CHAPTER 6 - Building the Second Assembly

You can see that the snow had not quite disappeared. With the first assembly finished for the moment, I retreated inside to work on the horizontal stabilizer. The most difficult part of this assembly was the rear spar; as I mentioned in a previous chapter, I used a hacksaw to fabricate the parts followed by long sessions with a vixen file. Assembly proceeded in much the same way as the previous part, though with much more confidence and speed. This time I assembled the entire unit, so that I would only have to make one trip to my painter for priming.

The photo shows the assembly just after removal from the jig and prior to taking it apart for painting. I also have the rudder parts nearby, so I can begin on them while waiting. Notice that the jig is hung with a spotlight (clamp attached) and the plans. On the left upright you can see a power strip. I was quite successful in keeping my mess in the vicinity of the jig. One of the keys to managing this feat is to clean up after every building session. Each tool must be put away, all work must be stowed, and the resultant shavings and dust must be vacuumed. Not only does it make your spouse easier to live with, it makes it easier to find things when you next find time to work on your project.

I should have introduced my painter before this; let me do so now. Ed Glaser is semi-retired and runs a business out of a pole barn in Bunton, MI, called Ace Aircraft Finishers. He often travels around the country to assist quick repair jobs on Hawkers, Lears, and even B727s. When not contracted out, he and his wife work in their shop, restoring old farm tractors and equipment. When I contacted them about my project, Ed offered to do the work for a labor charge only, and a small one at that! They have been extremely helpful about preserving markings and renumbering painted items, and have been greatly interested in my progress. In return, I get great enjoyment in seeing their latest restoration project every time I visit them. This is much better than attempting to do the painting myself!

Anyway, once the parts came back, I used the squeezer to rivet the skeleton and then put it all back in the jig. Now I was ready to rivet again, this time on my own!