Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Riveted the F-695 fwd fuse gussets - 1 hour

I finally received an email back from Vans support about my question on using cherry max for the 10 forward rivets in the F-695 gusset that I was reluctant to set solo. Knowing how critical of an area it was...I do not want to mess this up.

While the email did not say no to the cherry rivets, it was not a great email. Perhaps it wasn't a fuzzy feel good email that I was hoping for, Maybe it was my mood, maybe it was the way I read the email, but it did nothing to alleviate my anxiety about riveting this area. I was soo pissed off. Out of shear anger I went out into garage and tried to set the rivets solo. Worst case....I can drill the bad ones out and use cherry max.

I used the AN470 solid rivets and by a complete stroke of luck, all of them set extremely well. Amazing cause I had to use the angled portion of the bucking bar which is always sketchy for me.



Monday, August 9, 2021

Started fitting the F-7112 aft top skin - 1.5 hours

 Very small build day. I stated to fit the F-7112 aft top skin so that I can trace all of the edges out. I can then remove and prime the mating surfaces. 

My order for 1/4" HDPE plastic arrived from amazon so I can start fabricating washers for the rudder pedals. For now I cut them about 1 1/8" diameter, but I will need to take some time and shave these down to fit in the blocks.


Saturday, August 7, 2021

Installing the static line and seat belt anchors - 3.5 hours

 One small item that I need to eventually complete is to finish the remaining 10 rivets in the forward gussets at the fire wall. I didn't get a chance to do them yesterday with Mike, and given the difficult accessibility of the area I'm reluctant to attempt bucking these solo. Its a pretty critical area. I will send an email off to Van's to see about the use of Cherry Max rivets for this.

Now that the aft top skin is on...I can crawl in the inside and install the seat belt anchors. To do this I laid towels down on all of the bulkheads an baggage area. Next I laid fence boards that I cut down to size across the baggage area, then laid full length boards down on the inside resting on each bulkhead. About 4 boards fanned out did the trick. Next I placed some foam on top of the boards and now I can comfortably craft back there.

Bolting the seat belt anchors is quick and easy.


Next, I started to install the static line. I really did not want to use zip ties as the plans suggest, so I used adel clamps instead. Much more professional looking and less chance for chafing in my opinion. Getting the static line around the seat belt anchor plate was fun.


Now I can install the seat belt anchor cables. Straight away I can see that the clevis does not set on the anchor plate well. 

 I will need to use 2 'L' washers in between the clevis and the plate. By adding and adjusting washers. The fit is now really good.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Fabricated the static line clips and riveted the aft top skin - 8 hours

Huge day on the build today. I have my buddy Mike coming over to help me with riveting the Aft top skin on the aircraft. Of course I riveted a good portion of the aft top skin (What I could do solo) but I will need his help to rivet the spots that I just can’t do myself.

Before he comes over, I really need to get the metal clips that hold the static line fabricated. Another small job that I have procrastinated on. I cut all of the strips according to the dimensions on the drawing, and purposely left them long.

 Making the first 90 degree bend is easy enough.

 I then used a 1/4” drill bit to continue the bend. 


Next is a really tricky part. Getting the bend to continue to essentially a full 270 degrees. I used a piece of 2x2 and clamped it onto the assembly with the 1/4” drill bit in place. A few hammer hits here and there. We have the basic shape!

A bit more work tweaking with the drill bit, blocks, clamps and hammer and we are there. I trimmed the long piece off and we are ready to drill the 3/32” rivet hole and prime


Mike arrived and we started in riveting. Of course we decided to do the messy riveting first. The gascolator doubler needs to be installed with proseal to mitigate water ingress. In case I forgot about how much I hate proseal, this reminded me about it. Was a mess. I just need to give it another spray of primer to clean it up

Next we need to finish the riveting of the mid line of the aft top skin. Since I have long arms I can reach in to hold the bucking bar. But holding the gun at the same time is a stretch. With Mike on the gun it was easy peasy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Re-paint - 2 hours

So very interesting...My first small batch of paint didn’t mix right and the paint never really dried. I think when I depressed the underside of the 2K can it wasn't good enough. Only affected a handful of parts. Since the paint didn’t set correctly, it easily wipes off with acetone (epoxy primer stayed completely in-tact). After a little be of re-prep. I re-sprayed a handful of parts and things are looking very good. 



Sunday, August 1, 2021

Painting Day! - 4 hours

 Well the day has finally arrived. I am ready to start painting the interior of the aircraft. For now I will just start painting the pieces first.

I need to give the parts a light coat of epoxy primer (to cover all of the exposed rivets, hardware, etc). Everything got a wipe down with acetone, then a spray with epoxy primer.

After a number of hours, I started to spray parts with a 2K single stage paint. Looks so good.

  Color by the way is a solid medium gray. Not too light, but not too dark (After reading forums and comments…Lots shy away from too dark a paint to keep the interior of plane cool). I jokingly call the color “Filing Cabinet Gray”. I still like it. Think it will look good with dark/black seats, accents and panel. 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Finished then stick boot rings and started brake assembly - 3 hours

Not much to write about. I finished cutting out the center of the stick boot rings. 

 Next I started in on some random tasks like prepping the area where the steps are so that I can prime the area for the future rivets. 

Then I started installing the brake pedals Took me a little time to research how to properly install a cotter pin. First time on the build that I need to install one so far. For the record…it looks like this;

 Unfortunately I didn’t get too far, and I soon realized I don’t have enough of the correct hardware to mount the co-pilot brakes and suit the larger Grove Brakes. I will need to put in an order to Aircraft Spruce…Again.