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Wuhoo! As you can tell by the title, I got a TON of airplane work done today. I actually did everything in three 1-hour sessions. Worked out well for everyone.
In the first session, I unclecoed the work I had done last night, and built a little stand (like every other builder) to screw the spar to for riveting help.
I copied this from many builders.
Whoa, I guess the next picture I took was of some shop heads. Moving right along…
My old bucking bar (non tungsten) has an angled edge to it, so I could wedge it in here to buck. It worked perfectly.
In terms of shooting the rivets from the outside, I copied Mike Bullock (about 3/4 the way down this page), but instead of building a little wood stand, I just stacked 3 2×4 blocks. It worked for me with my gun size/flush set, etc.
I'm about halfway through the top skin-to-spar rivets here, demonstrating the technique.
To buck, you reach up, around, and under the lower skin to hold the bucking bar in place.
After you buck, you slide both hands down a few holes and do it again.
I’m glad I’m pretty strict about edge-finishing skins.
This is NOT a cry for help. Well, maybe it is, but it would only be for some sort of arm-hair control product. (I could braid that if I wanted to...)
Alright, moving on, here’s an eerily blue (LED flashlight) picture of the top spar rivets done.
Left side of the picture for the interesting bits.
I didn’t shoot and buck the inboard- and outboard-most rivets. I could easily squeeze those, except for the very edge ones, which tended to sit up from the underlying skin. I devised a little trick to hold the skin down while leaving enough space for a rivet set (of the squeezer) to do it’s magic.
If my side clamp would have been a little longer, I wouldn't have needed the washer, but this worked out okay. (Okay = perfect.)
42 rivets done with no mistakes!
Next up is to get the nose ribs and main ribs riveted on the top side of the aileron.
And thus starts the second session of the night.
CRAP, I forgot to prep the main ribs.
Deburr, dimpl- CRAP, I can’t use a regular die on the aft-most holes. Out comes my steel bar with a countersink in the edge. You remember this from my empennage posts however many years ago…
You stick a rivet in the hole to be dimpled, then put the underside in the countersink, and give it a few pulls from a rivet gun with a flush set.
Not very pretty, but it works great.
I love it when I already have solutions to problems.
This are going mighty smoothly.
So smoothly, in fact, that I HAD to mess something up. Can you see what’s wrong with this picture?
Yup, the two flush rivets on the right side of the picture shouldn't have gone in yet, they should wait for the rib. Dumb Andrew.
While I’m waiting on the ribs, let me set the nose rib rivets on the top side.
5 here, and 5 on the other side. (The two bad rivets are still in this picture, I can't remember when I ended up drilling those out.)
After those nose rivets, they want you to set the top rivets in the other ribs, then cleco everything together and flip it over.
I’m not quite ready for the main rivets yet, but I think I’m okay to cleco everything together.
HA! I TOTALLY REMEMBERED TO USE RTV AT THE AFT END OF THE STIFFENERS!
I remembered this for my first elevator, but then forgot it on the second one. I’ve been reminding myself for A YEAR AND A HALF to not forget it on the ailerons.
I bet I forget it on the left aileron.
Just a dab, behind the...stiffeners.
These pictures might be out of order. After the RTV, I clecoed the bottom part of the skin to the spar and then went outside to fetch the ribs, which were dry (although not primed in this picture below. Weird.)
Right Inboard and Right Outboard. Pretty complicated, right?
Okay, I think we’re back on track now. The ribs are dry, and they are now riveted to the top part of the skin.
16 more flush rivets. 8 on each side.
Then, the third session of the night, and the last few steps of the aileron!
First, flip that bad boy over and make sure it’s flat. I used the MDF workbench, an extra piece of MDF, and some stones.
Things were flatter than Kansas.
They first want you to set all the counterbalance pipe ribs.
This went great, and I didn't feel like I had to round off the rivet heads with a hammer after setting them like other builders...
After those 14 rivets, you’re supposed to set the 6 nose rib rivets, 3 on each side.
This is a really long post. Are you guys still with me?
I hope so, this is the fun part.
After those, you set the main rib-to-skin- rivets (16 there, too), which are partially hidden by the top piece of MDF here, then move on to the skins-to-spar blind rivets.
Halfway done here.
A closeup after pulling those. Looks pretty good, right?
That was 42 more rivets.
Then, you step back and cheer!
Or don't cheer, and just take another closeup picture.
Okay, have you guys been counting rivets with me? I couldn’t keep track very well, so I started just writing them on the skins.
My final number for the evening?
With about 10 minutes left before the next half-hour tick (cause I only log time in 30 minute increments), I decided to get the aileron brackets attached. All went well (with the usual AN3-4A bolts, some AN960-10(regular and/or L) washers, and AN365-1032 nuts, except there was one hole that wasn’t quite perfect. It was fine, but just stubborn enough that my pinky (the only finger I could use to slide the bolts in) couldn’t push hard enough.
My solution? Take my economy squeezer with no die in the yoke (the black part), and squeeze the bolt in. Since there is no die back there, the bolt just slides into the hole in the yoke as it’s squeezed.
After some fiddling, I got all of the nuts on, just past finger-tight. I need an in-lb torque wrench and some inspection lacquer.
This is the outboard end. The inboard end is similar, but a little different.
Then, I had to take a step back and look at my completed aileron.
(Triumphant music playing...)
Good day today, and I got to take an airplane part up to the airplane storage room, I mean, the exercise room…
3 hours. 150 rivets, 4 of them drilled out because I’m dumb and didn’t pay attention.
Time for bed.
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