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Preparation
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- Horizontal Stabilizer (49:40)
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   and Longerons
(17:30)

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Top Skins and Baggage Area - 8/17/2009
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Time to install the F-750-L&R Aft Baggage Side Covers?Time to install the F-750-L&R Aft Baggage Side Covers?
For those of us with a bad case of linear thinking (me included), we like it when the instructions say "do this, now do this". But as we have well learned in the building of our RV's, you have to read ahead, or you will be in deep doo-doo. The instructions say to: "Drill and rivet the F-750-L&R Aft Baggage Side Covers to the inside of the fuselage". Then it says: "Now is the time to install the steps if you are building a 9A".
I just have to say that:

The steps gotta' go in first, ya'll.The steps gotta' go in first, ya'll.
I just love that Movie. The people in it remind of the town I grew up in. Jes' good old country (deep country) folk.
If you install the Baggage Side Covers first, they will be in the way when it comes time to rivet the steps in place. Here I'm doing a preliminary check to see if I need to cut any of the step pipes off.Yep, looks like about 1/4 inch. I made several grindings at it until I got it just right, but with still a little gap for play.
Grinding the pipeGrinding the pipe
I made a mark all around the end of the pipe with a sharpie so I could have a "go-by" to keep the end uniform. My kiddo loved the sparkler show I put on for him.
Time to trim the hole in the skin someTime to trim the hole in the skin some
The pipe has welds that you have to allow for when getting the step flange to fit snuggly against the skin. So I painted up the edge around the hole with a sharpie so I could use a round-edge file to start removing some of the material around the hole. Then as I started filing the skin and the pipe began to move inside the hole farther, I noticed that I had to back and remove more off the end of the pipe so the step could go in and not press on the inner rib. The painted line on the skin let's you keep track of where you've removed metal.
Move adjustments to the holeMove adjustments to the hole
I kept adding more sharpie marks to the skin hole and the weld on the pipe. Then while the pipe was in the hole, I moved the pipe around inside the hole. This action removed some of the sharpie marks, allowing me to see exactly where I needed to remove more metal from around the skin hole. Eventually the step flange fit nice and flat against the skin.
Time to drill the holes in the step flangeTime to drill the holes in the step flange
Here's where I needed to read the instructions a little closer. In lower right hand of the drilling instructions, there is a note that says that the holes will need to adjusted to match the rib on the other side of the skin. So I moved my holes over to the right just a tad to make sure that the rivet holes would go through this rib.
Drilled the holes in the step flangeDrilled the holes in the step flange
I grabbed a scrap piece of wood and drilled the holes on my drilling press. I had to trash the drill bit after each step was drilled though, This is tough stuff.
Drill and clecoed the step into placeDrill and clecoed the step into place
But first... I had to whack the flange around a bit with my rubber hammer to get a nice fit all the way around, especially on the lower aft section of the flange. Then I drilled the holes.
Time to drill the holes in the F-6125 blockTime to drill the holes in the F-6125 block
No biggie here, except for the measurements shown on the drawings in the instructions which are in decimal. Back to the Internet. Here's a conversion chart I found.
Final drilled the holes from the F-6125 block into the pipeFinal drilled the holes from the F-6125 block into the pipe
I had to uncleco the step from the fuselage and put the F-6125 block into position. Then I put a couple of clamps on the block and the rib. Here I'm drilling the holes into the step pipe using the block holes as a guide.
Final drilled the holes from the F-6125 block into the ribFinal drilled the holes from the F-6125 block into the rib
Before drilling these holes, I put a couple of temporary bolts into the pipe holes I had just drilled, just make sure every thing lines up.
Time to prime these puppiesTime to prime these puppies
I went to an paint auto shop and asked for some primer for priming raw steel and bought a rattle can of the stuff. I still had some of the primer in a quart can from the push rod priming episode for the interior of the steps. Here I did the same routine as the push rods and coated the interior of the steps and let the excess ooze out.
Here's a better way get the excess paint outHere's a better way get the excess paint out
The old lawn mower handle had just the right angle for a straight drip. Of course my wife had to make a crack about a "better" use for the law mower being outside. Hesh Woman!!
Primed the exterior of the stepsPrimed the exterior of the steps
Damn, ain't them purdy? Yessir, I reckon. Oops, I'm having a flashback from the Oh Brother Movie.
Primed the exterior of the skinPrimed the exterior of the skin
Clecoed the steps into positionClecoed the steps into position
I put the F-6125 block on the end of the step pipe and slid everything into place. One word here, I didn't put any proseal or goo between the step and the fuselage. I figure between the primer and the final exterior paint, it should be pretty much sealed. I will, however, dab some proseal or some kind on sealer over the rivets and around the pipe on the inside, just for grins.
Final bolted the step pipe and F-6125 blockFinal bolted the step pipe and F-6125 block
I used my torque wrench set with 23 inch pounds and tightened everything down. I will finish riveting the step flange tomorrow. I'm pooped.
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This website was built to document the construction of an RV-9A in compliance with the FAA requirements needed to certify the aircraft. Any experiences and/or comments are by no means to be considered as instructions on how to build an RV-9A or any other aircraft.
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