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Today I started left HS skin riveting.
The big takeaway is that I hate squeezing AN470AD4- rivets. For some reason (it’s gotta be user error), I keep bending them over. Finally, I broke out the gun and got some rivets set. I think I may need a better bucking bar. The fact I set some really nice rivets with the crappy bar means that a tungsten bucking bar will probably be my favorite tool. Anyway, first picture is me riveting HS-710 and HS-714 to the left HS-702 front spar. You can see the two rivets in the upper right side of the picture needed to be drilled out. Oh wait. They all needed to be drilled out. See how I put the manufactured side on the thicker material here? Wrong, drill them out. That’s one of the reasons I drilled out 11 rivets today. I didn’t get all of these reset, but I did get the ones that would be inaccessible once I started riveting on the skin. In the picture below, I set the six behind the HS-404 rib, and six of the ten in front (lower right) of the HS-404 rib. A few of those bent over again, so I called it quits on this part and moved on. I’ll have to drill out more rivets tomorrow. Ugh.
Squeezed, and then drilled out HS-710 and HS-714.
Next, I started some skin riveting, with the HS-707. You can see my first two skin riveting shop heads.
My first two flush rivets (well, first two on the skin).
Then I shot two more and took this picture. Sorry about the fingerprint smudges. Rest assured, the skin is nice and smooth.
First 4 flush rivets on the left HS. They look so good.
Finished up the top, and then riveted the bottom (except for the last bottom skin rivet, the bottom 1/8″ cleco prevented the bucking bar from getting in there, so I’ll set this after I remove HS-708). The second and third rivets on the bottom need to be replaced. They are probably okay for such a non-structural area, but I am a perfectionist.
After riveting the top and bottom skins (to HS-707). Except the most aft skin rivet on HS-707. (See the lower 2nd and 3rd rivet from the right? Those shop heads are too small. I'll need to replace those.)
Drilled them out, and replaced them. They look much better now.
Replaced with AD3-4 instead of AD3-3.5. I don't know why these needed longer rivets when every other rivet looked okay.
Next, I finished riveting HS-710 and HS-714 (front spar reinforcement angles) to HS-702 (front spar). Shop heads on the thicker material.
HS-710 and HS-714 successfully riveted to the front spar.
Here’s a closeup of the two replaced rivets.
Another closeup of the HS-707 rivets.
Next, they have you cleco in the front spar and cleco HS-708 (what I am calling the middle aft rib) into place. (Ha, the Yard gave me a long reach 3/32″ cleco in my bag of used clecos. You can see it on the upper left.)
Clecoed the front spar and HS-708 in place, ready to blind rivet.
One of the LP4-3 blind rivets set. I had to grind down my cheapo National Tool and Equipment blind rivet puller. Not hard, took about 5 minutes, and ended up working really nicely in here.
First blind rivet on the project. (I think it's an LP4-3.)
And all three complete.
All three blind riveted. Time to move on.
Here, I got a shot of my painter’s tape covered bucking bar just after bucking the lower tip rib rivet.
Riveting HS-706 (tip rib) to HS-702 (front spar). I think I could have squeezed these if I had unclecoed the skin a little, but I was feeling good about shooting them, and I'm not a fan of squeezing AD4- rivets since the "let's have fun squeezing and drilling out 9 rivets" fiasco this morning.
I like these rivets. They gave me no problems.
Next, I started setting the skin to front spar rivets. I shoudl elaborate on my technique a little here. I would remove a cleco, put in the AN426AD3-3.5 rivet, put some blue painters tape over the rivet, then shoot and buck it. The tape did wonders to protect the skin from any blemishes caused by the flush rivet set. I taught myself this trick after scratching the hell out of the practice kit. (note: I wish the practice kit had more AD4- rivets in it.) Anyway, these all look sufficient…
The first skin to spar rivets on the top.
I managed the rest of the HS702 (front spar) and HS-708 (aft middle rib) to skin rivets. There were 42 of them. On each side. I wrapped my bucking bar in blue painters tape to protect the skeleton from dings and scratches. Worked like a charm. I’ll replace all of the tape then next time I have a big rivet day.
I wrapped my bucking bar in tape. Here is the result after 113 rivets today. (Well, 124, I had to drill out 11 rivets.)
Here are some after shots. The HS is upside down, so even though this is the left HS, we are looking at the tip rib here.
All done. I may go back and see if there are any underdriven rivets in here. I was being rushed back into the house for dinner after I finished riveting.
Looking at HS-708 and the blind rivets holding it to HS-702 (front spar) and HS-707 (middle tip rib). It looks like the spar is scratched here, but it is really just a couple scuffs from my knuckles and the handle from the blind rivet puller.
More after pictures.
This is looking toward the center of the airplane (toward HS-405, aft inboard rib)
No closeups, because I didn’t clean off the skin yet, but still, it looks so nice. Also, I need to remember to stop dripping air tool oil all over my workbench.
Hooray for a riveted skin. It looks like it might fly one day.
After I got all the riveting done, I started peeling off the blue vinyl from the interior. The primer on the vinyl flaked off as I peeled, and it got everywhere. I don’t know how to prevent this, though, and after a quick sweep with the vacuum, it looked wonderful again. Before I close up, I’ll probably wipe off the unprimed aluminum with acetone or similar to make sure I have all the fingerprints (oils) off.
Removed the blue vinyl on the interior. Me likey.
I also got a half hour of right HS skin deburring tonight. We’ll see.
Noon to 1pm, 1:30pm to 4:30pm, then 9-9:3pm while watching the UNC/VT game. Go heels. 4.5 very productive hours.
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