Saturday September 3rd, 2005|
Drilled Steps To Fuselage
Today I set out to get the steps drilled to the fuselage sides. I spent a while tweaking the left step using a crescent wrench. I had to enlarge the hole slightly for the weld bead. There's a small gap in the bottom where the skin curves away that is quite common. I'll fill it with pro-seal or super-fil or RTV or whatever.
Here's a close-up of the plate.
Then I drilled the UHMW block on the inside to the baggage rib.
And here's a view from the inside. Notice the one row of rivets forward of the baggage bulkhead.
Then I drilled the right step. This one went on SO MUCH EASIER than the other one. There was one problem, however. The step (the actual place where you put your foot) was not perpindicular to the thrust line...it was rotate about 1/5 of an inch at the outter end. It's not easy bending something that's designed to take all of your weight. My fix involved my bench vice, rubber-coated steal hook, and a crowbar. It's too complicated to explain here...if you have this problem send me an e-mail with your contact info and I'll give you a call and explain it to you.
I should have gotten before and after pictures...but this picture is obviously after bending. I ran an angle under the fuselage to the other step. Notice how the angle parallels the aft edge of the step. It got late and I didn't have time to drill the UHMW block for this step...so I'll try to do that tomorrow.
UPDATE: 01-05-2007: I got an e-mail from a fellow builder who needed to bend one of his steps so I made a drawing for him. I put the step down flat on the bench and put the tube UNDER my bench vice to hold it down on the table. Then I just took a tie-down strap around the step and bent the crap out of it. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.