Mon Mar 08 2021

Riveting latch angles to side skin

Jo was over yesterday, and we riveted these latch angles to the side skin. Unfortunately, the spacing of these angles when riveted seems to be somewhat different than when clecoed. The latch and latch handle don't want to fit between the angles...too tight.

The aluminum of the latch and latch handle are .126 thick.

Between the angles, I can fit a .126 thick stack of feeler gauges...but they only go in a tiny bit before the fit is too tight. It seems the UHMW covered faces of the angles aren't parallel.

It's worse here...can only fit .121 thick stack of feeler gauges.

So, I decided to remove the bottom angle and make some adjustments.

Tweaked the 90 degree angle of the flanges somewhat so that the face of this angle will be parallel to the one above. Also sanded and filed about .005 off the thickness at the forward end of this angle. Having removed the primer, it needed primed again. Of course it started spitting rain right as I was about to start spraying, so I pulled the spray rack under the eave of the house and applied some primer.

Wind was picking up and it was getting cooler (maybe a cold front coming through?), so I used a hair dryer to dry the part for a second coat.

After priming was complete, I baked the part in my shop toaster oven for 30 minutes at 200 F. Ready to apply a new layer of UHMW tape. Adhered this piece with pressure as before.

Reinstalled the bottom angle. It fits well, but I'm disappointed that the latch handle now seems biased towards the bottom of the slot.

In an attempt to help this situation, I drilled out most of the rivets of the top angle, used a spacer between the upper and lower angle to push the upper up a few thousandths, then re-riveted.

After that was done, I drilled out the matching rivets of the lower angle, and clamped it to the upper (through a piece of scrap .126 aluminum) before riveting. It helped a bit, but the handle is still not centered. It doesn't drag on the skin when opening, but it's really close. I'm considering whether to take the bottom angle off (yet again) and widen the slot downward a few thousandths.