Saturday, September 28, 2013

RV-12 Roll Bar Final Drilling Completed

I’ll start today's post with a helpful hint for future builders of the RV-12 … at a minimum double the quantity (50) of #40 Clecos Van’s suggests purchasing for the project.  Trying to assemble and final drill the roll bar using only 50 Clecos was just not fun. Can you do it with only 50? Yes, I managed to get the job done, but it took far far longer than necessary. Frankly, trying to work with so few Clecos was a royal PITA.

Because the vast majority of RV-12 parts that are secured with Clecos have #30 holes, the DOG Aviation procurement department ordered far more #30 Clecos than the recommended amount … knowing they would be put to good use during assembly of the wings. Sadly, the same was not done for the seldom used #40 Cleco.

The problem became apparent early on … the roll bar components are to be secured with #40 Clecos then each #40 hole is to be final drilled using a #30 drill bit. Do the math, there is well over 200 holes in the roll bar assembly which require being final drilled … there are six components forming top, bottom, forward and aft layers of holes. Areas where the bends were formed on the W-1231B&C straps required Clecos in every hole to hold the straps in good alignment. The only thing that could be done was work in small sections and constantly move Clecos back and forth all afternoon.
                                           Drilling the first #30 hole,  all fifty #40 Clecos are in use … notice
                                           how many holes on the opposite side are missing Clecos.
                           Roll bar final #30 drilling completed … not much has changed since yesterday’s
                           photo except the color of the Clecos … copper today as opposed to silver yesterday.

What should have been a couple of hours of drilling turned out to be a time sucking abyss of moving Clecos from one section of the roll bar to another over and over and over again … not a productive afternoon. Especially considering I was also hoping to machine countersink approximately 50 holes today that are on the roll bar’s outer aft flanges which will lie under the rear window.