Saturday has proved to be a big day. Not the big day we hopped for but a great day none the less. It was planned to drop the tail today but we still needed to remove several bolts (10) and clear a few score of rivets. The reality was we still didn’t have the cart prepared to receive the tail section as well as we knew the bolts were going to be trouble getting them removed.
Since the “Nite Shift” will be starting soon it was imperative to get the space prepared. a special thanks to Chris, Mark K. and Bill Fickes for giving me a hand getting the shelving unit moved into the main shop. Ben, Jerry and Dave helped out in getting the benches and storage cabinets placed. We also have a great 6×10 rolling work table.
I have decided that the first item to undergo full restoration will be the horizontal stabilizers , starting with the starboard one first. The process had to begin with stripping 3-4 layers of paint and removing several pop riveted patches that were rotting out. We had a new member Andrew K. who is in helping Jimmy with the 02 project. I managed to shanghai him into helping start the paint stripping job.
Mark K. has become out resident paint stripping expert and can make paint disappear with a can of Jasco stripper,a small square of aluminum strip, a soft wire brush and paper towels. The real secret is in letting the stripper work. It’s like watching a game of golf, really boring with the rare moment of excitement.
Meanwhile Bill Dingley, Pete Ronson and Bob Givens were working or replacing a number of cage nuts on the cockpit cowl. These had been so rusted and corroded that they were trash. Bill had to work the subtle curve of the cockpit rim smooth before the inserts could be riveted in.
Ed meanwhile spent the day with his head in the tail of the Corsair. Being the tenacious guy that he is,he couldn’t get 1 or 2 bolts broken in four or five hours, no he got all 10 bolts removed working by himself. Each one when removed was announced with a “Thats 3!” or “Thats 6!” Simply amazing!
Our team doesn’t understand “No” or “Can’t”.
Oh and the tail section issue with not having the cart? Well, Mark C. has provided us with a stable platform in which to work on the tail section. Spending the day working in the parking lot on the new cart he was lucky to not get heat stroke.
By the end of the day the rest of the guys in AREA 53 had finished the float and took it out for a spin around the lot. And from what I understand from Bob B. The CASC won 1st place this Sunday for the 6th year running! We are surrounded by very talented men and women in our organization. The potential is limitless, as they have proven.
We found an issue with the rivet removal in the tail section that will have to be addressed next week end. it seems that we will have to remove the vertical stabilizer fillet in order to get the triple row of rivets removed. This all has to be done in order to remove the tail section.
Mark K. and myself ended up finishing up the day in the main shop peeling off the old skin work that was pop riveted on. We found some more serious damage that was covered over 39 years ago. Missing access covers, wasp nests (empty) and crushed metal all has to be repaired.
Now we begin with the real expense. 2024 Aluminum for the skins that need to be replaced is not free. The strippers,primers and rivets all have to be paid for. Please consider a donation or better yet, Will Someone or some Company Sponsor the Starboard Horizontal Stabilizer Restoration?
If your are interested in doing this please contact me!