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No More Jig4/5/2009
 I pulled out every last screw and moved the jig out the garage. Not sure if I'll need it again for anything. It looks like a piece of swiss cheese or an astronomical chart. Yup, had some good times with that jig and was sad to see it end. But the empennage is done now (close to done).
And Side 2...4/4/2009
 Early this morning I pulled out the pinching clamps and just clamped the second set to the bottom set of ribs.
Man hours: 1
Final Fin and Rudder4/4/2009
 I promised the airplane stuff would be out of the house by Thanksgiving (last year). I've been trying to keep a steady pace to finish by this weekend. It's about 11:00 and I pulled the parts out of the jig and set them up in their natural orientation just to see the side profile.
Man hours: 1
Fin & Rudder - Capstrip Ribs Started4/3/2009
 Cut the capstrips to exact fit. Mounted the pinching clamps using a right angle to keep all pieces square. Prepped all the surfaces to be glued and added the first side of ribs.
Man hours: 2
Rudder Patch4/2/2009
 Like I said in a previous entry, I must have gotten a measurement wrong somehow. I made the rudder too short. Rather than trash it (right now) I decided to try and fix it. I needed to bring the front up 1" and the back up 1/2". I ended up making 2 of those pieces. The first one was a shade undersized. The second one is oversized. Glued the piece down and clamped. Tomorrow when the clamps come off I can sand down to the right dimension and get a perfect fit. Still not really diggin the way it looks. I may just keep it for the time being and crank out another one later on. The patch piece weighs in at 3.54oz (100.4g). Not a huge weight penalty but it sure didn't make the piece lighter.
Man hours: 2
Gussets Down3/29/2009
 Did the same prep I always do and glued down the gussets. Once I fix the top of the rudder I will start the capstrips since I want to make sure the fin capstrip all lines up with the rudder capstrip under the fabric. Going to have to estimate the hinge gap for now.
Man hours: 2
Fin & Rudder - Side 23/28/2009
 Pulled up all the clamps and retooled the jig for the pieces in their turned-over position. Placed the pieces back in the new position and level-sanded all the gusset locations removing the ragged cut-off rabbet shoulders. Scored the gusset backsides and vacuumed up all the sawdust. Once the clamps are back on, the glueing will commence.

I made a disheartening discovery. Because I can't get accurate measurements with the tape measure because of the catch on the end, I always start my measurements from the 1" mark and add an inch. On the rudder I must have missed the extra inch because it ended up 1" short. I came very close to sending it cart-wheeling down the driveway but stepped away from it for a day and sized up the situation. All the measurements for the trailing edge begin from the bottom and I did make them correctly. I can do a simple repair by adding a 1" piece to the top that tapers back to the trailing edge. Because it tapers and the edges will be rounded I think the weight penalty for my stupidity will be negligible. I will try and make it so that it looks like it belongs that way. If it doesn't, I can make another. I think this is a mistake that I can live with. If I had made it 1" too long there would be no way to repair and the only solution would be cart-wheeling it down the driveway. ...so if I had to screw up, at least I screwed up right.
Man hours: 2

Fin & Rudder - 1st Round of Gussets Glued3/24/2009
 With the gussets all score sanded and ready to go, after a final vacuuming I was on my way. Within an hour or so all the gussets were glued and clamped down. The trick to completing a long project like building an airplane is simply to just keeping making progress (no matter how little).
Man hours: 1.5
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 : Glenn W. Thomas - Email - (860) 966-2856
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