More Right Lower Inboard Skin Riveting

August 15, 2012

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Today, while waiting for the DirecTV guy to show up (insert long story here about how I took the whole afternoon off to cover his time (12-4pm) and then he didn’t show up until 5:30pm), I ended up taking some time out for the airplane.

Taylor and I riveted six rivets on the inboard edge the last time he was over. It turns out, I really needed to bend the forward edge of the skin “up” in the picture to reach the aft row of rivets.

So, I drilled out three of the rivets, and was able to reach in from just below the main spar (bottom of these pictures) to buck the top row of rivets.

After setting the top (aft? oh man, we’re going to have trouble communicating with our different frames of reference) row of rivets, I worked down one rivet at a time for the two middle wing-walk ribs. (The inboard or left rib can be squeezed at the end, and the outboard wing-walk rib can be bucked by reaching from outboard after the wingwalk ribs are done.

Here’s the top row riveted.

To help me know where I was, I colored each rivet black with a magic marker after setting it.

After an hour, I made it about halfway down the rib.

From here on, I won’t be able to peel the skin back from the bottom anymore, but I should be able to reach in through the inboard rib, where the lightening holes are now big enough for my huge biceps.

1.0 hour, 33 rivets. 3 (originally perfect) rivets drilled out due to lack of planning. Boo.

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Riveted Half of Main Ribs to Right Main Spar

January 9, 2011

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Well, I needed a break from all of that rib preparation, so I took the seven ribs I had done for the inboard half of the right wing and got started riveting them to the main rib (Most people start with the main rib, because you can bend the ribs a little out of the way of the rivet gun while you shoot and buck.)

Here are the first two rivets in place, ready for shooting.

Per the general builder consensus, you should start with the 3rd rib. (3rd, 2nd, and 1st rib flanges all point inboard, so having the 2nd and 1st in the way would not be fun. If you start with the third, you can easily reach the forward flange.)

The right spar here is upside down.

After the first five rivets…

(That mark above the 2nd from the top is a tape mark.)

Whoa, that bottom rivet head doesn't look to good.

Let’s get a little closer…

Crap. This was the first one, too. Bummer.

After drilling out and re-setting, the rivet is now great. (I scratched the primer off the flange a little. I'll clean that up with a scotchbrite and re-shoot it with primer.)

Of course, it wasn’t until the second rib that I remembered my tape trick to keep from marring the manufactured heads too much.

This works great to keep everything looking nice.

See, this head looks a lot cleaner after shooting.

Here's two done.

Shop heads...

Three ribs down.

More shop heads.

Then, I did the 4th, 6th, then 5th, and finally, the 7th.

The first 7 ribs attached to the right main spar.

1.0 very fun and rewarding hour. It’s nice to see something big take  shape for the last time in the garage.

5 rivets times 7 ribs equals 35 rivets, two of which were drilled out and replaced. (The first rivet, and the last rivet. Boo.)

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Now, back to rib prep.


Rudder Skin Prep, Skeleton Riveting

March 20, 2010

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In between some yardwork, watching the sprinklers, and cleaning up the house, I made some good progress on the airplane.

First thing, I found a stiffener rivet that was sitting a little proud. (Drilled rivet #1 today.)

Off with your head!

Silly me, though, I didn’t get any pictures of it after it was reset. I was being lazy with the camera today. Sorry.

Next up, skin deburring and dimpling.

The holes on the right are the tip rib #40 holes. The ones on the left have been drilled to #30.

After deburring, scuffing and dimpling, we are ready for priming.

The top of the right rudder skin after deburring, scuffing and dimpling.

Then, more deburring, scuffing and dimpling.

I didn't forget the hole on the bottom of the picture. This hole is match-drilled with the rudder tip and then dimpled to #30.

After cleaning, I shot a little primer on the skin.

Primed right rudder skin.

I had a very specific order here. First, deburr, scuff, dimple and prime the top, forward edge, and bottom edge. Then, while the primer is drying, devinyl the aft edge (vinyl used as masking for the primer), deburr, scuff and dimple the aft edge. This edge doesn’t get primed, as we’ll use the fuel tank sealing instructions with Pro-seal to glue the trailing edges together.

After scuffing the aft edge, I started pulling off the blue vinyl from the interior of the skins.

This just looks so nice.

Another shot of me devinyling.

Then, I spent a couple minutes making the slot at the bottom of the skin a little bigger. One of the flanges from the control horn fits in here, and during initial assembly, there was some interference.

Notch enlarged.

And the left skin, primed.

Got the left skin primed and ready for devinyling.

Ame thing on this skin, while the primer was drying, I devinyled the trailing edge, scuffed, and dimpled.

Scuffed and dimpled the trailing edge.

Here’s the left skin after devinyling. I’ll store this skin until final riveting. Now, back to the skeleton.

Shot 1 of 2 of the prepped left rudder skin.

Shot 2 of 2 of the prepped left rudder skin.

In the middle of the day, I ran out of primer and scotchbrite pads, so I ran out for both.

Napa 7220 Self Etching Primer.

Maroon scotchbrite pads.

They didn’t have any maroon on the shelf, but they had some grey. I asked the guy out front, and he went to the back and grabbed 3 unpackaged pieces. Usually, there are $5 or $6 for the three. He gave them to me for a couple dollars, which was nice.

I like them cut in about 2" x 2" squares. Good to go until the end of the tail kit, I'm guessing.

I had some trouble with dimpling the last three holes in the rudder bottom rib. I drilled and countersunk a hole in a spare piece of steel I had, then realized it was too far from the edge to work. Awesome. Here’s a shot of my second attempt.

The new hole is on the bottom right. After countersinking, I used a rivet and my flush set to dimple the rib. Not perfect, but it'll work.

Then, I moved on to some riveting.

This is the spar and one of the spar reinforcements.

While I was moving everything around getting it ready for riveting, I broke my first tool. Now, it was about $0.50 from Harbor Freight, but I was still upset.

RIP cheap plastic clamp. (I'm lying. I actually gut the orange part off the other side and threw the clamp into a box somewhere. I'm sure it will come in handy at some point, even if it doesn't have the orange pads.)

Rivets were looking good, until the one to the right of the nutplate. Doh!

Which one of these is not like the other?

After a successful drill out (#2 of the day), I finished setting the rest of the spar reinforcements and snapped these two pictures.

Middle spar reinforcement.

Upper spar reinforcement.

That’s 16 set so far.

Then I mocked up the R-405PD Rudder Horn, R-710 Horn Brace, R-917 Shim, R-902 Spar, and R-904 Bottom Rib. Some people need to use blind rivets in some of these holes, but I figured I could do it with all solid rivets.

This is what I need to end up with after riveting.

I figured out that if I take off the R-904 bottom rib, I can reach in from above (bottom right of the picture) and get the horn brace to rudder horn rivets here, then slide the forward flange of the bottom rib under the rudder horn and get those from the lightening hole. Here I am setting the horn brace to rudder horn rivets.

I think this is going to work out well.

Another shot from further away.

Here’s all four of those set (set nicely, if I may add).

Horn brace to rudder horn rivets.

20 rivets set so far. Then I moved on to the R-606PP Reinforcement plate to R-902 Spar to R-917 Shim to R-405PD Rudder horn rivets. These need to be AN470AD4-7 rivets, which are LONG. I did have to drill one of them out. That’s #3 for the day. Boo.

This is an AN470AD4-7 rivet after drilling out. This is a long rivet.

But, I managed to reset it okay and get the others in with no trouble.

R-606PP to R-902 to R-917 to R-405PD rivets.

23 set. I scratched the R-405PD horn a little, so I scotchbrited it out, and shot some primer in there.

Some primer to cover the scratch.

Next, I slid the flange of the bottom rib under the rudder horn and lined up the holes. Now I need to drop some rivets in here.

Ready for riveting.

First, I set the horn brace to bottom rib rivets.

26 rivets set so far. These are looking good.

26 set. Finally, I set three more which are reinforcement plate to spar rivets.

These are above the bottom rib, so they are only reinforcement plate to spar rivets. Easy.

I started to rivet the complicated stuff together and LOOK WHAT I DID!

I think this is hilarious. Think I should drill it out?

This happened because I was bucking from above and shooting from below. The gun jumped around cause I was supporting it’s weight instead of letting gravity help me. That’s a no-no.

It was pretty easy to drill out (#4 for the day), here’s an inside shot; back to square one.

Ready to try again.

After setting the first two, a picture.

These look good.

And after much consternation (including using my double offset set as a bucking bar), I got the two outside rivets bucked.

Finally done with riveting for the day.

30 rivets set, 4 drilled out. Lastly, I matchrdrilled the E-614-020 to R-912 rib. This was a piece of pie.

Rudder counterbalance matchrilled to the counterbalance rib. Also, there's the hardware that will be used to fasten these two together.

4.5 hours today. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon.

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Vertical Stabilizer 99 Percent Complete

February 15, 2010

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Jack and Ginger were a little neglected this weekend while the girlfriend and I painted the master bedroom. I’m sorry, guys.

Anyway, tonight was all about them, so in the middle of playing, napping by the fire, and running in circles around the house, I managed to calm them down enough to help with the airplane a little.

With the few minutes I had, I managed to set the 22 rivets that were hard to reach with the squeezer last Friday night. A few of them, especially near the elevator hinge brackets, were still hard, but I managed to get them all set, even if it was after drilling a few out. I also set the three AN470AD4-6 rivets that hold the rear spar to the root rib and also install the three LP4-3 rivets that hold the rear spar to the middle rib.  Here are the dogs, once I got the vertical up into the ski equipment room, umm, I mean airplane parts storage room, umm, I mean burnt orange room.

The dogs flew again. This time with directional stability!

They aren’t really happy about being in the orange room in general (it is off limits, so they are very good about not crossing the threshold), but especially not when they have to pose in the airplane. I know for a fact, though, that they will love flying in it when it’s done.

Jack's not very happy about posing. He's ready to go.Jack's slightly less uncomfortable the further he is away from the "shiny blue thing that makes loud noises." Seriously, I heard him describe it that way.

Ginger’s okay, though. Especially when there is a bone on which she could be chewing.


Jack's slightly less uncomfortable the further he is away from the "shiny blue thing that makes loud noises." Seriously, I heard him describe it that way.

Finally, one without the dogs.

Tada!!!

All in all, a good night. 1 hour, 28 rivets set, 5 drilled out.

There are still a few more things I would like to do to the vertical, like drill out a couple of rivets and reset them, and clean up some of the skin edges, but for the most part, it can sit inside while I press on. I can’t believe it took me 16.5 hours for the vertical versus 44.5 for the horizontal. I think I would recommend to other newbies to start on the vertical. It seemed to be a lot easier, but I don’t know if that was because I had done everything once already on the horizontal, or because it really was easier. Whatever you do, don’t take my advice, though. You’ll die if you do.

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VS Skin Riveting, Part Deux

February 12, 2010

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I’m writing this on Monday for Friday night’s work, so we’ll see how much I can remember.

After a couple minutes of clecoing on the right side of the VS skin, I got started riveting. First, I set every other rivet along the VS-702 front spar and the VS-707 middle rib.

Left skin on the bottom, right skin on the top. That crazy long cleco keeps sneaking into the pictures.

After rivting the front spar and ribs to the skin, here’s an interior picture.

Lower interior of the vertical stabilizer.

Here’s a picture of my “every-other-rivet” style. It works well.

Ready for the remaining rivets.

There are 39 rivets (not counting the tip and root ribs) for the front spar and middle ribs. After setting these 39, I’m ready to pull off the blue vinyl from the interior.

Starting to look pretty. So is your face.

Another rivet picture. (I’m not sure I got these in the correct order…Hmm.)

VS shop heads.

More rivets.

More shop heads.

<sigh>

<yawn>

Had enough yet?

Even more shop heads.

Alright, now I get to start removing the blue vinyl. This is where the gravy is. After all that prep work and riveting, you get to remove the vinyl to reveal a beautiful shine on the inside. I can’t wait to do this on the exterior skin (just before polishing). Flash on for visibility.

Starting to remove the blue vinyl.

I left the flash on for this one so you could see inside.

Inside the lower bay of the VS.

And the upper bay.

Upper bay of the VS.

After removing all of the vinyl, I moved on to riveting the tip (VS-706) and root ribs (VS-704 and VS-705) to the skin. All was going well, until I got the front of the root rib.

Anyway, for some reason the skin wasn’t sitting well on the rib. I later determined it wasn’t interference, just the natural curve of the rib.

The lower right side of the VS skin wasn't sitting very well on the root rib.

My solution? Use a tape-covered clamp to squeeze them together.

Alright, let's set this rivet.

That did the trick. Who’s next?

Looks perfect now.

Here I am riveting some of the rest of the root rib. I was very careful to not rivet the 6 holes on each side the instructions tell you to leave open for the empennage fairing. I probably won’t use all 6, but I can always squeeze these later, so why close any metaphorical doors?

In the middle of squeezing the root rib.

Here’s the VS (except the rear spar) all riveted together. Notice the 6 clecos in the holes to leave open.

Where's that rear spar?

I inserted the rear spar and started setting rivets. All was going perfectly, until I realized that most of the rivets couldn’t be set because of conflicting shop heads on the rear spar. I had tried two rivets that were close to having enough clearance, and I messed both of the shop heads up. Here’s one.

Bad rivet shop head there in the middle. Obviously.

And here’s the other.

Another bad shop head there on the left. See the cleco in the middle of the picture. The rivet that will go in that hole doesn't have a lot of room to be bucked.

I gave up on any other rivets that would be close with the squeezer. I’ve been doing so well recently with the gun and bucking bar, that I’ll just wait till I can make loud noises and set them with the gun.

Where I left off for today. I'll figure out how to set the remaining rear spar to skin rivets sometime next week.

One and a half hours today. 135 rivets set; some shot, some squeezed. Only a few will have to be drilled out later. Good night tonight. Hopefully next week, the dogs will get some directional stability.

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