Thursday, January 23, 2014

Started Doors

I started the doors.....oh no! not the dreaded, much complained, endless amounts of work, frustrating, most hated part of the build doors. Yep, those are the ones. And so far so good.

I'm building the doors a little differently, well a lot differently, than what the plans have you do. Although, what I'm doing is not novel. Many before have done the same or similar. I am installing the McMaster Carr seals that so many recommend, and I see why, it will make a very good seal when I'm finished. I will be installing the third latch from PlaneAround. I am also upgrading the struts as I discussed on the previous post. I am not very far into the doors yet but I can already see how all these changes are a great improvement over the Van's original design. My process for installing the doors might be slightly different than others and I won't know if it's for better or worse until I'm finished. Other builders have spent 130-160hrs building these doors. I really hope they won't drag out as long for me....but we'll see.

Dates and Times
Door Times
Sat 18th -3.0 hrs- Broke down finish kit crate (not included in build time). Started doors.
Sun 19th -6.25 hrs- Long day...kept following directions of cutting and such and at the very end of the day I glued the two halves together...11:00 at night.
Mon 20th -5.25 hrs- Cut doors to rough shape. Sanded RH door to almost final shape.
Wed 22nd -1.25 hrs- Worked on door hinges.

Other Work Times
Mon 20th -1.5 hrs- Jess and I installed the upper forward fuselage (sorry no pics...but it looks really good trust me)

Total Time on Doors So Far
15.75 hrs

I clecoed the two halves together and rough cut the window out. All per plans nothing special here. The first cut is very rough and therefore not precise and time consuming. There is no need for that now, that stuff is for later.

I made a hole finder to find the holes on the fuselage. The holes were left open to cleco the door to the fuselage while the two halves are glued together. The hole finder is just two pieces of scrap aluminum riveted together at the end with two rivets. Then drilled at the front end through both layers of aluminum. The bottom hole then has a rivet glued into place to find the hole and the top hole becomes a great way to start drill a hole. (later the same part becomes an edge finder)

I put insulation in my doors. The insulation is 3/4" thick and worked really well with the depth of the door pockets. The insulation was tacked in with RTV and then I placed the outer shell on top to hold it down while it dried.

This is where things get really different from the plans. The bottom of the doors are held in place by clecos per the plans but then this idea is carried around the entire outside edge of the doors. I drilled holes around the entire perimeter into the cabin top (later they will be refilled with epoxy) and clecoed the door in place. This made the door match the curvature of the fuselage really well while the two halves dried together. I think/hope that this saves me a lot of effort and time in trying to get the doors to look nice....but we'll see.
(I should note that I got this idea less than 72hrs before gluing the doors together from Ed, previously mentioned several times on this blog, who got the idea from his tech counselor who happens to be the same tech counselor that Brian and Brandi used, also mentioned several times on this blog. Kind of a weird web of RV-10 awesomeness)

The hole finder is now being used as an edge finder. I should note that I plan on squaring off my door and fuselage instead of the 45 degree angle that Van's has in the plan. So I need to cut the door flush with the fuselage edge. I used the edge finder to mark my cut lines. I just placed a sharpie in the hole and drug the edge/hole finder along the cabin edge perimeter and made my mark. Note the faint gray line that is to the left of the thick black line, that is the cut mark from Van''s a little off.

This is also something I did different. I wanted the doors to sit flush with the outside skin (like they will when they're finished) while I continued trimming. So instead of leaving the little ears sticking out on the sides to pick up the alignment holes in the fuselage I made these alignment plates. First with the door clecoed in place on the fuselage in other holes (now cut away in this picture) I just match drilled the plates to the door and then labeled their location. So far this has worked really well for me and I like working with the doors in what will be their final position.

I placed the hinges in their pockets. No problems here. Just followed the directions.

I made two upper attach plates to hold the door top in the position I want it. This should help hold everything in place while I drill the holes for the hinges. Hopefully nothing will shift.

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