Rivet lay-out with the rivet fan View looking outboard with rivet fan in place

The photos above show the F-6118 rudder pedal brace during the process of laying out five attach rivets using a rivet fan.  I clamped the brace to the rudder pedal cross tube bushing block prior to drilling to make sure that the brace was located in the correct vertical plane.  I then drilled five #41 holes through the F-601-L vertical angle, through the rudder crossbar brace and through the side of the firewall recess.

The gap that needs to be shimmed  

The photo above left shows the gap that needs to be shimmed.  The rivet fan was still cleco'd in place when I took this picture.  Above right is a picture of the brace cleco'd in place.  I took this picture after I enlarged the rivet holes to #30. 

Rivet holes in firewall recess The F-6118 Rudder Pedal Brace with shim

The arrow in the photo above left shows the five rivet holes in the firewall recess.  I had to be very careful because the bottom hole in the photo is very close to the radius of the recess.  Had I drilled it any lower I would have had a problem.  The photo above right shows the F-6118 laying on the drawing with the shim that I made to take up the gap.  Notice that the bushing block holes have been drilled.

Layout of lightning holes Cutting holes with a fly-cutter

The drawing calls out three lightning holes for the F-6118.  It calls out the size and location for each.  In the photo above left, I have put masking tape on the F-6118 and have laid out these holes on the tape.  3M masking tape now is green in color for some reason.  On the television show, From The Ground Up" they have you sand parts such as the instrument panel so that you can lay out lines in pencil.  Don't do that.  Get 2" masking tape and lay the lines out on it.  In the photo at right, I am in the process of cutting the holes on the mini-mill with a fly cutter.

F-6118 ready for priming process F-6118 and shim sealed and ready for installation

The photo above left shows the F-6118 and the shim I made are now ready for etch, alodine and prime.  At the right is a photo I took just before I installed these parts for the final time.  I put fuel tank sealer, in this case P/S 890, on both sides of the shim.  The shim will be indirect contact with the stainless steel firewall recess and I am trying to minimize the possibility of dissimilar metals corrosion.  Notice the date on the photo.  It had been nearly two months since I last worked on this portion of the project.

F-6118 cleco'd in place Close-up of shim

Above left is a photo of the F-6118 cleco'd in place.  The fuselage had been rotated upright at this point.  The right photo shows a close-up of the shim.

F-6118 brace riveted in Rivets in firewall recess

 The photo above left shows the firewall brace after it was riveted in place.  The right photo shows the five rivet "shop heads" in the firewall recess.  Would I rivet the firewall recess in place during the firewall assembly if I had it to do over again?  Yes I would.  I believe it would have been much more difficult for me to put the recess in at this stage than to rivet the F-6118 brace through it.  I would have been fighting dried sealer on the two vertical stiffeners.  Had I elected to assemble the firewall dry then it would not have made much difference one way or the other.  It took me longer to describe this minor modification than it took to accomplish it.

Shortening the rudder tubes Drilling new hole

On labor day, September 5, I finally sat in the plane with the rudder cross bars in place.  Wow!  This airplane is made for shorter people than me.  I had to move the crossbars ahead about 1" from the furthest forward present position.  This required an adjustment to the length of the crossbars.  In photo upper left I have the left end of the rudder cross tubes measure for a cut.  I know that the plans say to trim the right end but I had previously cut that end I did not want to shorten it any more.  I reinstalled the rudder pedal assembly and aligned the outboard bearing blocks with the bolts going in to the third bolt holes from the rear.  I took out the "snake" drill extension and made two additional holes at the forward end (upper right).  This moved the rudder pedals 1.25" forward of the previous forwardmost position.  I sat in the plane again and tried out this position.  It is better but not great.  I will have to see how it is with upholstery on the seats and padding and carpet on the floor.