Sat Feb 7 2009

Fitting gear weldments

I needed to get the holes cut in the forward bottom skin for the gear weldments to protrude through. The problem was that in order to open up the holes, the weldments need to be held in position from the inside, but the marks need to be done on the outside. It's really a two person operation. So I asked Kerin and she was nice enough to spend an hour alternately placing the weldments in position for me to mark and removing them so I could trim with the rotary burr in the die grinder.

Once we had the holes opened up enough so that the weldments would fit through, I spent another 45 minutes or so doing the final trimming. They have a nice 3/32 gap all the way around. I would have liked to trim it slightly closer, say perhaps 1/16 inch, but this was the best I could do. I've got one spot on the right hole where the gap is probably 1/8 inch, but it's not very noticeable and these gaps will be covered with proseal eventually anyway.

Here's a view of the left hole from the front...

...and another view of the left weldment. This time from aft. You can see that one of the rivet holes is halfway cut away. It would have been nice if Van's had just omitted this hole altogether. Sigh.

After that, I worked on fitting the floor pans. I noticed that right near the F-705 bulkhead, the seat pans push against the side skin. I marked a line on the floor pan with a sharpie...

...and trimmed the floor pan slightly with the sander. Now there's a nice even clearance all along the side.