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Thread: The Barn Find Build

  1. #181
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: The Barn Find Build

    The lack of updates is a consequence of the last few days being very frustrating. With every airplane item I picked up, I lacked either the hardware or the tool I needed to work on it. Then I'd order some stuff from Spruce, go back to the garage, and within two hours have another list of stuff to order. Three orders in three days, plus one from Yardstore (cool place worth looking at if you haven't seen it before; great prices and very reasonable shipping), and I already have two items on the list for my next order.

    Anyway, I did get a few things done over the last several days. First up was securing the comm antenna in its mounting block and tacking each rib pass-through against vibration. I used bathtub caulk so that it would be held securely but could be removed in the future if necessary.

    IMG_1090.jpg IMG_1091.jpg

    Sticking with the antenna, I marked and drilled #10 clearance holes in the bottom mounting block, then counterbored the back side for two #10-32 tee nuts.

    IMG_1098.jpg

    With the tee nuts pounded into place, I did a test fit-up. The green stuff sticking out of the clamp is a short length of rubber (cut from the end of a mil-spec exercise band) that provides some friction between the clamp and antenna. Seems to work well. The bolts will be replaced with drilled head versions (on the way), which I'll safety wire so they can't get into the tail controls.

    IMG_1100.jpg IMG_1099.jpg

    Satisfied that it would work as intended, I cleaned up the tubes, mixed some Hysol and secured it in place.

    IMG_1104.jpg

    I'm getting near to installing the center console, so I made a start on getting that assembled. The original was in an appalling state, so I ordered a new one with the notched brackets. However, I neglected to get new spacers for the brackets, so I had to disassemble the old console and clean up the spacers from that one.

    I found screws that appear to be from an electrical box or light fixture, and a lot of green muck that was slathered on way too thick, apparently over dirty parts.

    IMG_1093.jpg

    After drilling out some rivets and using a punch to remove the bolts...

    IMG_1094.jpg

    ...I ended up with ugly spacers.

    IMG_1095.jpg

    Wash, rinse, repeat, and add some Dremel cutting (easier than drilling out two dozen rivets)…

    IMG_1097.jpg

    ...then after a night in paint stripper and a pass on the Scotch-Brite wheel, I had these.

    IMG_1101.jpg

    Next I deburred the brackets on the Scotch-Brite wheel, put them through Alodine treatment, then discovered that I'm two short on AN3-11A bolts (they're on the way too).

    IMG_1103.jpg

    If Amazon delivers on time, I should have some thick CA glue today and can get back to fitting elevator ribs.
    Eric Page
    Building Kitfox 5 Safari
    Member: EAA, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: MEL / Comm: SEL, Glider / ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  2. #182
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    Default Re: The Barn Find Build

    Since the flap handle is already installed, I decided to press on with the center console. I found that the trim assist spring made it almost impossible to fixture the notched bracket for the flap handle, so the spring had to come off. I'll reconnect it just before covering. With that removed, I clamped the center console in place, determined where the bracket needed to be, marked its position, then removed everything and clamped the bracket in place.

    IMG_1105.jpg

    Actually, it wasn't quite that easy. I had to remove the flap handle from the fuselage and swap a thin washer from its right side to its left in order for the handle to be centered properly in the console slot. That meant removing a cotter pin in a spot that wasn't easily accessible with the control column in the way. One step forward...

    I started match drilling the bracket holes to 3/32, but ran into a problem with the holes next to the taller part of the bracket. My drill bit isn't long enough, and even a 1" diameter chuck wouldn't fit with the drill standing upright. The only thing I had that would center properly in the holes was the drill bit itself, so I gave it a gentle tap in each location, then removed the bracket and made a usable mark with a proper punch.

    IMG_1106.jpg

    With that done all the holes could be drilled to 3/32, then the bracket clecoed back on and everything up-drilled to #30. I deburred all the holes and cleaned up a few scratches that the bracket had made on the console while I was fitting it in the fuselage.

    IMG_1108.jpg

    I don't think I'm going to try to Alodine the console, but I will spray the underside with etching primer just before I rivet the brackets in place.

    Returning to the brackets, I realized that I had assembled them with the spacers in bare steel, so I took them apart, masked the ends of the spacers and shot them with primer. Once that was dry I reassembled. I'm still one bolt short, but it'll be here soon.

    IMG_1107.jpg IMG_1109.jpg

    My thick CA glue came yesterday, so I got to work tacking the elevator ribs in place. My plan was to use the ribs in the stab as sort of a template, with a yardstick against their sides as a location guide in the elevator. I laid out both surfaces on my table, carefully measuring to be sure they were square to one another and equidistant from a reference at one end. It all looked great until I realized that half the ribs in the stab aren't straight (admit it, you knew that going in, right?).

    In the end I just measured the distance between the trailing edges of the ribs in the stab and matched those measurements in the elevator so the ribs would line up from one surface to the other, except this time the ribs are square to the spar tube. I had to refine the length of a few ribs for proper fit, and one was a bit looser than I would have liked, but the thick CA glue (and a spritz of accelerator) made positioning it pretty easy and the Hysol will do the rest. After a couple of hours, they were all in!

    IMG_1110.jpg

    I followed up with an acetone wipe-down, then put a mixing nozzle on a Hysol cartridge and got busy bonding the ribs in for good. I can't say enough about how easy those fine-tip mixing nozzles make it to achieve nice results. I went along with the Hysol gun, applying adhesive to each location, then came back with the side of my pinkie finger to make a nice fillet. I just wiped my finger off on a paper towel between each one. This process went surprisingly smooth and after about 45 minutes, voilá!

    IMG_1111.jpg IMG_1112.jpg
    IMG_1113.jpg IMG_1114.jpg

    While I had the mixing nozzle in action, I applied the missing Hysol to the inside of the lower section of fiberglass tail post fairing.

    IMG_1115.jpg

    With the elevator ribs done I think I'm finished with woodworking, so I guess a major task in the near future will be applying varnish to the sanded cap strips in the wings, the new bottom rib in the tail, the comm antenna mounting block, the floor boards and the elevator ribs. Then I'll need to shape the tips on the stab and elevator and they'll be ready to cover.
    Eric Page
    Building Kitfox 5 Safari
    Member: EAA, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: MEL / Comm: SEL, Glider / ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  3. #183
    Senior Member jiott's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Barn Find Build

    Forgive me if I keep harping on this, but I believe you will be very happy later on if you put a set of notches at the 3/4 flap position. It is much, much easier to do it now before the flap bracket is permanently installed. Half flaps are used regularly but full flaps are not nearly as useable; a 3/4 flap setting would be perfect. FWIW, the factory built SLSA has the full flap position about where I am suggesting a 3/4 flap position on the W/AB kit. Don't ask me why the SLSA and the E/AB kit flap brackets are different, but call John McB if you don't believe me.
    Jim Ott
    Portland, OR
    Kitfox SS7 flying
    Rotax 912ULS

  4. #184
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    Default Re: The Barn Find Build

    Quote Originally Posted by jiott View Post
    Forgive me if I keep harping on this, but I believe you will be very happy later on if you put a set of notches at the 3/4 flap position.
    No forgiveness necessary, Jim. I'm happy to have all the advice and reminders I can get. I'm new to this airplane building lark, and I have a limited ability to organize and recall all of the good info I get from this forum.

    I do remember seeing this advice previously, now that you mention it. I have a friend nearby with machine tools in his hangar, so I should be able to get this done.

    While I'm at it, is there any benefit to adding a 1/4 position along with 3/4? After all, every extra notch makes the plane lighter!
    Eric Page
    Building Kitfox 5 Safari
    Member: EAA, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: MEL / Comm: SEL, Glider / ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  5. #185
    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Barn Find Build

    Myself and several local builders added a 1/4 notch. Nice when flying with slower aircraft. Didn’t add the 3/4 notch. Rarely use over half flaps.


    DesertFox4
    Admin.
    7 Super Sport
    912 ULS Tri-gear


  6. #186
    Senior Member jiott's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Barn Find Build

    Sure, a 1/4 flaps notch might be useful to some folks; however, I personally would have no use for one, nor do I know any of my Kitfox friends who have wished for one. It can't hurt anything and you wouldn't need to use it. My only thought as a reason NOT to put it in is this: The 1/2 flaps is used most of the time and I would not want to confuse the 1/2 or 1/4 notch and have to look down or feel for it when setting up for landing. Just my 2 cents.
    Jim Ott
    Portland, OR
    Kitfox SS7 flying
    Rotax 912ULS

  7. #187
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    Default Re: The Barn Find Build

    I wish I knew more about flying the Kitfox, then I'd have a better idea how my skills and preferences translate to the machine. Sadly, I've only ever sat in one for a few minutes and never even had a flight!

    Anyway, thanks for the input, guys. Much appreciated, and I'm glad this is one of those "no wrong answer" items.
    Eric Page
    Building Kitfox 5 Safari
    Member: EAA, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: MEL / Comm: SEL, Glider / ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  8. #188
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    Default Re: The Barn Find Build

    Well, I ended up adding both the 1/4 and 3/4 notches to my flap handle detent brackets. We first found the arc of the circle that describes the outside edge of the existing notches, then scribed marks 1/8" inside that line (the notches are 1/4"). Next we drilled 1/4" holes on those marks, centered between the existing 0, 1/2 and full notches. Then it was just a matter of using a hacksaw to remove the remaining web of material and a couple of files to clean up the edges. The second photo shows the bracket installed with clecoes, with the handle in the new 1/4 position.

    IMG_1117.jpg IMG_1116.jpg

    With all of that done, I re-Alodined the parts and reassembled for good.

    IMG_1126.jpg

    USPS brought me some presents on Saturday, so I set up my new countersink cage and prepared the holes in the center console for flush rivets.

    IMG_1127.jpg

    The feed point in the middle of the comm antenna seemed like it might wobble around and vibrate a bit more than I'd like, so I glued in a stick of plywood between ribs. Like the other spots on the antenna, the feed point is "glued" to the plywood with a dab of bathtub caulk.

    IMG_1128.jpg

    When I removed the rod end bearings that mount the rudder, they were hard to get out, so I feared that the first builder had cross-threaded them. My gift from USPS also contained a 1/4-28 tap, so I chased the threads in the tail post and got out a bunch of powder coat that you-know-who didn't bother to remove.

    IMG_1118.jpg

    One of the old rudder bearings wouldn't loosen up no matter what I did, and the threads on all of them were a little buggered, so I ordered new ones. They'll go in later, with new jam nuts.

    IMG_1119.jpg

    I finally decided to bite the bullet and drill out the rivets that were preventing me from installing my beautiful new elevator push-pull tube. This obviously left four rivet bodies inside the tube, so I shook them down to the forward end and drilled a #40 hole a little past the end of the reducer bushing.

    IMG_1122.jpg IMG_1123.jpg

    I stood the tube up on end, and using a Luer lock syringe with a blunt needle, injected about 2 cc of white glue into the tube. This immediately stopped the rivets from rattling around, so I'm confident that once it dries, the problem will be permanently solved. I plugged the hole with a 3/32 aluminum rivet. Since there wasn't enough material for the rivet's 1/8" grip length, the stem broke off a bit proud of the head, but it took all of 5 seconds with a Dremel to knock it down.

    IMG_1124.jpg IMG_1125.jpg

    I wish I hadn't had to do that, but I can certainly live with the outcome.
    Eric Page
    Building Kitfox 5 Safari
    Member: EAA, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: MEL / Comm: SEL, Glider / ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  9. #189
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    Default Re: The Barn Find Build

    I'm not sure what the first builder of my plane was trying to achieve at the tips of the stabilizers and control surfaces, but they were a mess. This is the top of the vertical stab, where he appears to have used styrofoam to form a roughly "V" shape.

    IMG_1129.jpg

    I didn't see any point in removing the styrofoam since it's light weight and it fills the space, but I definitely wanted a better shape. I started with a scrap of rigid insulation foam of about the right size, then put a sheet of sand paper over the existing tip so I could sand the new block to fit it.

    IMG_1130.jpg IMG_1131.jpg

    After about ten minutes, I had the new block notched out so that it fit over the existing tip, so I Hysol'ed it in place.

    IMG_1132.jpg IMG_1133.jpg

    Once that was set up enough not to move around, I roughly shaped it with a rasp, then dialed it in with 120 grit, then smoothed it with 320 grit (probably an unnecessary step).

    IMG_1137.jpg IMG_1138.jpg

    After testing a few grams and finding that it still sets up hard as a rock, I found a use for my cans of ten-year-expired Hysol. It makes good filler and strengthener for these tips. I mixed up about 20 grams of it and slathered it on as neatly as I could manage. One benefit to the old Hysol is that it has thickened considerably, so it's easy to shape and doesn't slump at all.

    IMG_1139.jpg

    It'll definitely take another application at the leading edge to build a nice taper into the leading edge tube, and probably another coat over all of it to fill low spots. We'll see tomorrow.

    The tips of the horizontal stab were in equally poor condition, although in fairness, the overall shape isn't too bad. Hysol was applied (again, over styrofoam) but not sanded and with no attempt to fill low spots. I just can't imagine doing it this way and finding it acceptable. The workmanship in this poor plane is just mind-boggling.

    IMG_1134.jpg

    Anyway, I sanded them down with 100 grit to give the next layer of Hysol something to bite into, wiped with acetone to remove all the dust, mixed up another 20-ish grams of expired Hysol and tried to make a smooth application.

    IMG_1135.jpg IMG_1136.jpg

    More sanding and Hysol tomorrow, and I'll try to make a start on fixing the rudder tip as well. Then I'll have the new elevator tips to shape from scratch.
    Eric Page
    Building Kitfox 5 Safari
    Member: EAA, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: MEL / Comm: SEL, Glider / ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

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