Sun Apr 18 2010

More horizontal stabilizer assembly

This morning I riveted the front spar back together in preparation for my friend, Scott, to come help rivet the HS back together. All these were done with the squeezer.

Last night I realized that I only had two BSPQ-5-4 rivets left. They're only used in four places on the HS and nowhere else on the airplane, so Van's only sent six of them. Since they got drilled out, I needed to find two more. Fortunately my friend, Brent, had two left from when he assembled the HS of his RV-8. He was nice enough to dig through his miscellaneous parts, find these, and set them aside for me to come pick them up. Thanks, Brent!

Scott flew his C-140 up to DLZ early this afternoon to help rivet this stuff back together. First, we assembled the middle and outboard ribs to the front spar, then riveted the the skins to the middle ribs and front spar.

Here's the HS partially reassembled. Last part of the HS we worked on was to rivet the inboard ribs to the front spar. I should be able to do all the rest of the riveting with the squeezer.

Next, we moved up to the garage. The weather was very nice (cool, but beautiful), so we worked with the garage door open. It took a while to get all these rivets in. We had troubles with the outboard four rivets on each side due to the taper of the fuselage sides. Neither one of us is very good at using the single offset rivet set, so we put the manufactured head on whichever side of the bulkhead that made driving the easiest. It would have been nice to have all the manufactured heads aft, but this is totally airworthy and is going to be buried under the aft deck pretty soon.

After dropping Scott back off at the airport and watching him depart (thanks for the help!) and grabbing some dinner with Kerin, I got back to work. I got about half the rivets in each one of the two bars when I noticed something wasn't right. Can you tell me what's wrong with this picture. So back to drilling rivets out. 20 minutes later, the bar was riveted back in in the correct position.

Here's the F-712 bulkhead with the bars fully riveted. If you notice that the angle is missing from across the top of the bulkhead, you're more observant than me. Out came the top two rivets...

...and in goes the angle across the top of the F-712 bulkhead. You can also see that I managed to partially reinstall the F-713 bulkhead.

When it came time to reinstall the rivets along the lower edge of the side skin, the (thick!) bottom skin, and the J-channel stiffener, I could see that the dimples were somewhat mushroomed out so that AN426AD3 rivets weren't going to work well.

Fortunately I had previously purchased some NAS1241AD3-4 rivets for occasions such as this. These rivets are 1/64 inch oversize but have the same head size as an AN426AD3 rivet. I tried installing a couple of these rivets, but I really need a set of hands on the gun and a set on the bucking bar, so I'm going to need to get a helper. Perhaps tomorrow I'll finish reassembly of the horizontal stabilizer.