Over the last week I spent time getting prepped for the big dimpling day with Sam. That day would require two people to handle the large skins and the DRDT-2 dimpler at the same time. I reorganized the workshop to be dimple-centric, bolting the dimpler down to the bench and reinstalling the dimple table. I was able to dimple all the ribs that were primed and removed vinyl off the leading edge skins.
I was also able to get the splice plates dimpled and nutplates installed. This is how the leading edge and fuel tanks mate. One awkward issue was dimpling the rivet holes on the nut plates. The squeezer seemed to bend the hole tabs and so I had to go through and straighten them before installing. I used the top of the DRDT-2 as my flat surface gauge. Once flattened, installation of the nutplates was straight forward and done in less than an hour.
With as much as I could get done on my own, Saturday came along, and Sam joined me for an afternoon session. (I attempted a skin on my own, and it was extremely awkward. The goal was to get through all the dimpling that required two people. We got that accomplished and more. We moved the dimple table to the center of the hangar allowing for maximum flexibility in position of the part being dimpled. With the skins being so large, this was a real help in finding the optimal way to dimple. With two of us, one would manage the majority of the part, while the other worked the DRDT-2, and make fine grain adjustments to positioning before dimpling.
Surprisingly, we got all the dimpling done with about 30 minutes. We were able to get one of the leading edges assembled and the next morning I got the other one done. In our rush, we forgot the cleco in the splice joint plates. Oops! Easy enough to fix. I was able to re-attach the skins and do a fitting to see how everything comes together. I didn’t get a picture with the leading edge and fuel tank on, but they seem to fit nice and snug. Next up will be to create the scarf joints where the two skins overlap. Until then, Happy Building!