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Wing Skins Prep, and Belated Pictures of the Fuel Tank

December 21, 2011

One of the chores that you have to do is lots of DDEPP.  Dimple, Deburr, Edge Prep and Prime.  This is basically a single fluid step, but it takes up a large portion of time.  You cant just slap the metal on and start riveting.  Here are some of the edge prep tasks one has to perform.

Edge preping is the work you have to do to smooth the edges, remove any burrs and radius the corners to avoid cracking.  The die grinder with a 3M ScotchBrite wheel is great for this task.

Helpful edge prep tool

You can see the grooves in the wheel where I’ve run it along the edges.  If I didn’t have this, I’d have to come up with some manual method using elbow grease or I have to find a way to heft it up and use my ScotchBrite wheel on the bench grinder.  Neither of those methods sound appealing, so this tool purchase was worth the money.

One of the most important tools

Here is the corner of one of my skin sheets.

Sharp 90-deg corner is not good

As you can see it is a perfect 90-degrees, as you might expect.  The problem with this is that vibrations and sharp corners don’t mix very well.  Vans warns you to radius any sharp corners line this.  Out comes the die grinder….

Nice radius on the corner

and I now have a corner with a nice smooth radius.

Another task that I do that is not at all required is to remove the blue plastic wherever there might be rivet holes.  I only remove this plastic to keep the rest of the aluminum protected while I work on it.  When I am done with the wing I’ll strip all the plastic off before it goes into storage.

Plastic gone wherever there are rivet holes

Another thing I do at this stage is pore over the diagrams and look for any notations or differences in rivets etc…that I dont want to forget.  I then make notations on the plastic reminding me.

Rivet sizes

From "Yes" to "No"

The last picture, above, shows where I thought I was supposed to countersink the holes that I’ve marked with the “X” but upon further review, and questions on  VAF that got answered, I came to the conclusion that those holes are not supposed to be dimpled or countersunk.  That is why I go through this exercise.  If I had goofed and dimpled these holes, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.  But there are other places where it can become a big un-fixable deal.  That sucks.

Sometimes I leave notes for myself so that I dont forget something.

...or float

Here I’ve written a note to not forget the flapper or the float.  It is really common for people to forget the flapper.

Here are some pictures of the fuel tank.  I ran out of proseal, so until that comes in today or tomorrow I can’t complete it.

Need to plug that hole.

Detail on the outboard side

Z Brackets are a little hard to see here.

Top of tank

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From → Skins, Wings

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