Practice Kit – Stiffeners and Skins

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I started on the real practice kit today. First, you have to make the stiffeners. Easy as pie, except the stock I got in my kit was cut short by about 1/2″ in each case. I got two shorter sections, the kit shows it comes as one long piece. Maybe George gave me some extra that was laying around. No biggie, but that’s why in the pictures below the stiffeners are different lengths. Then I edge prepped the stiffeners, ribs, spar, and skins. I also practiced using the soldering iron some more, with pretty decent results. Here’s a shot of the stiffeners and skins ready to match-drill.

Skins and stiffeners ready for match drilling.

Skins and stiffeners ready for match-drilling.

And the stiffeners match-drilled to the skins…

Match-drilled and cleco'ed.

Match-drilled and cleco'ed.

After this, I assembled the skeleton, matchrilled both skins to the ribs, spar, and trailing edge wedge, then disassembled everything. It got late, so I stopped after getting all the holes deburred. Here’s a shot of the skeleton clamped together, ready for drilling.

Skeleton Clamped

Skeleton Clamped

Next step is to figure out a priming process and test it out before dimpling and riveting.

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2 Responses to Practice Kit – Stiffeners and Skins

  1. Brian says:

    How did you dimple the trailing edges? I’m stuck at this part now, I have DRDT-2 but no hand squeezer/dimpler, wondering if I should look to acquire one

    Did you use a squeezer at all to complete this?

  2. Andrew says:

    Hi Brian.

    I believe for the trailing edges of those ribs, I ended up countersinking, even though that is NOT an approved method back there. For the real kit, I ended up buying Avery’s Pop-rivet dimplers (

    Also, on the plans of the practice kit, I think there is a drawing of a piece of steel with a hole and countersink cut into it. You can slide this side on the underside, and use your male dimple die (or a rivet with your gun) to created the dimple.

    For the record, I love my hand squeezer. I use it anytime I can.

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