Week 2, day 2


Snow on the bridge in front of the cabin
Snow? In March!?

Day 3 dawned cold and snowy. I traded snow pics back and forth with The Princess at home. She was highly disappointed there was no snow for sledding. I was glad we had sleeping bags, and LP heat in the cabin.

Spork and Robby working on the flaps
Spork and Robby working on the flaps

Day three was flap day. There was a big effort to put the flaps together and get all that riveting done. This was done by Robby and Spork, with me only taking pictures. In fact, looking back now I’m not sure what I did on day three. Thank goodness I took notes!

Day three saw me installing the tail wheel and it’s locking cable. I’d originally ordered the non-locking standard tail wheel but when I was at the factory I saw the upgraded tailwheel and decided I had to have one. It is a beefy, shiny, awesome looking tailwheel and it was totally worth the upgrade price. Unfortunately the cable they sent was for the SuperSTOL XL instead of the regular SuperSTOL. Oh well, I guess I can add cable splicing to my list of things I know how to do.

Spork with a small cut on his thumb
Airplane injury, with blood and everything

Not to be outdone with my sailing injury I brought home from the Bahamas, Spork managed to cut himself while working on the flaps. I gave him all the sympathy you’d expect out of a bunch of guys, which is less than none. There was some mockery or his life threatening injury, of which he was the instigator. Then work resumed.

Apparently I also worked on the stingers more on day three. Specifically the one that is on the bottom of the airplane. The ventral stringer, maybe? This one was a piece of cake. It only attached at the front end. The back end was basically free and terminated behind the baggage compartment. No crazy shaping. No need to match top to bottom. All I needed to do was to do exactly what I’d done on the other stringers, drilling, shaping, etc. But in addition I had to put a small bend at the free end of the stringer. Easy.

Banner asleep on his back
The sleep of the guilty but clueless. Ahh puppies.
Banner asleep on his back
The only time he stopped moving

“So Robby, how do you bend this tube?”

“I just bent it on the bench by hand.”

Sounds easy enough. I’d rather use a vise so I can put the bend just where it needs to be and have some control but Robby did it, I can too. That should have been a clue I was doomed.

I got everything ready, holes drilled, spacing correct, etc. Even as easy as it was, we are talking about several hours of work at this point. Then I took the stringer over to the bench and carefully put a bend in it, at exactly the wrong angle!! I didn’t realize it had rolled on me slightly while I was holding it. Of course, in the vise I wouldn’t have done that but I was trying to be one of the cool kids and do it by hand.

Maybe I can bend it back and get the angle correct? After a bit of futzing around, I broke the piece. Argh!!

Robby calmed me down and showed me how to splice the pieces back together. That involved making a splice from some scrap tube, then using Hysol and rivets to put the pieces together, which meant leaving the whole thing to dry overnight.

With the flaps basically done (except Robby’s was upside down. Oops! Score one for Spork), and my spliced stringer glued up and drying, it was time to call it a night.

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