Finished Riveting Right Wing Main Ribs to the Main Spar

January 21, 2011

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Well, after a quick workout, I manage to get a few rivets set in the main spar.

I quickly got 6 of the 7 remaining right main ribs riveted to the main spar (the outboard rib doesn’t get riveted to the main spar because it shares rivets with the leading edge outboard rib…the rest of them are slightly offset from their leading edge rib neighbors.)

Anyway, after 30 rivets set, I decided that 6 of them needed to be drilled out. Here’s a good example.

Those are called "smileys."

I know exactly why it happens. It’s because I am watching the bucking bar and shop head form. When the shop head is set appropriately, I’m subconsciously lifting the bucking bar away from the shop head before letting go of the rivet gun trigger. The rivet set bounces on the head and creates the smiley.

Of course, when I concentrate on letting go of the trigger first, all goes well.

Anyway, I’ve been trying a new technique with drilling out these AD4- rivets. I’m actually drilling them out from the shop head side. Assuming the shop head is centered over the hole, it is easier to center-locate the drill bit on the flat shop head than the rounded manufactured head. Here are a few pictures of my good results.

I didn't get any oversized holes at all.

Here either.

Here’s what the drilled out rivet looks like.

I started from the shop head side (left here) and finished just prior to hitting the manufactured head. This worked great for me.

After re-setting those 6 rivets, I snagged a picture of all (except for the outboard) ribs riveted to the right main spar.

Wuhoo! Big pieces permanently together!

I flipped the spar over on the stand and clecoed on the rear spar.

One cleco in the rear spar for each rib.

I may get to riveting the rear spar tomorrow…we’ll see.

1.0 hours. 30 rivets set, 6 of them drilled out and re-set.

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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.

Leading Edge Rib-to-Spar Drilling

January 2, 2011

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Well, after a quick run to Lowe’s to pick up a few more pieces of shoe molding for the family room (see my first floor wood floors page and today’s update here), I finished the family room and then headed out to the garage for an awesome two hours worth of building.

Why awesome?

First of all, I picked up these awesome tools for the project. I needed some good 3″ clamps for the spars (where they will attach to the wing stands) and a couple of plumb bobs to help measure twist. Also, I’ve been using my plastic triangle from 7th grade geometry as a square…it’s about time I got a real square.

Tools! Tools! Tools!

Then, I got out the jigsaw with a medium metal cutting blade and cut a couple 5″ pieces of 1.5″ angle. I attached these angles to the outboard ribs, which will allow the ribs to be attached to the wing stands.

I used 1/4" bolts instead of 3/16". I hope I don't die. (Also, don't pay attention to my edge distances...)

Here’s a good shot of what I’m trying to accomplish. The skins will overhang (to the right in this picture) the spar by about an inch from the last set of holes in the spar. I used the 1.5″ angle so I have adequate spacing (don’t have to notch my support angle to accommodate the skins).

This will work great.

Okay, next up, rib preparation. Here are 10 of the 12 leading edge ribs (these 10 have the prepunched holes).

Leading edge ribs.

After spending about an hour deburring edges with the scotchbrite wheel, straightening the flanges to 90° and then fluting between holes to make sure the holes are straight, I numbered the ribs for each of the wings and then got to match-drilling.

The only difficult parts here are that a couple of the W-709 ribs have holes where they don’t need them and don’t have holes where they do need them. The picture below illustrates.

Ignore the row of holes that has a cleco in it already; these are the main rib attach holes. See how the three middle holes leading edge rib lines up nicely with the prepunched holes in the spar? Those are easy to matchdrill to final size.

The outer two holes on the rib get "abandoned" while the two outer holes in the spar are used to backdrill new holes into the rib.

Here, I am using the holes in the spar to drill the new holes in the rib.

Matchdrilling using the spar.

I threw a couple clecos into the new holes. Now there are 5 attach holes, and 2 abandoned holes (you can see them on the outside).

There are 4 total leading edge ribs that get this treatment. It's easy to tell which ones need it as you assemble the leading edge.

Then, I spent another half hour making sure all of the rib-to-main-spar holes were drilled. Now, they are ready for disassembly, deburring, prep for priming, priming, and assembly.

Oh wait. I still have to drill all the rib to rear-spar holes. I’ll do that tomorrow.

Before shutting down for the night, I snapped a picture of the two wings in the stands.

It's awesome to be at a point where I can see two big wings in the garage.

A half hour of attaching the outboard ribs to the wing stands, then 1 hour straightening and fluting rib flanges, then another half hour drilling ribs to the main spar.

I’m waiting on a 2-inch scotchbrite wheel from Cleveland Tools, so tomorrow I’ll drill all the main ribs to the rear spar and then I’ll find something else to do.

2.0 hours of big skeleton work.

Oh, and we shot this video the other day of the pups howling at a fire engine. I won’t ever not find this hilarious.

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