<August 26, 2007>

Trimmed Longerons

With the bulkheads behind me, it was time to move on to the longerons. I’ve had these things stored away for so long it felt strange to actually be working on them. I spent the day yesterday pressure washing the rest of the fence to prepare it for staining, so I didn't get as much done on the airplane as I would have liked, but as I've said before, I'll take what I can get.

To measure the length I borrowed a little trick from my friend Chad. I taped the tape-measure to the longeron angles at the 1” mark. This was to avoid any error that little hook on the end of the tape measure might introduce. The irony in this is that I understand most people have to do a bit of trimming on the front ends of the longerons when the firewall is fit, so it this level of accuracy really needed? Probably not.

I almost made a big mistake here. I had taped the tape-measure to the longerons, and then the phone rang. When I returned to the longerons from my phone call I marked them at 173-7/16”, forgetting that I had essentially added an inch to the tape measure by taping it at the 1” mark. My father-in-law was quick to point out that I really needed to mark them at 174-7/16” – Thanks George; you saved my bacon on that one.

After trimming the longerons to the proper length, I drilled, filed and sanded the notches in the ends of each. I think it is critical to label the orientation of the longerons (left, right, top, forward, aft, etc) at this point because you don’t want to bend them in the wrong location or along the wrong axis. In the case of this picture, the right is on the left and the left is on the right – clear on that?