Started Banging Rivets on the Right Leading Edge

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Well, even though my last post said I was getting back into the mood of airplane building, it’s been almost a MONTH since I spent time on the project.


Anyway, I had a day off today, and I managed to spend a couple hours in the airplane factory.

Let’s see if I remember how to take and post picture.

After a little garage cleanup, I got the right leading edge out and got back to deburring all of the holes. I think deburring took about 30 minutes.

My hand hurt after deburring all of these. I need to deburr more often.

Once done, I took the cradles off the skin and opened her up to do some scuffing.

I haven't totally finished the leading edge light installation, but I can do that after the ribs are installed.

Then, I broke out the c-frame and started dimpling. This actually takes awhile, because you have to be careful not to punch any extra holes in the skin.

Even though I can reach these dimples with my squeezer, I think you get better, crisper dimples from the c-frame.

Here's me doing the forward-most hole in the top of the leading edge skin.




Well, after 242 hours, and thousands of dimpled holes, I finally joined the club.

To tell you the truth, it’s really not that noticeable, except for the fact that it is on the top of the wing (AND YOU’LL ALL NOTICE IT)!

Anyway, I used some flat sets and pounded it flat, then filed it down a little, and dimpled the primary hole.

Here's the extra dimple pounded flat.

And the orginal hole dimpled. still needs a little filing here.

I could throw a fit and order a new leading edge from Van’s, or I could just build on, and cover this with filler and paint.

(I don’t think I can polish the wings anymore.)

Well, in the interest of building on, I decided to do a little riveting today. I had a couple ribs prepped (my legend: R2 and R3), so I got them prepped, primed, and clecoed in place. (Making sure to cleco one rib on either side of those so the leading edge was perfectly straight.

Here are the ribs clecoed in place.

Of course, I use my normal tape-over-each-rivet-head trick to minimize scratches, dings, and marring.

I shot and bucked every other one (no mistakes) and then replaced the clecoes with rivets, moved the tape over, and finished the row.

(Needless to say, I started with the bottom of the leading edge, so any mistakes due to out-of-practice riveting wouldn’t be so obvious.)

Gratuitous shop head shot on the lower surface of the first rib.

Gratuitous shop head shot on the lower surface of the second rib.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. (Crap, I meant flip, cleco, rivet, repeat.)

Gratuitous shop head shot on the upper surface of the first rib.

Gratuitous shop head shot on the upper surface of the second rib.

Umm, did we not have enough shop head shots today?


Here’s the “club” rivet. I think I’m going to leave it like this, and just watch it for cracks, but someone will probably tell me I need to drill this out and replace it with some other solution. We’ll see.

(big. depressed. sigh.)

Seriously, I need to control myself with this camera.

Oh, and I was having trouble counting rivets today, which was weird.

So I just started writing them down. Can you guys check my math?

3 hours, 58 rivets, 1 figure-8. Boo.

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2 Responses to Started Banging Rivets on the Right Leading Edge

  1. Lemmingman says:

    Are you that good at trimming your blue plastic, or did you rivet that rib without taking the plastic off? From these pictures it is impossible to tell.

  2. Andrew says:

    I think I am just that good at trimming plastic. If you look closely, you can see some bubbling of the blue right next to its edge.

    I’m usually pretty good at trimming it, but there have been a few places where I had to pull some blue plastic out from underneath a riveted rib. There’s probably some plastic under a rib somewhere that will forever be a part of the airplane.

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