January 14, 2006

Here's a little know fact about today. This is the one and only year that January 14, 2006 falls on a Saturday...

My tech counselor advised me prime the insides of my wing skins since I plan on moving back to the east coast one of these days. Hmmm...that's an awful lot of weight. I compromised. I've started priming on the rivet lines. That's by far the most likely place you'll find corrosion, anyhow. I just clean with MEK, and prime right over the blue plastic that I'd previously cut out with the soldering iron. Peel off the plastic, and voila!

Looks like a mutant version of Finland's flag (Ellen's going to be soooo proud of me that I even recognized that. You know, dear, I wasn't exactly comatosed before we met. I HAD heard of Finland before).

I went absolutely NUTS driving all around the Antelope Valley trying to find some lead shot so I could weigh down the skin while I rivetted this side (it's not clecoed on the other side. If you rivet on the clecoes, it can leave marks, I found out). Can you believe that there is NOWHERE around here that sells any sort of lead shot??? At least not that I found. Stuff's even hard to find online. Like, what gives? This is pretty basic technology. In the end, I just used some foam and counterweights. Worked OK. There's also foam underneath the skin to keep from maring that side. All I can say about getting this first rib in (HS-707, I think) is go slow, and take your time. Especially on the front rivet, it's very cramped in there. I ended up having to drill out the front rivet and use an oops rivet there (same size head, but larger shank). Also, if you have to drill out the front rivet, be VERY careful. Don't bang it out without backing...you WILL bend the flange. The other ones are better, and are much easier to back in the first place. If you gotta get the front one out, I suggest just drilling it all the way through. About 80% into it, it'll just pop out the rest of the way itself.

It was a total struggle getting the skin on the spar all by myself. The first skin is easy. This second one is a total PITA. Would have been MUCH easier with two people. When you get to this step, plan ahead and have someone to help you. After about 30 minutes of struggling, though, I finally got it. As I was struggling to get this on, Ellen had me on the phone telling me about how she called one of her friends and they're going out for drinks and she doesn't know what time she'll be home, but she's very proud of me and that I need to just keep working and rivetting and building us an airplane 'cause "I can do it!". She's lucky she's cute and has earning potential. Tommorow, I'm gonna finish this pig off, and maybe even get to start drilling the elevator skins.

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