First Rib!

14 Fore Rib Blanks Done

Update: Well, it looks like it was a) the form was too soft...
I made a new form exactly bigger by the amount I was short on with the first rib but followed the suggestions from the Sonex Plans forum - MDF, and epoxy diluted with Acetone. The form came out great,rock solid... It also bent the aluminum to almost the exact dimensions... So now I need to cut the form down soak it with more epoxy and try again.

I just started making my first rib. The first try didn't turn out too bad (straight and very consistent dimensions) but it was not the right size (and there were some lessons learned regarding clapping the metal before drilling :-).  

Currently I'm trying to figure out where I went wrong. Heres what I'm thinking:

1) The form I made out of particle board, I realize now that this was a bad idea because it deformed it some areas when struck with the mallet, I'm planing on making my next form out of hard wood or a good plywood. (maybe there's something better out there).

2) The rib was 3/16's shorter (length wise) and the outer flang was
3/32's too long all around (Obviously the flang bent 3/32th too much over the form). I put a very slight radius on on the edge of the form, the form was the exact dimension (within a 64th)to the inner dimension of the rib. 
Could it be one (or more of the following)?
a) The form was too soft
b) I shouldn't have radiused the edge of the form
c) I should have added 3/32's to the flanged portion of the form and then have radiused the form.

So I think the best thing to do now is create a small form and use some scrap metal to see what can be done.

Progress Report

  • First Cut! - a fore rib (that didn't make the cut :-) - 9/14/2008 

  • First of the Aluminum, Ordered 12 sheets of .025 -  9/4/2008

  • Garage prepped, new slab poured - 7/30/2008

  • Acquiring miscellaneous tools (see materials and tools list Materials

    • Sonex plans purchased at AirVenture plus some misc stuff - 7/31/2008


    Supplemental Building Instructions - Additional instructions, that I used, plan to use or just seem like a good idea, created from the forums and others experiences.

    Materials - A running materials list of tools and materials purchased 

    EAA Buiders Videos - This is must check out, especially the videos by the folks at Sonex.

    Polishing Aluminum - I started polishing this week (10/13/2008), actually a  fellow builderී;s plane thats almost ready to fly. He says he got me with ";The ";Tom Sawyer Ploy";, wow it was four hours of pleasure watching the plane go from dirty, dull to shiny! Canී;t wait to get back and help with the roughly estimated 100 hours of polishing... I wonder what he meant by ";The Tom Sawyer Ploy";....