Tue Aug 28 2007

Visit to Dan Hempy's

My friend, Dan, e-mailed me yesterday and asked me to come look at his project. So tonight I drove up to his place after work. Dan just started his empennage a few weeks ago and he's already logged 120 hours on his RV-7A project. He's got the horizontal stabilizer and vertical stabilizer done.

I checked the pieces over and he's really doing exceptional work. His edge prep is excellent, the priming looks great, and his riveting is very consistent. It's even more impressive since he's done all the riveting solo. Dan's gonna have a beautiful plane when it's all done.

Here's his vertical stabilizer.

We drove and squeezed a few rivets around the rudder horn area.

After I got home, I worked on coming up with a better way of masking off the doubler plate on the end ribs. It's a real bear to mask these off for applying proseal fillets. I decided to see if I could prepare the masking tape ahead of time by sticking it to a piece of waxed paper and cutting it out. Here I pressed the waxed paper against the leading edge skin to get an outline of the curve.

Then I covered the entire area with tape. I put the aft most piece of tape on first and layed the second piece over that and so on and so forth. I'm hoping this will allow me to peel tape off in one swoop starting at the aft piece.

Finally, I flipped the paper over and cut out the tape about 1/4 inch from the outline. It looks like the tape will peel off the waxed paper readily, but still stay sticky. I'm looking forward to trying this. If it works it'll save me a bunch of time.