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The Little Details

May 9th, 2012

Cleaveland Tie Downs...After Polishing

Since I tapped the tie down blocks, I figured I should test them with some tie down rings. Van’s does not supply them in the kit. I think because they are an easy to source local item for standard forged 3/8″ eye-bolts. I went to my local Fastenal and looked at them. They seemed very ugly to me. You spend all this time building a nice looking plane to have nasty looking eye bolts hanging off the wings? I remembered once that Cleaveland Tool sold some VERY nice looking stainless steel machined tie downs. While not as cheap as standard eye bolts, they are much better looking. I needed to order some other tools anyway, so I tossed three of these in my order. I figure if I go tail wheel, I can have a spare. If I go nose wheel, I have enough.

They arrived today and they are a thing of beauty. The machining is amazing. The finish however was simply satin. I have polished metal before and figured, I can get these to look REALLY good. My wife had church work to do, so I had all the kids come out and enjoy the weather while I tossed my buffing wheels into the drill press and started to polish them. The finish was so nice that it really only took a little buffing to bring out the shine. Near the bolt part, the machining left small lines in the surface that I hit with some 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Once sanded, I simply buffed again.

Now that they are polished to a mirror shine, they look like they belong on a nice plane. It may seem overkill, but little details can make the difference. It was the only thing I had time for anyway.

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