Fuselage - Cabin

2007-05-13 - Ready to fit the wings (need bolts). (0.0 Hrs).

I was just about ready to fit the wings to the fuselage, when I found rats in the wings, again. That cost me several months. Then, I was on vacation the last two weekends. Now that vacation is over, and we have the wings (almost) sealed against the rats, it's time to get back to work. Before I can fit the wings, I need some 7/16" bolts--I don't want to mess-up the bolts that came with the kit (those suckers cost $11 each).

I went looking for 7/16" bolts during my XMAS break, but I had a hard time finding them. It seems that none of the usual hardware stores, like Home Depot, Lowe's, or McCoys, carry them. So, I thought I would buy some 1/2" bolts and cut them down with the Smithy. Then, I decided, why not just buy some 1/2" threaded rod. It's cheaper, and I could cut the pieces as long as I like. Besides, I figured it would be hard to hold a bolt just by the head in the Smithy. Things did not go quite as well as I would have liked.

As usual, this is not building, so no time logged. Besides, it's embarrassing the amount of time that I spent on this today, and the results. At least, I am back working on the airplane.

Here's the expensive bolt that I want to replace using the cheap-assed threaded rod. Note, I did manage to pick up some of the 1/4" bolts for the wing.
I cut off a piece of threaded rod equal to two bolt lengths. This way, I could cut down one end while the other end was held by the Smithy. Now, taking a piece of rod and making it thinner on the Smithy is about as simple a task as you can do, but I still managed to screw it up. When turning a piece of rod, with one end unsupported, the unsupported end bends a little while it is being cut. The unsupported end ends up a little thicker than the supported end. By the time I got the end of the bolt thin enough to fit into the wing, the end near the head was way too thin.

As you can see, the top piece is ruined, but the bottom piece is good enough. Also, I was using my dial caliper, so I got out the digital caliper for the second piece. That helped a little, but this should be doable with a dial caliper. Maybe the next two bolts will go a little better.

Well, not so good. Two cuts, and the bolt is already too thin. I guess I was a little too aggressive. I must have made a dozen passes on the first bolts. The other side came out pretty good, though.
There you have it. One close-tolerance bolt, two close-enough bolts, and two pieces of junk. One of these days, I'm going to learn how to use that Smithy. Looks like I need to just order some regular bolts. I checked Van's webstore, and believe it or not, he does not carry these 7/16" bolts in the regular AN hardware. These need to be AN7-36, and the closest thing that Van has is AN7-43, for $5 a piece. Fortunately, McMaster-Carr has some 3 1/2" x 7/16" bolts, 25 for $10. This should not be that hard.