Forward floor and cooling ramp prep

Didn’t get out and working until late in the afternoon today, but I did do my first solo tailwheel flight this morning, so it was still a good day. I started out by continuing prep work on the forward floor that I’d clecoed together last night. Basically just a bunch of match drilling, deburring, dimpling, countersinking. Once again I got carried away while dimpling the skin. Only some of the holes get dimpled for flush rivets, but I got in the groove with the C-frame and at some point abruptly realized I’d dimpled five holes that weren’t supposed to be dimpled. At least dimples can be flattened, unlike countersinks which have no such “undo” potential.

Clearly this is something I’m going to have to work on with the fuselage; slowing down a bit and taking care with what I’m doing. To avoid a repeat of my countersink error from the firewall, I made sure to mark the floor braces so I could see the limits of what needed to be countersunk:

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With all the forward floor parts prepped and ready for primer, I moved on to the cooling ramp. This is a simple assembly, just a skin piece and two stiffeners. Except first you have to find the (fairly small) stiffeners in a giant pile of parts. I dug around for a solid 20 minutes before I got so frustrated that I decided to cleco together the gear towers instead. (my flimsy rationale for this was that maybe I’d find the stiffeners while setting out the gear tower parts)

These things are pretty sizable:

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Surprisingly enough, my tactic worked, and after finishing with the towers I found the stiffeners in short order. The first thing to do on the ramp is to trim the skin a bit. And here is another one of those “why wasn’t this just made like this from the factory” moments. Beats me.

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Then it was another round of clecoing stuff together, match drilling, deburring, dimpling, etc.

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And now I have a pile of parts ready for primer tomorrow. I guess I’ll actually do some work on the gear towers tomorrow too in between priming and so forth.

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