Fuselage - Forward Section

2006-02-19 - Preparing to rivet the side skins - right step. (4.0 Hrs).

Fit and drilled the right step.

I couldn't understand why the rolled edge of the side skin was fitting so poorly. Then, I noticed on Jim and Carolina's site that the rolled edge goes under the F-776 bottom skin. Sure enough, the plans show F-770 under F-776. Actually, when I originally did the rolled edge, I had it under F-776, like it belongs.
Here's the right side properly installed. I still have a little bending to do here, but this is much better. Pays to look at other people's work once-in-a-while.
Need to dimple the side holes in the F-623's.
I'm starting to get fed-up with what Van is leaving out of the instructions. For example, the only mention of the steps are to drill a big hole in the side skin. It makes sense to go ahead and drill all of the holes for the steps before we rivet on the side skins.

First step is to position the step where the FWD edge of the step is parallel to the rivet holes for F-724. Then, draw a line around the step plate so we can remove the side skins and drill the holes in the steps from the back side of the skins.

Step taped to F-770 on the bench.
Turn it over and drill the 3 holes that attach the step to F-724.
Put the right skin back on and cleco on the step, just to be sure.
Mark and drill all of the holes. Also, bend the lower AFT corner of the step plate to match the fuselage curve.
Then, cleco the steps onto the fuse and drill all of the holes.
Looks like we still have a little work to do here. I think I need to shorten the tube a little, and bend the AFT corner a little more before I trim the AFT corner of the step.
Trying to figure out what is keeping the step from fitting flush. I reamed out the hole in the side of the fuselage a little...
I ground off the end of the tube about 1/6"...
and I bent the AFT corner back out some, since it was overbent. I, also, cut a radius along the AFT corner of the step plate, per the plans. Still does not fit flush. Maybe this step needs a little Bondo, or SuperFil. Actually, after looking at this, it looks pretty good.