SB 14-01-31 prep

OK, again not a lot got done tonight. What was supposed to be a quick adjustment to the riding mower ended in a stripped bolt and general annoyance, but even though I wanted to go inside and mope, I decided to still do something on the plane. (also, this would not be the end of frustration tonight…more on that later)

While I didn’t log anything as useful work last night, I did spend some time tidying up a workbench, dismounting the vise, and moving away the tool cabinets I usually have beside it – this was all in preparation for bringing the horizontal stab down off the wall. The time to fit it to the fuselage is upon me, but before I do that, there’s a service bulletin to be dealt with. This involves adding some reinforcement to the forward spar of the stab, where cracking has been observed in some aircraft. It’s not required that the repair be done unless cracks are observed, but it seems prudent to me to do it now as preventative maintenance.

Anyway, last night wrapped with me bringing the stab down to the bench, ready for work to start. Tonight I began by removing the elevators – which I’d just been storing installed on the stab. First, I removed the AN4 bolt through the center bearing. This bolt runs through that bearing and each elevate control horn. It’s important to be careful removing this bolt; in the space between each control horn and the center bearing is a handmade spacer, sized carefully to exactly fill the gap and prevent binding of the surfaces. So I carefully removed the bolt, placed the spacers back on it in the correct portion and orientation, and made sure to mark which side of the airplane the bolt head should go to.

Next up are the two outboard pivot bolts for each elevator. Nothing too horrible here, though access to these things is a bit obnoxious. But I got all four off, removed the elevators, and set them aside. OK, now to just put these four AN3 pivot bolt/nut/washer combos with that AN4 assembly I removed earlier…hmmm…uhh, where did that go?

And this is the other frustration of the night. I looked for that stupid bolt/but/washer/spacer assemblly for half an hour, to no avail. I don’t even understand how I could have possibly lost it. At no point between the time I marked it and the time I finished removing the elevators was I outside of about a ten-for circle. There just aren’t that many places I could have physically put it.

But…I never found it. Even after going inside, sitting for a bit, and then going back with a hopefully-clearer mind.

So I guess either it’ll magically turn up, or I’ll get to repeat the exercise of fabricating those spacers. Probably have to order another AN4 bolt, pretty sure it was a unique length that I only had one of. Which is also annoying since I just placed an order with Spruce for some assorted stuff.

Oh well. I guess tomorrow I’ll see if I can get going on actual SB work.

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