Saturday, December 27, 2008

Close only counts in horsehoes

The wing is connected to the fuselage by two brackets that bolt the spars to the fuselage. It also has two struts that attach from down by the landing gear and bolt into the wing almost halfway out, forming a triangle. These struts are reinforced and spaced by a jury strut, which bolts from about two-thirds of the way up struts into the wing, forming another smaller triangle inside the first one. In addition to critical reinforcement, it also provides a handy place to put your gun case and snowshoes.

But the holes in the wooden spars were drilled an eighth of an inch too high on the front spar and an eighth of an inch too low on the rear spar to attach the bracket. (Guess who didn't find this out until it was the last piece of hardware standing between her and a completely trammeled wing?)

Well, when dealing with a wooden wing, the answer is emphatically NOT making a larger hole in the wood. You want to keep the wooden spars as pristine, free of damage or holes, as possible. So, first I tried the bracket on the old spars. Nope, fit fine there. Then I tried the other bracket, hoping maybe that one had been repaired oddly over the years. No luck. So, what to do?

The answer is: take tape and make an inverted T around the holes, on both sides of the spars. With the help of a square and a level, draw lines exactly through the centerline, horizontal and vertical, of the hole on the spar. Then, re-attach the bracket, and put tape over the tab with the bolthole, while clamping it down with a C-clamp. Using the same square and level, complete the lines across the tape on the bracket, so you have the centerline drawn as crosshairs where the hole now needs to be on the bracket.

If I was in the field, I might just drill the hole a little longer, then weld a washer on top in order to reposition the hole. If I was a better welder, I'd weld an extended tab on the bracket, or fill the current hole, and drill a new one. As it's been six years since I was good at welding, I'm being smarter.

Monday, I'm going down to F Atlee Dodge, and having the welders there do it. See? Smarter cookie than I first appear. And because I'm such a smart cookie, I checked the bracket on the other wing so I don't have to repeat this when I get there on the other wing. But guess what? That one's fine - no, I don't get it either.

Progress continues.

Unrelated notes: Thirty Second's To Mars video for their song "From Yesterday" is extremely pretty - possibly too pretty for the song.

And Jenny? I adore your .22 rifle. I hope you don't mind I put a cheap little scope on it - but it's let me see far enough away that I'm now consistently pegging dime-sized targets at 25 meters. I know this because a certain lanky gent disappeared from the lane next to me, and reappeared with a roll of small orange dot stickers - so I had to put them on and promptly peg them!


  1. cool on both counts - your scope should work perfect on yours to since the rifle you have in layaway has the same receiver. (Speaking of, I think the layaway slip is on my kitchen table if you and your mentor there want to go fetch it.)

    To the last.. nice shootin'!
    But darn it, I'd just about finally got that beloved man booted out of my dreams and ya go and bring him up again. Dern it. ;)

    Take care, see y'all in a week or so.