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RV-7 Construction Log
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Date:  1-18-2012
Number of Hours:  2.60
Manual Reference:  Section 6
Brief Description:  Dimpling HS and VS Parts

Tonight I dimpled all ribs and spars for both the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, the rudder spar, and the right horizontal stab skin.

To dimple the spars and ribs I set up my pneumatic squeezer with Cleaveland tank dies. Dimples made with tank dies are a few mils deeper than the skin dimples made with standard dies, which helps the skin fit better to the ribs and spars. The HS-706 and VS-706 tip ribs are too narrow at the nose to fit around the yoke/female die combination in the pneumatic squeezer, so I used the tank dies in my vice-grip dimpler as shown in Photo 2.

To dimple the skins, I set up my DRDT-2 dimpling tool and dimpling tables as hown in Photo 3. While I was waiting on the empennage kit to arrive last month, I made the dimpling tables from about $5 worth of surplus laminate flooring, along with about another $5 worth of indoor/outdoor carpet. The sides are connected to the top through pieces of 2x2 lumber I found in the hangar. I clamped the DRDT-2 to the lip of the workbench with a couple of 1" C-clamps, while each of the table halves are independent and free standing. This makes the whole set-up removable in just a couple of minutes to free up the workbench as required. I need to cut the corners back on the outboard table sides like I did with the inboard sides so that a folded skin such as this one will have less interference with the table. As mentioned before, standard dies are used to dimple the skin to enable a better fit in the understructure dimpled with tank dies.

It was getting late, so I only got the one HS skin dimpled tonight. After the other HS skin and the VS skin are dimpled (tomorrow I hope), those two assemblies will be ready to rivet!
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Me dimpling one of the HS forward spars with my pneumatic dimpler.

Me dimpling one of the HS forward spars with my pneumatic dimpler.

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Vice grip dimpler needed for fwd end of tip ribs.

Vice grip dimpler needed for fwd end of tip ribs.

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DRDT-2 set up to dimple right HS skin.

DRDT-2 set up to dimple right HS skin.

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