CHAPTER 8 - Apartment Reclaimed

Now that the fin was riveted and off the jig, a major cleanup was in order. The jig was disassembled and the parts stashed behind the refrigerator. A tiny desk had been left by our dumpster; it was placed at the end of my patio table and used to hold scrap aluminum, rags, and chemicals. The compressor was also moved outside; no casual thief would be able to lift it over the retaining wall, so I haven't worried about it. The gang of guys necessary to steal it could never do so quietly or unnoticed. The remaining tools were reorganized and stored in my tool chest near the sliding glass door.

With so much space reclaimed from the jig, it was time for a Spring cleaning. We cleaned where the jig had been, then moved stuff to the clean area and cleaned the rest of the apartment. When my Mother arrived for a visit a few weeks later, the place was neat as a pin.

Now that the weather was getting reasonable, I made preparations for continuing the project outside. A large sheet of 3/4" particle board exactly yielded two table-sized pieces and a third piece the right size for a rudder/elevator jig base. With the jig pieces from Van's attached to 2x4 with screws, I marked one side of the base for the rudder and one side for the elevators. I then attached the rudder jig pieces to the base with more screws. I also built a bending brake from a 2x6 and some hinges.

All this activity had been accomplished inside, so I vacuumed the floor of wood shavings and moved everything outside. By now the weather had gotten much warmer, if still damp, and the rain did not reach me underneath the upstairs neighbor's balcony.

In the photo, you can see me squeezing the edge rivets. The box of clecoes is on the reclaimed desk, and two layers of particle board on the table bring it to the same height. Opposite the table from me, you can see the trailing edge bending brake, and an old sleeping bag used as a shop cover and table padding as I finished the fin. Behind me is the base for the rudder/elevator jig. Thanks to the flash, you can't quite see through the sliding glass door, but the jig is really gone.

I just had to include this second photo of me working on the fin. My cat, Lunch, has been a constant inspector during the entire assembly process. He rubs against all the parts as I inventory them, and is constantly underfoot during the assembly process. The only time he leaves is during the sessions with the riveting gun. I think he believes that I'm building him a toy of some sort. Anyway, the project seems to meet his approval so far.