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[November 3, 2006]


Today was a very cold day in the garage. In fact, my hands are somewhat numb as I type this. This week could be the week I finally break down and insulate and figure out how to heat my garage. I don't think that the temp was much about 40. I guess on top of buying insulation and a heater, I should also get a thermometer.

Tonight I finished up bending the flanges on the nose ribs. This went quickly. Then I started to flute the main ribs. I had to walk away from the first one I did because I was getting so frustrated. I couldn't get the holes to line up to save my live. I ate dinner and came back to it and blew through 14 of the 28 main ribs in no time.

My method was to first put a cleco in the two end holes, with the cleco on the inside poking outward. Then I made a pass or two with the fluting pliers, trying to get the rib to lay flat on the table. After it looked good, I layed a 24" steel ruler (I picked mine up from Cleveland just for this) on the two end clecos and looked at how the holes lined up. A flute here, a seam there and grab the next one. I had a pair of of craftsman duckbill pliers that I put some duct tape on to use as a mini seamer. It worked fantacticaly.

Pile of ribs all flanged. Yeah, looks like it did a week ago.


The ribs aren't too badly bowed/


Without fluting, the holes on the rib don't even come close to lining up.


After fluting, all of the holes line up - within 1/64". You can drive yourself nuts trying to acheive perfection, and it doesn't matter anyways because the ribs just need to flex a little to make everything line up when it is all clecoed to the skin.


The rib now sits flat on the table.


This is the Craftsman duckbill pliers that I converted into seamers. They worked well to quickly de-flute the ribs....They also came in handy bending the nose flanges on the leading edge ribs.


Pile of 14 finished ribs. You have no idea how good it feels to get to this point. There is a TON of work involved in each rib. I'd say it easily 10-20 minutes of work per rib. Multiply that by 54 ribs and thats some serious time.


This is another cool shot. The stack of ribs on the left are the ones that haven't been fluted. You can press down on them and they compress to the height of the fluted ribs on the right. You can only compress the fluted ribs about 1/4" or less.

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