October 14, 2008

Riveting and bolting things together, F-704 Bulkheads - 4.0 Hrs.

Tonight was some of my favorite kind of time on this project. After all the work preparing parts, you finally get to rivet stuff together.

I started with these brackets, which go on the forward side of the forward F-704 bulkhead. I don't know why, but I spent a lot of time staring at the drawings and still managed to rivet the stiffener on the wrong side of the bulkhead (it's on the back side behind the smaller bracket... not seen in the above picture). No harm done, fortunately. I just had to drill it out and do it right.

Here's the right side smaller bracket. The larger missing one is the one I ruined the other night. The new one is on its way to me from Vans.

And here's the aft side of the aft bulkhead, with the F-633 brackets bolted in place. The control stick assembly for the pilot goes in between these brackets. I'll be assembling and fitting those parts here real soon.

Next, it was time to rivet the uprights to the bulkheads. I was able to squeeze most of these rivets with my squeezer. About a half-dozen on each upright needed to be shot and bucked, though. Here's the forward bulkhead all finished (except for the missing bracket on the right side). Below is the aft bulkhead, all finished. Wouldn't you know it, I'll admit another mistake. In my haste the other day, I went ahead and riveted the thick short vertical bars in place on the back side of this bulkhead without thinking that this upright goes in place first. The bucktails from those rivets stood in the way. So I had to drill out those rivets and do it over. Those -14 length rivets are the longest ones I have ever had to drill out. It's not easy! I thought I could drill off the head and punch it out with my punch, but no. Not so simple. Those suckers were really tight. I worked quite a while carefully drilling those out without causing any damage. Then I went ahead and riveted this all together.

Here's the pair of bulkheads, all finished for now.

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