Each morning I try to take the supplies we have, the supplies we need, the instructions I’ve read, the parts that are ready to install, and the page of the manual I happen to be on at the moment and condense it down into a to do list for the day. We never get the entire to do list done in a day. That isn’t the point. The point is we both, or if Cody is here, all three of us know what is on the agenda and if you don’t know what you are doing, then refer to the list.
Today when we got up, it was battery day. Finish the battery tray. Make up the cables. Install the battery tray, etc, etc. The battery had been all over the to do list for the past several days, so today was our day to get it finished.
As with most plans, the template didn’t exactly fit in the brake so there were a few last minute adjustments.
With the tray itself made, we were discussing making the straps that will secure the battery into the tray when a combination of events and available personnel allowed us to call an audible. We bagged the battery tray and instead elected to work on the butt ribs. Getting the butt ribs done would put us back to plan A, which meant getting the wings off the airplane and onto the stands for covering. This would allow us have much better access to the fuselage for the rest of the work we were doing to the battery and other things like the ELT. It would also allow us to split our duties, with someone beginning to work on the wings.
With all hands on deck, including the girls in the store, we switched gears and did a mad dash to get all the butt rib work done prior to rolling the airplane outside. That included taking a couple of read throughs through the instructions on how to do it. Once everything was ready, we took the airplane outside and unfolded the wings.
It is amazing how simple something goes when you have lots of help and all the prep work has been done. It took us about two hours to go from rolling the airplane outside to rolling it back inside with the ribs fully installed. We had not one mistake and everything went relatively smoothly.
Once the butt ribs were squared away, we removed the wings and put them on the stands. We then rolled the airplane back inside and shut the door. It was beginning to get a bit hot by this point so there was a celebratory watermelon cut open (thanks Miguel!) and everyone got a few pieces.
We needed to go swap some battery terminals out for the correct ones, and we needed some odds and ends from the hardware store. By this time it was 2pm, hot, and we’d been at it since 6am. We decided to spend the afternoon running errands and cleaning up and getting ready for church instead of working on the battery.
It was a relatively short day, but I’d planned on getting the butt ribs done on Monday so technically we are a couple of days ahead of schedule. We should be able to knock out the rest of the to do list tomorrow and be onto covering starting on Monday. That is at least one day ahead of plan, possibly two.
Technically we only crossed two things off the list today. Install magnetic catch on the shop door and install butt ribs. But in reality we’ve nearly finished the battery tray and the rest of those battery related items should go quickly. We picked up a battery terminal crimper yesterday at Agri Supply so making the cables should go easy enough.
I also found out that we don’t need to run the wingtip lights now and we can wait till after covering and painting so that item will get moved off the list. Also the gauge for the LED light has been determined. It is 24 gauge which I already have on hand.
My terminal kit should be here Monday so I can hook up the LED light cable, zip tie everything together, and put the tail of the fuselage back onto a rotating stand. At that point, we are ready to start covering. While I’m waiting on the terminal kit to arrive, we can start prepping the wings so Monday should be a busy day.