Tue May 22 2007

Riveting left wing top main skins

This picture is actually carried over from the night before. Brent Owens is a member of the local EAA chapter. He's building an RV-8 and is in approximately the same phase of construction as me. Brent made an offer to help at the last meeting and I took him up on it! :-) He's coming over tomorrow to help rivet the main skins on the left wing, so I wanted to get the tank set back on the wing just to make sure the alignment was still good. After much wrestling with clecos and .032 inch thick skin, I got the tank back together and set it on the wing. The fit is pretty good and there's only a small gap between the trailing edge of the tank skin and the leading edge of the main skin. I believe that gap will close up nicely once it is screwed onto the spar.

I noticed earlier on a builder's website that the bottom most rivet on the two aileron attach brackets should be an AN426, not an AN470. That means that I need to take out one of these rivets. It's the bottom one in the row of five, here.

I also need to take out the right-most in the row of five here too.

Got this one drilled out quickly...

...and this one too.

But after removing these two rivets, I realized that there were going to be two skin-to-rear-spar rivets blocked by the aileron brackets. Gotta take these suckers completely off (again). Arghhhh!

Well, Brent showed up and we drove one rivet when the pizza arrived. We broke for food, got like five more rivets driven, then another EAA-er, Greg Schroeder (who works with Brent), stopped in. Greg was kind enough to snap a couple pictures of the riveting action. Here's me bucking.

...While Brent drove.

Opposite angle.

Brent and I had a good system worked out. He would put in the rivet and get set, then say "ready". That was my cue to put the bucking bar on the rivet. Once in position, I'd say "go" and he'd drive the rivet. We were averaging about eight to 10 seconds per rivet when we were "in the zone".

Greg helped out by removing the clecos as we went.

Before Brent had to take off, we got about 90% - 95% of the rivets put in. We only had one bad one and that was my fault. Hopefully Brent didn't get in too much hot water with his wife (Lisa?) for staying late. :-) Thanks again Brent! Hopefully I can give you a hand on your tanks pretty soon.