Well, for wing ribs at least. 30 false ribs down, 8 to go. It looks like I may be able to get some more building done, at least temporarily, at the EAA Chapter 80 “Able Ace” build space. The chapter has leased a storefront in a shopping mall that’s dying a slow and pitiful death. There are a couple of good sized workbenches there that I may be able to use for wing spar and tail assembly.
Got a couple more false ribs glued up, now I’m waiting for the epoxy to cure. I also unrolled the plans to get a good look at the wing layouts, and re-read the instructions for building wing ribs. The instructions say to make 42 main ribs (I have 43) and 37 false ribs. These two make 20, or it could be 21 if I cut down the extra main rib. I’ll just keep making them and see what happens. I really need to get that second jig back on the bench so I can do 3 at a time.
I glued up two more last night, and will do two more tonight. That will make 18 down, with
20 19 more to go. I’ll typically take some time at lunch to cut out the cross brace pieces and get everything set up. Then after work I’ll mix up some T88 and glue the ribs up, then let the glue cure overnight. By the next morning I can pull them out of the jigs and start again.
I’ve run out of cross-brace stock that’s been sanded down to 3/32″, so I’ll have to stop while I retrieve the small shop vacuum from the project house where it is now and run some more 1/8″ stock through the drum sander. It’s a pain, yes, but it has to be done.
I’m already debating where to go from here, once all of the false ribs are finished in a few weeks (maybe). I could start on the tail, but that will require a 4 x 8 work surface. The wing spars will require a longer bench, at least 12′ long. I may instead start working on cutting out the large number of nose ribs that will be needed, and the other high volume plywood parts. It’s awfully tempting to set up my CNC router again for that part, but I doubt that I will. I’d have to translate the outline from the printed plans into G-code for the router, and quite frankly I think by the time I got that right I could cut them all out by hand. I’ve seen a couple of guys use a router and a flush cutter to route the nose ribs from a pattern. I’m a little concerned about the radius on the inside corners where the nose rib glues to the false spar. I figure I could either sand a matching radius there, or touch up the corners of the nose ribs with a bandsaw or something. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Another false rib glued up today.