March 12, 2006

I spent some time this weekend doing a little polishing up and quality control on the stabilizer/elevator ribs. Before I put them up and out of the way, I wanted to check them over for defects.

I drew centerlines on them by measuring the rib width at different percent-of-chord stations along the rib. I marked the center of material and then where the center should be, per the plans. Hopefully, they are one and the same for a perfect rib. I drew the centerline through all the points that matched the plans. Happily, most of the ribs were dead on the blueprints...down to a quarter of a millimeter. There were a few ribs where the centerline deviated from the actual center of material by 1 mm or less, near the leading edge. These ribs are slightly off and I was stressing out about making them over again.

I was reading up on the Sequoia website and saw some stuff mentioning adding little strips of wood where you may have taken off too much while sanding. This sounded like what I could do so I sent off an email to Alfred at Sequoia. He responded saying that I could add little strips to the side of the rib to build up that side then sand everything down to the correct rib shape, as long as I didn't let any capstrips get too thin. Thank goodness for the versatility of wood. I'll probably mark those spots now and do that closer to when I assemble the tail.

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