A Milestone


This week the horizontal stabilizer parts were abraded with ScotchBrite, cleaned with acetone and labeled in Sharpie blue.

Ready for priming.
Ready for priming.

I built a spray table from 1/2 inch PVC.  Wire cloth was stretched between two sides.  The sides with the legs rotate so the whole thing folds flat for storage. The table was placed on a plastic tarp on our lanai  (that’s a screened back porch for you northerners).

All primed and ready for assembly.
All primed and ready for assembly.

Internal surfaces were painted with SEM self etching rattle-can primer.  I chose one part primer for these interior parts for simplicity of process.  Our 66 year old Globe Swift has no interior primer in the fuselage and the metal still shines.  We’ll move up to two part epoxy primer for the cabin interior and other wear and tear areas. Continue reading “A Milestone”

Eleven Days In


The FAA says amateur building is to be an educational process.  It sure is.  We are learning not only new mechanical skills but also new ways of thinking and communicating.

Left horizontal stabilizer skeleton.
Left horizontal stabilizer skeleton.


We are eleven days into the metalworking and have yet to set the first rivet.  The parts in Vans kit are formed and most holes punched, but they all require smoothing of edges, resizing of holes, deburring of drilled holes, etc.

Van’s construction instructions start off being very detailed.  We soon found that details are needed which are not in the instructions and only exist in the plan drawings.



Skin on and ready for match drilling of skin to rib and spar flanges.


We started drilling skins to the ribs following the instructions and not noting that the drawing wanted a smaller drill size than in the previous instruction.  A phone call to Vans gave relief.  It’s OK to use larger rivets (1/8 vs 3/32″) on the inboard rib providing edge clearance rules are not violated.  Fortunately our edge distances are OK.



One hole at a time.

As a result of my drilling snafoo we built a new rule.  Dolly and I will each independently read plans and instructions for any construction step. and come to a common understanding of what is to be done. Continue reading “Eleven Days In”