Ready to pound some rivets

Primed Emp PartsNow it feel like I’m making some progress.  After priming a big batch of parts you know that your ready to permanently assemble the parts.  After taking the summer off from building I forgot what a job it was to prep and prime.  It took over 4 hours for this batch by the time I scuffed the parts with Scotchbright, wiped them down with thinner, washed them with soap & water, dried them and finally primed them.  These are all the vertical stab and rubber parts.

Empennage Delivery

It’s been a very busy summer and unfortunately I haven’t done much on the RV-14 kit.  I’ve been flying my RV-9A a lot including a trip to Oshkosh and recently went to the Copper State Fly-in in Arizona.  The rain and winter is officially here in Oregon so time to get back to building.

I picked up the empennage on October 30 and have decided to get going on it and put the wings on hold for now.  I think that the empennage will be more interesting to build and keep my interest up in building.  Plus I can do most of it without any help in bucking rivets.

Emp Kit 02Emp Kit 01

Fuel tank ready for Pro-seal

I’m still plugging away at it but procrastinating because I’m to the messy Pro-seal stage of the fuel tanks.  I may have gone overboard priming every inch of aluminum that’s not inside the fuel tank but at least it won’t have any corrosion issues here in the wet Pacific Northwest.  I think it’s time to put on the rubber gloves and get the tank riveted together.  Then another break from building to paint the house.

Wing tank skin

First leading edge done

I’m finally getting back to building mode on a more regular basis and finished riveting the left leading edge of the wing together.  Other than the time consuming part of drilling & deburing the rib holes and dimpling the skin it was pretty easy.  I hadn’t done a slow build wing on the previous RV but it was quite easy to rivet this part together by myself.  It’s important to take your time and make sure you have firm grip on rivet gun and bucking bar because you don’t want a big dent in the skin.  And with the skin curvature it’s a must to keep the rivet gun square with the skin.  It took me about 3 hours to rivet the entire skin.  There are more details on my progress under the wing construction page.

Left Leading Edge Done 1

Back to work on wing

After almost a month off for vacation and other work & family commitments I’m finally back to work on the wing.  I need to start putting in some quality time to catch up with the rest of the -14 builders.  At least now I know what are the manual corrections are so it’s full steam ahead.

Leading Edge

RV-14 Manual Revisions

Van’s just published a great new list of revisions to the RV-14 manual for the wing. It’s a whopping 24 pages with notes regarding the changes and replacement pages for the construction manual. You can download it at their website or download it here. Just click the big green Revision Button to the right of this page to download here. This will certainly save me some head scratching for manual errors I haven’t come across yet. Thanks to Van’s for compiling this list for us first batch of builders before we got too far along.

Skins On

With some bucking help from my friend Don we got all the rivets bucked in the top wing skins except those around the perimeter that I can squeeze. That was about a 6 hours job. There are lots of rivets to tape & buck and clecos to move around. Don didn’t have any experience on the end of a bucking bar, but he learned quickly. It all went pretty well. Unfortunately this is where it sits as I have some other projects to take care of so there won’t’ be much action in the next two weeks. It’s just part of building an airplane when other priorities come along. More updates to come as I get back to it.

Top Wing Skin OnHelper Don

Skins going on

I got the top wing skins fitted, countersunk, deburred and dimpled last night.  Tonight it’s time to prime the inside of the skin for riveting party Saturday AM.  My friend Don is coming by to run the bucking bar so I don’t risk a few dents trying to do it on my own.

On the last RV I had quick build wings, so I wasn’t aware of the little details.  It’s a little vague in the instructions, but for those who haven’t got this far, make sure not to dimple any wing ribs or brackets in the area of the wing walk doublers.  I now know that the top skins in the wing walk area are countersunk.  It’s probably one of the few areas on the airplane that wing skins are countersunk.  And of course get that blue plastic off the skin before doing any countersinking or dimpling.

Top Skins

Now we’re making progress

Up until now it seemed like I hadn’t been making much progress on the wing. Of course I was spending lots of time, but it was on small time consuming stuff like drilling, deburring, dimpling, cleaning, priming and so forth. Finally the last couple days I’ve started pounding rivets. That’s when the fun begins and it looks like you’re building something. I finished riveting the ribs to the main spar and ready to rivet on the rear spar. It won’t be long for wing skins now.

Wing Assy