Riveted second rear spar, started on ribs

I’m a little disappointed in myself for not being very productive this weekend.  I did finally start getting my feet wet with prepping the wing ribs, but that seems like kind of a daunting task.

I started out today by riveting the remaining rear spar.  This kind of work I can roll on all day long…it’s straightforward and the results are obvious.  I did, however, manage to mangle my very first rivet, so I had to drill that little bugger out and replace it.  But I got the rest of the rivets shot, and that left me with the decision of where to go next.  I’ve really been putting off this whole rib prep thing, but as of that moment, there wasn’t anything else to do.

So I pulled out all the ribs and set them out on the workbench:

IMG 3016

Step A was to deburr the edges.  For the long edges, I fired up the bench grinder and went to town for what seemed like an eternity.  Actually, it really wasn’t that bad, but it was definitely getting tedious already.  Next, I went after the lightening holes with a small scotchbrite wheel in my die grinder.  Side note: Extended use of the die grinder pretty much equals extended running of the air compressor.  It doesn’t take long with that thing to trip the pump, and apparently the pump can just barely outpace the die grinder’s air usage.

Okay…now what?  I still needed to work on the edges in all the little cutouts, like at the corners of the ribs and the tip of the nose ribs.  Problem is, most of those holes are too small for my files to get into effectively.  I think it’s time to invest in some needle files for getting into these tight spaces.  Okay…if not that…I guess I’ll start looking at straightening the flanges.

The intent of this operation is to ensure that all the rib flanges are at right angles to the rib face.  This will help ensure that the wing skins sit nice and flat.  This, along with fluting the ribs to remove any bowing induced by the forming process, seems to be regarded as one of the more dull and time-consuming tasks of the build, and I can see why.  I set one rib out, grabbed a small piece of aluminum angle to use as a square reference, checked the rib…hmm, this seems pretty good actually. I tweaked the flange a bit with the hand seamers to make it even better, but suddenly I felt like I wasn’t sure if I was doing this right.  The angle piece I was using didn’t really sit flush against the rib, and I was skeptical if its usefulness as a reference.  I just felt like I needed to do some reading on this subject before diving in.

I feel like this is probably some combination of generic do-it-right jitters with my procrastinatory nature.  Faced with a tedious task, I found an excuse to stop, go in, and do some research.  And then I found other things to occupy my time, such that I didn’t go back out in the garage again.

On the one hand, this is particularly annoying to me since my free time is limited in the near future.  I’m doing CPR classes after work three days this week, and the next two weekend are booked up with other activities.  On the other hand, maybe it’s better for me to attack this rib prep in small doses, instead of trying to bang out a ton of them over the course of a Saturday or some such.  At any rate, I’m just going to have to push through…at the end of the tunnel, I’ll have an assembly that looks like a wing skeleton.

Which reminds me, I’m going to have to build my wing racks at some point here too…

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