Lots and lots of rivets! After all the setup work last week, it was finally time to get down to business and get riveting. The right leading edge was sitting in the cradle, just begging to be riveted when I had to call it quits last week. You start with the first two rivets on each rib and start working your way down. The top two rivets were squeezed as were the rivets through the splice rib (though I banged some of them with the gun to get a smoother fit).
I’m getting pickier about my rivets particularly since this is a very visible surface. I ended up having to redo 7 or 8 rivets — clearly, my skills have atrophied. At least I was still pretty good at getting rivets out! This one came out very cleanly.
I use a wide head on the rivet gun instead of the floating mushroom head I started with. I got the idea from Carl and Rafael’s RV14 site. They previously built other RV’s and so most of their advice is pretty good. Here, I found that it is much easier to control the wide head and hold it flush. The packing tape idea is a pretty good one too! There is very little marring around the rivets and the heads are very flush to the touch. It gets a little harder right on the nose, but even those came out great!
On Saturday, I got the work about half done (in a half day — I’m trying to spend some time on the house getting it ready for the sale).
I also did a test fit of the landing light bracket. It definitely has a top side and a bottom side. The plans do not spell this out very well, but if you look closely at the illustration, you can see which was is up (Hint, the wider side goes up toward the stiffener).
As I got down to the last three or four rivets in the nose, I had to pull the leading edge out of the stand and reach in. This was pretty awkward. I found that my new round tungsten bucking bar was really handy. It is a little shorter than my rectangular bar and about .25 pounds heavier. It really sets the rivets nicely.
I still have a couple of rows to do on the other side (and the landing light bracket), but I had to cut Sunday’s session short because I was taking my daughter out to practice for her driving test. I also got a call to pick up a picture at Michaels. A massive squall line moved through while I was in the store, inundating the parking lot. As the line moved north, we got blue skies and a nice double rainbow.
I also got a package in the mail… I saw a classified ad for a Nomex flight suit for only $30. This is a used Air Force one. It has velcro for subdued patches and the like. I’m still a couple of years away from first flight, but this was a bargain.
Hmmm…. perhaps I can dust off my old Space Command patches from my time in the 1000 Satellite Operations Group! Or maybe StarFleet Command 🙂