CHAPTER 5 - Spreading Out

My timing had been perfect. The weather had begun warming up after the riveting on the horizontal stabilizer was done. I went to the University's surplus furniture warehouse and procured a sturdy library table. Once it was installed on the patio, I had a place to put the stabilizer while I finished the edges.

It was still plenty cold, but I could stand working outside for short periods. Removing the stabilizer from the jig, I placed it on the table and attacked it with the squeezer. Surprise! Some of the rivets around the hinge brackets could not be reached. Well, I waited for the weekend and spent about twenty minutes with the compressor and gun outside. No neighbors complained, even though the noise would have been audible through their patio doors and bedroom windows.

In the photo, you can see the finished stabilizer - no mistakes visible from this distance. That's a beer keg to the right of the table; brewing is another hobby of mine. Just in front of the keg is a desk dolly. The red frame slips under a desk then lifts it up by the file drawers. If a desk has drawers on both sides, a single dolly can often lift both sides. Otherwise, a dolly on both sides will usually work. Once locked in the up position, a desk can be easily rolled around. I've used it for motorcycle maintenance, and found that it works great for moving large, heavy boxes. Gee, airplane kits come in boxes like that, don't they?

The cat's name is Lunch (as in "out to lunch") and he seem to approve of my efforts. When I rivet, he disappears, but otherwise hangs around and rolls in aluminum dust as often as I work on the kit. Both he and my other cat, Jin, love the jig; it makes a great scratching post and has wonderful high spots to sleep on.

Once the riveting was done, the assembly was stashed behind a couch. In an effort to be as invisible as possible, I became quite adept at hiding stuff in the apartment. The main kit box fit neatly beneath the bed, the other box hid in an apartment, and various surfaces were stashed around the apartment as they were finished. Even the jig, when disassembled, went behind the refrigerator. I don't take up much room, but it is hard to move around the apartment without finding an airplane part, these days.