Benjamin – my eldest was back in Jersey at the weekend taking a short break from his new job at Williams F1 – now there’s a fantastic job ! so I roped him in to use his engineering skills and help me remove my lovingly build and secure struts to prepare for drilling the bolts. The removal of the bolts turned out to be far easier than I thought and, with a little gentle persuasion, they slipped out (lower one first) and then the strut simply dropped down and then out to the side.
The large bolts that go through the spar also pickup the turnbuckle shanks and run through the offset mounted strut brackets. This gives the strut a sort of toe in effect towards the nose but means that you cant get a washer/nut arrangement on. Although all its load is in shear the bolt needs obviously to be securely retained and this is achieved by drilling through the bracket AND the bolt shank and securing with a 314 bolt.
To prevent the top wing collapsing it is supported both at the root and the tip BUT also by two additional 2 x 1 wood braces, bracing it directly to the floor and then in addition (as I don’t want any movement) a replica sized strut made from 2 x 1 wood, that locates with pegged dowels in place of the now removed strut.
Having had fun and games trying to drill aviation bolt shanks before I plan to pop this into a local marine engineering company who will be able to get a really accurate straight hole without the bit wandering and ruining the brackets !