push rod made and hanging on the wall for a while . Decided that maybe now's a good to put in in. After torquing the jam nuts down I went over an tried to install it... Hhmmm ...wont go into position. No matter, from any angle its just too long to slip into place. So... un-torque the jam nuts and remove the rod ends.
Thats the only way it can go in. Once in place the rod ends can be installed and torqued. Its alot harder that way, but after 2 hours I got it in there and partially connected to the bell crank. Hope I'm not jumping the gun here and it doesn''t have to come back out.
2013-11-01 Fresh Air Vents Have been out of town for over a week for work and just got back. time to get back into building
Because I upgraded to the Stein fresh air vents instead of the plastic Van's ones, Ive had to deviate from the instructions.
'Classic Aero' makes a ready-made bracket that the Stein vent goes into for only $8.00 now every thing is drilled and fitted , with the exception of platenuts to hold the screws.
Cant find any extra one legged platenuts to rivet to the F-793 brkt ...gonna have to order some.
2013-11-02 DImpled Instrurnent Panel & Upper Brkts (F-703) I know, I know ... this is all .06" thick metal and they "recommend" that you counter-sink anything thicker than .04".
but I think besides being easier and faster its a stronger joint AND it looks just fine.
I dont think I'm sending this panel out to be cut so maybe I can rivet it together soon?
2013-11-03 F-743 Brkt / Brake Line Fittings and Lines Odds and ends... fall in here. Lots of stuff to do on a Sunday afternoon to get ready for winter but I still got in a couple hours on plane building.
The forward sub-panel is about done, but cant be riveted in yet, so it was removed and stored til later. Was able to rivet the F-743 angle brkt to the F-643 channel. It get riveted to the firewall with the rest of the sub-panel later.
Still studying the drawings ... brake lines... fuel lines... Not wanting to tackle the fuel line bending that I need to do, I decided to do something less stressful. Dug through the hardware and found the fittings mount to the firewall bracket and the braided stainless steel lines (V-118) that go to these fittings to the LH & RH pilot master cylinders. Nothings torqued as yet , just loose installed.
The brake line fittings that go through the fuselage to the main gear legs has to go through a hole in the landing gear brkt. I couldn't get it to fit , then I realized its a powder-coated part from Van's with just a little too much powder-coat in the hole. A 7/16" drill needed to ream out the hole and now all is well.
2013-11-04 Fuel Lines Not much to show for this evening ...
I'm back at bending and flaring fuel lines , which I'm not very good at. After taking one of the 3 precut 3/8" fuel aluminum tubes that came with the booster pump Ive decided that I need a piece about 2 inches longer to do it right.
I'm also thinking that my tube bender is really too big for the 180 deg. radius needed on the fuel pump. I end up with slightly longer tube runs , thus the precut tube is slightly too short. Oh well, I'm trying to make what I have work.
Didnt finish the tube , but got a good start on it.
partially bent , and a nice flare fitting on the pump end.
2013-11-05 Fuel Line at Boost Pump Finished fabricating the line between the selector valve and the pump and installed it. One more fuel (I think) that goes from the boost pump towards the firewall. the drawing shows the carberated version ... not sure how the fuel injected version should go.
2013-11-07 Fuel Lines Called Vans... seems if you decide to use a fuel injected engine you don't have the proper drawings to penetrate the firewall with the fuel lines. "Gus" sent me the .PDF file showing where to drill the firewall hole the fittings ans "doubler" required.
Hopefully , once this line in, I can now proceed towards putting in the pedal assembly mounted.
I put the center console in and clecoed it into position to see how it fit. I even got in the plane to check the joy stick travel. It does hit your inside leg.... not sure if thats an issue or not ... but I like like the look and feel. Noticed that it needs about 1 5/8" from touching the panel . Rather than a taller panel, maybe just a fill in section ?
Had my LH thyroid removed yesterday... not felling 100% yet. will be slow going for a couple days.
2013-11-08 F-793 Brkts, Fuel Line Firewall Doubler Got the single leg platenuts in the mail today from Van's ... installed 4 of them to the F*793 fresh air vent brkts. Except for painting them gray, they are done.
Next to the fuel line that runs from the booster pump through the fire wall. Gus at Vans sent me the fuel injection version of the firewall penetration drawing. Made the "doubler" as required and drilled & dimpled it to accept AD426 flush rivets...
Got out a length of 3/8" fuel line and "thinking" about bending and flaring.
Dr. called today about my thyroid surgery last wed (2 days ago)..... seems the tests came back not as good as we'd hoped ..."carcinoma" ... going right back into the hospital tomorrow to have the RH side removed . Grrrrrrrr...
2013-11-11 Fuels Lines - starting over Thought i had the technique down for this ... but it ended up with some unaccepable nicks and gouges in the line where it contacted the wheel supports during installation.
The bends where good though. will have to more careful next time.
Ordered 6 more feet of 3/8 in line ... ($14)
2013-11-13 Brake Line Bending Either I'm getting better at this ...or these lines are easier than the fuel lines I screwed up yesterday.
Cut, bent, flared, and installed.
2013-11-14 Rudder/Brake Pedals In! Well... had some more surgery and now all my thyroid glands are gone. Good news is I'm feeling up to building airplane parts.
Tighten all the braketubes I put in yesterday and with that I saw no reason not to install the pedals for good. After mounting, I fabricated the clear plastic lines that run from the wheel lines ... to the braded stainless steel lines ... to the master cylinders to the top of the firewall.
You have to stick the end of the plastic lines in hot water to get the brass insert installed. (my fingers hurt)
Gotta check if these brass fittings on the m/c's require locktite sealant.
2013-11-17 Fuel Line Woes This line that runs 'tween the fuel valve and the wing roots is a real pain.... messed 2 sets. Re-order another 6 feet of tube to try again. the bending at the valve is fine,,, its the wrestling it through the curve between the wheel weldment and the exit hole where I'm damaging them... big gouges mostly .
Will try again later
2013-11-18 Canopy Release Started Debated skipping this, or at least part or it ... Lots of builders do. If you're planning on having any deep radios/ avionics then its best to skip the canopy release mechanism and go with bolts cuz it gets in the way.
I have no idea how big the radios will be, but I'll fabricate the parts and if I dont need them , I'll take them out later.

Drilled and assembled the C-617,618,619 into a "sandwich" ...this is where the forward pivot point of the canopy sits. 2 nylon blocks and a aluminum plate on each side. Top skin is clecoed on, then match drilled to the F-644 riblet. Directions here are very good. I can tell its a different guy ... WAY more detail than before.
Then on to the mechanism that might end up being "optional" ....modified 2 bolts that become the pins, fabricated the C-620 block.
Look'n good.
2013-11-21 Canopy release Continued ... Making the little tubes that connect the pins to the pivoting release mechanism... So why are these things STEEL ? ... and not aluminum tube? ...
Anyway you have cut to length (to the 1/64 inch??) why such a close tolerance? Nothing else on the plane has been that exact. (?)
Drilled #12 holes into each end, and cut 'slits' of different widths, cut into the tube , lengthwise.
2013-11-23 Opps ... Miss-Built C-621 & C-622 Start Handle Assembly Look carefully at the drawing.... I didn't. The tube length on the drawing isn't the total tube length.... its from hole to hole.
Grrr... Going to have to order 2 more tubes and hopefully cut them to the CORRECT length.
Moving on ... the JD air, latch handle came in the mail on Friday so I started its construction. Worked on the angles that sandwich the handle mechanism. the JD air handle will operate more 'robustly' and look better (flush) on the outside of the plane. However I'm not in love with the inside appearance. Doesn't look like a handle , Id rather have the little yellow ball that van's gives you. Oh well. Not convinced it was the right choice or worth the extra $100 .... maybe.
2013-11-26 Canopy Latch Handle Working on the cutout template for the handle assembly. When I clecoed the handle angles to the template, it left a very slight inpresion of the raised "flush" portion on the surface of the template. this will really help with the cutting out of the holes required.
2013-11-30 Finished Forward Canopy Release The C-621 & C-622 tubes came Friday... So why not try it again.
dis-assembled the release mechaisn and discarded the old tubes (too short) and fabricated the new ones.
Drilled the hole in the top center rib to allow the tube to pass through using a uni-bit , then a dremmel.
Because I riveted the "hat" on too soon section ( like other builders) I had to use pop rivets to hold the plate nuts.
It all seems to work now using the "bellcrank as a handle and skipping the long handle that came with the kit.
If I have to cut into the sub-panel for some deep avionics ...Ive room in the center area, below the release mechanism.
2013-12-01 Canopy Latch Handle / Aft Latch Feeling like I've got too many little projects going ... fuels lines need more work, forward canopy release isn't quite done, the JD Air latch handle is calling me.... whew!
Decided to make the big cut into the LH fuselage for the latch handle. The template is ok ,it functions smoothly, but I'm hoping to make the cut into the skin a little better. First lined up the template on the outside skin and clamped it down. then back drilled the angle holes,,, then the cuts for the "flush" portion of the handle. Lots of filing, sanding, checking, re-checking. Not done , but getting close.
The aft latch has an portion on the RH side that needs to be removes... a grinder, sander, and buffing wheel and its ready to mount.
2013-12-04 Canopy Latch Handle Fit to Fuselage Because this area is SOOOO visible... and the first thing you touch to enter the airplane... I really wanted to have this part come out nice.
Slowly filing and sanding a little at a time , checking with the handle mechanism frequently, I think I finally got it.
Next is to counted-sink the angles, dimple the skin ... and rivet the assemble in.
2013-12-06 Canopy Latch Handle - Dimpling & Countersinking Time to mount the canopy latch handle to the side of the fuselage. First counter-sink the C-712 angles. Next... dimple the side skin of the fuselage. Cant use the squeezer... the yoke wont fit thru the hole, so the only option is the pop rivet dies.
Before riveting, I need to think about if this needs prime or paint... certainly not the surface that faces out, but maybe the inside (?)
2013-12-07 Canopy Latch Handle Done...On to Rear Latch Good day... Lots done...
Started the day by painting. First a little prime and paint on the RH rear latch (Wd-617) that I removed a portion from (rustoleum white). Then the prime and paint of the latch handle and angles. Once dry, re-assembled it and riveted to the fuselage.
Pretty pleased with the way this section turned out.
Now that that's done , its time to work on the aft latch assembly. The nylon blocks (C-611) that mount on the ends of the Wd-617 are marked , then match drilled to existing holes in the F-705 bulkhead, Then the assembly is removed and the blocks get re-drilled to #10 ...while the F-705 bulkhead holes get drilled to #12.
This is now ready to bolt permanently into place ... but wait... there's several rivets in the F-705 that haven't been installed as yet , which will be really difficult once the rear latch is bolted it.
Think I need to review why I haven't done these yet (?) before going forward.
2013-12-08 Opps...The F-705 Should Be Riveted By Now (and it's not) So... I'm ready to mount the aft latch assembly when I realize that there are about 9 rivets per side in the F-705 bulkhead that are going to be REALLY hard to install, once its in place.
As noted on the drawing, these were purposely left out when the F705 was fabricated... but were suppose to be in after the side skins were installed. Problem is now theres anothere part( ??) riveted on and its in the way. Was able to get 5/side shot... the other 4/side are going to be an "issue".
Moving on... I found the VS-411 brkts and riveted them into place
on the F-705. no problem.
There are some other little parts that make up the assembly that I can work on... I think I'll paint them white to match the other powder coated parts.
2013-12-09 C-710 Push Rod Bitter cold outside, spent too much time get building a fire to warm up the shop... does that count as building time ?
Cut some aluminum tube to length (14 21/32") and tap both ends to accommodate hardware ... no issues except that when I went to paint it white, like the rest of the canopy hardware... the paint in the rattle can wount come out ...clogged? can is half full and its no good.
Need a can of rustoleum gloss white tomorrow.
2013-12-11 Deburred Wd-716 Man, it's cold out .... barn never did get warm . Never was able to take my coat off... but was able to work couple hours on stuff.
1. Assembled the hardware that holds the aft latch linkage and loosely installed it all to check the length of the C610 rod.
Seemed to function just fine. I cant put it all together permanently until I paint the rod and shoot the F-705 rivets that I forgot to shoot.
2. On to a more mundane task... I got the Wd-617 canopy weldment and debured all the sharp edges ... and there are a lot of them .
2013-12-12 I Think I'm Getting Things Out of Order ... The C-617,8,9 hinge block assembly have been 'loose' up til now , with the little short ribs not riveted.... (I think they WERE at one time but I drilled them out) so I removed the center section of the front sub and riveted the F-644 the the center sub again.
While this section was out I remembered that the engine cable control brkt was never installed .... I think I wasnt sure if it was required with my quadrant in a console... anyway, I decided its necessary and I riveted that as well.
Turning my attention to the weldment again .... filed and fitted per directions , then having marked a center line of the top of the rear weldment 'tube' , I matched drilled it to the skin, with the exception of 3 holes on the Lh nad 3 holes on the Rh... too much of a gap between the skin and tube ... which is typical for an RV7 I'm finding out Not sure what the fix is.... so I skipped this for now.
Directions say to put some UHMV tape on the forward edge of the canopy skin and that its NOT supplied with the kit. SO I ordered some from Vans... not sure if theres a local source for it that would be cheaper but its needes later for the triling edge of the flaps.
2013-12-14 Fixed the F-705 Opps spent the day just going back and riveting the top of the F-705 so I could proceed with the installation of the aft canopy mechanism...
Each rivet was a pain , and the top 2 are orientated backwards, but ... SUCCESS.
They are all in and now I can proceed.
2013-12-15 Rear Canopy Latch Mechanism All Done The rear canopy latch mechanism is all done, complete, finished. It doesn't happen often that you can start and finish an area of this project without having to stop and put it aside until something gets done first.
Re-pained the forward canopy deck. It has to be riveted on soon and I didn't like the paint.... it was applied a little thin and the gloss didnt match the adjacent parts.
Will rivet them on tomorrow.
2013-12-18 Forward Canopy Deck (F-721A) Riveted These 2 parts have been drilled, dimpled, primed and painted and just clecoed into position for quite awhile ... but just never riveted on. ... until now.
Couldnt squeeze any of them due to the shape of the part... so bucking with my favorite tungstan bucking bar were the only option that was feasible. All went pretty well.

2013-12-20 C-614 Pre-Drilled, Fit Forward Canopy Assy Last entry for awhile .... taking a few days off for the holidays. Started the 'fit' process of the forward canopy assembly.
Not a bad start. At least its in position (no everyone is so lucky)
This part of the build seems to get the best of lots of builders, nobody is happy with the fit of this thing... even after lots of adjustment and finesse .
The C-614 is a little piece that gets riveted in later but needs to be "pre-drilled" first. That parts done.
2014-01-01 Trying to Fit Canopy Assembly Just back from a Christmas vacation river cruise and only have a couple hours before a family gathering today.
There's a gap of 1/8" forward of the canopy skin and I'm looking for interferences.... thinking the front "hooks" are contacting the back of the hinge pocket. I filed and sanded the forward surface smooth and then brushed a little primer on it... that way it will scrape off if it's contacting anything.
Also drilled one side of the C-614 splice plate to the canopy frame per Mike Bulocks website (easier)
2014-01-04 More Attempts at Fitting Canopy I'm resolved that this is never going to be perfect... I'll settle for "good enough".
Removes the cowl skins and the hinge blocks and removed enough material from the aluminum blocks be prevent any contact with the hinge ... re-assembled , but gap still persists.
Notices the the bottom of the hinge contacts the opening in the sub panel ... after dremmeling the hole reassembled again.
Not seeing much improvement yet.
2014-01-05 Made Shims ... Contemplating How To Fit This Thing Spent lots of time just staring at the problem. Think I'll try to use some pipe clamps (need to get some pipe) to 'compress the F-771 to the canopy . Dont see how "taping it down, like the directions say, will hold this all stable enough to drill.
Made 6 spacers out of fuel line tube for the area on the frame to skin that doesnt sit right. Also made a bunch of spacers (.025) for the gap thats between the F-771 and the Canopy skin.
2014-01-06 Prosealed the Bug Screens to the NACA Vents Too cold to work in the barn (-15 F) Brought the NACA vents into the house and prosealed the screens on. Applied with a toothpick
2014-01-10 Finally Fitted ? ... Ready to Drill Using some cheap clamps I got from Harbor Freight I 'pulled the 2 skins together and inserted some .025 shims. Then more clamps to pullthe sides down .... and more clamos to pull the top corners down .... THEN I stuck a car jack in the fuselage and force the center up.
This is as good as I can get it.
Drilled the C-614 brkt to the Wd-716 , and the Wd--716 hinges to the skin , and took it all ap art to remove the the shavings.
2014-01-11 Drilled Hinges & C-614.... You have to install , then remove this canopy a dozen times or so according to the directions.
Re-installed the canopy assembly and final drilled the hinges and the splice plate to #30.
Next is some countersinking, some priming , then riveting.
2014-01-12 Rivet C614, Hinge Angles, Drill Hinge Taking baby steps ... but its progess.
Counter sunk, primed and riveted the C-614 Splice plate and the hinge angles on the frame. When i put the skin back on I noticed the holes along the hinge dont line up (?!) Dont know why or how it happened , but all the holes are shaddowed. I think if I open these hole up from 3/32 to 1/8 in. it'll be fine (and only I will know)
Reinstall the canopy assembly , fit it so the gaps to the F-772 are all even (.025) then going through the firewall opening and using a right angle drill, made the preliminary hole for the 1/4" opening.
Used a piece of hard oak as the drill guide .
Now I need to open it up to 3/8" and press in the bushings.... tomorrow
2014-01-15 Waiting for Tools, C-704 Splice Plate Waiting for the 23/64 drill bit and a 3/8 reamer I ordered from ATS so I can continue with the canopy hinges. So skipping ahead . . .
reinstalled the canopy release mechanism. All torqued and permanently mounted now.
Then started the C-704 splice plate. lots of holes per the drawing will drill them tomorrow maybe.
2014-01-17 C-613 Spice Plates GOOD...C-704 Spice Plate BAD So .... the reamer came in the mail, but I'm still waiting for the 23/64" drill bit. In an attempt to do something constructive (which there really is alot to do) ... I skipped ahead to the C-613 splice plates (L&R). Was able to accurate drill one ... then match drill the other. Parts came out looking just fine.
Then I saw the C-704 that I had measured yesterday, but had not drill yet. I think there are (10) #40 holes, and (4) #12 holes. I drilled everything to #30 and then grabbed a #12 drill bit and opened up 4 holes....However (2) of them are in the WRONG PLACE. Grrrrr...
Part is Scrapped .
Got online and ordered another ($5.70)... not a really big deal .... part will get here prolly next week... Its just I should have been more careful.
2014-01-18 Installed the NACA Vent ... Made Spacers... Installed Roll Bar The drill bit ordered from ATS didn't come in the mail today, so I tried to work ahead.
Mixed up a batch of proseal and install ed the NACA vents ... have a clamp holding them in position til tomorrow.
Made the spacers called out in the drawings... (4) 1/8" made out of scrap aluminum 125 angle and (4) 7/8" made out of a out pine 2X4.
The the roll bar gets bolted into position.... have some hole alignment issues on the outside.... will try to fix tomorrow
2014-01-19 Fit Canopy Frame... Misc tasks Doesn't seem like got a lot done after spending most of the afternoon out in the shop. But I find that you need a day or so once in a while just to tidy up loose ends, clean the shop, put things away, reorganize , ect...
1. Was able to re-fit the canopy frame (roll bar) so that all the holes aligned for the skin. Just a matter of loosening up everything so it could move then installing the screws and re-torquing it all again.
2. That bugaboo fuel line that I damaged , from the valve to the wing, i removed. Didn't get up the motivation to try bending another one yet.
3. Vacuumed out the entire plane (lots of aluminum shavings) and installed some sound deadening foam to the section of floor where the fuel and brake lines run. Still have some material left over... not sure where it should go.
4. Looked over the 3/8" reamer I got for the canopy hinge and I don't think I can make it work. Its not "chuckable" Will try to send back.
5. Thought I would cleco the baggage bulkhead covers in the plane ...discovered that 4 platenuts, right below the seatbelt shoulder cable hole, were missing. the holes and dimples were all there but somehow I missed it . .. corrected.
6. Realized I have some painted parts that I should have install by now... the wing attachment bracket that mounts to the fuselage hasn't been installed yet. And after looking at it some ...I see why. the installation is pretty confusing and I just kept putting it off. Going to tackle that tomorrow ... and maybe the fuel line?
2014-01-19 Prep and Prime Canopy Primed and riveted the LH and RH canopy reinforcements (the 3 little braces on each side) Then riveted them.
Didn't get to shooting a top coat . . . but all the parts are cleaned and primed.
I think I've been so worried about how this is going to fit' that I've made little or no progress lately. Going to rivet and assemble as much as I can of this canopy and move on!'
2014-01-20 Remade F-796B Wing Attach Brkts I remember skipping over this part back before the "canoe flip" ... thinking it would be just as easy to install later, once I figured it out... boy, was I wrong.
Spent about 6 hours on it today but I have to say it looks good.
The F-796B's that I had made previously were made about 10/32 too short, edge distances would have been bad. So I made new ones... of course everything is harder to get to , but it turned OK.... only problem is I cant get a bucking bar in to get the 3 rivets per side... could use the cherry max pop rivet ... instead of the AN426AD3-7... OR ... I might modify a bucking bar to fit.
2014-01-22 Modified Bucking Bar Its terribly cold out ... will be for awhile. Didnt feel like doing a lot tonight, didnt have much time and it takes so long to heat the shop, but I forced myself outside just to able to say I did something..
Anyway, there's a couple ways to shoot these rivets in this tight space for the F-796B.
1. Modify an already skinny bucking bar by grinding off 1/4" off of one side.
OR ...
2. (and I didn't think of this until AFTER I worked on the bucking bar) ... back-buck it.

Well I've got a bucking bar that fits now , but I might not use it.
2014-01-24 Canopy Hinge Done - Fame Re-installed Now that I've got a 23/32" drill bit and a #/8" reamer.... time to finally work on the canopy hinge. Used the uni-bit to open the existing 1/4" hole to "almost " 23/32 because its self centering, and doesn't wander... then opened up to 23/32" ... then reamed to 3/8" worked very well and produced a very nice hole. Found the 2 brass (?) bushing and then the pneumatic squeezer with a flush die set to press into place....then centered the bushing in the hinge with a rivet gun.
Next the Wd-716 canopy frame is positioned to the fuselage and the pins engaged into the bushings ... I was worried that somehow it wouldn't align, but it lined up great.
The F-768C seal flanges are then trimmed with a file until the canopy assembly can pivot up and down without any interference.
15 mins of filing and its good.
2014-01-25 New C-704... Rivet & Drill Wing Brackets I the mail from Van's was the replacement C-704 splice plate to replace the original that I misdrilled. The bad one was 95% OK ... so I just clamped the 2 parts together and transfered the good holes ... saves alot of time measuring again.
Wanting to completely finish the wing brkts , I got a little help from the wife. decided to 'back- rivet' these reamining rivets and it worked out very well. The first rivet , already i size loger than called out was too short... ended up going to the longest AD3-426 rivet I had (8's) and they were fine.
need to do more research before proceeding further... I'm more than a little confused with the next steps.
2014-01-29 Drilled C-704 to F-631A BBRrrrrrr ..... last couple days its been FREEZING!! -15F at night .....lucky to get up to 0 during the day. By the time it gets warm out in the shop ..its time to come in for the night.
Today it got up to 18 degrees and it felt like a heat wave.
So .... I was able to even take my coat off in the barn working... anyway.
Drilled the C-704 splice plate to one side (I chose to do the RH) of the C-631A. AND so that I can drill the other side from the front later... (the brkt is in the back)... I made a copy of the drill pattern to cleco to the frt that exactly matches the C-704 brkt. Got this idea from either Bruce Swayze or Mike Bullock , I forget which.
2014-02-01 Fitting Canopy The fit ... contour, of the WD-725 side rail is very good right out of the box.
As is the angle of the F-631A ... no adjustment required.
Next step is to drill the aft ends of the WD-725 angles that mate to the F-631's
Then the F-631's get clamped with 7/8" spacers , to the F-631's ... and the WD-725 side rails get clamped to the fuselage longerons , sitting on some spaces as well.
I've got some fit issues on the right side that requires some filing.
Doing that tomorrow.
2014-02-02 Canopy Progress The day started off poorly. The 7/8" spacers that were clamped between the F-631 and the F-631A was leaving a huge gap. Way bigger than the 1/4" you need. So I took out the 7/8" spacers and installed 1/4" spacers made from 3 1/2" lengths of aluminum brake line. I was able to control the gap better doing it this way.
The fit of the rails looks pretty good now ... so I drilled the aft WD-725 to the F-631A.
Then moving on to the front....I drilled the C-613 splice plates to the forward WD-725 and the WD-716.
Then it was time to remove it all from the fuselage and make some "wedges".
Fabricated the LH wedge (F-723) made from scrap AB4 stock ...not the AB3 stock they recommend... this takes awhile to get right... lots of hand filing. buts its the kind of brain-dead monotonous stuff that I excel at. :-)
2014-02-04 F-723 Wedges Done LOTS of tedious filing by hand to get these little things done. They're too small to hold on a grinder ... and they get too hot to hold. so ... its filing ... and more filing. a couple hours to get each one right.
2014-02-06 Drilled Canopy ... Got off work early and had a couple hours to work out in the barn. Re-drilled everything from #40 to #30. Some people re-assemble the canopy frame on to the fuselage to drill through the wedged , but it doesn't really say to do it , and I cant see how the fit could change. Much easier to do on the bench.
Something else that was easier ... I did not drill the lower flange of the F-613 cause it was confusing in the instructions. It worked out great for me to wait until after the the parts were assembled, then marked the bottom of the WD-725s were they come together with the WD-716 and drill everyhing at the same time from the bottom... no right angle drill required due to access on the top-side
Next is the countersinking and priming... then its done til the glass is installed.
2014-02-08 Countersink.... Prime Canopy Getting ready to rivet the canopy frame together. But before that you need to countersink to accept the AN426 rivets. While I'm at it... thought I's prime the just the mating surfaces of the parts involves to prevent corrosion.
I think I'll paint the whole assembly later.
2014-02-09 Canopy Riveted The canopy frame has been riveted. Everything except the splice plate at the top of the F-931A's .
That will be the last of the canopy work until the warm weather and its safe to cut the plexiglass. Took time to make a bunch of little static line clips... they were easy, just clamped a 1/4" drill bit in a vice, wrap the .025" aluminum stips around the drill bit , then squeeze and bend with a pair of benders(?)
So... on to other things. I can go back and install the fuel lines that I skipped over .... or back to the wings and install the pitot tube and the lines....or buy an ENGINE and start installing it. (?)

I think I can keep busy for a while.
2014-02-15 Static Line Routed Been out of town for work so I havent done anything out here in about a week.
Finally decided how to route the static line forward from the ports... to the conduit that runs under the baggage and seat floors.
Not too many people have done it this way, its not the most direct route , but I like the idea of the the tee being higher than the ports (so they drain) ... have the tee equal-distance from each port ...and not having to route the lines along the longeron, then under the arm rests in the cockpit area.
Didnt use plastic ties to secure the lines, but made some aluminum brackets that I'll rivet in place... Maybe tomorrow.
2014-02-16 Pop Rivet Static Line Clips Well , I didnt plan on using pop rivets but after trying to use a solid rivet on a clip that has some "spring" to it ... it was just to cumbersome.
Its better than the the suggested tie-straps... more robust I think... and looks better too.
Even though nobody will see this but me.
2014-02-17 F-631 & F-732 Rivetes
2014-02-21 Eureka!... Fuel Lines from Fuel Valve Routed I went out today reluctantly to re-attempt the routing of the fuel lines out to the wing area. I've done this before but never successfully... but after re-viewing a description of the process on line I thought I should try again.
First off I saw the brake lines that I put in previously were in the upper gear weldment hole... the holes that the fuel lines SHOULD go through. I had noticed this before but thought that it really shouldn't matter. But what if it was making the fuel route process more difficult? So... I loosened up the brake lines and puled them back and rerouted them into the lower holes.
BINGO! that was enough. I had already loosened up the screwed-in brackets to give the line more 'play' and used a spring tube bender to protect the line passing thru the weldment and fuselage skin holes. Went in really fast when you get all the conditions right.
Now that the fuel lines are there... lets see how the fuel selector valve lines up with them. Not bad.
But fitst ... the Andair valve I have came with the ports loose ... just in case you need to re-orient them. I've torqued them and marked them. WAIT... DO i HAVE THE TANKS SWITCHED?????
And the fuel pump... time to see how that looks in there as well... After some "t weeking"whats needed is just a little bend here and a little bend there ... it all fits fine.
2014-02-22 Eureka!... Fuel Lines from Fuel Valve Routed CORRECTLY What happens when you fixate on the drawings and route fuel lines as if you had the factory supplied fuel valve, but don't?
You potentially get LH tank fuel when the valve says "RH" ... not a good situation.
Fuel management while flying is hard enough without this setup.
Plumbing now corrected and the 2 sets of rubber grommets where the lines pass through the fuselage sides are installed. Lots of soapy water and "persuation" required.
I think this is all done. Need to do the final torque of all the fittings and move on. :-)
2014-03-01 Continuing With Canopy It's been really COLD all week... below zero at night ... highs in the single digits. Too cold to work out in the barn. Better today so I'm back at it.
Bought some 1/4" and 3/8" hose at the local auto parts store the other day for 99 cents ... works great at protecting the fuel lines and brake lines in the the front tunnel area.
Now that I've committed to the Silkaflex method of canopy attachment ... I'm moving forward with the tip up frame. Got out the reinforcement kit out and starts making parts.
F-7128C's are little brkts that get riveted ... need 6 of them. The F7128A and B's have these big holes (9 of them) that get the flanges bend 15 degrees or so to provide added strength. Interesting way that its done , with a small piece of wood with a 1/4" deep cut in it.
2014-03-02 Prep Canopy Reinforcement Parts Only a couple hours out there in the cold to work on this... sat down next to the wood burning stove and deburred parts. The F-7128A and the (2) f-7128B have a lot of nooks and crannies to get at.
I've gotten to where I prefer to use a fine sandpaper in these tight places rather than tear up a scotch-brite pad.
The "A" has the flanges pre-bent ... but the "B" are not.
After bending them all to exactly 24 degrees (ha!) ... I'm done for the night.
2014-03-03 Drill Canopy Reinforcements ..Partially So... I'm not really sure how to proceed with this, but until I am sure... its best to do the least amount of potential harm.
How's that for confidence?
Because I'm deviating from the plans, (silkaflex instead of rivets) and havent yet found a really detailed description as to how to proceed.... so ...I'm proceeding cautiously.
Having prepped the canopy reinforcements yesterday, I fit and drilled just the forward ends of the F7128's.
I think I really should re-install the canopy to the fuselage tomorrow,get it all fit exactly the way it should be... then drill and rivet the splice plate at the top of the F631. Right now its just clamped and I really should proceed too much further with it so unstable.
That's why only the one end of the reinforcements are drilled tonight.
2014-03-08 Forward and Aft Ball Stud Mounts Couldn't find the exact materials that I'm suppose to fab these parts out of. Called Van's and got the ok to substitute. Its taking longer to get the right finished dimensions ... but once completed, no one will be able to tell.
The aft parts are complete ... the forward parts are cut to size and now require drilling and tapping.

2014-03-09 Found the Ball Stud Material .... I never took the struts out of their packaging... when I did I found a hardware kit and raw aluminum stock to fabricate the forward and aft mounts out of.
Good thing... cuz I miss-drilled one of the C-725 that I made and need to make another ... wasted a lot of time trying to make those out of what I had.
Think I've got 2 good C-725's now all cut, drilled & tapped ... just needs to countersink them. Tomorrow.
2014-03-14 Drilling and Counter-sinking Canopy Proceeding 'cautiously'...
Cuz I'm deviating from the plans a little I'm going slower than usual. But I have precedent.... I'm relying on the Bruce Swayze website, and his sequence of building the canopy.
Removed the canopy frame from the fuselage (again) and dimpled the F-702 skin.... then countersunk all the holes in the WD-716 frame.... even the big #10 holes that hold the forward strut mounts.
Also bought some high temperature silicone at the auto parts store to set in the pitot tube heating elements .... then I realized I put the only fitting I had into the STATIC hole (that I wasn't going to use) instead of the PITOT hole ... rather that take it out and move it over.... I just went online and bought another fitting.
maybe I'll use the static port after-all as an ALT static source.
2014-03-14 Drilling and Counter-sinking Canopy Proceeding 'cautiously'...
Cuz I'm deviating from the plans a little I'm going slower than usual. But I have precedent.... I'm relying on the Bruce Swayze website, and his sequence of building the canopy.
Removed the canopy frame from the fuselage (again) and dimpled the F-702 skin.... then countersunk all the holes in the WD-716 frame.... even the big #10 holes that hold the forward strut mounts.
Also bought some high temperature silicone at the auto parts store to set in the pitot tube heating elements .... then I realized I put the only fitting I had into the STATIC hole (that I wasn't going to use) instead of the PITOT hole ... rather that take it out and move it over.... I just went online and bought another fitting.
maybe I'll use the static port after-all as an ALT static source.
2014-03-15 Match Drill LH C-704/C-631 Going do a Michigan Hockey game at Yost arena with the daughter and boyfriend.. . so calling quits early for a Saturday.
But I was able to fits the canopy frame again onto the fusellage and drill the C-704 splice brkt to the C-631A .Then removed it again so as to better countersink all the holes (tomorrow)
Made a C-731 LH lift handle too.
It's way too cold to cut plexiglass . . .
2014-03-16 More Canopy Work . . . . Following up on yesterday, started by countersinking and riveting the C-631A's together at the top.This will help when I take it on and off by not 'flexing' wobbling around.
Then on to the partially install canopy flex kit. I had match drilled only the forward sections of the C-7128 braces... putting off the drilling into the skin on the aft portion.
Spent lots of time drilling... deburing... dimpling and countersinking.
Almost ready to prime and rivet.
2014-03-20 I've got a HEATED Pitot Tube This step is to install the fittings for the pitot and the static lines (static is optional)
The elements I bought just slipped right in... and then a "glob" of high temp silicon on the tops to hold them in ....
2014-03-21 F-704K Trim Cap Covers These parts have been on the shelf just waiting .... the directions don't mention them but is pretty obvious where they go. WHEN they get pop riveted in is another matter...
I think I'll do everything except rivet them in.
So tonight I had time to cleco them and match drill , debur and scotch-bright them ... now they are ready to prime and paint with the canopy parts.
2014-03-22 More Canopy Riveting there's these tabs on the WD-716 canopy frame that come around and join the WD-725 side rails just above the splice plate. Kind of a complicated area....These need 2 rivets each according to the drawings... No dimensions given ... just drill, deburr, countersink (too thick to dimple) ... and rivet.
Also sanded down the body filler put into the tooling holes in the F-631A. No one will see this though, just realized that the canopy handle covers it.
2014-03-26 Canopy Drilling, Deburring, Dimpling, Countersinking ... Made a fire in the shop to take the chill off tonight... but winter might be over finally. A sunny day with temps in the 20's seems like spring now.
Drilled the last 12 holes needed in the canopy frame and the C-702 skin. These are just 'free hand' ... no dimensions on the drawings to guide you (Van's directions getting worse still).
One the holes on each sid in the C-702 skins (pre-punched)is unusable and has to be filled in... hits a existing rivet in the frame splice plate ??!! Anyway a little filler in the frame assembly ... and some on the C-702 skins and you wont even see it after paint.
Speaking of paint ... that's probably the next step... prime and paint the canopy assembly.
2014-03-28 F-603 Canopy Side Skirts These parts are basically the sides of the canopy. They and the WD-725's form a 'sandwich' ....with the plexiglass in the middle.
Drilled the 19 holes per side.... deburred the parts. Next is to re-assemble the canopy assembly (top skin , reinforcements, brkts) and mount it back to the fuselage... then fit and match drill the C-603's to the frame WD-725.
Just for kicks I also pulled all the blue protective plastic off the fuselage tonight... looks alot different. almost like a airplane.
2014-03-29 Canopy Fitting... Front Wheel Front Fork Put the canopy back on the fuselage and clamped it down and installed spacers at the back... The forward edge of the C-603 side skirt doesn't "fit" the aft mating surface on either side of the C-703 skin. Time to get out the file I guess.
I was a little distracted with other parts of the build today. So I got out the front tire, tube and wheel assembly and mounted the tire and inflated it. Used talc as directed (baby powder) Next is to pack the bearing, but I don't have the wheel grease they specify.
I think I'm gonna put 1 oz. of a dynamic tire balancer in the tube. I have stuff I use on the motorcycle, and I like it.
Then I followed the "Groves" wheel literature and drilled 1/8" holes into the front wheel fork (LH & RH) Then masked off the threaded holes and prepped the fork for paint.
I tried to work on the front wheel faring brkts but there's an existing hole that gets opened up to 1/8" then to 21/32' .... who's got a 21/32" drill bit laying around?! Haven't used one yet on this project. Hmmmmm....
2014-03-30 Prep, Prime, Paint Wd-630 Frt Fork Painted to kinda match the powder coaton the gear. Good ol' Rustoleum
2014-03-30 C-603, C-702 Poor Fit .... Don't like the looks of this.
Not sure how to proceed.
The transition form the C-702 canopy top skin to the C-603 side skirts has a big ol' gap at the frt.
Going to have to do a little research.
2014-04-01 Its Like Christmas In April Didn't have any time to build, but I got lots of cool stuff in the mail today...
1. I got "official" notification of the reservation of my new 'N' number ... N730RV ... in the mail today. i'm going to drop the N930RV that I had been holding.

2. The Groves main wheels and brakes were at the front door...
3. AND the padded dash and glare shield material from 'Classic Areo was here too!

2014-04-04 Packed Wheel Bearings Late night.... only had a couple hours ....
Decided not to tackle the canopy tonight (problem avoidance?) and do something 'mindless'.
The wheels, as they come from the manufacturer, come with a light coat of preservative grease and warnings that they must be 'packed' prior to use.
So with a new cartridge of Mobil One synthetic chassis and wheel grease, I hand packed the inner and outer bearings of all the wheels.
2014-04-05 Mount Main Tires, Tubes and Wheels Still avoiding the dreaded canopy , so I worked on more 'nuts and bolts' stuff.
Now that the wheel bearings are packed, I focused on mounting the tires, wheels and brakes. Just like the nose wheel, the mains have split rims ... Makes installing the tube ans tire easy. Lots of baby powder in the tire, and on the tube to facilitate assembly.
After inflation the brakes are installed ... the bolts that hold the calipers together are torqued to 90 "/lbs then safety wired.
I still havent balanced the wheels by adding balancing beads into the tube... but I have the beads but not a funnel small enough to pour them into the valve stem.
Worked a little on the fairing brkts for the nose wheel.
2014-04-15 Nose Wheel Faring Brackets Been away on a little vacation to Tennessee ... just getting back to plane stuff. The drill bit I ordered awhile back (21/32") didnt have a taper at the end... so it wouldn't fit in any of the drills that I have, or that nay of my friends of co-workers have. Re-ordered another WITH a 1/2" taper at the drill end. The new bit wouldn't still wouldn't itfit the air drill chuck... but just barely fit the drill press chuck.
FINALLY... the brackets are drilled.
2014-04-16 Riveted Platenuts to Fairing Brackets Fighting a cold... I feel tired. Only an hour to spend so what do you do?
Got out the pneumatic squeezer and some rivets , then install the platenuts to the nosewheel fairing brkts.
Using the drill bit as a gauge... I took the time to file and sand the 21/32 'slot' leading up to the 21/32" hole to make sure it was the correct width its entire length.
2014-04-18 Drill Aft Strut Brackets to Fuselage I thinking that to avoid the canopy side skin fit issues others get after they install the struts.... I would go ahead a put the struts in now.... then cut and drill the side skin. Maybe that way I can avoid the 'snubbers' that others have had to fabricate.
Carefully measured the distance from the forward ball stud in the canopy, to the center of the rear ball stud hole on the fuselage side rail... then measured from the top of the side rail to the center of the aft ball stud hole ... and drilled.
Looking good.
2014-04-19 Primed and Painted Canopy Parts Need to prime and paint the canopy parts prior to riveting them... Underside of the C-702 canopy skin ...
Canopy frame ...
Strut mounts ...
Canopy reinf brkts ...
2014-04-26 Rivet Canopy Top Skin & Reinforcements Been out of town for work (Kansas City) so this is the first time working on the project in about a week...
Following the Bruce Swayze method... I started the riveting of the C-702 top skin to the WD-716 frame assembly. I started to rivet the reinforcements first , but saw how this would block access to other rivets , so skins first,,, then the F-7128 reinforcements after . Lots of pop rivets in this assembly, but that's what it calls for.
Installed the forward strut brackets with screws using a little locktite.
Didn't quite get done... still have the reinforcement after edges to rivet .
2014-04-27 C-702 All Riveted ... Gas Strut Mounts Finished riveting the canopy reinforcements forward edge. then tackled the rivets that span the gaps between the C-702 skin to the outboard sides of the WD-716 'tubes' of the canopy frame.
some of the gaps are +.35".
All RV-7's have these gap to contend with ...some use epoxy ... but I ended up using Mike Bullocks method and bought an assortment of Cherry Max pop rivets. I ended using CR3214-4's in various lengths.
So now that the C-702 is all riveted, I mounted the canopy gas strut mounting brackets ... the front went in easy... the rear is mounted under the side rail... real pain to get the nuts on from the back.
Ended up using a small amount of glue on a finger to position the nut and washer to the screws. Hope I never have to remove them.
2014-04-28 Secondary Canopy Latch/Handle Besides the main latching mechanism that's activated by the LH side handle on the fuselage ... there's a simple secondary latch/handle up at the center of the roll bar. This also holds the canopy in a intermediate position for taxi-ing around no a hot day to let some air in the cockpit.
Spent the time today assembling the hardware and the main parts together and contemplating some of the modifications to this simple design that would prevent inadvertently locking yourself out of the plane. (IT HAS HAPPENED)
Anyway ... I need to do some more research on possible modifications to this, Spent some time deburring misc. brackets and parts laying on the shelves...
2014-05-03 Aft Canopy Handle Mod Complete So a couple days ago... I botched the C-608 block and ordered a new one from Vans. That gave me time to contemplate how I was going to modify this assembly using the good ideas Ive seen other builders adopt.
The block come predrilled for the shaft of the Wd-621 handle... but to make the handle sit fully against the bottom of the block , you have to remove some block material to allow the welded area to sit into.
Then , the idea is to have a spring allow the handle to be pulled down, to clear the roll bar,then spring up when the handle is released. Bought a 5/8 OD spring at the local hardware ... then re-drilled the top 1 " of the C-608 to allow the spring to slip over the handle shaft and nest in the pocket created in the block. (used a 21/32 drill bit).
You have to drill a 1/8" hole at the tpo of the handle shaft to allow a cotter key to hold the spring and washer in.
the mounting holes are then match drilled to the C-631 and countersunk for flush screws.
2014-05-05 Canopy Guide Mod This looks like a great idea that someone had ... and I'm sure a money maker. Canopy guides... from Buller Enterprises and for the low, low price of $39.95 a pair.
As the canopy lower into position... this 'guides' help the rear latches find the hole.
The hardware is non-standard though ... as is the drill bit required to make the holes (.166") ?????
Fortunately a 5/32" bit works with a little reamming.
Then, wouldn't you know it... the last screw IS DEFECTIVE! and it be an odd ball size... I dont have a spare.
Hopefully Mr. Buller will send me another.
2014-05-14 Forward Canopy Hinge Release.... Almost Done I was holding off installing the handle for the front canopy hinge release because of concerns about avionic interferences ...until I saw Mike Bullock's construction photos of his plane. He has the Garmin 430 mounted to the left of 2 Grand Rapids Horizon units and was able to leave in the canopy release handle. I really like his arrangement.
So I ordered from Van's a UHMW block and cut it on the band saw and drilled it to accept the handle. I later ordered a AN3-6A bolt to attach the handle to the pivot mechanism... not here yet.
I think this arrangement of going down vertically from the pivot mechanism is the best solution for me. It allows for the use of the designed method of forward canopy release... without the handle going into the dash panel or messing with the installation of some advanced avionics.
2014-05-17 Fitting Canopy Frame . . . Pull here ... Push there .... I don't know if I'm just tired of playing with this canopy stuff or that it really looks fitted, but its to a point that I can live with now. Besides, from what Ive read , the fit of this thing continues to change until you rivet the dash sub and skin.... and that'll be awhile still.
Ready to start trimming glass.
2014-05-18 C-603 Canopy Side Skirts Tackled the canopy side skirts today.
Lined the skirt up to the top edge of the fuselage and then filed the forward edge of the skirt so that it mated to the canopy top skin. Clamped it all down and match drilled the skirt to the canopy.
Deburred all the holes and dimpled the skirt holes. The rear of the skirt is too long and must be trimed to match the upper fuselage skin... but I'm going to wait to cut it until the struts are on. Bad things happen in this area after the struts are in. (others have learned this the hard way)
I'll countersink the canopy frame tomorrow...
2014-05-19 Countersink Canopy Frame for Side Skirts About 38 holes per side 72 holes total... but its done.
Thinking about the LH lift canopy lift handle
2014-05-26 Trimed Canopy Plexiglass My work computer lost its hard drive, so I havent documented for a couple days. (cant load pictures using gingers computer)
It was over 80 degrees today, perfect for cutting plexiglass.
Peeled back the protective plastic and used masking tape to mark where to trim the canopy. Using the supplied cutting disc on a die grinder, I went at the back, front , then the sides removing the "extra" on the edges (up to the 'clamping ' marks... not too bad ... just have to hold the tool straight and go slow. Finished the edge by using a file , then sone #600 sandpaper (all I had) Think I'll see how others dressed the edges and make a run to Lowe's tomorrow
Cutting really makes a mess of the shop... white plexiglass 'snow' everywhere. You really have to wear a respirator, earplugs and safety glass
2014-05-27 Plexiglass Sitting in Position Dusted as much of the plexglass 'snow' off the canopy as I could ... tried vacuuming it, blowing it with compressed air... stuff is still there.
With the help of #1 daughter , we lifted the glass onto the canopy frame. It looks good on the sides as is, but its a little long. Had to remove all the rivets on the aft edge of the sub-frame top skin so it wouldnt hit.
Let the trimming begin.
2014-06-07 First Real Trim of Front Canopy Hmmmm... Nice an warm today... good day to trim plexiglass. Placed a heater under the bubble and let it heat up , just be sure it was warm enough. Trimmed the front of the canopy . I had made an initial cut based on the curve of the canopy and made the cut forward of the curve. Maybe too much forward of the curve.
The fit is not good yet ... not flush to the C-702 yet ... more trimming required.
But , hey its a start.
2014-06-08 More Canopy Trimming Pretty boring to write about ... get help to install canopy to frame... check gaps and mark where it touches ... remove canopy (with help) ... file and sand the places indicated...
2014-06-09 Siill more Canopy Trimming Lift off frame...
Lift onto frame...
2014-06-11 Still More Trimming Getting closer?
2014-06-15 Close Enough Frt Canopy Fits! Had the Canopy plexiglass on and off the frame about half a dozen times again today. . . finally it fits.
The cutting technique that seemed the fastest was to use the cutting wheel , but not to cut, but to use the 'face' of the wheel (like a buffing wheel) and grind down the marked edge ... followed up with successive application of a palm sander with 60 grit and 120 grit.
what really slowed down the progress also was that it took 2 people to lift the glass on to the frame , to check the fit... and 2 people to lift it off , to grind down the high spots.
Thanks to my helpers , Ginger and Halley for being there to assist!!! Best fathers day gift ever!
2014-06-17 Not Close Enough.... More Trimmimg Req I attempted to mark the line for the "big cut" ... but it is difficult to get an accurate measurement cuz the big gap ( +1 in.) between the top of the rollbar and the glass. So, mamybe the trimming of the front should continue , not only to get a good fit to the F-702 , but to lower the glass at the rollbar.(?)
Call Van's , they said there will be a "V" at the top between the frt glass and the rear if the height isn't reduced. Dont want that.
Iv'e also read that other builders have this concern as well.
So as much as I'd like to proceed, I think I'll keep trimming the front before makeing the big cut.
2014-07-03 More Canopy Trimming Been out of town , first for work... then on vacation .
Slow going this canopy fitting stuff...
2014-07-04 Even More Canopy Trimming . . . I'm beginning to realize that the glass will never touch the roll bar until the "BIG CUT" is made ... getting the front edge symmetrical (and fit) then moving on.
2014-07-05 Prep For Big Cut Decided to quit filing and filing down the front of the canopy... its never going to 'lower' at the roll bar area until the big cut... the directions pretty much say that ...
Marked the line where the cut will be ... the put down about 6 layers of masking tape to create a little 'ditch' to try and error proof the cut.
Marked the rear window opening area and then 1.25" out side of that (the cut line)
I tried just marking on top of the protective plastic.... but decided to mark the glass which requires the removal and taping of the plastic (inside and out)
Made 6 little 2x4 blocks that I'll screw down to the table that will hold the sides in and keeps the assembly stable during the cutting process.
2014-07-06 The Big Cut Success.
Started by spannnig the canopy across (3) 2x4's. Then stabilizing the sides by screwing 3 small wooden blocks per side to help maintain the shape while cutting.
Then let my engine pre-heater run for about 30 minutes until the canopy is nice and warm.
The cutting and trimming didnt take long at all ... and I used a small clamp on each side and lots of duck tape to hold the two halves together.
While installing the rear glass to the fuselage i noticed a yet-to-be riveted bracket that needed some riveting (missed earlier) ... F731A to F731H.
Now that the front and rear sections are seperated ... thers lots of trimming to do. I noticed that now the front can touch the roll bar .... the sides got longer.
2014-07-10 Trimming the Canopy Sides Trimming the sides so that they lay nice in the side rail.
2014-07-11 Trimming the Side Skirts and Ears Installed the gas shocks to the canopy frame ball studs, (cuz things "change" after they go on)... then trimmed the side skirts to match the height of the side rails (wd-725) and trimmed to length in teh back to meet flush against the aft upper fuselage skin ( )
then lastly I enlarged the notch at the 'ears'... . and trimmed the height of the ears to match the side skirts.
Will continue to fit the canopy glass to the frame tomorrow.
2014-07-12 Canopy into the Ears ... Today I placed the canopy into the 'ears' and it doesnt lay down. the front ends up elevated with lots of big gaps.
Either trim the sides more, or open the ears more, or both.
2014-07-13 Trimming
2014-08-09 C-731 Lift Handles I didn't think I was going to make these (some people don't)... they're not particularly attractive parts and they are very visible. So, while at Oshkosh last week, I tried to raise a couple canopies... Wow, It would be really difficult to lift the canopy without them.
Decided to install them on both sides of the canopy for symmetry, and so the canopy can be raised from either side.
2014-08-14 Still More Canopy Trimming I decided NOT to trim the "big cut" line.I should be good as is.
My methodology is to keep removing material from the forward edge to get it to sit lower and force the rear to "pivot" ....
The bottom of the rear (which to too far forward) rotates aft .
Got the RH side pretty close .... still taking material off the LH front.
2014-08-24 Cut the 'Ears' Off ... More Triming I should have been checking the canopy fit at the front, with the canopy behind the ears (havent been)... wow... the front is sitting really high at the front. figuured out that the transition area at the 'ears' is keeping it from sitting flush in the front.
Modified the ear tabs ... cut them off really per Dan Checkoway's webbsite. then started trimming the sides to allow the front to sit lower.
Baby steps...
2014-08-27 Progress... Getting Close So close.
The rear is almost lined up perfectly with the center line on the rear roll bar (which has been the goal ever since the "big cut"). Now I'm just trying to get the front to lay flush on the cowl .
Ever since the first tucking of the canopy behind the ear tab, the front has been elevated. Trimming the canopy flange at the "ear tab" area has been helping this condition and it HAS been slowly been improving as I trim.
Cant believe how long this part of the build has taken me.... but hey, I'm a slow learner.

2014-08-30 A Little Closer. . . Decided that the sides were slightly long on the canopy and that I really should trim them up... Take the canopy off, Filing, sanding , put the canopy on to check for fit.
2014-08-31 Done Trimmig the Front Canopy.!!! Done... time to move on to other tasks (yay)
2014-09-01 Defroster, Glare Shield, and Padded Dash I was really on the fence on this one. To defrost... or not to defrost. That was the question.
Decided that what the defroster really does well is cool the avionics on hot days (as well as defrost the canopy on cold ones)
Ordered (2) 80mm cooling fans, and grills from Amazon this morning.
So while I wait to get the cooling fans, I cant really proceed too much ...
Was able to drill and fit the padded dash ... and trim a piece of glare shield fabric to the contour of the front canopy.
need to cut the holes for the fans before gluing down the glare shield
2014-09-06 Holes Drilled for Defroster Fans Not much room for error here. There's only enough room for these little fans can only go between the back edge of the frame braces and the round canopy frame brace.
Made a fan template out the box the fans cam in and found the center. When I put the template in position I used a punch to mark the spot.
Now that the center of the fan is marked, I used a Harbor Freight, "dual cutting" hole cutter to cut the 80mm hole. I like this new little tool, way more stable than the normal ones...
Now to find the proper hardware to mount all this, and it should be good to go.
2014-09-09 Glare Shield Installed Got the required hardware for the defroster fans from Lowe's and loose assembled them both to the glare shield area.
Then clean the whole area with acetone ... spray the metal and the back side of the glare shield material with 3M adhesive ... and with alittle help from Dad. Presto!
All looks Good.
Need to cut all the padded dash attachment holes with an exacto knife then assemble the fans tomorrow.
2014-09-10 Mount Defroster Fans - Dash pad and Rivet Sub Panel Got lots done today... and will soon be running out of reasons not to glue in the canopy. :-)
I think I've permanently installed the defroster fans,grills, filter screens and the dash pad.
Wow ... I really like the way this looks. Good thing too... its VERY visible to anyone walking by, and its right in front of the pilot and passenger as you sit in the aircraft.
Then per the Bruce Swayze site, I riveted the forward sub frame .... all except 12 rivets that will be hard to get at.
Good thing Dad was here to help ... made a big difference having help with the bucking bar. NONE of these rivets were able to be squeezed.
Thanks Dad!
2014-09-13 UHMW Tape , Completed Sub Frame So I called Vans aircraft and asked them about the 12 rivets that are left (6 per side) and asked what blind rivet would be an acceptable substitute for the 470AD4-4 that are called for in the planes.
I the past I would have tried my my damnest NOT to deviate from whats called out... but these last rivets would be really a challenge to do right. So rather that get frustrated and waste alot of time drilling them out when I messsed them up. I went straight to the LP3-4's.
Piece of cake.
After finishing the sub-frame, I installed the UHMW tape to the front edge of the canopy.
Dad was here to assist.
2014-09-15 Drilling Holes in Firewall Took a break from the canopy process and re-visited the firewall. All the holes should be drilled before hanging the engine mounts. Marked the locations for the cabin heat, throttle, mixture, and "nose gear access"
These are all pretty big holes (3/4", 5/8", and 2")
I got them all drilled except the 2" cabin heat hole. Tries the new hole cutter I got from Harbor Freight, but this stainless steel firewall is too much for these cheap cutting blades. Gonna have to try something different... tomorrow.
2014-09-18 2 Inch Firewall Hole After asking co-workers, checking Harbor Freight, and stopping by the local metal fab shop... I couldn't find a "knockout hole punch" that would cut a 2" hole in this stainless steel firewall for the heat control valve.
Last evening, I surfed the web.... craigslist , ebay, ... it was going to cost a REAL chunk-o-change to get a tool that would do this.
So, first thing this morning, at the suggestion of my daughter, I went on Facebook and posted what I was looking for... and what do you know ? Within an hour ...a friend from the daughters high school days (10+ years ago) sends me a note that her husband is a electrician and has what I need .
He loaned me a whole set of Greenlee knockout punches with a hydraulic actuator... very nice tools.
Anyway , it worked great. this is definitely the way to make big holes in metal. I really owe these guys.
2014-09-22 Trutrak/GRT Pitch Servo Brkt The auto-pilot can either be a TruTrak or Grand Rapids Tech. now ... the bracket is the same for both brands. But I wanted to install it before going too much further. As it was I had to drill out 3 rivets.
Not too difficult, but I had to have help putting in the bottom 3 rivets. Thx Halley!
Afterwards I installed the rod end bearings to the little push rod.... EXACTLY 5.739 inches long. I'm guessing it didnt really have to be that precise.
2014-10-01 Heater Control Valve - FAIL Attemped to mount and seal the heater control valve to the fire wall today... not so good ...
the stainless steel hardware the recccommmend doesnt work ... the AN3C-4A bolts are TOO LONG ... even with multiple washers.

Reordered -3A's from Aircraft Spruce. In the mean time I need to plan the silka flex-ing of the canopy. Put it off as long as I could.
Tring to find a local RV7 builder ... someone whos "been there" that I can bounce ideas off off. No luck yet ... plenty of folks in the area who are just starting the wings or the empanage.fThey might be contacting me for help with THEIR projects ... and thats fine.
2014-10-06 Heater Control Valve Mounted The new shorter stainless steel bolts arrived today in the mail...(2) AN3C-3A's. Installed the heater valve to the firewall will a generous amount of high temperature sealer between the valve and mating surface... but NOT too much as to squeeze out into the 'flapper door' or the hinge area.
Looks good.
2014-10-27 Finally ..Canopy Trimmed ! I know I said it trimmed before , but now its REALLY trimmed. Took the advise of from folks on the Van's forum and changed my methodology of trimming only the front edge. Trimmed the rear to align the edge to the center of the roll bar.
Spent some time cutting back the glareshield to allow 1/2" of surface to bond to.
Getting closeer to finally finishing the canopy.
2014-11-05 Re-Painting Canopy Frame Before glueing the canopy down soon ... I needed to fix the paint job where it had been damaged from repeated clamping.
The top coat was not applied very well before and had a very 'rough' texture. Maybe thats why it didnt weaar very well?
masked off everything I could , lightly sandeed it all, and sprayed a nice glossy top coat, with no runs.
Looks better now
2014-11-15 Prepping Foe Sikaflex Canopy is fit as good as its going to get... so today was spent tring to mask the areas where I don't want to Sikaflex to go on.
Also the area at the rear of the glass that contacts the rear frame bow ... I hadn't marked that area so I started masking the outside where I could see the the edges of the rear frame... then took off the canopy glass and masked the inside to match the outside tape.
Next , you have to rough up the glass contact points with a scotchbrite (being careful NOT to scratch any part of the glass that will show)
I scothbrite-ed the frame earlier.
Before quitting for the night, I removed a LH & RH vapor line screws that was pointed out to me by Andy Power, when he came by to see the project. These screws were eventually going to rub a hole in the outside skin because they were too long.
A little hit with the grinder and a run through with a #8 die and its all better.
Silkafex soon!
2014-11-16 PitotTube Doubler Made a pitot doubler out of .032 aluminum sheet... with little stringers of .025 aluminum angle (really is fuselage srringers with the little curve cutoff)
It rivets to the closest wing rib with the aluminum angle ... and has the same angle at the opposite side and top. At the bottom it uses the existing holes in the spar.
All is match drilled and now ready to cut the hole to allow the pitot to mount to the outside skin.
2014-11-19 Fitting Pitot to Doubler So... I've had the doubler and the reinforcement brkts that I made on the wing several times making sure it all lines up. Now its time to dimple the holes in the doubler and the brkts. this was easily done on the c-frame.
Next ... making the hole for the pilot, the static (backup) and the heating elements wires to go through the doubler.
Started off with a cardboard template, that I transfered to the doubler. Once the irregular hole was cut with a dremmel, the doubler is re-mounted to the wing ... where the holes shape gets transfered to the inside of the wing skin.
I'll cut through the wing skin tommorrrow. :-)
2014-11-20 Pitot Hole in Wing Skin Yesterday the hole was made in the doubler to allow the pitot to seat ... today that same sized hole was made into the wing skin using the doubler as the guide.
Pitot fits ... now the (3) mounting holes can be drilled ... but I'm not sure what kind of bolts to use.
2014-11-21 Dimpled Skin for Doubler Although the pitot doubler uses lots of pre-existing holes in the wing skin ... there are some new ones , and they need to be dimpled.
Dragged the C-frame over to the area and successfully used it to dimple all of them .
Drilled the pitot mounting holes (3) ... now if I can only find the right screws to attach it.
2014-11-23 More Pitot Work . . .. Went and purchased some 6-32x3/4" stainless steel pan head screws from the aviation section at Lowe's last night that should work just fine to mount the pitot.
This morning I primed the doubler assembly then installed the (3) platenuts. I cant really rivet this into the wing as yet cuz it needs to rivet in with the wing's bottom skin.
But I can run the aluminum tube through the wing... So I put a loop in the end that connects to the pitot , then ran the rest of the tube through grommets until the first rib of the wing. Here I thought I had the right union, but what bought AN815-4D, it wont work. I need to get a AN832-4D.
$3.45 at Aircraft Spruce . . .
2014-12-01 Pitot Line Fitting AN832-4D Been gone for 5 days visiting family down in Tennessee, so I havent worked any on the plane. Back at it tonight.
I wanted the Pitot line in the wing to be all metal, due to the heated pitot , so that means aluminum tube, fittings , flaring , nuts, ect... all skills I had "refresh my memory on .
As luck (?) would have it, the set of wing rib holes are all drilled correctly for the tube grommets AND the AN832-4D fitting at the wing root rib. Was able to loose install the fitting to the wing rib... flare the tube and loose install the tube to the fitting.
Tomorrow I'll flare the other end that attaches to the pitot itself..
2014-12-03 Flare Pitot Line Slipped on the nipples and nuts to the aluminum line and flared both ends.
Flares look good.
Will torque the fitting at the wing root rib and test fit to the pitot tomorrow.
This was one of the reasons I left off the bottom skins... but not the only reason as I recall.
Lets see . ..If I ran some antennas and wires for lights& strobes ... then installed the AP servo... THEN it might be time to close her up.
2014-12-05 Finished Pitot (for now) Aileron Push Rod Boot Pitot mounting ato the wing skin and lines are done for now. Re-installed everything and made sure the line would reach the pitot and the flare nut would thread onto it.
really should get back to the canopy... but started the AILERON pushrod boots. This is not in the plans, but lots of builders do this. For a couple hours work, it prevents cold air from entering the cockpit via the holes in the fuselage that the aileron push rods come through.
Got the plans online and using some 'Tyvek' as the material instead of nylon or vinyl.
2014-12-06 Aileron Push Rod Boots Almost done with these... Metal retainer rings fabricated ... the boot material cut and sewn (thanks ginger).
Maixed up a batch of proseal and coated the back side of the retaining ring then positioned the boot material into the proseal... should hold better than RTV.
Maybe dry overnight?
2014-12-08 Roll Servo Brkt So... what else shoulld be done inside the wings before the bottom skin gets riveted on?...
Well theres the roll servo brkt. Got the kit out (bought from GRT a year ago) and read the directions.
First , disassemble and remove the lower bellcrank brkt ans replace with one in the kit. (need to paint white to match the rest of the bellcrank assembly)
While the paint dries, drill a #12 hole in the bellcrank arm, 2 inches from the pivot point.
Opps ...I see a problem... the 3.25" pushrod that connects the servo arm to the bellcrank doest have any threads in it ...
I'll call GRT tommorrow and ask them for a good one.
in the mean time I can re-assemble the bellcrank with the new lower brkt and re-connect the push rods. Leaving them loose for now.
2014-12-13 Center Console Installed the arm rest / storage area door to the center console. Cut the hinge, riveted to both side.. . need to get "flocking" material to line the insde of the glove box and find a latch to close this all with...
2014-12-14 Fuel Valve Extension and Handle Worked on installation the Andair fuel valve handle assembly to the center console. Instructions are a little 'vauge' , but hey... so are the Vans instruction.
Aproximated the location of the hadle and trim ring, then started reducing the lenght of the extension tube until it was just the right length. then on to drill all the connections for these little dowel pins that hold everything together.
Had to do some minor trimming of the handle and ring mounting bracket, it was too wide to fit in the console
2014-12-15 Throttle Quadrant to Center Console Continuing on the theme of all things associated with the center console ... time to test fit the throttle and mixture controls to the center console opening. They have the LH bracket shipped separately (?) not sure why ... Maybe I needed to take it all apart anyway? ... who knows. I think this is what happens when you get parts from 4 different venders (Vans, Andair, JD airparts, and Extreme Products) and expect it all to work together.
Didn't get too far ... enough to see how it all fit ... The upholstery will hide alot of fit issues
2014-12-31 Center Console Push Button & latch First entry in over a week .... (Rhine river cruise over Christmas) While out of town... the push button assembly I ordered on-line came in the mail.
Drilled a 1" hole in the top of the arm rest to allow for the mounting of the button. Then riveted (2) excess holes in the latch area that I wont be using for that purpose.
Used a piece of AA6-063x3/4x 3/4 angle to serve as the latch... think I'll wait to do the fitting of the latching surface until after the upholstery gets done.
Halley got me a data plate for the plane as a Christmas present. Very cool. I didnt have one yet, but there's no reason not to get it engraved and mounted. right away
2015-01-04 Finally! ... Sikaflex the Canopy With the help of daughter Halley & boyfriend A.J., we finally put the glass to the frame today. Alot of preparation has lead up to this. Have read and re-read Bruce Swayze's tutorial over the last severial days.
Per the directions... first wiped acetone to the surfaces.... then wiped on the 'activator' ... wait 10 minutes...brush on the primer with a foam brush( carefull not to drip) ... wait 30 min ... I put (4) pieces of 0.125"diameter screen window spine at the the front edge to keep the the 1/8" bead height.
Then applied the sikaflex sealer with a caulk gun.
Very Carefully picked up the plexiglas and set it at the rear ... then into the dog-ears , then the front fell into place. Tapped in down alittle Looks Good!
then clecoed on the side skirts (theses were cleaned, activated, primed as well)
Then started to pull tape NOTE TO SELF ... dont use painters or masking tape for this again... plain ol' electrical tape is what you need ESPECIALLY on the inside ,at the front where there's not much room and where you really dont what the tape to tear and break.
Places where the sikaflex oozes out are easily wiped away with minerial spirits. Halley was able to crawl into the cockpit and pull most of the tape. This was exhausting! Glad its over.
Happy with the results... or maybe it's the fumes?
2015-01-05 Riveting Canopy Side Skirts I haven't riveted anything in awhile, good to know I still know how... started by removing the (4) 1/8" spacers in the front windshield area. Then removed all the clamps and 7/8" spaces at the rear roll bar ... and then 'wow" the canopy raised.
Now that the plexiglass and the frame are "one", I didnt want to try to remove it by myself, so for tonight I just left it on the fuselage. From there it was easy access to the side skirts.
About 50 rivets later , both side are riveted with the exception of the aft 2-3 on each side. Too close to the frame edge to squeeze. Might have to use pop rivets here ... or try bucking.
Tomorrow I'll try to remove the canopy assembly and get some more sikaflex into the where the front spacers were .
2015-01-07 Misc Canopy Work . . . Had a little time to spend out in the cold , cold, shop (10 degrees) ... it finally gets warm about the time you're done.
Anyway, finished riveting the last difficult rivets that hold on the side skirts (C-603). Had to use pop rivets in the last 2 (both sides) because the holes were so close to the inside frame welds.
Next I opened up the sikaflex and filled in the gaps left by the spacers.
Then installed the C-734 canopy lift handles. the instructions only call out for one on the Left side.... but for symmetry, I made one for the passenger side as well.
2015-01-10 Touch up Sikaflex at Rear had ginger help me remove the canopy from the fuselage and turn up upside down . upon inspection, I've got some skips and voids at the rear ... shot al ittle along the edge and worked it into place with a gloved finger ... wiping and excess wipe a mineral spirit soaked paper towel .
I put the padded dash back on ... I think it can stay on now.
Next , before the Sikflex expires, is the rear window.
Ideally you like to leave that until all the interior stuff is done (for access) but ithink it can be worked around.
I hope
2015-01-15 More Touch Up Work in the Rear parts of the rear bead looked a little skimpy ... just shot a small bead right on top of the cured bead.... alitttle wipe witha gloved finger and DONE.
Moving on to the rear before the sikaflex goes past the expiration date!
2015-01-16 Rear Window Reinstalled the Canopy...
clecoed back on the top, aft skin ...
Positioned the rear window to see how much trimming is required.
Hopefully this wont take as long as the front.
2015-01-18 99% Trimming ofRear Window Got up early (for me) and got to work cutting the aft portion of the rear window. After marking where the top skin meets the glass, I drew a line 5/8"out from it. 5/8" is the flange length on the drawing. With a die-grinder and a regular old cutting wheel (the Van's supplied ones are gone) I cut well outside of the 5/8" mark... by another 1/4" or so... just to be safe.
After the die-grinder, all the nicks are removed using a electric sander.
The fit is allmost good enough ... a little trimming tomorrow might do it.
Thinking ahead about the sikaflex ... I can see that I'll have to remove the paint I applied to the top of the "roll bar" and the inside edge of the top skin.
Using a piece of scothbrite and some lacquar thinner was able to get the roll bar portion down to bare metal.
Progress . . .
2015-01-19 More rear Window Trimming - Prep I'm tired.
It was MLK day (no work) ... so got alot done in the shop.
Filing, sanding, putting the rear window in... taking the rear window out... repeat 10 times or so... will make you tired.
But, the rear window has a nice 1/8" gap to the aft of the canopy glass. Drawing says 1/32" ... but on hot days , when the plane sits in the sun, people have had their canopies 'swell' slightly and refuse to open. 4/32 'or 1/8' provides some allowance for expansion.
Once the window was trimmed , it was time to remove the top skin and remove the paint to allow the sikaflex to sit on bare aluminum.
2015-01-24 Still More Rear Window Prep I think 'm almost ready to glue the rear window in... All the contacting surfaces have been masked and scotchbrited.
Some last minute trimming of the forward edge was done to achieve a better gap all around. And I cut little pieces of 1/8" screen window spline to act as a spacer between the rear widow and the front.
Oh, also I mixed up a tiny batch of proseal (I love that stuff) and put on that "triangle bracket" at the top of the rear bulkhead. that thing was never going to line up after the top skin was install. This will make lining up all that metal a snap when its time to rivet.
Also, I plan to install a cargo area light , but theres no good was for a wire to get through the rear baggage area bulkhead ... so I drilled a 3/*" hole and install the smallest grommet I had.
2015-01-25 Rear Window Sikaflex 'd into Place Thanks to Halley and AJ for their help with this step.
After a brief discussion as to the process... it all went rather well. As with most new things with this project... Lots and lots of preparation , but the final portion was easier than I thought.
1. wiped all contacting surfaces with acetone.
2. apply the "Activator-205' with a lint free cloth.
3. apply the "Primer-209 D' with a foam brush
4. then its time to lay the bead of Sikaflex-295UV ...I choose to apply it to the F-631 roll bar... then to the underside of the F-774 aft top skin. (no sealer on the glass)
then with the help Halley and AJ, we picked up the rear window and align it to the center mark on the back of the frt glass. Dont try to push the sides it, just let it set there on the top of the F-631. Then pick up the F-774 top aft skin and cleco the rear... this sets the fore - aft , then gently lower it down onto the glass and start clecoing from the back to the front.
Pulled the tape inside and out. wiped off some excess. Then inserted a couple sticks inside to force the glass outboard and minimize the gap at the top and corners. Step back and admire.
2015-01-31 Pulling Plastic To protect aluminum parts from scratches I've been leaving the blue film of plastic on. Even after a part is completed, like a wing ...or rudder, Ive been leaving the outside plastic on the part. However after 5 years of building... the plastic is getting "brittle" and is becoming difficult to remove.
Decided today was a good day to just pull all the plastic off the fuselage , the wings, the flaps, elevators, rudder, horizontal stabilizers.
This really changes the looks of things in the shop ... every things so shiny!
2015-02-01 Forward Canopy Stops The fit of the canopy has changed since installation of the lift strut... the gap at the aft edge to the rear widow got bigger, and the gap at the side skirt did too. I thought this might happen ... and thought I had a work around. I purposely put the struts on before installing the canopy glass, the side skirts, and the rear window... but it didnt seem to help.
So the 'fix' that many builders employ is to install "forward stops"
Constructed out of some left over AA6 angle and something at the hardware store called "joint connector bolt" (used in woodworking?)
It does work... but I need to fine tune the adjustment.
2015-02-07 Fitting The Canopy Now that the forward canopy stops in place... I've adjusted them to get the skirt gap the rear MUCH better. Some minor trimming of the rear Plexiglas so that gap to the rear glass isn't too small.
Looks good.
The center console has been sitting on a workbench and I mistakenly let it fall to the floor a couple days ago... kinda bent it at the top and the left side edge. Normally i'd be really bummed about it , but I was able to bend and hammer it all back into place ... at least good enough that it wont be noticeable after upolstery
2015-02-08 Canopy Frame Latch Lugs - Wd-622 These Wd-622's have been painted and sitting on the shelf for awhile now... time to install them. its tougher to install with the rear glass already in ... but not impossible. Its a little tricky to clamp them as the instructions say, cuz there's no room with the roll bar there.
But after some incremental drilling , re-drilling, and then bolting them in, re-adjusting the forward stops... IT CLOSES and LOCKS.
What more could you want?
2015-02-15 Baggage Area Light So... I ordered the Van's type LED dome light from Aircraft Spruce, then sent it back (too small).
I stopped at the local salvage yard and wasted $20 on a map light out of a van conversion (too big)that I'll never use.
Then I found a 1991 Porsche 944 dome light for $7.99 online ...I LIKE IT. Fits flush (almost) to the cover and has a built-in switch.
I'll need to find a LED replacement bulb to fit it. Spent a couple hours just cutting a hole in the cover so that the assembly 'snaps' into it.
This is the kind of personal, custom touch that I like doing and makes your project unique.:-)
2015-02-17 Top Aft Skin Riveting F-774 Got a late start tonight (pillate class) , but Halley and I got together and put some nice looking rivets in the aft top skin that surrounds the rear window. Still not done , but this is definitely a 2-man operation.
I would have liked to delayed riveting this until way later in the build process and ALL the components are installed back there (Much easier access). but now that the rear window is in... the metal its glued to is never coming back off... so might as well rivet it.
Hope this doesnt come back to 'bite' me, but what really drove this sequence was the install the backlight before the sikaflex expiration date...
Time will tell if this was a good decision . . .
2015-02-19 F-743 Fresh Air Vent Brackets Installed So ... I made a list of "things to do BEFORE buying the engine" and this item was on the list.
I noticed 4 holes on each side of the fuselage , which led me to find the LH and RH fresh air vent brackets on the shelf. These had been primed, painted, drilled, dimpled, and platenuts installed. so I had worked on them extensively, but for some reason , had never installed them. Really no reason not to.
Really easy.
Now the stien air vents and the NACA vents can be connected with the flexible hose.
2015-02-21 More Riveting of the F-774 plus Misc Because this is a 2 man job, I need to do this when Hally is visiting... Today Hally, AJ and several friends came over to ice fish.
Once they were done I had Halley help for 30 minutes before she had to leave. This is almost done. ..maybe another 30 minutes or so.
After I lost my helper I drilled out the firewall doubler (4 rivets) where the fuel line penetrates the firewall... want this and the elbow to be stainless. Need to order.
Then I started on the engine mount. Its been just hanging on the wall ... now its time to hang it on the firewall. Just did the preliminaries tonight... read the manual, looked at a couple websites, then started the holes with a 1/8 " drill... then clamp the engine mount into position. All the holes are close, but not exactly centered,,, but they're close. Should be no problem to open up to 3/8" tomorrow
2015-02-22 Engine Mount (plus other stuff) Started it yesterday... finished it today. All the engine mount holes (6) are drilled to 3/8" and the mount is hanging on the firewall.
This went pretty well... Clamped the mount assembly into postition, centered one of the top holes, drilled to 23/64" , then reamed to 3/8", then install the hardware and tighten.
Must have had these tools from an earlier part of this project, but it was nice to have the proper tools on hand for this .
Next I started the battery box. Found the F-877A which is the bottom section. then its hacking off sections of AA6 .063 and AA6 .125 3/4"x 3/4" angle. Six different brackets/ shims need to be madeto complete this assembly. Good start on this.
2015-02-25 Upgraded Firewall Fuel Fitting Could not believe it. one AN-833-6D fitting was almost $20. WAY more expensive than the normal aluminum ones. BUt this one needs to be more fire proof because of its location. Howver I decided to leave the double and spacer aluminum ... rather than go steel so....
Build on
2015-03-02 Setting Breakout Force on Nose Wheel Now I understand ...its NOT 22 lbs of torque on the nut, but 22 lbs of side force before the front axle starts to turn.
Found a digital fish scale and bent some electric fence wire into the axle hole.
I get the feeling that as the nose wheel is turned repeatedly ... the break out force will go down ... and may need to be re-tightened later. Maybe, but for now its good.
Also tonight I started assembling the main wheels to the legs .
2015-03-07 Firewall Forward Kit Arrives The FedEx man brought me a little present today. This was the last "kit" from Vans Aircraft. It was the smallest of the boxes they've sent . . .(not the cheapest though) lots of little parts and no sheet metal.
After taking an inventory, I came up with the usual result... IT'S ALL THERE.
Everything present and accounted for. The exhaust will be coming soon, directly from Vetterman Exhaust... and the throttle and mixture cables, which are not a standard setup ...I'll order later after I can measure from the engine to the quadrant.
Engine will be coming soon too!
2015-03-14 Battery Box Been out of town (oakville) so its been awhile between entries. Lots of little parts to fabricate, doubler, top brkt, spacers, ect.
needed to to make 2" lightening holes in the box, and had to borrow the hydraulic hole punch from a friend. That tool is WAY better than using a fly-cutter.
2015-03-15 VA168 Transducer Only had an hour... but saw a part that needs to be on prior to the engine , so I a installed it.
Pretty easy.
remove an existing rivet.... drill out to #12... then use the transducer itself as a guide to drill the remaining hole.
Mount, torque and mark.
2015-03-22 Mounting Relays Been away for work again (Oakville) so the only time spend in the barn was sat & sunday.
I first had to verify the location of these two relays .... seemed that the LH post of the starter relay ended up too close to the fuel line, but its EXACTLY that way on the Swayze and Bullock websites.
I had forgotten how SHARP stainless steel it (too late)... You have to drill out 5 firewall rivets that are used for mounting holes or platenut legs (I'm getting too good at drilling out riverts)
those 5 holes set the location of the relays. The doubler took some careful measuring , but came out just fine.
I thought I messed up the buss bar ... it wouldnt fit between the 2 posts (too short) however the bracket of the started relay has some 'give' to it and bent to allow the buss bar to fit.

2015-03-22 New Defroster Fan Strategy These are the thinnest one made (80x80x10mm)... I think they're made for laptops.
I mounted them under the cowl top as before , but they STILL hit the top of the dash when you close the canopy... GGGRRRRR!!!!
So what to do?
Going to mount them on top of the dash. they're so thin ... It'll look fine.
It'll have to.
2015-03-26 Engine Arrives! Successfully recieved ... but not by me. Ginger was home to sign for it while I'm stuck working in Canada. I'll be like Christmas when I get home!
2015-03-27 First Look and Engine and Exhaust Got home from Oakville and spent an hour or so removing the box from around the new engine. Not much I can do with it right now but to just check for any shipping damage or any anomalies.
All looks good.
Comes with a new logbook, a set of new auto spark plugs, ignition wires, a hose and a bag of bolts and a couple gaskets... thats it. The engine is pretty complete as is. Gonna leave it in the bag until i mount it.
The Vetterman crossover exhaust came in the mail while I was gone as well ... looks cool!
2015-03-28 Riveted Fiirewall Recess Prolly should have waited even longer ... I see know in the firewall forward instructions that a couple of the upper rivets get drilled out and enlarged to attach other components.
Oh well.
Put a bead of fire barrier sealant on the flanges. Still some gaps i would like to seal ... with the right stuff.
2015-03-28 New Defrosters I got these new computerfans a while ago but hadnt has the chance to install them. Tried to mount under the cowl top ... but even these new 10mm fans are too big ans hit the top of the insturment panel when closing the canopy.
I was able to mount on top of the dash , and on the little screens are underneath.
I wire these later
2015-03-29 Battery Box, Transducer, Recess Sealer, MIsc Have that shiny new engine sitting there in the shop seems to motivate me...
Painted the battery box with some high temperature paint (black) and mounted it to the firewall. It's one of those little things. the brkts were white... the battery box was black ... the top tie down was bare aluminum... Didn't HAVE to paint it , but it looks so much more "finished" now.
Removed the VA-168 transducer from the firewall and installed the oil and fuel fittings. I didn't realize you don't have the room to do this while the transducer is mounted.
There's an oil pressure hose that is retained to the firewall with (2) clamps... they go where existing rivets are (have to be drilled out) ... and and platenuts installed
AND lastly , I had to install a VA-128 "restrictor" fitting (looks like a small AN 45 degree elbow made of steel) to the engine.
This gave me an excuse to unwrap the engine and really look it over...
then remove a metal threaded plug and install the "restrictor" ... not sure about the torque ...
2015-04-04 Fittings to Engine - Firewal Getting close to having the firewall done enough to hang the engine ... at least I think so.
Installed fittings to the engine for " to the oil cooler" and "from the oil cooler" as well as mounting the breather hose to the firewall with andel clamps ... The clamps called out in the drawing seemed too big (DG-7) so I substituted a couple DG-6's.
then after researching the need of a manifold pressure gauge (need it) I drilled the hole on the firewall and installed the fittings.
I think VANS sent me a wrong part. (a first I think)
the MAP line needs to connect to the back of the #3 engine cylinder with a AN816-4D fitting ... looks like they sent a 6D.
2015-04-06 (6) Little SpacerTubes I need to assemble the wheels to the main landing gear legs.
Very confusing drawing...little detail, no instructions to speak of.
But I can see where I had the calipers assembled to the wheels was all wrong.
So I un-did the safety wire and dis-assembled it all.
Made (6) U-408 spacers ...all exactly 13/32" long.
2015-04-08 Main Gear Leg and Brakes Could not for the life of me see how this thing goes together ... UNTIL I really looked at the "mike Bullock website.
then... Voila!
I think I got it now .
But should I have the tires balanced first? ....maybe install some "balance beads" into the tire tube?
thinking about it...
2015-04-09 Balanced Tires (Experimental) Balance all the tires tonight. Thought it easier to do so now before mounting the mains to the gear legs.
But rather than going to Harbor Freight and buying a static ballance stand (($40) and wheel weights ... decided to use the "balance beads" that I used in my motorcycle last year. Several people have tried this on airplane tires , all with positive results. I used a technique I saw on youtube and it worked well.
After removal of the valve core ...connected a 3/8" dia clear hose to the valve ... measured out 1/2 oz. of the balancing beads and poured it into a small plastic bag, then slowly poured the beads down the clear tube, into the tire. using a air hose to 'coax' them in. The mains with their 90 deg. metal valve stem was harder than the nose wheel with it's straight valve stem.
But we'll see if this works.

2015-04-11 Starter Solenoid, Master Relay Copper Bar Well, I wasnt happy with the fit of this bar before... it was too short, and it forced the brackets of the solenoid and relay to bend towards each other.
Took it all apart... elongated the holes with a dremmel. Much better fit (and easier to get on and off) .
While at harbor freight, I picked up a assortment of 'heat shrink' tubes, and installed to the copper bar.
2015-04-11 Installed Cotter Keys It wasnt that easy though.
I had already installed the brake caliper and safety wires the bolts (twice)... then realised that you REALLY need them off (to remove the wheel) so that you can have good access to drilling the axle for the cotter key.
Cotter key was too snug and difficult to install so (like many others who've done this) I slightly over-sized the axel holes, cotter key goes in much better now.
You'd think my safety wiring would be improved having done the same bolts 3 times now. but Ithink my first ones were the best.
2015-04-11 Wheel Nut Cotter Key Cant believe they don't machine this for you, but after you tighten the wheel nuts you have to drill a 1/8" hole through the axel.
Of course, it helps to be able to install and remove the wheel a couple time , all of which is impossible if you already mounted the calipers (AND safety wires the bolts)
Needless to same, the caliper had come off again ...
2015-04-16 Tach Dust Cover Broke down and bought a tachometer dust cover. Not really required ..., but I wont be using a tach cable so this engine opening doesnt get used.
Avery tool makes a nice little cover for it ($12.99)
Lots of stories out there of these things coming loose and falling off. .. so I used a dab of lock-tite on the threads and then safety wired it to the engine.
2015-04-17 Standing on its own . . . Picked up a "cherry picker" engine hoist from the brother-in-law of a co-worker an brought it home. Loosely installed the engine mount to the firewall , then hoisted the whole fuselage up in the air to install the main wheel gears. Once installed , you just secure it with a bolt and nut.
For the nose gear ... I choose to lower the plane onto its mains, remove the engine mount from the firewall and then install the leg gear ... couldnt get the bolt in at first .... then remembered it had never been fitted before. the bolt was .311 " diameter and I had reamer that was .310 ( a tight fit is desireable here) this worked well.
Just had to coax the bolt in with a little tap and tighten it up to the engine mount.
Then re-install the whole assemble to the plane.
Looks great standing on its own!
2015-04-18 Partially Decked the Engine Got the top 2 motor mount bolts it ... the lower 2 still to be installed. Very challenging to get it to line up.
Started the day by un-bolting the engine from it's pallet... then its just picking it up with the hoist , and positioning it to the proper motor mounts and bolts .
The first bolt goes in easy ... everything else is not so .
People on-line say to start with the top RH bolt ... the directions say to start at the bottom... I guess what ever works.
2015-04-24 Best Technique to Deck Engine Found this method on-line. It made so much sense ... I decided to try it.
Wow ... Way better.
I removed the engine mount from the firewall (6 bolts) then installed it to the engine . All (4) motor mounts when right in.
Then mounted the engine/engine mount assembly to the firewall as one unit.
When I lowered the hoist, the plane now sit on all (3) wheels due to the weight of the engine.
Its gong to be harder to work on in this position (higher) but its starting to look more and more like a plane.
2015-04-25 OIl Pressure Line Today I returned the engine hoist I borrowed and then re-arranged the shop... making it easier to access both side of the plane and to open the door without hitting something.
Finished torquing down the engine mount and motor mount bolts and installing cotter keys in everything.
Oh, and I connected the oil pressure line that's on the fire wall to the "restrictor" fitting that was previously install to the engine.
2015-04-27 Alternator Installed Directions are pretty self explanatory. Diagrams are clear EXCEPT for the belt tension. it doesnt mention it at all. Found the spec, and the procedure on-line. Teh tension is correct when the belt slips on the pulley at 12 ft/lbs .
Hardest part was installing the safety wire.
2015-04-29 Exhaust Installed (partially) Got alot going now... started the fuel lines, then stopped. Other stuff (cant remember)
But, I read online sonewhere that you really should install the exhaust pipes so that you dont install a hose or a fitting in such a way that you cant service later cuz the exhaust now covers it up.
I really like this Vetterman system , fit perfectly. No issues what so ever.
Got all the pipes secured to the stud bolts and torqued to 180-200 in/lbs. Theres more to do, like the heat muff, and the rear hanger brkts... but I'll do that later.
2015-05-21 Fuel Lines ... ect. I'm a little frustrated. Got lots of different things going all at once on this project.
I think I've got all the fuel lines connected to the engine... I see theres a "sniffle" valve and line that runs nder the sump to the rear of the cowl. It has to stay clear of the exhaust... not sure about the routing.
the oil breather is an issue. I tries to modify the system ans add in a automotive breather to help with the dreaded "oil belly" but having trouble finding the right combination of fittings and hoses.
Started the throttle and mixture brackets... that looks more straight forward
2015-05-22 Thottle and Mixture Brackets This is not as straight forward as I hoped it would be .... drawing and pictures are not real clear. But I think I'm getting it.
Assembled the hardware and brackets for the mixture bellcrank. Its a complicated little mechanism, but hey... its an important function .
When I went to install it it wouldn't fit ...going to have to modify the brkt to allow for this big black plug thats in the way.
Also the "mixture arm" needs to re-orientated about 180 deg. Its facing down... and it needs to face up to reach the bellcrank.
2015-05-23 Mixture and Throttle Brckets I think I got it .... still some fine tuning of the the bellcrank arm to get the required full stop travel, but its close.
First I removed the big round plug from the engine that stuck out so far, and put it on the grinder and removed the top until it would reinstall flush. Then the bell crank mounting bracket ... it had a recess for this area of the sump, but it had to be ground down as well. All the other brackets were pretty uneventfull.
2015-05-30 Diodes and Alternator Wire Just had a few to spend out in the shop ... (busy doing neglected chores around the house) ...
The alternator came with a wire that I never connected , so I did .
The master and starter solenoids have little diode wires that need to be installed , so I did that too. Pretty easy stuff.
The first of lots of wiring that need to be done.
2015-06-21 Sniifle Valve Elbow Finally ... after ordering the wrong part a couple times... I got a 90 deg 1/8" brass fitting for the sniffle valve.
I like the way this will route the line with the mixture cable.
2015-06-30 Measuring for Throttle and Mixture Cables Done the required research. Found a long piece of brake tube to simulate the throttle/mixture cable routing. the stardard lengths wont work with a quadrant mounted in the center console.
After measuring, Ive determined that custom lengths wont be necessary. 5 foot cables should work just fine. Ordering from Aircraft Spruce now.
2015-08-22 Wrong Firewall Sealer - Drilling out Rivets Back at it. Havent really touched the plane since April.
Daughter is now married off... no more wedding preparations to deal with (it WAS a great party)
So, I come to realize that the fire barrier thats on the outside edge of the firewall is the the wrong stuff, AND that the cowl hinges need to be riveted on that edge.
Drilling out all the rivets that hold the firewall.
2015-08-29 Throttle/ Mixture Cable Pass-Thru Grommetts Cant believe how much these things are ($37.50 ea.)
they do the job nicely, better than the shields and other types of ball grommetts out there, but , really ?
This..., and the Lord motor mounts ($$$) need some serious competition ,
2015-09-07 ProSeal Barrier I saw this on Mike Bullocks website.
The idea is to seal off the cockpit area from any leaked fuel that might be spilled from the tanks / wing area. Mixed up a batch (20 oz.) of proseal and applied a bead where the wing attaches to the fuselage wall.
Seems like a good idea to me.
2015-09-17 EAA technical Counselor Visit So I've been trying to get ahold of the previous Tech Advisor from Jackson but he doesnt answer his phone any more and doest work at the same place either.
Joe Smokovitcz from Tecumseh, was nice enough to come out and look ant my pfoject. Joe assures me that all looks well and that I should proceeed.
Suggested that his next visit should be right before engine start.
2015-09-19 Safety Bulletin 14-01-31 (Horizontal Stabilizer Cracks) This safety bulletin lets you perform the SB as a preventative measure so that it doesn't require annual checks ... there are other SB's for the elevator, and rudder that you cant act proactively.
The first step is to mark where the vertical stabilizer mounts so that the new doublers don't interfere later.
Then drill out a bunch of AN-3 rivets holding the skin to the HS-404 nose ribs and HS-405 main ribs.
There's a you tube video showing how to do this as well. They recommend using a "rivet removal tool" to safely extract the AN-4 rivets that are on the end of the ribs... $44 at brown tool . Looks cool.
Guess I need to get one ASAP
2015-09-26 Safety Bulletin Got my rivet removal tool .... maybe its caz I havent learned to use it properly yet, but so far its only marginally better than just drilling them out .
If you cant get exactly square to the rivet , its better not to use it.
2015-09-28 Safety Bulletin Should never have start ed this ... what a PAIN
2015-09-30 Exhaust Hanger Brackets
Took Ginger to the Meijer gardens in Grand Rapids today ... a little anniversary trip, so i didint have alot of time (or energy) to spend on the plane.
Started the loose fit of the hanger brackets. these support the ends of the pipes where they extend out the cowling.
2015-10-01 Exhaust Hanger Brackets Lots of little pieces to this ...
Cut the hoses used to connect the steel rods
Mounted the little brackets to existing sump housing bolts and connected all the rods.
Maybe finish it all up next session
2015-10-02 Exhaust Hanger Brackets Done Tiny , little, nuts, washers, clamps and bolts ... more than a little frustrating to get it all together.
Looks a little "Rube Goldburgh-ish" to me, but lhis what the exhaust manufacturer recommends .
2015-10-05 Siffle Valve Tube Installed the Sniffle valve ... the small hose and the tube. some bending required.
2015-10-06 Heat Muff Intalled Decided that of the 2 options the exhaust manufacturer gives you for placement of the heat muff... the only reasonable one was the #1 exhaust pipe.
It would have been nice to have placed it down towards the end of the exhaust to minimize the length of the the tube runs ... but theres no room there with the hanger brkts in the way.
To help slow the air down and make the heat transfer more efficiencnt, I stuffed the can with a stainless steel scubby (not my idea) lots of builders say it helps with better heat.
2015-10-19 Lines Too Long Going to re-order a new MAP hose , and a new fuel supply hose . Booth are really too long for this engine . I'll bet their perfect for the Lycoming :-(
Got the new ones from TS Flightlines . Wow . He makes them uo the sasme day and priority ships, got here in 3 days :-)
2015-10-31 Battery and Engine Ground Cables In both cases, one end of the cable in mounted to the firewall. Each bolted to a location on the firewall that requires the existing rivet be drilled out , then enlarged to 1/4" . then after a nutplate is riveted into position the cables are secured.
i guess when the firewall was built , the idea of creating the proper holes for these items is impossible.

Good thing I'm so good at drilling out rivets.
2015-11-07 Oil Breather Assembly I think its finally done! ... (this is what happens when you "stray" from the plans)... I spent a lot of time on this getting the right hoses,breather, fittings and elbows and ended up with alot of extra parts in the process... but I LIKE it.
The standard set up is to just bend a hose and clamp it to a tube ... the problem is that this original set up lends itself to the dreaded "oily belly" where oil vapor from the engine is dumped out the tube and deposits itself on the underside of the fuselage. Hopefully this set up eliminates that condition . It adds a little more weight, Im thinking I can afford it due to the prop set up I'll have
2015-11-15 Mixture Brackets - FI Servo Control Arms I'd attach a picture... but this site hasn't allowed pictures to be posted for over a month. (????)
After repeated attempts at making the Vans mixture bracket work (mounting it higher ...lower...backwards )
I put in a vice and bent the cable attachment hole , 180 degrees.
the problem is that Vans gives up a bracket for a Lycoming engine...but this Superior engine has a Cold Air Sump... and the mounting holed a too far forward (2-3 inches)
Now when I mount it upside down... its at its most rearward position AND the hole tab is pointing up (so it doesn't interfere with the fuel line)
Also ,,, after checking the with Fuel Injection manual, I swapped the mixture control arm with the throttle control arm... works MUCH better this way.

Wish I coud post a picture of it.
2015-11-17 Throttle Bracket Again, it would be nice to attach pics to this entry but ,....
I revised the vans bracket to work on this Superior cold air sump mounting point . You would think there would be an industry standard on this stuff.
Started with a piece of aluminum angle and attached the van's bracket to it ... again, the bracket now it positions the cable 2-3 inches aft of the mounting point.
I'm please with how it turned out. Throttle travel is good.
Also I attached the clamps on the starter cable using the existing sump bolts .
2015-11-19 Rerouting Starter Cable Read that due to movement between the engine and the firewall... you need to have some slack in the started cable between the starter solenoid and the first clamp to the engine ... AND I didn't like how the starter cable was un-restrained above the mixture bellcrank.
Issue took some pushing and pulling (cable is really stiff) and I relocated the last clamp from the sump to a case bolt.
Much better.
2015-11-21 Mixture & Throttle Hardware Secured Control arms of both the throttle ans mixture verified... all hadware, washers, spacers and torques verified ... NO BINDING ..
All cotter pins installed ... lock-tite applied , and locknuts secured .
I havent connected up to the throttle quadrant yet , but I have the hardware to do it
2015-12-04 Front Windshield Fairing Finally had a block of time to start this after assembling all the material quite awhile ago .
Used a combination of Bruce Swayze's method , and the Vans method in the book. I did deviate slightly by the use of a chemical adhesion promoter. (same stuff used in applying the sikaflex to the plexiglass
So I first applied the aktivator with a coffee filter (lint-free)
then after 10 minutes, comes the primer, which really blacks out the glass so that you wont be able to see the fiberglass layup from sitting on the inside of the aircraft.
Then mix up the resin, hardener,black pigment, and filler until a consistency of ketchup. After brushing on I'd lay the first of 7 strips of fiberglass mat (each progressively wider , then soak it with the resin mixture... repeat until the 7th strip is applied and is flush to the orange protective tape.
There probably was a better way to terminate the layup at the 'ears'
but I was afraid to end the layup to short... prolly made more work for myself.
Sanding Next ...
2015-12-09 Sanding the Front Windshield Fairing My first (of many) sessions of sanding . . . Just knocking down the high spots with some 50 grit paper.... going slowly so as not to remove too much .
On a related note. I worked a little with the throttle quadrant and attempting to hook up the cables. The clevis tie rods I ordered just wouldnt thread on. They looked to be the right size (10-32) but niether would thread onto the cables. Called Aircraft Spruce and they assured me that the AN665-21L was indeed the right parts. So... I re-ordered...and just to be sure , I ordered a set of the AN665-21R. guess what ? the 21L's still wouldnt work, BUT the 21-R did..
Seems I'm sending lots of stuff back and re-ordering these days.
2015-12-11 More Sanding . . . Still using the rough stuff (#50) ...trying to be careful around the glass.
2015-12-12 More Sanding Using #80 paper now . . .
2015-12-15 Epoxy Resin and Filler Mixed up a small batch (less than 50 grams) of resin and the 410 microlite filler. Probably should have made it a thicked consistancy cuz it 'sagged' a little.
It should be easy to sand. We'll see tomorrow
2016-01-01 More Sanding Boy I don't like sanding... good thing this is not a composite aircraft.
Almost down to being flush with the second layer of tape at the glass edge. That's progress I guess.
Need some "peel ply" before applying any more resin
2016-01-03 New Center Console Brackets So, the same condition that existed at the engine with the throttle and mixture cables ... rears its ugly head at the quadrant. The brackets are too close for the cable retention nuts.
Spent the day making new brkts and modifying the existing ones.
The holes in the existing brkt in the center console needed to be enlarged using a step up drill bit.
Then I wanted to create anew brkt similar to whats on the center console , but moved forward to allow for the cables nut distances.
Happy with whats shaping up so far.
2016-01-04 More Work on Throttle/ Mixture Brkt Drilled and riveted assemble ... test fit to console.
Not sure for I'm going to accurately position it though ....
2016-01-09 Throttle/ Mixture Cables Bracket in Console Measured the mid point of the adjustment nuts of the cables at full forward position to the clevis attachment point (7 1/2 in.) then transferred that to to the throttle quadrant attachment point of the cables to where the brkt should be to for the adjustment nuts.
Drilled 3 #40 holes on each end of the bracket , then positioned the bracket into the console and drilled into position with a right angle drill.
I'll dimple the console and prime the brkt tomorrow.
2016-01-10 Throttle/Mixture Brkt Done Primed, dimpled and riveted.
2016-01-17 Data Plate Had this plate (gift from the daughter) for over a year now. thought it a good time to install it. Showed her pictures of different mounting spots. Aft of the bulkhead and under the horizontal stabilizer seemed to look the best to her.
Got too close to the bulkhead and 'nicked it ... which kinda ruled out installing with solid rivets... so its installed with closed-end pop rivets.
2016-01-19 Console Modifications (Internal) All day ... trying to 'tweek' the internal brackets in the center console to allow function of the fuel valve and extension with out hitting anything (not good) and create a clear unobstructed path from the throttle amd mixture controls to the retianing brackets.

I had drilled the original throttle cable brackets way oversize ... but they still interfered with the micture and throttle routing , so most of it has beeen cut away.
Then I had to drill out the new brackets and reorientate them to allow the fuel vale extension from hitting it.
Think its all good now
2016-02-02 Peel Ply Windshield Fairing Mixed about 55 grams of resin and hardener ... thickened with micro filler and applied to the base of the windshield fairing.
On a vertical curve like this, the mixture will 'run' ... and pool at the bottom of the curve . (ask me how I know) resulting is lots of unnecessary sanding and re-application.
Peel ply is suppose to help hold the mixture and not allow it to run. It's a polyester material coated with a mold-release agent After its cured ... you're suppose to be able to just 'peel' the peel ply off the fiberglass.
Ive never used peel ply before. I hope it works as advertised. Otherwise this will be a mess...
2016-02-03 More sanding . . . Peel ply worked good .. the cured resin maintained its shape better in the curve and is starting to feel and look smooth.
One curious note is the peel ply has a groove in it that made an impression in the fiberglass .... Going to have to cut smaller strips next time to keep from putting little 'dents' in the work.
Sanded for about 1 1/2 hours ... thats about all for tonight.
2016-02-04 Another Layer of Resin sanded until I could see all the 'depressions' made mostly by the dent in the peel ply... decided to mix up a 30 gram batch of resin and filler.
dabbed some of the mixture at each low spot and placed a short strip of peel ply on it... and smoothed with a squeegee.
Maybe it'll be cured by tomorrow
2016-02-05 More sanding ... long ...slow...process.
2016-02-06 More Sanding ... Move resin ... sanded, then cleaned, then appliedd more resin .
Peel ply everywhere so it didnt run.
but hopefully I'm getting closer to a final product..
2016-02-07 More Sanding ... More Resin I think I'm going to stop with entries on this until its done ... there's nothing more boring and/or time consuming than doing this kind of stuff.
2016-02-16 Basic Shape is There ... More Sanding I think its getting close ... got real aggressive with some #50 paper and got it really close to a good shape. Then a 50 gram batch of resin (no filler) over everything.
ITs been really cold (-8 deg) at night and has taken 48 hrs plus now and STILL feels a little 'tacky' .
Cranked up the wood stove and got the shop nice and warm ... even applied a heatgun to work .
Seemed to help ... should start sanding again tomorrow.
2016-02-26 More Sanding ... More Resin So ... lots of additional sanding to get the surface even and thee edges to taper into the metal. I havent documented it all, because its kinda embarrassing just how SLOW I am at this.
Mixed up a 3rd batch of resin , but this time added some black tint to maybe help me see it better. I think it helped. The clear was showing all the different layers and making it difficult to see where to sand.
2016-03-06 Prop Extension At 9 Am this morning the Fed Ex guy puts a couple boxes on the front porch.... The Catto Prop is here!
I'm a surprised how light the box is (maybe somethings missing?) but after opening ...its all there.
I put the actual propeller in storage for awhile... it would just get in the way right now but I really needed the other stuff.
Mounted the prop extension to the engine with (6) 1/2" bolts ... torqued to 45-50 ft/lbs. This was tricky cuz the engine is NOT to be turned while its just got preservatives in it (no oil yet) ...
It wants to turn at about 30 ft/lbs so you have to hold the toothed gear with one hand and apply torque to the bolts with the other.
A little deburring and priming of the spinner backing plate.
Mount the spinner, then I have a reference point for the cowling to line up to.
2016-03-07 Temporarily Attached Spinner Went over to Lowe's and got a section of 3/4" PVC and cut (6) pieces of 3 20/33 inches long and used them as spacers under the heads of the propeller bolts to hold the spinner backing plate in position.
(Takes the place of the propeller) ...
then clecoed the spinner in place . The spinner fits perfectly
2016-03-16 Oil Door Hole Cut Measure twice(maybe 3 times) ...cut once. Its a little nerve racking cutting holes in nice new piece of fiberglass. Used a dremmel and a cutting disc to cut , and leave a 3/8" flange all the way around the door. Going to save the piece removed to reinforce the oil door that's supplied with the kit.
They warn you to leave a nice smooth edge on the opening flange, because you'll be sticking your arm through the hole a lot . this is achieved with a file , then #80 , then #150 sandpaper.
After reading ahead in the builders manual I see that the hinges need to be on the firewall flanges soon. Need to remove the old (wrong stuff) sealer from between the firewall side skins joint.
2016-03-28 Upper Hinges Easter Monday! ... Got a good chunk of time to spend on the project...
Measured, cut, drilled , deburred, dimpled ... until the upper cowl hinges are now clecoed to the firewall. Cant rivet this yet due to access issues. This top skin is one of the last things riveted in the whole project.. but I need it there just to fit the cowling.
After installing the hinges, a 2 inch line is drawn back from the side and top skins to help with the fiberglass trimming process.
2016-03-31 Upper Cowl - first position Only and hour to spend on the project but every little bit helps get it in the air someday ...
Found some old phone books at work to act as a shim to hold the front cowl up at the right height at the spinner. Only had to use one to get it close. I'm sure all engines are different. I tried using 2 paper towel rolls (one on each side)in between the cylinder heads , but that was too much.
Next, I had to reverse all the clecoes holding the upper hinge because of interference getting the upper cowl into position.
Looking good 'Id say . . .
2016-04-08 Exit Air Attach Brackets - U-702A, U-702B,U-620B,C,D... While agonizing over the cowl fitting (just apprehensive about that first cut) I saw this needed to be done.
From what I can tell , it sldes into a slot in the lower cowl and attached to the the nose wheel leg gusset .
I dont need it now, but it'll be nice to have already made when the time comes.
2016-04-09 Lower Cowl Hinges, Shims, ect. Haven't really started the fitting of the upper cowl yet ... but found small necessary tasks to complete first.
1. made a small piece to fill the gap between the 2 upper cowl hinges are. Builder say its just cosmetic , but looks better not to see that gap.
2. made 2 shims for the lower cowl hinges(11"x.020 ea.)
3. measured and cut 2 lower cowl hinges (I'll drill & dimple tomorrow)
4. the desiccant plugs had turned clear again, with just a tint of blue, so heated them up in the oven ...
2016-04-10 Lower Hinges , Cut, Drilled and Dimpled Was able to measure, cut, drill and dimple the LH and RH lower hinges and cleco them to the firewall flange.
I'll check, but I should be able to rivet these... unlike the upper that shouldn't be yet.
I'll try and do that tomorrow
2016-04-12 Mechanical Fuel Pump Overflow Only had an hour or so tonight .
Couldn't work on this until the lower cowl hinges were in place... basically a small tube runs from the mechanical fuel pump to allow extra fuel to run out (away from the exhaust).
So... a #12 hole gets drilled into the bottom firewall flange once the lower cowl hinges are in place.
Took me a while to 'shift gears' and find the right drawing and study exactly where the hole goes.
Will try to do some tube bending tomorrow.
2016-04-14 Mechanical Fuel Pump Overflow - almost done Straying from the plans again ... but this shouldn't add any significant time, effort or cost to the process.
After bending the tube to the proper shape...decide it better to retain the overflow tube to the engine mount, with safety wire and not use the supplied plastic tie-strap.
To protect the engine mount, I wrapped a small piece of UHMW pressure sensitive tape around where the safety wire will go.
Also, thought it better to hold the plastic tubing to the metal pump tube, and the bent aluminum tube, with the appropriate fuel line clamps (Home Depot) and not safety wire.
This should end up being a more robust assembly.
2016-05-05 Fit back of spinner to backing plate Been a while since working on the project ... lots of stuff to do around the house now that its spring. that and Dad's been sick ran down to Tennessee to see him in the hospital.
Need to get back into it.
Before I start fitting the upper cowl, thought it best to trim off the excess at the rear of the spinner where it over laps the rear backing plate. Seems like that could affect the gap. Used a file , then sandpaper to get it flush.
Read that you have to be careful sanding /filing carbon fiber so I was sure to wear a mask and vac all the dust created.
Set the gap at the front at 1/8" and started marking the 2 inch point on the cowl for trimming.
2016-05-30 Upper Cowl Been putting this off because of the fitting , and re-fitting involved (and its finally nice out and there tons to do around the house.
I'm using the Brian Chesteen method of installing the "pepto pink cowl. (I'm guessing Vans changed the color of the fiberglass sometime around 2006)
Started with a die grinder to do the initial cut but the compressor is out of commission. then I remembered that someone posted that they had success with tin snips on this material. This worked really well . and no dust until you have to start sanding.
So now the upper is trimmed with a 1/4" gap at the spinner ... and a 1/16" gap at the rear.
2016-06-19 Fitting the Upper and Lower Cowling at the Front Slow going on the fiberglass. definately lack the enthusiasiam that I had while working with alulminum.
Got a couple things done today ...
1. cut the lower cowl to acomidate the front wheel strut. Its extra long to allow for a 3-bladed prop.
2. tried to get the front area at the prop to match (lower adn upper .
2016-07-03 Installing the Correct Firewall Sealant Made the mistake of installing the wrong fire barrier sealant and then riveting the firewall to the fusealage... MISTAKE on both accounts .
To get at the remaining lower rivets in the firewall , I had to remove the exhaust, then remove the existing sealant between the firewall flange and the fuselage side skins with a hooked bandsaw blade. Then squeeze in the new stuff.
Should be cured by tomorrow.
Moving on to the fitting the 2 halves of the cowling at the spinner area ... not so easy. the lower half seems to be deformed and dont line up with the upper (which seems to be fine) ??
2016-07-11 Compressor Fixed Compressor has been on the 'fritz' for a while ... not really using it a ton, but its annoying not to have it.
After replacing the usual suspected parts... check valve, regulator, and pressure switch , no luck.
I was about to take it to a repair shop ,when I thought I'd check the motor (under the housing) thats when I saw the broken rear piece that holds the start capacitors and the contact ring.
No wonder it broke, its only made of plastic and it broke at the mounting screws. Of course, you cant buy the part separately, so I just fixed with JB weld and then siliconed it back on.
Working again.
2016-08-21 .020 Shim ... First Position of Lower Cowl Wow... been a while since I documented any progress. Combination of too hot in the shop, indecision about how to proceed, and doing other stuff around the house.
First was to reassemble the F-771 cowl top to the fuselage. I had removed it to try and shave a little off the back edge... it was hitting the canopy when I raised it. (not sure this was accomplished)
Added a .020 in shim to go between the upper cowl hinges and the firewall flange. Somehow I missed this earlier.
Then I had Halley help with the initial positioning of the lower cowl to the upper ... the fit is in need of LOTS of work ... but it does look cool on the plane for this first time.
2016-09-10 Drilled Upper Cowl to Upper Hinges Trying to motivate myself (dont like fiberglass) ...
Got the upper cowl into position and it fit so well I decided to just go ahead and drill it to the upper hinges.
Keep a nice even 1/16 in. gap at the rear...and a 1/4" - 5/16" gap at the spinner per the directions.
Fiberglass is real easy to drill into ... way softer than aluminum, but they say it dulls the drill bits faster.
Fits good,
Time to fit the lower
2016-09-13 Measured and Cut Lower Cowl Only had an hour or so to work , but was able to get the bottom of the lower cowl cut ... same method as the top of the upper cowl.
Using the tin snip, which had worked so well on the top, didnt work so well this time ...was cracking at the end of the cut ... so I went back to a dremmel and a cut off wheel.
2016-09-28 Cutting lower Cowling Sides Sanded some more on the bottom (tapered the area near the exhausts)
Cut the sides ... sanded.
Pain in the butt is all the putting this thing on and taking it off. But it is looking better.
2016-10-01 Drilled Lower Cowl to Hinges I should have done this BEFORE trimming the sides of the lower cowl... but I think I caught myself before removing too much material.
After this its on to trimming the lower cowl horizontal edges that mate to the upper cowl.
2016-10-02 Upper and Lower Cowls - Horizontal Edge On and off... on and off... sanding with a long sanding block to get a straight edge.
The fit along the horizontal edge between the upper and the lower is looking really good. I'm tempted to quit now, but I'll
look at it tomorrow and decide if it needs any more finessing.
Installing and drilling the hinge to lower cowl along the horizontal edge is next.
2016-10-02 Lower Cowl Horizontal Hinges Cut the hinge material to length ... marked and drilled holes every inch or so on the LH ... then match drilled on the RH.
Debured and positioned the hinges to the lower cowl for drilling. Careful to slope up to the aft of the cowl (suppose to make it easier to install the pin)
Will drill to cowl tomorrow (?)
2016-10-09 Drilled Horizontal Hinge to Lower Cowl I'm pretty happy with the overall fit along the horizontal seam ... so thought it time to drill hinges to the lower cowl. followed the Van's plans on this and have the 'drift' to the aft as prescribed. (its suppose to make removal of the upper cowl easier)
I chose to drill the hinge first ... then match drill it to the lower cowl.
Upper cowl is next.
2016-10-13 Drilled Horizontal Hinges to Upper Cowl I just went ahead a just drilled it.
Fit wasnt great (too tight all along) but i'm thinking I can slowly widen the gap to the prescribes .040" with the upper and lower on the bench.
Got tired of putting in on and taking it off.
2016-10-17 Aft Vertical Hinges Drilled Last of the cowing hinges all drilled.
First I positioned the hinge to the fuselage and match drilled to the existing holes in the side skin. Then drilled and spaced the holes on the rear vertical hinges that go on the cowl on the bench. Using the 'lightbulb' method, I was able to position the lower cowl and match drill the cowl to the light shining thru the hinge hole.
I love this technique. No measuring or drawing lines... no edge issues from drilling "blind".
Overall, the paint gap (.040") still is non-existent in some spots on the horizontal seam ... and the gap is too wide on the upper cowl to the fuselage. Theres' fiberglass work still in my future to fix the gaps, and then theres the riveting the hinges in place.
2016-10-20 Vertical Cowl Hinges to Fuselage Tonight I removed the cowling and riveted the vertical hinges to the firewall/fuselage. Was able to squeeze all but the very bottom rivet. The engine mount blocked access with the pneumatic tool, so reluctantly, i put a pop rivet in there on each side.
list of stuff to do next:
1. platenuts for the air inlet screws
2. taper the top upper cowl hinges (per drawings)
3. epoxy and rivet all the hinges to the upper and lower cowl.
4. make a .040" paint gap on the horizontal seam.
5. mix up a batch of "flox" and fix the wide gaps on the upper cowl.
6. frabricate a filler plate for the nose wheels slot
2016-10-23 Notched Upper Cowl Hinges ... and other misc. tasks This took awhile. Of the 'multitude' of cowling tasks left to do ... I decided to notch the upper cowl hinges per the drawing. Tried a variety of methods. What worked best for me is just a file. So for several hours, I got comfortable in a chair, turned on the UofM football game, and filed each eyelet of the upper hinges. This is supposed to help with installation.
Afterwards I drilled the air inlets for platenuts. Read that this area gets lots of wear, and a small doubler plate is helpful. I might do this. also ... some have trimmed the inlet to keep any interference away from the starter ring gear. Mine looks close , maybe an inch of clearance. a little research is necessary I feel.
At some point I'm gonna need to rivet the hinges to the cowl... with flush rivets ... so I was wondering how do you countersink fiberglass ? Got this idea from another builder's site to grind down a small dremmell stone.
Started to sand a horizontal paint line (.040") ... not done yet.
2016-11-06 That .040 in. Paint Gap Finally, after removing... sanding ...installing.... repeatedly for the last several hours. I've got the horizontal gap between the upper and lower cowl, just about right. Enough to move on some other task. :-)
2016-11-10 Cowl Hinge Epoxy Made up a batch of west systems epoxy... added a little 'flox' ...mixed to a consistency of porridge ( or runny peanut butter) and apply to the hinges and cleco.
Had issues of applying too much , enough that it ran into the eyelet holes.
Maybe countersink the holes and start riveting soon
2016-11-13 Riveting the Lower Cowl Hinges The epoxied hinges are cured... (the clecoes used are a mess and are now soaking in acetone). Tried to countersink the cowl with a 'tapered' dremmel stone ...but I didn't like the result... so at the risk of dulling a perfectly good #40 cutting tool, I used the countersink handtool for the first time and countersunk the lower faring. Once done, squeezed all the rivets.
Also, I reinforced the front inlet area where the screws and platenuts are... I've read where this area gets a lot of abuse over time. Epoxied a .025" piece of aluminum sheet and match drilled.
Will try to mount the platenuts and rivet the upper cowl tomorrow.
2016-11-13 Riveting Upper Cowl ... Platenuts installed Much like riveting the lower cowl ... all the rivets look good. Love using the 'squeezer' ...
Platenuts on the nose look good as well.
2016-11-15 Cylinder #4 Baffles started Rather than continue with the cowl (its been over 6 months) and STILL not done... its time to start something new.
Baffles... those hidden, unattractive things under the engine cowl that help properly cool the engine.
Hardest part tonight was just finding the parts. Drilled , debured a couple doublers that attach to the #4 cylinder baffle. Dimpling is a little confusing here " flush head to the inside" ... not sure which way that is ...
2016-11-17 Started Cylinder #4 Baffles Walked away from the #3 baffles while I try and figure out the oil cooler issues... and started the #4 side.
Got to the step where you make a hole for the upper ignition wires to pass through.... but I cant find the wire seals (supposedly comes with the engine).
Calling the engine supplier to check if I even have them.
2016-11-20 #4 Cylinder Baffles cont ... Almost got this one finished. Deburred it all, dimpled stuff, ... even got to mix up abatch of Pro-Seal for the screen that covers the air vent for the cabin heat system.
My LEAST favorite part of the day was using a "fly cutter" to make the 2" vent hole... need to invest in a good hole punch set
2016-11-21 #1,2,3,4 Baffles ... While trying to figure out how to proceed on baffle #3 and the oil cooler , I went ahead and worked on all the baffles.
Drilling, dimpling, deburring and some minor riveting.
even got the brackets mounted on the top of the engine ... for and aft.
The #4 baffle is loose installed and seems to line up and fits pretty good to the engine.
Towards the end of the day , I settled on a #3 baffle reinforcenet strategy. Found some .063 stock and made a big doubler that goes from the rearward mounting screw to the corner , where I'm gonna have to get a piece of 1"x12" angle (.063).
It will still need an added diagonal brace in the corner, but I'm not exactly sure where it goes yet.
lots of progress today.
2016-11-29 Cylinder #4 Baffle Because the oil cooler cantilevers off the back of the Number 4 cylinder baffle it is prone to cracking. Seriously beefed up this area with some 1/8 in. angle and some .063 aluminum sheet.
Its prolly overdone ... but I tried to find some 1x1x.063 angle, but aircraft spruce has none in stock, and local suppliers don't carry it. I agonized over using the cross angle that comes with the kit and just putting .063 under it , but I wanted it to transition to the vertical 1/8 in. angle... so I ended up using 1/8 for the horizontal as well and filing off about .063 where it overlaps the vertical ... happy with the results
2016-12-02 Riveting reinforcements to #4 Cylinder Baffles Just a little riveting tonight ... wish I had test fitted to the engine with the rear baffle first. Looks like I shouldnt have extended the .063 reinforcement all the way to the forward edge.
The rivets and the added .063 thickness interferes with the adjoining section.
2016-12-03 #1 and #2 Cylinder Baffle Ramps Only had a couple hours , so decided to skip ahead to the baffle ramps. Kinda easy part to build (so far) ...
Looking pretty cool!
2016-12-04 Rework Baffle #4 ... Decided to trim some of the excess .063 reinforcement plate I installed on the #4 baffles. Drilled out a couple rivets ... and with a dremmell, removes some of the .063 that was interfering with the interlocking forward baffle. Fits much better now.
Can'nt tell exactly where to put the oil cooler without installing the lower and upper cowl.
Maybe tomorrow.
2016-12-04 Misc Fitting and Bafle Work ... Lets see ... the back baffle on the RH wont line up with the engine holes. Several issues causing this. One is a couple of hose clamps are positioned in the way (easy fix). Looks like some slight trimming off the edge will make better ... still working on it.
Skipped ahead and found parts for the oil cooler... (hoses and elbows) and made some spacers. Slow , deliberate , progress.
2016-12-10 Fitting #3 and #4 Baffles Even though I could get the screws in and tighten the baffles down, upon closer inspection, it wasn't really fitting right. The upper curves of the baffles around the rocker cover were hitting the covers and the gaskets and just NOT lying flush to the engine. #3 and #4 are good now.
Was able to drill (#12) the rear baffles to the engine and find all the hardware.
I'm sure #1 and #2 cylinder baffles will need to be fitted the same way.
2016-12-11 Fitting Baffles #1 and #2 Only real fitting needed is where the baffles curve around the rocker cover (just like #3 and #4) ... the superior engine must be a different shape cuz each cylinder needed re-shaped.
next step joining the sides to the front lower.... (CB-1002G brkts to the CB1003A, and the CB1009A)

2016-12-12 Lower Cowl Decking Tool !! Thank you "Cliff" ... whoever you are!
Gonna construct this ASAP (shouldn't take too long).
2017-01-02 Cowl Pins / Exit Air Problem ... Spent most of the day trying to remove the excess resin that let harden around the hinges. My thinking is that it keeps the eyelets from positioning properly , thus making for harder pin insertion.
(not sure it helps)
I stopped with the baffles, realizing that I never installed the cowling back on once the hinges were epoxied and riveted.
Remove the spinner and backing plate (don't deed that reference anymore) and was able to get the lower cowl into position and the stainless steel lower pins partially in. The side pins are close too,
Then I got distracted by the lower "air exit attach bracket" ... because this isn't a vertical induction cowl, this bracket is not going to work as is... more mods required.
2017-01-05 Cowl Pins/ Air Exit Bracket Did a little research on my lunch break ... found some ideas for making the cowl hinge pins go in and out easier.
One was to polish the pins with a scotch-brite pad , then put a "off-center" point on the end, and then once the pins are in place ... heat them up with a heat gun to expand and contract them (kinda like what happens when the engine runs)
Well so far they 'do' seem to go in easier.
Also today I went on-line and ordered some andel clamps. (DG12).. 2 of these will hold a .063" piece of aluminum to the motor mount tubes for the air exit bracket to secure to.
2017-01-08 Hinge Pins , Retainers, Exit Brkt , Misc A bunch of odds and ends today...
The andel clamps I ordered aren't here yet... so I tried to get as much of the air exit bracket figured out as I could.
1. Made a new upper half of the air exit bracket.
2. Made the forward 'bend' of the lower portion of the air exit brkt to mate up with the piece on motor mount.
3. ran the hinge pin in the hinges with a drill until they could go in by hand ... then bent them 90 degrees.
4. Made retainer brackets for the upper cowl (at the top), and the lower cowl (verticals) that will get riveted to the firewall.
2017-01-08 Hinge Pins , Retainers, Exit Brkt , Misc A bunch of odds and ends today...
The andel clamps I ordered aren't here yet... so I tried to get as much of the air exit bracket figured out as I could.
1. Made a new upper half of the air exit bracket.
2. Made the forward 'bend' of the lower portion of the air exit brkt to mate up with the piece on motor mount.
3. ran the hinge pin in the hinges with a drill until they could go in by hand ... then bent them 90 degrees.
4. Made retainer brackets for the upper cowl (at the top), and the lower cowl (verticals) that will get riveted to the firewall.
2017-01-09 Hinge Pin Retainers It's been single digits outside ... seems I spend all my time getting the shop warm. (spitting the wood, starting the fire, keeping it going)
1. found that the baffles are all to high to install the upper cowl... baffles will have to be trimmed, but I'm not ready to do that yet.
2. continued fabbing up the hinge pin retainers.. (drilling mounting holes, countersinking, deburring)
3. drilled access holes thru the firewall for the long horizontal hinge pins and installed the pin to see how in routes thru the cabin. Just misses the NACA air inlets :-)
4. removed the cowl top so I could get the upper cowl hinges off. Because the limited access thru the oil door, I want to run the pins with a drill while the hinges are off the plane. Due to the arcing bend of these hinges (both sides), these pins are still too difficult to install.

Going to shop for some appropriate knobs to thread onto the pins today, in the aviation section of Lowes.
2017-01-12 Filed/Sanded Canopy ... Hinge Pin Inside Cockpit So I had disengaged the front canopy pins , raise it enough to file off some of the forward edge to eliminate the binding condition. I hesitate removing any material from the cowl top rear edge because of the edge distance of the rivet holes appears to be minimal.
Was able to get the horizontal hinge pins into the cabin area. Now I can work on getting these pins to go in and out easily before putting a bend in at the handle. Toying with the idea of a aluminum tube running from the firewall to the bulkhead hole with a small grommet at the handle end, and a stainless steel rivet at the firewall. Kinda like the rivet used for the static port.
2017-01-17 All the Hinge Pins go in!! Hinge pins for the engine cowling is whats called out in the drawings, but many builders use other types of fasteners (screws and platenuts, cam-locks, ect) because the hinge pins can be SO HARD to get in and out. So Ive been real conscious of that and spent alot of time tring to make these right.
What I found worked for me is to 'spin' the hinge pins in the hinges with drill, the remove and sand the pins and scotch-brite them, then finally apply boelube to the pins and hinge eyelets.
I can get them all in by hand now. :-)
Made the retainers for all except the lower ones that get retained within the exhaust exit bracket.
Need to get the bracket finished first. It'll be unique, due to the induction /nose gear combination Ive got.
2017-01-19 Lower Cowl Hinge Pins Retained (last ones) Finesse... lots of that needed to make these pins work.
Because the lower exhaust bracket is modified to make it work on a fuel injected, horizontal induction engine, it took a little more trimming at the rear (too big) makes putting in the lower hinges easier.
Drilled the 2 1/8" holes into the brkt that retain the pin handles... I'll trim the pin handles just so they exit the bottom of the brkt by about a 1/16" or so...
More baby steps
Maybe I'll start on the oil door next (?)
2017-01-21 Cowl Hinge Pins / Exhaust Air Exit Brkt Done Finally wrapped up the cowling hinge pins and all the associated retaining brackets. The last one was the bottom of the lower cowl ...(the one you have laying on the ground to install and remove the pins). There's a definite 'trick' to getting these lower pins inand out, but very 'do-able' once you know the sequence. .. and in the construction process, you get VERY familiar with it.
The exhaust air exit brkt, although modified to fit the unique lower cowl dimensions, retains the hinge pins exactly as the plans state.
Moving on ... I think the inside of the lower cowl is next. Most builders paint it white, and install some type of thermal protection. then maybe the oil door.
2017-01-28 First Baffle Trimmed ... Cowl Spacers You couldn't even get the forward cylinder baffles on because they hit the cowl... so this is the first parts to be trimmed.
After that its time to set the upper cowl on, so that its evenly spaced 4-5" above the lower, all the way around. This allows you to get your hand inside and trace the contour of the upper to the baffle , so they can be trimmed. Tried pieces of yardstick, wood, bent hinge pins, ... even kitchen silverware. Finally settled on pieces of PVC pipe with a 'slot' cut into the edges.
Now its just a matter of coming down with the sharpie the same distance as the gap, and follow the contour of inside the cowl upper, and mark that onto the baffles. Method courtesy of Bruce Hill.
2017-01-29 More Baffle Trimming Marked the rear and the side baffles ... almost can get the upper cowl on.
Hope I didnt trim too much.
The rear corners on both side was still sitting too high to allow the upper cowl to go on. Trimming with tin snips mostly, except on the LH side rear ( where the oil cooler area is beefed up) had to get out a die grinder for that.
trying to go slowly and patiently . . .
2017-02-05 Baffles Final Trimmed Been out of town on a work assignment all week (next week too) but had a few hours today to devote to the project.
After taking the upper cowling on and off 100 times or so (getting good at it) I am now able to get the upper cowl on and in position with the baffles on. Once that milestone was completed , its time for the "paperclip" technique.
Lots of paperclip positioned along the top of the baffles, then the upper cowl is put back on. The upper cowl pushes the paperclip down and now you have something to measure from. Its a simple task of measuring 1/2" from the top of the paperclip and marking where to cut. Creating a even 1/2" gap all around (hopefully).
Was able to remove all the sides and cut with tin snips and a band saw ... I'll get the back section cut tomorrow.
2017-02-25 Drilling Baffles for Oil Cooler Been out of town with work for 3 weeks in .Louisville KY
Got the oil cooler location just about where I want it ... not TOO much of the cooler sits below the #4 cylinder head.
Just take a deep breath and go for it.
Need to punch out a hole to let the air through.
2017-02-26 Large Oil Cooler Hole / CB-705B doesnt fit .... Using a dremmel tool , I cut out the large square hole for the oil cooler. Once the hole was rough cut , a file works well at straightening out the edges. Test fit of the cooler itself frequently to make sure it fits.
Once I was happy with the results... I tried fitting the CB-705B above the oil cooler opening. Something is not right now ... pre-punched holes on the lower flange don't match the upper cooler holes. I think this is a result of mounting the cooler as high as possible as I could. Going to cut off the bad flange, and then rivet the remaining lower flange to a piece of angle. This will allow the CB-705B to sit right above the top of the cooler AND the angle will provide even more stiffness in this area (win-win?)
2017-02-27 Riveting Oil Cooler Baffle So far... so good. This #4 cylinder and oil cooler baffle area has turned out much to my liking. It's seriously beefed up. Not sure you could tow the plane from it :-) .... but I think it'll be immune from the cracking issues that plague this area.
Still need to rivet the CB-705B ... I forgot that AN3 only come in "flush" 426 variety... been awhile since I riveted in any serious way. May open it all up to AN4 .
2017-03-05 Oil Cooler Fittings, Hoses, Ignition Seals Started with test fitting the oil cooler to the opening and loose installing the bolts and spacers. This area is so solid now , I'm not sure it needs a x-brace ... Will decide this later.
Next drilling the holes for the ignition wires to come through the rear baffles ... I got the (2) L/S seals a little less than even with each other ... but is purely cosmetic ... the R/S is perfect.
Finally , but the oil cooler hoses to the apprpriate fitting on the back of the engine. Hook up to the cooler will come after final install of the baffles.
2017-03-29 Front Baffle Trimming/ Fitting A little in-activity on the plane lately ...
Been sickly (bronchitis)
Build Site (Expercraft) was down a couple days ... back up now.
Getting back into it, which means trying to figure out exactly where you left off. (oh yeah, BAFFLES)
Trimmed the sides , then trimmed the lower.
I can get the lower cowling on now.
2017-03-31 Snorkle Started Almost waited too long to start this. May have trimmed the LH inlet too much, not realizing that the air filter needs some metal around it ...
We'll see
Made a 3/4" x 2 3/8" diameter wooden plug to fit into the throttle body. then was able to test fit the snorkle.
2017-04-02 Trim and Fit Snorkel Lets see ...
1. clamped snorkel to flange of intake and fit to #2 baffle. Surprisingly no modifications required. Snorkel cleared the starter and exhaust and clearance is good all round.
2. marked attachment holes, edge of intake flange, and a point 3/8 " down from the baffle contact.
3. trimmed with a die grinder and drilled 1/4" holes.
4. bolted snorkel to intake.
5. marked cut out on baffle where snorkel opening is.
Not bad so far ... :-)
2017-04-03 VA-132-1A Forgot how much I liked making parts out of 'good ol' aluminum.
I think these are reinforcements to the air filter area.
2017-04-07 VA-132-1B Just a little bracket that'll be parts of the air filter area on the baffles . . .
2017-04-21 Air Inlet Fit Removed the lower air inlets (both sides) and filed down the out side edge unit I got the 3/32" gap to the cowling the drawings call for.
baby steps
2017-04-28 Riveting Cowl Air Inlet Baffles Directions say to start riveting the RH and LH air inlets baffles ... LH is done now ... still working on the RH.
Using a combination of pneumatic squeezer and rivet gun/bucking bar.
2017-05-06 Baffles and Snorkel I'm seeing a problem. The snorkel at the air filter/ air inlet is too far forward and the front edge ends up UNDER the cowling.
Think I'll cut the snorkel in 2 , so I can fit the air filter end in the correct spot on the inlet baffle , then fiberglass the snorkel back together later.
Was able to fit and drill the VA-132-1B to the after edge of the snorkel. The 2 VA-132-1Bs don't fit if trimmed like the drawing says to. had to cut and inch off of both pieces to make them fit.
2017-06-18 Snorkel Lots of work around the house now that's it's summer AND I've been out of town for work. Been tough to set aside time to work on this .
Pop riveting the 3 brackets to the snorkel. the drawings show a tiny little washer that goes on the head of the rivet to spread the clamp strength out along the fiberglass snorkel. Saw the modification where you also have a 0.25 strip of aluminum sheet too.
Prolly could have omitted the washers.
2017-06-19 132-A and 132-B Brackets to Snorkel Finished the air filter holding brackets ... Even the step where you proseal the little gap in the corners.
2017-07-15 Snorkel Cut ... Air Filter Brackets Been away on vacation ... now its time to get back at it!
Because when the snorkel is firmly mounted to the engine , the air air filter end doesn't want to go in the right spot on the LH lower baffle ... I did what others have done and that is to just cut it into 2 pieces then re-join them later.
Once I had a separate air filter snorkel, it was pretty easy to center it to the LH lower baffle.
Once drilled and clecoed, I then marked how big the opening had to be in the lower baffle and cut away.
2017-07-22 Air Filter / Snorkel The air filter looks a little "squished" in the snorkel tube ... not sure why or how to fix.
decided that instead of the multiple retainer parts for the air filter, It would look cleaner if it was all one piece ... so I went to the aluminum supplier here and bought a sheet of T5 so I can fab something that will look nice.
Got the plate nut installed (went with all one type for simplicity) dont know why they specify 2 different types of plate nuts and 2 different screws.
2017-07-23 AIr Filter Fit Improves - BROKE MY SQUEEZER!! Looking better now ... cut the front edge of the snorkel tube to allow ie to open up alittle (I'll re-glass this later).
All the plate nuts are in and everythings riveted , time to move on to the retainers.
Forgot to install the 2nd pin to hold the yoke in ... when I pulled the trigger to squeeze a rivet , my favorite adjustable set holder broke. cheapest new one was $69 ... from clear air tools.
2017-08-07 Air Filter Retainer - My Version Not happy with the Vans retainers. Not 'robust' enough ... not 'clean' looking in a very visible part of the plane.
So.... went to the local aluminum store (Alro Metals) and got a sheet of .032 T5.
Made a one piece retainer that goes alll the way around the filter. Gonna use flush screws to secure it .
I'm happy now.
2017-08-09 Broken Die Set Holder This is what happen when you try to rivet WITHOUT both pins holding the yoke ...
Ouch... prolly about $80 of so...
2017-08-19 132-D Bracket Been outta town again ... to Kansas City.
Good to work a couple hours on the air intake/filter area.
The 132-D reinforcement bracket ties the corner area (floor to sides) of the LH baffle. This looks good.
2017-09-03 Snorkel fiberglass To recap... the Vans supplied snorkel wasn't bad, but did fit exactly right. The upper portion was cut away from the lower.
Now that the air filter portion is all assembled, its time to join the upper snorkel to the lower snorkel.
But even before that step ... I have to fix the upper where I had to split it to allow the the upper snorkel to 'spread' allowing the air filter to sit in the retainer with out getting 'squished'.
2017-09-12 Reconnecting upper and lower snorkle This doesn't HAVE to look pretty ... but I'd like it to be somewhat decent. Now that the upper snorkel has beet fit to the baffles and air filter, its time to re-join it to the lower section, which is securely fastened to the air intake.
Carefully laid fiberglass strips across the upper ans lower snorkle where I have access to. .... when dry , I'll remove the assembly and finish it up

2017-10-09 Retired Now ... More Plane Building Time? 45 years at Ford. Officially retired on September 30. A little party with co-workers... a little scooter trip with the wifey around Lake Huron (our favorite trip) ... now its time to settle in and "get'er done". The plan is to work 4-6 hours every day during the week while the wife is a work. Maybe a little on the weekends and in the evening. we'll see how it goes.

I've been working on the plane but haven't been documenting like I should... its just these baffles/snorkle has been SLOW and a little frustrating. But I got the RH air inlet area fit pretty good, however, it's the LH that's the issue currently ... sits a little high and doesn't let the lower cowl go into place.
2017-10-11 Baffles continued ... I wonder how many give up this airplane building stuff during this phase of the project? ...
installed the little clips that overlap the front and rear cylinder baffles 1003-D? maybe ?
Install the"spark plug access holes" ?? Just barely filled the holes.. not sure why there are holes in the first place.
Then I worked on the forward baffles... trimmed the forward edges of the air inlets ... the lower cowl now goes on.
Still, the LH baffle (with the air filter) sits too high... tried bending ... gonna have to cut the snorkle again and re-do the fiberglass ... grrrr.
2017-10-12 Disassembling Upper and Lower Snorkle 2 steps backward... 1 step forward?
Well I wasn't happy with the way the LH air inlet sit to the lower cowl (too high) only way to get it down was to separate the upper and lower snorkel then re-drill the brackets to let the assembly sit lower ...then re-fiberglass it all back together.
1. With a dremmell, cut the snorkel apart.
2. Used wooden blocks to force the assembly down to the desired position relative to the lower cowl.
3. redrill new bracket holes
Looks good!! ... I think it worked. Now on to re-fiberglassing the snorkel tomorrow
2017-10-13 Still More Baffles ...and IGNITION WIRES Still fitting the baffles ... got the forward vertical piece bent so that it clears the air filter retainer.
Trimmed the forward edges near the starter ring and riveted on the RH bracket.
Then I got out the ignition wires ... directions say to route them thru the grommets, but I'm not ready ot install the plugs quite yet. Routing diagram for the wires came with engine manual.
2017-10-24 Still Customizing the Vans Snorkel Decided to install the "alt air" to the snorkel ... to do that I'll have to re-glass where I separated it previously. Who knew this is the one spot the alt air door will sit flush.
Spent the day removing the old glass ... then re-glassing 2 sides... will finish the other 2 sides tomorrow... (and take some pics
2017-10-26 Snorkel ... Alternate Air Fiberglasssing the snorkel back together so the Alt air door can go in ... making progress. Cut the alt air door opening ...locating all the parts is a big job in itself.
Now waiting for the 'glass' to cure to be able to rivet the alt air door into place.
2017-10-27 Alternate Air Door to Snorkel only spent a couple hours on the plane ... house remodeling project ...
match-drilled the rivet holes ... enlarged the holes for the platenut ... mixed up a 20 gram (too much) batch of resin with the cotton fibers to thicken it up... now it sits overnight.
2017-10-28 Alt Air Door Riveted I think this all done (the alt air ) except for the cable attachment. They give you a plastic grommet for the firewall penetration of the cable... think I'll spend the extra $ and get the stainless steel eyeballs
2017-10-31 Prep for Rejoining Snorkel This poor snorkel. It's been butchered ... but I guess it doesn't have to be pretty to work.
All sanded and ready to rejoin along this new split line.
2017-11-09 Baffle Fiberglass, Riveting, and Painting Combined entry for a couple days work.
I have the 2 halves of the snorkel re-joined ... riveted the last of the brackets that reinforce the LH front upper to the horizontal. Now it's time to paint.
Ran down to Lowe's and got some hi-temp Rustoleum in a nice gray color. (this helps with the corrosion that happens from squishing bugs while flying. Then prepared the surfaces and spray.
Came out looking pretty good.
I think I can mount this stuff to the engine permanently now.
2017-11-10 Baffle Re-assembly... Oil Cooler Can't believe I'm STILL working on these baffles ... been almost a year.
Anyway, I put the rear section on yesterday, put the RH front on today and installed the oil cooler and hooked up the hoses
2017-11-15 More Baffle Re-Assembly Installed ignition wire seals ...
Installed Snorkel and air filter ...
Found the SSP-120 stainless steel pins and cut and threaded (6-32) ... almost went with the safety wire method cuz I just couldn't get the die to start to thread the rods. Found some advice on the topic on VAF Forums ... tapered the rod ends in the grinder, this helped a lot.
2017-11-18 Blast Tubes Decided to put (3) blast tubes in ... (1) for the alternator and (2) for the P-mags (LH and RH)
11/16" unibit makes just the right sized hole ... and the conduit snaps right in.
Don't have the ends secured as yet, maybe clamps or tie straps or safety wire ...
2017-11-25 Snorkel Gasket ... Blast Tubes Continued Called the fuel injection manufacturer (Pete) ... He said to just install the gasket between the intake of the fuel injection and the mating flange of the snorkel the other smaller gasket must be 'extra" ...
Used plastic zip ties to secure the ends of the blast tubes at the P-mags... easy and quick.
The 3rd blast tube at the alternator, I decided to plug the end with proseal and a spare plastic cap. (needs to cure overnight) Then I'll cut out holes in the tube to correspond with the holes in the rear of the alternator and zip tie the tube.
2017-11-27 Blast Tubes Done The last blast tube ...going to the rear of the alternator... is complete. After plugging the end, I cut holes that corresponds with the holes in the back of the alternator rear shield. Plastic tie straps used to secure.
2017-12-02 Trim Baffles at Starter Ring - Cowl Air Inlets Trimmed the baffles in the front all around the starter ring ... using tin snips is fast, but kinda bends the metal up a bit.
Was able to get the upper cowl on. (yay!)
On the air inlets ... you cant just stick them in the cowl opening (too big) direction says to have the cowl all fastened down, then position the air inlets. Don't see how.
I positioned the inlets to the upper cowl while on the workbench ... drilled and clecoed them ... then tried to position the cowl.
Will be trimming the inner edge of the air inlets to make room for the ring gear baffles. Then trim down the side baffles to match the new inlets
2017-12-11 Trimming Front Side Baffles to Fit Air Inlets I'm always afraid of cutting too much, so this took awhile.
Made a rough cut of the side baffles with tin snips... then used a file to get the final shape.
Lots of putting the upper cowl on (with the air inlets clecoed in place, looking at what interference there is, removing the upper cowl, then filing the baffles, repeat... but fortunately you have a good view of any high spots just by looking into the front of the cowl.
Need the required 3/8" to 1/2" gap to the cowl.... almost have it.
2017-12-28 Air Inlets Dad passed away last week ...we were on a cruise in Portugal at the time, made back in time for the viewing and funeral in Tennessee. Rough week, and rough days ahead executing the will.
Was a -5 degrees this morning. Took a while for the shop to heat up.
Sanded the mating surfaces down to the fibers (should have used a power sander and saved a ton of time) ... took too long but got er done.
Mixed up a 50 gram batch of epoxy and flox material spread it on the mating surfaces and clecoed together. Curing of the air inlets has to be done while the upper cowl in installed... just in case it changes the fit )
Should be cured by morning.
2017-12-29 Oil Door Started I've had the aftermarket parts for this lying around for awhile now... but just now started to work o it...
Using the Van's supplied oil door (with some reinforcement) ... but its all different after that. The hinge is a "hidden hinge design from Avery Tool. The latches are "cam-loc" flush buttons (going to use 2 of them) because of the pressure in the engine compartment, there have been reports of the stock oil door popping open in flight (not good) hopefully the reinforcements and the dual latches solve that issue.
Started by mounting the hinge to the cowl, then mounting the door to the hinge.
Then epoxy/flox the original portion of the cowl the I cut out of the opening (good thing I saved it!) to the oil door
Maybe mounting the matches tomorrow?
2017-12-30 OIl Door Latches It's so cold out that the epoxy/flox of the oil door reinforcement was totally cured yet this morning. Because the door to cowl fit totally changed, I made(2) .40" shims for the hinge at the cowl to compensate for the reinforcement thickness.
It was either that , or remove the reinforcement at the hinge area (thought about it)
Then mounted the (2) cam-loc latches to the door ... then made (2) "buttons" to rivet onto the latch buttons to compensate for the thickness of the door.
Even without the reinforcement, I was going to have to do this. I remember getting a deal on these cam-locs because the buttons on them were so shallow. Looking good.
2018-01-06 Oil Door Riveted Let's see...
1. Rounded the corners of the door (looks prettier)
2. Made the latch buttons sit flush to the door by sanding.
3. Like the cowl hinges epoxied the mating surfaces of the oil door hinges.
4. countersunk and riveted it all.

Need to make a latch striker I like out of stainless? , before the final step of fiberglassing all around the door to make flush with the cowl surface.
2018-01-08 Latch Fabrication Decided that I needed something other than aluminum for the latch striker. All the friction and wear of opening and closing ... I can see problems later.
Went to Lowes and bought a paint scraper tool, then came home and destroyed it to get the stainless steel portion. Cut it down, and positioned, drilled . and epoxy/flox into place.
Should be able to rivet in tomorrow.
In a moment of absolute stupidity... I drilled into the oil door when I drilled the latch...
Other than the embarrassment, no real harm dome. just mixup a batch of epoxy and fill in and sand smooth.
2018-01-09 Rivet Latch Striker ... Start the Epoxy/ Sanding Cycle Countersunk and riveted the latch striker ... happy with the way the oil door functions.
Now on the the filler...sand...filler .sand routine.
2018-01-25 Cowl Inlet Duct / Oil Door Hinge Pin I was going to fill the inlet cavity with foam ... then cut and shape... then fiberglass over it. But I saw how one builder just "draped' the wet fiberglass over the opening.
So I tried that. This is a none visible area, purely functional, so it does HAVE to be pretty. After it cures I'm going to mix up some filler to just smooth it all out.

Oil door hinge needed a way to retain the pin (other than bending it) ... thought the safety wire in a cut groove would work. (copied idea)
2018-02-03 Baffle Seals Don't know why I've procrastinated so long on this task.
Drilled #30 holes all around the baffles for the seal material. 1.5 " apart and 1/2" down from the top edge.
Found the seal material... unrolled it, now I'm looking at web pictures as to how many pieces to cut.
2018-02-06 Baffle templates... Nose Job 2 ... more Baffle trimming Making cardboard templates of the baffle seals.. basically follow the contours of the baffle... measure 1" down, then 2" up.
THEN the mailman came with the AntisplatAreo nose gear reinforcement brace. (the "nose job")
Took awhile to install, and it's still not entirely done yet. the hardware is crap. all (3) bolts that are supposed to 'compress' the gear clamp around the gear leg... BROKE.
I tried to compress with other bolts and nuts just laying around, but I still ended up striping (2) of (5) finish bolts.
Let's see how good their customer service is...
Finished the evening by finally trimming the front baffles... they hit the air inlet ducts now...
2018-02-07 Finished Front Baffle Trimming.. New Improved Seal Templates Install the upper cowl... remove the upper cowl... repeat until satisfied with the fit.
Finally got the baffles that sit behind the starter gear trimmed with a nice 1/2" gap to the cowl inlets.
Then on to the seal templates. cardboard was too hard to work with, so I switched to manila file folders (much better)
2018-02-10 Baffle Seals Cut ... RearTail Light Mounting Brkt Using my templates made yesterday, I cut the baffle seal material and using the daughter's hole punch (borrowed from her tack box) punched the rivet holes.
tried using a #30 drill but it couldn't cut a good hole.
Lots of overlapping material that I may trim latter... but for now it looks good.
Have to investigate how and where to apply the hi-temp RTV sealer. Using "Permatex Ultra Copper"
I received the electrical tools from Cleveland Aircraft (snipper, wire cutters, Molex crimper) AND their rear NAV light mounting/adapter bracket. Fit the AreoLED Nav light just perfect. Will make installation simple ... and only cost $17.
2018-02-14 Spinner Seals /Finished Antisplat Areo Nose Job2 Made a first attempt at the spinner area baffle seal templates ... this area is tricky to do right.
The new replacement hardware for the "Nose Job2" brace came today. All torqued up at 150 "/lbs.
2018-02-18 Baffles FINALLY Done???? Not really but getting close... was able to pop rivet all the baffle seals today. I think next is the lower cowl inlet pieces ... should take too long.
The recommended adhesive (Pilobond) came in the mail, also the gap sealant (Permatec Ultra Copper) came as well. WIll be using both soon
2018-02-19 Oil to Prop ...? Taking a break from baffles to look at the engine hook ups... specifically
1. added fire sleave to throttle cable
2. installed supplied heatshield to exhaust (near throttle cable) ... really need one more these ... ordered from Aircraft Spruce.
3. Called Superior Aircraft Engines... the tech recommended removing the entire rear assemble (for variable pitch prop) and replacing with a new plate (he's going to mail it to me)
2018-02-19 Lower cowl baffle strips These baffles get glued and screwed... :-)
1. measured and drilled the screw holes in the cowl
2. bent the 1/2" aluminum strip to match the contours of the air inlets...
3.countersing the holes
2018-02-22 Running Out of Baffle Seal Material Good thing I'm almost done with baffles...
Used the daughter leather hole punch to create matching holes in the seal material that matches the holes in the cowl and bent retainer.
Glued together with this "philbond" stuff ... seems like regular contact cement to me (?)...
Saying to clamp and wait 48 hours ...
2018-02-28 Rear Prop Governor Assembly Removed Just some light work tonight on the plane ...
Installed a couple heatshields to the crossover exhaust pipes near the throttle and sniffle valve.
Then I removed the rear governor assy from the rear of the engine... I remember that I wanted the ability to change from a fixed-pitch prop to a variable when I purchased the engine. So when I called Superior about this extra fitting for a prop oil line, they told me to just remove the whole rear governor assemble and they would ship me a dummy plate ...
That saved a couple pounds of engine weight and remove some parasitic loss from that gear that wont be turning now.
2018-03-06 New Heat Muff and SCAT Hose Routing I think this is a nice, elegant way to route the SCAT hose... without excess length or crazy bends.
Nothing that dangles outside of the exhaust of gets even close to the cowl.
All made possible by my new Robbins Wings custom made heat muff.
I think I ordered it Friday, he made it Saturday and shipped it.. got it today!
Great service.
Exactly what I asked for.
2018-03-16 Cowling Sealing, RTV and Wheel Costers I've had the plane's wheels on snowmobile costers for a little while now (makes it easier to move the project around the work area, but they want to roll off. Finally took the time to make wooden caulks for each wheel.
Decided to coat the interior of the cowling (upper and lower). Tinted a batch of epoxy with white pigment. and brushed on. rather than thin it with acetone decided to just heat the cowl with a heat gun as I applied it. (makes it runny and more spreadable) I like that it's sealed now ... but it needs to be whiter... second coat.
RTV... there are contact points with the SCAT tubes that need RTV and then there's all the gaps and holes between the baffles and engine
2018-03-20 Foil to Lower Cowl ...More RTV Been jumping between several tasks...
Took a little trip to Tennessee in a friends Cessna 310... he's a CFII and an A&P and the plane is beautiful.
1. Put a second coat of white tinted epoxy on the inside of the cowl. (coverage is not great)
2. started application of the adhesive backed foil on the lower cowl.
3. Putting RTV on SCAT hose contact points. messy.
4. Putting RTV on the Engine to baffle areas. Very messy.
2018-03-22 Lower Cowl Thermal Barrier Done Title says it all... except for maybe the epoxy applied to the edges of the foil.
2018-03-26 Brake Lines , Cowl Assembly First the good news ... made up a set of brake lines. The go from the fuselage fitting, down the landing gear, to the calipers. Made them to plan specs and resisted the temptation to buy flexible stainless steel lines. Bending was easier than I thought, no bending tools required, just soft bends by hand to achieve the desired shape.

Then I wanted to prep the outside surface of the cowls. Plans say to put in position and install with ALL pins and screws attached... and that's where the difficulty started. Now that the baffles are done its harder to install the cowls ... got all the pins in EXCEPT the lower cowl, lower pins (near the exhaust) ...
More fitting is required I guess.
2018-05-12 Cabin Heat Cable Looking for a simple task to do this evening ... and found one. The cabin heat cable that's sitting on the shelf, needs to go in.
Not too involved. drill a #10 hole in the RH side firewall brace that's INSIDE the firewall.
for some reason, I thought this cable had to penetrate the firewall!
Then, (maybe tomorrow) I'll route the cable to the little flapper door and connect.
I see that the stainless steel heat door has a different cable attach method than the stock Van's door. Instead of just bending the cable end and 'hooking' it into a hole... this thing has a nut and bolt that secures the cable.
2018-05-14 Finish cabin Heat Cable to Door A lot of crawling in out of the cabin to bend the cable, secure the cable and install Adel clamp AND saftety wire the clamp... (per drawings) ... but its all in and functions.
2018-05-14 Alternate Air Cable to Snorkel Door Had already purchased a stainless steel eyeball to penetrate the firewall (no plastic grommets!)
Drilled a 5/8 hole in the firewall where I thought it should go according to the picture... no dimensions given.
Then route and connect the end of the cable wire to the door and route and secure the cable with a couple Andel clamps. not exactly the routing they show in the illustrations. we'll see if this ends up working better.
2018-05-15 Filled Brakes !! ... No Leaks !! This turned out pretty well. Did the "bottom up" method....had a couple issues that were resolved...but in the end, I have firm, solid, working brakes with no leaks.
the first mistake was thinking that the fitting the bleeder goes into... is not the bleeder. The second was the type of oil can I bought had a tip that was very difficult to get a hose to seal to...even when clamped with safety wire. But I found an old oil can that I had with a better tip ...and after cleaning it up, working very well as a pump.
I'd say the entire brake system holds less than 1/2 a quart of fluid. Filled from the RH caliper first, pumped until fluid came out the reservoir. Then Filled from the LH caliper.
Once done, I used a syringe to pull out some fluid from the reservoir to allow for expansion.
2018-05-17 Cabin Fresh Air Vents to NACA Just one of those items I never got around to doing ...until today.
2018-05-18 Prep for Wingtip Installation Thinking about this for a couple days and decided to follow the 'Mike Bullock' method of wingtip install (piano hinge).
for all same reasons I went piano hinge for the cowl... appearance, and serviceability.
Today was just getting familiar with the process and ordering the parts (more hinge material).
The existing holes in the wing skin are spaced for screws or rivets... gonna have to add some more holes to rivet on the hinges...

Talked to AFS/Dynon on the phone a couple days ago ... decided to order the AP servos and get them installed.. they assured me the brackets and mounting kit I ordered from GRT years ago are still compatible,
2018-05-22 MoreWing Tip Prep I've had these part awhile (wing tips) ... had to get a bucket of soapy water and wash the dust off them.
Drilled and deburred a whole in between all the existing wing tip attachment holes to accommodate the hinges.
Then, test fit the wing tips. Of course, they don't fit. Gonna have to do some cutting and sanding.
Found the alerion jig and installed it.

2018-05-30 Dynon Servos Install to GRT/Trutrac Mount Kits When I was building the wings and fuselage ...I made provisions for autopilot servos to be installed later.
Thinking I was going to install GRT instruments, I went with their servo mounting kits (which are identical to Trutrac kits).
Now ...4 years later... I'm actually buying electronic components... I'm going with Dynon equipment and their servos.
The Dynon roll servo mounts just fine with one exception that I can see. The support bracket for the Dynon is better and more intricate than what I have with the GRT/Trutrac kit.
Called Dynon and they'll sell me the unique brkt for $8 + shipping.

The pitch servo...same story, except it was a 'spacer' that was the difference between the GRT/Trutrac kit and what required to mount the Dynon servo. Dynon was nice enough to look up the dimensions of the spacer so I could modify it to fit.
2018-06-01 Fitting LH Wing Tip position... remove ... sand...repeat ...

Waiting for Dynon roll servo support bracket ... shipped yesterday. AND.. they waived the fee. Instead of $8 + shipping ... it's FREE.
2018-06-03 Roll Servo Mounted That Dynon support bracket came in the mail yesterday... much nicer than what I got from GRT. (see pic)
All torqued down and marked... on to the pitch servo.
Oppps... I need to SAFETY WIRE this!!
2018-06-05 Pitch Servo Mounted All in and torqued. Think I'll leave the safety wire until later...
2018-06-22 Wingtips Trimmed and Drilled Been awhile since my last entry, but I HAVE been working on the plane ... filing ...sanding ...position ...check fit ...repeat.
But I think I got looking pretty good as far as fit to the wing and gap to the ailerons go.
So I took a deep breath (this stuff still makes me nervous) and drilled to # 40, the wingtips (LH and RH) to the tips.
My W-430 aileron jig needed some modification,(grinding) to make it position correctly around the AP servo brackets, but it fit both sides now and hopefully helps get the tip to aileron alignment correct.
Next is to "slip' in the W-412 wing tip ribs.
2018-06-26 P4 Hinges to Wing Tips according to Mike Bullock's directions, its now time to match drill the wider P4 hinges to the wingtip using the holes from the wings.
first, cutting the hinges to length. then drilling and clecoing to the wing tip.
so far, so good
2018-06-28 P3 Hinges to Wingtips lots of marking... center punching... drilling and clecoing...
2018-07-10 Wing tip Progress Cut the flanges off ... trimmed and fit the tip to the wing.... dimpled the wing ... counter-sunk the fiberglass wingtips and the flanges ...test fit the hinge pins (they go in!!!)
Installing the wing tip rib ribs are next I think.
2018-07-12 Wing Tip Ribs First I permanently riveted the TOP hinge/spacer assembly to the wings... didn't to the bottom yet cuz I still want to leave the bottom skins loose for now.
Took me a little bit to figure out the W-412 wing tip ribs are identical ... no difference between RH and LH or top and bottom.
Just continued the holes on each wing tip, then drew a center line on the flange of each rib, positioned the rib so I could see the drawn line thru the holes, then match drilled.
The wing tip hinges on both the top and bottom overlap the rib flange by a couple of holes ... but that doesn't seem to impact anything.
Looking good I'd say.
2018-07-14 Hinge Pin Retainers SO... I've deviated from Vans plans as to how the wing tips attach to the wings... now I'm deviating from the deviation.
I didn't like the recommended "cutting board"/ nylon block method to retain the hinge pins
This is kinda the method I used on other pins ... should work here too.
Now all I have to do is bend the pins 90 degrees to go in .
2018-07-21 Hinge Pins Bent... Starting Landing Lights Not quite done with the wing tip hinges ... but close. Pins are all bent and cut, all looks good.
Started mounting the landing lights/ stobes into the wing tips ... following the directions that come from AreoLEDs
2018-07-23 Landing Lights - UHMW tape to Flap Opening Cut the openings for the lights ... pretty much just draw the opening using a template... use a dremmel tool cut it out ... then go to sandpaper and slowly enlarge the opening.

Also applied the UHMW tape... NOT to the flap itself... (looks bad after a while) .. but to the underside of the wing :-)
2018-07-24 Installed Flaps to Wing Couldn't figure out why I waited till now to install the flaps to the wing... all that lacked was putting on the UHWM tape ... did that yesterday.
A little difficult lining up the hinges while the wings are in the cradle, but they're in.
2018-07-24 AreoLEDs Landing Light Got the opening almost ready to test fit the light... The light is all taped up (2 layers)
2018-07-26 Landing Light Opening Sanding Pretty boring stuff... not happy with how it looks either...
2018-07-28 Hinges Riveted Made up a couple batches of resin ...added some flox... applied to the hinges and clecoed. When set (couple hours) ...I riveted it all. Everything looks great.
One issue...
Must have got some excess flox/resin into the hinge hole, cuz now the pins are hard to insert. going to have to 'ream' out some how.
2018-07-30 Wing Tip Lenses VA-172 ... the lenses come as one piece (like the canopy) ... you have cut into 2 pieces to make an LH and RH.
Fortunately, there's SO MUCH extra material that you don't have to be real careful. And, ... instead of using a dremmel of die grinder to separate (all that dust) ...TIN SNIPS work great.
Now to start fitting... and researching attachment methods.
(No guidance in the drawings or instructions)
2018-08-01 Final Fitting of Landing Lights... Start Nav/Pos Lights Last of the sanding of the landing light opening... test fit all the hardware. had to stop and move on to nav/pos lights cuz Tuan has my fiberglass material (working on the cowling of N3738L.
Going to mix up a batch of flox to set the outer bracket to the wing tip ... and just skip the rivets.
Nav/Pos lights seem to mount MUCH easier... no adjustability.
2018-08-07 Mounted Nav/Pos Lights... Wouldn't you know it ...I broke off a stainless steel screw in the platenut! tried to 'easyout' but to no avail. Boy, I didn't want to mess up the surface of the fiberglass ... this area really shows.
Was able to drill out the rivets and remove the offending platenut without any damage and install new ... WHEW!
2018-08-14 AoA Ports, Drain, Tubing - WIng Tip Lens Still fitting the wing tip lens... I'm slow at this.
But I started working on the AoA... Tried my own method which I think turned out better than the instructions.
I saw that the upper port and the lower port were EXACTLY the same at the attachment point. so rather than position and drill the mounting holes from the inside of the wing (pain)... I first started by drilling the #60 (small) hole ...Then using the drill bit as a guide, then put the lower port over the drill bit to find the center Then drilled the mounting holes. All from the outside skin. Worked the same for the upper port too!!.
Dimpled the skin to #30 worked good enough. Ready to get out the PROSEAL.
Decided (I think) to route the port tubing into the wingtip conduit... I have no holes in any ribs past the pitot and I didn't like the tie strap method.
2018-08-16 Finish AoA... Trim Lens Finished the AoA ports and my cobbled up drain guide .
Spent most of the day trimming ans re-trimming the wing tip lens. What makes getting a perfect fit is the quality of the wing tip itself... Its a little wavy and irregular where the lens goes. I might mix up some fiberglass and build it up where it metts the lens if it really bothers me
2018-08-17 Lens Ready To Mount Had to remove the screws for the landing lights cuz they interfered with the platenuts that hold the lens.
Mixed up a batch of flox, dabbed into the rivet hole and bucked it... A little tricky cuz of the fiberglass AND the slippery resin mixture that got on everything. dabbed more resin on the backside to "lock-in" the platenute.
2018-08-18 WingTip Lights Installed ... Lens Attached I think I'm done with the lights now...theyre mounted and the lens is trimmed and attached (Van's method of only 2 screws each) ... need to wire them that's all.
The 12' harness that came with each landing light is a mystery to me right now... not even sure if it's positioned in the wing correctly.
Was able it "ream" out the excess dlox that got into the piano hinge holes and kept the pins from going in :-)
2018-08-20 Aileron Trim Starting a new project ... installing the aileron electric trim. These parts have been sitting on a shelf for a while now ... so long that I had to ponder what exactly it was.
But i had no idea how the trim worked (til now) ...
the Ray Allen motor resides in the fuselage... under the seatpan.
2018-08-22 Aileron Trim Continued ... These are the BEST drawings and directions I've had since I started building... Michael Schwartz... very detailed, each step refers to a drawing... WOW ... this guy is good. I should call/write Van's to compliment him.
Anyway, Had the trim servo and the bracket in the plane ... but took them out cuz the holes in the servo were too small and it seemed a lot easier to drill out to 9/64" on the bench, than on a latter, leaning into the canopy upside down trying to drill this stuff to proper size.
2018-08-23 Aileron Trim Done except ... Wish I had the foresight to have done this earlier in the build... spent most of the day doing headstands trying to secure stuff.
No major miscues ... everything looks pretty good. The aileron trim motor and associated hardware is all in and functioning.
EXCEPT ... I don't have any .041 safety wire to connect the springs to the mechanism. (on order from Aircraft Spruce)
For some reason I can't remember, the elevator pushrods were not connected ... they are now. and the joysticks ... I re-installed those.
Was getting uncomfortable with the precarious way I had the canopy held open when I'm leaning into the cockpit working. Because of the ceiling height in the shop.. the canopy wont open fully. Got rid of the sticks holding the canopy partially open and installed some eye hooks in the ceiling ... attach a couple bungee's and it's all set.
Much safer now ... I was afraid of the canopy falling on me while hanging over the side.
2018-08-23 F-824B...Finding Parts ... What Next..? So... I'm looking the shelves here and find (2) parts labeled "F-824B" ... No idea what they are or where they go. Ends up they are fuselage access panels at the very rear of the fuselage. Can't see any reason they should be installed now.
Then I noticed the desiccant plugs on the engine aren't blue anymore ... so I did that routine (bake in oven at 350)
Then I started thinking about the flaps... cant hang the wings yet, but where's the hardware to make them move? Discovered that I never installed the rod ends to the flap bracket. Found them in the paper bag labeled "flap hardware".
Did a little browsing through the manual ...looking for missed or skipped over items, I think I can install the fiberglass tips now. Will just wash off the 5 years of dust/dirt that's accumulated.
Start that tomorrow.
2018-08-24 Upper Rudder Fairing After doing some reading, I'm finding that unless the VS and HS are mounted... you really shouldn't install the fairing tips.
Oops ... Got the top of the rudder installed today. Wasnt too bad really. I DID have to cut off some of the aft flanges of the tip cuz it wouldn't fit down into the tapered tip of the rudder ... but I think it looks good. Hope it lines up with the VS.
My .041 safety wire came in today... tomorrow I'll try to finish the aileron trim.
2018-08-26 Aileron Trim Complete All I did today. install the .041 safety wire between the springs and the controls.
2018-08-27 Periils of Rearraiging Shop To be able to install the fiberglass tips to the rudder, elevator, VS, and HS. .. they really need to be on the fuselage to see how everything fits together. To do that, I needed to rearrange the plane (turn it 180 degrees in the shop).
In the process of moving the plane, one of the wheels slipped off the dollies and it fell a couple inches and the engine hit me in the head.
A trip to the hospital and (7) staples in my scalp, and a knot on my head.

Will try again tomorrow.
2018-08-28 HS Tip really hot out ... the kinda day you wish you had ponied up and bought the AC unit for the shop.
Having rearranged the fuselage in the shop yesterday... I hung the HS and VS on the fuselage. Then hung the rudder. Now I can see the relationship from the rudder tip to the HS tip will be.
(Which isn't bad)
A little sanding required and next is to close the open end of the tip.
2018-08-30 Closing up the Tip on the VS Made a little aluminum backing ... flox'd it in place ... next a batch of resin/filler and spooned it in ...let it dry.
New dollie wheels came and I put them under the plane wheels ... dont know how easy it'll be to move around... but it doesn't have far to fall.
2018-08-31 VS Tip Done / HS Tip Closeout / Aileron Boots Installed Got a few things done today...
1. Resin/filler mix on the VS tip was cured this morning ... sanded, counter-sinked, dimpled the HS and pop riveted it in.
2. Following the same method to closeout the HS tips as I used for the VS tip... first was to trim off the excess length, then fab the aluminum sheet used as backing and flox it in from the backside.
3. Saw that I never filed the lead counterweight of the elevators per the drawing to "conform " to the adjoining part.
4. Laid out the holes for the HS Tip (they're NOT pre-drilled)
5.I've had some homemade aileron boots made and sitting on the shelf for a couple years now... mixed up a batch of Pro-Seal and clamped them into position.
2018-09-03 HS Tips and Elevator Tips / Elevator Trim Servo So, long ago at the very beginning of the project, I remember making the elevator trim tab and the provisions for the electric servo. I remember back then that I couldn't get the servo into position, didn't know what I could do about it, so I just moved on and forgot about it.... until today.
Just a little trimming of the servo opening to allow it to go in. Once in, hooked the threaded rod (after cutting to length) and cycled it full down, full up, and set the midpoint.
Closed up the open end of the HS tips and cut the counterweight interference on the elevator tips. Went ahead and drilled, countersunk and dimpled it all.
Thinking I'll rivet it all and then work on the open end of the elevator tip (around the counterweight.
2018-09-05 Future CounterWeight platenuts / RH CounterWeight Trimmed Couldn't get the RH elevator counterweight out of the elevator.. so I had to trim it on the part, (should have seen that this had to be done BEFORE installing. glad to be done filing LEAD... probably not healthy.
Anyway, tried files, die grinder, jigsaw, but worked the best was a drywall saw.
Just in case a chunk of counterweight is needed after paint... I install a platenut on each side to bolt on.
2018-09-06 Evelvator Tips on Just an hour or so working. Mixed up about 40 grams of resin/flox and positioned the tips over the counter weights and to the HS ... pop riveted into place.
Need to pretty up the end. .. then fit and install the HS tip.
2018-09-08 Bottom Rudder Tip / Thinking about Antenna Placement So I'm thinking about all this pre-instrument panel stuff I have now... lots of antennas. Not sure where they should go. As functional as they are, they DO induce drag on the plane ...not a lot, and they're kinda ugly. Some can be hidden or mounted inside. Thanks to a diagram on the SteinAir site... this is what I'm thinking ...
ELT... mast goes top rear
Comm bent antennas (2) go under the wing spar (one on ea. side)
GPS gonna look at painting it black and mount on the glare shield
VFR goes in the wing.

Made up some resin and filler ..covered the end of the elevator tip counterweight and applied on each tip to metal transition, covering up the pop rivets.
Then fit the bottom rudder tip and got all ready to pop rivet.
2018-09-09 ELT Antenna Doubler Its Sunday and I wasn't going to work on the plane today, but cool and rainy. Good time to be inside pounding away.
Sanded a little on the empennage tips, but really wanted to look at some of the wiring stuff I got last week.
Researched ELT antenna location. Seem like there are lots of places to put it (not all legal) ... in a metal plane it needs to be mounted outside and in a vertical orientation. People DO mount it in the baggage area under the glass, or under a tail fairing, mounted horizontally... but I think I don't want to be to 'cute' with this ... so its outside, just about as far back as I could get it.
Drilled the 1/2" hole, riveted on the doubler. ready to mount AFTER that rear shin is installed.
2018-09-10 Trying to Mount ELT...(Grrrrrr..) Dual Comm Antenna Location Very frustrating.
You'd think the ELT mounting bracket I bought years ago, with all the nice platenuts already installed would actually fit an ELT...no way. I don't know what kind of ELT this brkt will accept, but it doesn't work with mine. I thought ACK was a common brand.
Anyway, I wasted alot of time trying to come up with a way to make this work.
Moving on... I think I'll close up the forward end of the rudder bottom where the taillight wire comes in, and try to make a nice hole /grommet for it to route through.
Pulled out the dual communication antennas... started drilling for there install (just rear of the spar)...
at least this is progressing smoothly...
2018-09-11 Transponder, GPS, ADS-B So I figured out that the ADS-B and the Transponder used the exactly the same antenna... but you need (2) of them. they get installed on the bottom of the rear fuselage. Opened up the box and both antennas have the WRONG template. Call to RAMI ... replacements in the mail.
GPS antenna can go on the glare shield. Trouble is its bright white (glare) ...gonna spray it flat black.
Bob Archer VOR antenna needs to be in the wingtip. (I'll put it in the RH side, away from the pitot and roll servo) Had to drill out about (8) rivets in the wingtip hinge, then rivet WITH the antenna.
Mixed up some flox and troweled it under the gaps between the curve of the wingtip and the antenna.
2018-09-12 VOR Antenna Done, ELT Progress Finished the Bob Archer VOR antenna. It resides now in the RH wingtip and is 'floxed' under it to hole it flat, and held down with a couple stripes of fiberglass. Decided NOT to drill any holes the wiring clamp screws ... semed total unnecessary.
Started to fab up a couple bracket to transition between the Van's bracket and the ACK ELT bracket. it won't be pretty, but it'll do the job.
2018-09-14 ELT Brackets Closer .... PAINTED GPS Antenna !!! Didn't do much today ...on the plane that is.
Decided that if the GPS antenna goes on the glare shield it needed to be painter. best idea I saw was the "truck bedliner spray" ... word is "zero" loss of gain vs. the unpainted.

Small progress made on the ELT brkts ... need to buy some screws that fit the platenuts I used.
2018-09-17 ELT Finally in... Transponder and ABS-B Antennas This was an ordeal... my own fault really. for some reason I couldn't see that the LH Vans ELT brkt that I install years ago... actually did had holes that matched my ACK ELT (just no platenuts installed) ... of course I realized this AFTER I fab up some beefy brkts. threw them away and was able to get nuts on the backside of the Vans brkt ... (wasn't easy)
I see now too that my ELT antenna about 2 feet farther away from the ELT than I've got cable for... (figures)... prolly will need a 7 ft. cable, not the 5 ft. I've got.
Both 'RAMI' antennas are now in, WITH riveted doublers (Thanks Halley!)
Tomorrow prolly the GPS antenna to the glare shield... what could go wrong?
2018-09-19 GPS Antenna Only an hour out in the shop today... no template (or hardware) comes with the Dynon GPS antenna so I made my own. Turned out pretty good. All the holes align well.
Tomorrow I shop for hardware.
Been reading about electrical connectors... Molex looks cheap, not robust enough and susceptible to failure. Been researching D-sub pins (gold plated, solid and machined)
Might be the way to go.
2018-09-26 OIl temp, Oil Pressure,CHT, EGT, and a Red Cube Brkt Benn out of town for a couple days (Tennessee) ... back at it now.
1. made a red cube brkt that mount to the firewall and riveted it. Ordered a couple bolts to mount it (all mine are too short)
2. Oil Temp sensor just screws in near the oil filter.
3. Oil and fuel pressure sensors go to the firewall mounted transducer.
4. (4) CHT sensors go into threaded holes near the lower spark plugs.
5. (4) EGT sensors have to be drilled into the exhaust pipes.
Called AFS a couple time (always busy) ... need to confirm the location of these ADAHRS modules.
2018-09-28 OAT Probes After much research, decided NOT to get 'cute" or creative with the location of the OAT Probes. Not gonna put them in a NACA scoop or under a fairing oe on the fuselage.
Put them on the wing inspection plate. theyre all the same but probably the center ones. (away from the bellcranks)
Made a little doubler plate as well.
Called AFS ... asked about my next steps... gonna route wires tomorrow!
2018-09-28 ADAHRS Bracket Started Picked a spot ... started with a search of what scrap materials I have to make a shelf to hang from the top stringers to mount the ADAHRS units (primary and secondary)
This needs to be stable and not vibrate so I pretty much made a stiffener on every side.
2018-09-29 ADAHRS Bracket Finiished Dimpled and riveted it all together. then Hung it from the upper stringers ...
When I went to drill the modules to the brkt side-by-side the holes went through the aluminum angle and got kinda close to the edge. Decided to just go ahead and use the supplied bracket that stacks the modules on top of each other.
Not sure what steps are next...(?)
2018-10-16 Sanding LH Elevator/ HS gap Out of town for nieces wedding in Vegas. Then there's all the work associated with the change of seasons ...
Back to the plane.
Searching for the ever elusive 1/8" gap between the elevator and the HS.
getting close ... close enough to rivet the HS tip on.
2018-10-18 Finally ... 1/8 in. Gap Got the 1/8" gap on both the LH and RH elevator to the horizontal stabilizer. Moving on the rudder / verticle stabilizer
2018-10-19 1/8" Gap at the Rudder/ Vertical Stabilizer Got all the gaps about as good as I'm going to get them...
pop riveted the lower rudder tip on as well. Had to put in another pop rivet due to some puckering (seem to help)
Next is sanding everything smooth.
Almost wish I hadn't tried to cover up the pop rivets and hide the fiberglass tip to metal transitions. this s gonna be alot of work.
More sanding to follow.
2018-11-20 ANR headset upgrade Sooo....Ive had this ANR headset kit since Oshkosh 2017... over a year ago... just sitting on the shelf. Decided to FINALLY work on getting it installed.
Not bad, had to called their technical support to clarify the wiring. They answered the phone and talked to me until I understood.
and when complete ... IT WORKS!!
Need to go flying now to experience them in the real world.
2018-11-30 Thinking About Closing Wings I had disconnected the aileron pushrod from the bell crank during the wingtip installation, so i needed to re connect.
Ended up removing one of the ailerons entirely . thought I had something jammed in it , a cleco or wedge of wood.. turns out the push rod was caught on the wrong side of the bellcrank .
While looking at the drawing to see if I had it assembled correctly . I found a mistake I had made earlier... the bolt the connectes the big pushrod from the control stick to the bellcrank is suppose to have a washer under the head of the bolt... somehow I had missed it. now its there on both sides.
Called AFS today ... need to understand the wing wire harness they sent me ... only has (4) wires ...need more than that for the landing lights and nav/position lights i've got.
Tomorrow I'll try to safety wire the bell crank bolts
2018-12-01 Safety Wire Servos... Re-connect Elevator Pushrod to Bellcrank There's a reason I haven't done this prior to today. Benn putting it off cuz its such a pain in the butt to do.
OMG ... i'm gonna have to hire a trained monkey to get into some of these spots.
Anyway, both servos have all the mounting bolts safety wired. and I was able to put the elevator push rod (stick to bellcrank) back together.
2018-12-04 Flap Pushrods ... Casters for main Wheels Constructed the flap pushrods... exactly as the the Vans directions say to...
1. Cut the AT-6 tube to length (4 7/8")
2. Drill out with a #3 drill bit ($4.00 @ ACE hardware)
3. Tap to a depth of 1" with a 1/4-28 tap
4. Assemble with required hardware
With that completed I started making a better set of casters for the main wheels... nothing has worked so far. In fact , what I have now sent me to the hospital.
Need to get some swivel wheels now.
2018-12-08 FINALLY ... Wheel Dollies That Wont Kill Me. So ... Building a plane in a small shop is 'do-able' ...but does require you to re-arrange things to accommodate the work you're doing. now that the project is on it's own legs, you just cant "slide it over" or "spin it around " very easily.
Somewhere I got the idea idea that snowmobile storage dollies would work ... (they don't) While attempting to push it from the front gear it fell off the dolly and the engine cracked my skull sending me to the hospital with 7 staples in my head.
tried some 3 wheeled furniture dollies ... same problem.
Thought of making my own wheel holding platform with swivel casters... but if I used 4 casters per wheel , i'd need 12 total . Lowes has them for $5-7 each ... thats $60-$84 just for the casters.
SOLUTION... Harbor Freight dollies. 12x18" in size (the smallest they sell) and each one is rated to 1000 lbs AND THEY WERE ON SALE FOR ONLY $7 EA !!!!
They fit the main wheels great... and with a slight modification... the nose wheel is on one too.