I took me 5 weeks to cut all the angles and brackets for the forward fuselage. I screwed up on the first attempt to open up the angles on the aft tunnel supports. I had to order some replacement angle from Wicks. After waiting a couple days for the angles to come in, I realized I had ordered the wrong angle- the angle was too thick- so I re-ordered those and finally got those done. I mis-cut the forward angle on the upper longeron angles, and ordered 2 more pieces to replace those. After I had finished those and actually riveted the right one onto the fuse side panel, I realized I had mis-measured the slots for the canopy latch on the left longeron. I ordered another piece to replace the left side upper longeron. The next night I realized I was off by an inch on my holes where the windshield bow comes down into both longerons, so the next day I ordered another piece to replace the right longeron. (remember it's already riveted to the side panel- crap!!)
While I was waiting for the angle to get shipped, I backed up and finished the upper firewall assembly- mounting the filler box, windshield strap, and the southco fasteners that go in the top of the firewall assembly. I had to cut a wooden form to lay the upper firewall on to get a 3/4 inch overhang of the windshield bow.
In the first pic below you can see the back side of the windshield bow showing the southco fasteners installed. You have to adjust the fluting around them to get a flat area to rivet. The next couple pics show working on page F-16 on the aft tunnel web assembly. This is the back part of the box the wing spars will come into inside the fuselage.
All the rivets holding that assembly together are flush on the inside where the spars go, so it all has to be countersunk or dimpled to prepare it for flush rivets. The second picture shows the second try at the upper fuselage longerons. The big oblong holes and the slots in the one longeron are not correctly placed. At this point I still didn't realize it. Last picture is some of the first brackets I made. The arrow looking ones are motor mounts, the other weird looking ones are for rudder pedal mounts.
First shot is the tunnel support angles. The second shot is all the angles and brackets that go onto one side of the fwd. fuselage. The last shot is starting to lay out all the pieces onto the fuselage skin.
Following are more shots of putting the pieces onto the fuselage side....forward angle that supports the firewall, lower motor mount- a very satisfying piece the way it fits, and another general shot of fitting angles
Below is a shot of how I cut the naca vent in the fuselage skin. The second shot is starting to line up the angles on the left fwd fuse side. This is the intersection of the firewall and forward angles to the lower longeron. It will be covered by the lower motor mount, which is shown on the next picture on the right cockpit side.
The next shot is of my "bending brake" that I used to bend the upper and lower edges of the lower fuselage. The next couple shots are of fitting the fwd fuse sides to the aft fuse assembly.