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The Boo


9/8/03 Ordered and send the check for the Fuselage.  It should be here next week.  Good cuz I'm running out of big things to do.
9/26/03 Yes! The fuselage arrived today.  Cut out of work for an hour to get the boxes into the garage.  Thanks Brian, James, and Zo for helping out.  The fuselage comes in two boxes with a combined weight of 360 lbs for a 7A.  Here's the big box just opened and the smaller box with it's contents.  Here you can see the landing gear at the very top and the rudder pedal tubes.  At the lower right and left you can see the landing gear braces.  Just to give you an idea of the size of the larger crate here it is next to the left wing.  Once you start unpacking you better hope the garbage man is coming soon.  Tons of packing material!  And just for giggles, here's the packing list for the fuselage next to the packing list for the QB wings.  That's what you pay $4000 for.

9/27/03 Spent the entire day unpacking and putting parts in their place and taking inventory, then building the Firewall.  Here's a shot of the F-601J-L.  Don't make the mistake I did.  Make sure you leave 3/32nds gap between it and F-601M stiffener.  I ended up making another.  Here a shot of the Aux. Fuel Pump Firewall Doubler.  Make note that the platenuts go on the front of the firewall.  You see them here because I was drilling them through the firewall.  After all parts were mated and drilled I deburred and countersunk and its prime time tomorrow.

9/28/03 Finished the firewall with Barry's help.  Thanks Barry for taking *one hour* out of your day, more like 8!  Alumiprep, alodined and primed all parts.  Then began riveting.  This is a bear to rivet.  You can just get a standard yoke to rivet the bottom rivets.  All other rivets were done back riveting.  You have to have one thick piece of metal though.  Also make a note that all rivets are flush on the engine side *except* the rivets for the  Aux. Fuel Pump Firewall Doubler which are flush on the cabin side.  I did this backwards but after looking at the plans on page 36 I can't see where the aux fuel pump will interfere.  Here's some shots of the front and back completed firewall, minus the recess which is left open to have better access.

10/2/03 Vans didn't send me the center section of the fuselage with either the QB wings or the slow build fuselage.  I called and they had forgotten to send it.  You would think that wouldn't happen since it's matched drilled with the wing spars!  They also overcharged me $275 for the hardware kit for the wings.  I wonder what else?  So now I'm starting with the bulkhead which the seats rest on.  Here's a shot of the bigger pieces and the F605C doublers which you have to cut.  The plans don't say how much overlap the F605C doublers and spar ends should have so I just centered them.

10/3/03 When fitting the spacer on the top of the assembly along with the rest of the parts for the seat latch assembly just draw a centerline on the parts and match drill.  I ended up going to my EAA Chapter 96 to get the proper 4 degree bend on their bending brake.

The plans call for a 1/8 in gap on the angle iron.  I used a 1/8 piece as a spacer.  And a shot of the bulkhead clecoed together.  I won't permanently attach anything together until I prime.  Even thought this is all inside the fuselage I figured it can't hurt. 

I decided to finally purchase a *real* 12 inch sander.  This is awesome.  How did I every fabricate any parts without it before?  Highly recommended as it really speeds things up and it was only $127 at Harbor Freight.

10/4/03 Drilling the seatbelt reinforcements requires a good set of clamps.  Once again I made some spacers from stock to keep the proper distance apart while drilling.  You can barely see a rivet hole being covered up by the reinforcement.  You only need to make clearances for the left most and right most reinforcements pairs.  Here's a shot of the next bulkhead parts coming together.  And, the fuselage center section did show up today.

On a more personal note:  Last Friday my nephew Travis Ruterbusch graduated from United States Coast Guard boot camp.  Following in the steps of his father who was also in the Guard and his Grand Father who was in the Navy.  I'm so very proud of him.  Way to go Travis!  Wish I could have been there.

10/5/03 Began construction of all the bulkheads in earnest.  I was hoping to get them all primed and ready for riveting but ran out of time because there are so many edges to clean up.  If Vans sold a kit with all the edges deburred it would only take 10 hours to build the plane!  Here's some shots of some of the bulkheads and a pile of parts ready for priming.

I started working on the center section today as well.  This thing is a piece of work, beautiful.  Installed all the bushings on the fore and aft sections.

10/6/03 Finished drilling out all the snap bushing holes in all the bulkhead parts.  I need to find a deburring tool which will debur both sides of a drilled hole.  Here you can see the electrical octopus in my garage.  The big silver contraption surrounds the compressor to squelch the noise.  And now most of the walls are covered with parts, including the floors.  You can see the wings, firewall, horizontal stab., and a bunch of parts ready for priming.

10/7/03 Completed the control mounts.  I neglected to clamp the match-drilled bolt hole and consequently the hole through the mount did not line up properly with the bulkhead spar.  I reamed the hole in one direction and decided it would be ok.

10/8/03 Did some cleanup work in the garage.  Finally went through every bag and placed all bolts, nuts and washers in labeled boxes and clear bags with labels.  No more digging through a hundred bags.  Mounted the z brackets on the forward center section.  It was too late to get the drill moving, I don't want to piss off the neighbors, so far they've been very nice.  This weekend I hope to get all the bulkhead parts primed.  That will probably take a complete day and hopefully the following day I can see some progress, finally.

10/9/03 Attached platenuts to center section, stiffeners and support braces.

10/10/03 Tapped the rear tie-down point and drilled it to it's support bulkhead.  Also fabricated the 1 7/16 center section spacers.  This work has to be exact to I took extra care to make sure parts were of the proper size/length.

10/11/03 Spent the entire day getting all the fuselage bulkheads and all other parts scrubbed with alumiprep, then alodined, then primed.  Damn what a job.  Your best bet here is to do everything in one batch and just get it over with.  Build a 'tank' to submerge larger pieces, I used some left over boxes that the flaps and ailerons came in.  Notice the wind-chimes!

10/12/03 Riveted all the bulkheads together.  It's pretty straight forward, just follow the callouts and watch where it says Not to rivet.  Time to bend the longerons.  Move the longeron through the vice an inch at a time and give it 3 really good raps with a rubber mallet.  Presto.  Now you get to bend them back to level.  Make sure when you are bending the sharp bend you bend it 5.6 Degrees not inches.  Guess how I found that out?  The instructions tell you to make a cardboard template to do the left longeron.  Don't waste your time.  Sketch the outline on the back of the plans with a sharpie.  The lines will show through on the other side of the template.  Just turn the paper over to match the lines for the left longeron.    It takes a long time to get it right but it's satisfying when it's done.

10/13/03 Don't make the same mistake I did.  Make sure the 721 overhangs the 718 longeron by a 32nd.  Use a couple of C clamps and work your way down.  Here's the completed 721B drilled and clecoed to the 718.  I still have to trim the ends of the 721B.  And now what I've been waiting for, putting everything together.  Here's the first step, the very aft fuselage clecoed together.

5/4/04 Decided it was time to get the firewall recess installed.  No brainer except you will need a second person to get the lower most rivets.

Went ahead and bolted the battery box to the firewall as well.


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Last updated: 07/06/05.