Drilling with iron (2 of 2)

Here we are on 10 October, integrating the drilling head into the iron bird.

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On 23 October, making a set of wing main pins for the first assembly. My 9×20 lathe is in a different city, so I improvised a turning setup using a pair of the rubber mandrels used for drum sanding. That let me put a bit of taper on the nose of the pin.

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And here’s those pins and a few of the implements for Akaflieg Wing Join convened in Sultan, WA on Halloween weekend.

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Doug drove the iron bird up in his truck, and he and Brad assembled a stand for it. Here on 29 October we have one wing indexed to the iron bird.

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Two wings in.

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We improvised this setup to draw the two wings together tightly against the bushings on the iron bird. Amid all this high-tech stuff, I wasn’t expecting to use a Spanish Windlass.

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But then, nobody expects the Spanish windlass!

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The drill press seemed a good idea on the face of it, but actually turned too fast and with too little torque to get the job done.

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So most of the heavy drilling was done with Brad’s 1/2″ chuck variable-speed hand drill. The trick, we found, was a custom-grind for our drill bits that master machinist Jim Flower showed me. Jim also did a bunch of other little machining jobs for us during the Sultan akaflieg, and so rescued us several times when we would otherwise have been stuck.

Here the left-side hole is drilled and its bushings are installed, and the right-side hole is freshly drilled.

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Potting in the right-side bushings on 30 October.

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Both bushings in and cured on 31 October, wings supported on their pins.

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So we plugged the wings into Brad’s fuselage and found a few minor interference issues.

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Files and sandpaper to the rescue!

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Wings on, pins in.

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Stands out, no visible means of support.

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You can also track the project on Facebook.

Homebuilt aviation is not for folks who don’t try things at home.

 

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