<July 8, 2005>

Vertical Stabilizer

While I am waiting on the parts for the HS, I decided to start the VS tonight. I have the VS disassembled, ready for deburring and priming, so I would say it was a very productive day.

Do you see my error here? I misread the plans and cleco'ed the bottom hinge brackets one hole too high. Unfortunately, I caught it after I match-drilled the top bracket (incorrectly). The good news is it was a minor mistake with no serious harm done other than having to order a new bracket ($5). I used the bottom one for the top and match drilled correctly. When the new bracket comes in, I just have to ream out the holes on the bracket and spar, which will take all of 30 seconds.

All ready to go. This time I got smart, I did all my edge finishing before I fluted the ribs. It was much easier that way, and much quicker too. When I deburred the HS ribs I spent hours and hours scrubbing every corner and crevice with a scotchbrite pad. This time I didn't spend nearly as much time, and to tell you the truth, the results aren't really any different. I think I am learning that everything doesn't have to be absolutely perfect.

Cleco'ed drilled and ready for skin.

Yup, everything checks out in here.

Skin installed and ready for reaming.

Time to drill the lightening holes in the VS stiffener. Here is my centerline for marking the center of the holes. Remember, measure twice (or eight times), cut once.

The circle-cutter in action. I am really glad I bought a drill press that goes down to 250 RPM... I couldn't imagine doing this any faster. The red lines you see are the laser guides on my drill press.

Two down, five to go.

A job well done, and my reward.

How much weight do you save by cutting these holes? Answer... 2-1/2 ounces, but it is probably more like 3 because there is a fair amount of cuttings created by the process.