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Wing Rib Prep Continues

August 9th, 2012

Half Prepped…

OK, I am back from Oshkosh. I logged 15.5 hours in a RV-6. I saw tons of completed airplanes, so it was time to use all that fun as motivation to get back to work on mine. I am beginning to appreciate why many builders I talk to say that the rib prep was one of the most unpleasant tasks. It really is. I had done a major portion of the deburring earlier last month or so. I have to get all the little corners and nose portions of the leading edge and tank ribs still. I figured I would break up the deburring and straighten the flanges and flute the ribs, then go back to hit the rest of the deburring.

Per the RVator…My Version

My wife had some church visits to do last night, so I grabbed my nifty handmade flange straightener [described here] and fluting pliers and a stack of ribs and ran in the house so I could tend the kids and knock out some work. I found that my tool works great. I clamped it to the kitchen counter and went to town on the tank and leading edge ribs for the right wing. Once I was done straightening the flanges of each rib, I then fluted the flanges. By the last rib, I was straightening and fluting a rib in 5 minutes or less. The back and forth of the straightening and fluting broke up the monotony.

Once the leading edge ribs were complete, I knocked out the right wing main ribs. After about 4.5 hours, I was done for the night. I did have to make one change to the flange straightener. The block holding the arms loosened up a little with all the use, so I undid the screws and broke out the Gorilla Glue and glued it down and re-attached the screws. Other than that, I am glad I made it. I think it saved some good time and produced a great result.

I decided not to flute the W-408 rib just yet as it is not pre-punched and will work on it once I can mark out where the rivet holes will end up. The W-408 is what ties the leading edge and the tank together in the middle of the wing. There is a strip of aluminum that goes between this rib and the leading edge skin that also supports the outboard edge of the tank and ties it all together. Once I am closer to getting this rib put in assembly, I will flute it.

I get to camp with my oldest son this Friday, so I hope to hit the other half of the ribs straightened and fluted on Saturday and then finish up the deburring. I hope I survive rib prep. Once done, the real fun with the wings begins because you start really making something appear from the parts…WINGS!

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