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Zenith CruZer & Sonex Logs
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Date:  12-29-2017
Number of Hours:  2.70
Manual Reference:  C75-TA-1
Brief Description:  Horiz Stab Skeleton

Some days you're the dog, some days you're the tree. Today I was the tree. AKA, Best Laid Plans.

I had previously trial-fitted the stabilizer skeleton just to see how things went. All parts were deburred in a prior episode. So I figure I'm ready to rivet today. Might as well get rid of those pesky part labels.

Now, folks, I've built a plane before. I've removed hundreds of part number labels. Usually, I'd take a rag with MEK on it, wipe the label, peel off the paper, then wipe the adhesive residue off with the same rag. Well, I have no idea what Zenith uses for their labels, but MEK hardly budged it. I'd soak the label. Then try to peel it. Might get a little, but mostly 1/8" square pieces. After finally getting most of the label off, more MEK would barely remove the residue. Of my 2.7 hrs today, the VAST majority was spent removing about 24 labels.

Next complaint (yeah, I'd like some cheese with my whine....) is that I included a bunch of tool items on my Christmas list. The Sonex used 3/32 and 1/8 clecos. Zenith also uses 5/32, which of course I don't have. So after dropping hints, my family assures me that Santa will bring clecos. Which he did. I also asked for several #20 drill bits (which are a few thou larger than 5/32", and the size you use), but of course, no drill bits. So I know off the bat that I can't up-drill a handful of holes; s'ok; I have plenty I can get done.

Last complaint was that I used a Harbor Freight pneumatic riveter on the Sonex. A lot of builders use 'em. Of course, the general concensus is that after 10,000 rivets (one airplane), the riveter is pretty shot. Mine was. Now, Harbor Freight has what appears to be a MUCH nicer riveter, at a much higher price. So Santa brought that for me. Yay! Quick side-step to note that Zenith uses special riveter heads to shape the rivet dome on installation. I checked my old riveter - yup, the Zenith riveter tips fit perfectly. Of course, the new riveter has a totally different size of riveter tip (the mounting threads), so none
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Front Spar, Inverted; Mount tabs

Front Spar, Inverted; Mount tabs

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Row of rivets with manual riveter

Row of rivets with manual riveter

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Overall Aerial View

Overall Aerial View

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