<June 30, 2009>

Drilled the Aft Deck

Tonight was definitely a measure twice (or four times) cut onc type of night. I took my time with this task and the results were excellent.

First I leveled the forward fuselage by shimming my sawhorse with some scrap AL. I doubt my sawhorse was out of level, but the concrete floor is another story.

I took several measurements at different spots in the forward fuselage before I was satisfied that it was truly level.

I then verified that the fuselage was level forward to back, and it was. Again, I took measurements in several locations.

With the forward fuselage level, I found that I had 0.1-0.2 twist in the aft fuselage. Small enough that if I had been using a bubble level I probably wouldn't even have noticed it. I can't remember whose web site gave me the idea, but rigged up a ratcheting cargo strap to take the twist out. All I basically had to do was ratchet the slack out of the strap and the aft fuse was level.

The clecos and clamp were only there to keep the hook from sliding off the vertical bars. Like the forward fuselage, I took measurements at various locations along the aft deck to ensure it was level everywhere.

I drilled a few holes and tested for level, drilled a few more and tested again, and so on.

I can't believe how stiff the fuselage became with the aft deck drilled. It went from being easily twisted, to rock solid.

Now that the longerons had been drilled, I wanted to check the edge-distance on the F-711D Angle so I removed the aft deck and clecoed the F-711D into place. I then used a Sharpie to mark the location of the holes I had just drilled in the longerons. With the F-711D removed again I was pleased to find that I will have the desired 2D edge-distance on the F-711D once it is installed and drilled.