Primed left wing main ribs

Lesson of the day: it takes a lot longer to do, well, everything with the wings. There are more of everything and each piece is bigger…

First, I’ll rewind a bit. Saturday wasn’t entirely unproductive, but mostly so. We had some errands to run in the morning, and when we got home I felt bad enough that I went and laid in bed for several hours. My back has been bothering me off and on for a week or so, and it got pretty bad yesterday (this has been a sporadic occurrence ever since I messed it up slinging boxes for UPS when I was 18).

By the time I felt ok to get up and walk around some more, it had gotten late, which did have the positive effect of the temperature dropping. I decided that my goal for the night would be to cut the new pieces of wood I needed to extend the jack platforms on the wing stands. I had enough 2×6 left over that I ended up cutting four sections, which I’ll sandwich together and attach to the long support to give me an extra 3” of jack pad length. I also cut some of my leftover 3/4” MDF scraps into the new platforms. I did not, however, actually assemble anything.

Today’s goal was to get the wing ribs primed. I slept in again and got to work just before noon. The first order of business was to make a hole deburring pass on each rib. This included the holes I’d match-drilled to the spars previously, as well as the tooling holes in the rib face. I’d left those alone previously because I thought I’d be running conduit through them. Once that was done, I scraped the part ID sticker off each rib, then took them outside for a good cleaning. This was where I got to really enjoy the Texas heat for the first time. It probably took over an hour to scrub down all the ribs.

Prior to the cleaning, I’d set up a piece of rope across the backyard to hang the ribs from. I then found it necessary to anchor the bottoms of the ribs as well so they wouldn’t swing in the wind too much. Some small-gauge wire I had lying around worked well for this. Here are all the ribs hung up and ready to be sprayed:

IMG 9032

Next I got a less in the scaling up that happens when moving to the wings from the empennage. I had two full cans of NAPA 7220 on hand, which I figured would be enough. WRONG. There were still some bare spots when I emptied the second can. Fortunately I still had some SEM leftover, so I used that to finish the job. Both primers are gray, but the SEM is slightly lighter, so my ribs have a sort of amusing mottled look to them.

Here are the finished ribs:

IMG 9035

Tomorrow I’ll probably go ahead and fix the jack pad on the assembled wing stand, cleco the left skeleton together, and hang it on the stands for the time being. I probably won’t be able to get to riveting tomorrow. I had originally planned to assemble the other wing stand first, but now I’m thinking I’ll wait until I need it. That means I need to clean up a bunch of stuff I left lying around in anticipation of assembling that thing…so much stuff that I don’t even have workbench space available, which I’ll need to rivet the skeleton.

Hopefully I’ll feel OK after work tomorrow…

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