July 21, 2009

More riveting and dimpling - 2.0 hrs.

Today, I finished the dimpling on the left forward side skin and riveted the doubler plate to the skin. Both skins are now ready to fasten to the fuse. But before I do that, I wanted to finish the riveting underneath the structure. So I riveted the aft ends of 4 of the baggage ribs to the F-706 bulkhead. Most of these rivets could be squeezed. The two ribs that remain are the center ribs. These won't be so easy to rivet. I want to think it through first and get some help before I hammer these rivets in. I really, really don't want any mistakes now. None of these parts can be easily replaced if I mess something up. So I'm going to take my sweet time and make sure it's done carefully and done right. I don't have pictures of these exciting moments. There's just not much to show. But I'll have more to show very soon.

July 22, 2009

Riveted Seat Ribs and aft fuse to center section - 3.0 hrs.

I'm going to get as much riveting done as possible before adding the side skins to the fuse. My thinking is, why box things in when much more can be reached or seen more easily now? With that in mind, I got busy today riveting the F-715 outer seat ribs in place. This can all be done solo with the side skins off. So I riveted them to the bottom center section skin, and then riveted the aft ends to the F-705 bulkhead. (The forward ends are riveted in conjunction with the side skins, so that will wait for now.) Then, I was able to rivet the aft double row of rivets that connect the center section bottom skin with the bottom skin on the fuselage. Solo riveting has it's risks, and I ended up putting a bad smiley in during the process. There's now a small dent in the bottom skin that looks just horrible. It sickens me. I worked with it for a long time to try to fix it, and I was able to improve it a little but there's only so much you can do. Damage like this stretches the metal a slight amount, and there's just no way to flatten it out. The good news is, unless you lay on your back and slide under the airplane, you're not going to see it. I've decided I'm not going to take any chances with the rest of the airplane where it shows. So I won't be doing any solo riveting up where it really counts. I'll just have to be patient until I can rustle up some help.

July 24, 2009

More riveting - 3.5 hrs.

Today I finally figured out how I'm going to proceed on the remaining two center baggage ribs where they join the F-706 bulkhead. This is a tight area (no pictures, sorry) and it required some thought and planning before just jumping in and doing something I might regret. I got Daniel to come out when I was ready, and he helped me hammer these rivets in place. I was really glad to get this area finished. The last thing I did before clecoing the side skins on was to rivet the ends of the armrests to the F-704 and F-705 bulkheads. With no further riveting possible before putting the side skins back on, I went ahead and clecoed the side skins to the fuselage. It really looks good to see it back together again, for good this time.

I don't have the underlying baggage area ribs in place yet; hence, the lack of clecos in that part of the skin.

July 25, 2009

Prosealing and Riveting - 5.5 hrs.

Today I was looking at the seam made where the side skin joins to the bottom of the fuselage. It occurs to me that someday, somewhere, this airplane will get rained on. Or heavy dew will accumulate on it and run down the sides. Or, just washing it and cleaning it will bring water runoff into the picture. If there's one place where water can potentially wick into the seam, and stay there to potentially cause corrosion or problems, this is the place. This is the one place where the skin doesn't overlap the one below it. So I did some thinking and decided to add a layer of proseal to this seam, like we do with the fuel tanks, to prevent leaks. There's absolutely no harm in doing this, and who knows. It may just prevent some big problems years down the road. So I mixed up some proseal and took the time to put a thin layer under the skin, so it will seal this joint. Then I put a cleco in every hole to hold it down nice and tight.

The curved conical part of the side skin actually slides under the bottom skin here, so I sealed it up, too. I just feel much better about having this done. Later, Daniel came out and helped me rivet all of these rivets. Those of you with a sharp eye probably notice the 4 copper clecos in the middle. What's going on there? Well, when I first fitted the side skin and drilled it to the bottom, I wasn't happy with a small gap I had to the left, where the skin rivets to the F-623 rib underneath. To close up the gap, I removed the clecos and pushed the skin in until it was tight. The 3/32" holes were then offset a small amount. I just drilled them out to 1/8" on these 4 holes, and used 1/8" flush rivets here. The gap closed up nicely, and I'm very happy with the nice tight seam that resulted.

Here's a wider view, just before Daniel helped me rivet it together. From now on I'll need help with riveting, before this fuse gets flipped over.

July 26, 2009

Correcting a mistake, more Riveting - 3.0 hrs.

Today I discovered a big mistake I made. Somehow, in all the preparation work, I failed to dimple and/or countersink the sides of the F-705 bulkhead for the side skins. Rats! Now that the side skins have been partially riveted and prosealed, I make this discovery. Too late to uncleco the skin, take it off and take care of it. Dang it! Fortunately, I was able to uncleco much of the skin and pull it out of the way enough to get my drill in there and countersink the bottom half. I was able to use my pop-rivet dimple dies from inside to get the rest. So I got it done, even though it took a lot longer than it would have otherwise. Once the side skin was clecoed back on, I began installing a handful of rivets that can be reached with my squeezer. These rivets hold the side skins to the F-704 and F-715 seat ribs. They can be reached with the squeezer through the big round hole in the side for the aileron pushrods.

July 30, 2009

Riveting - 4.5 hrs.

It's frustrating to be at a place where I can't go any further without some help. Even though there are several people around here who can help me, and they are willing and happy to help me, people are busy and can't always come out in the shop with me. So it's been several days since I've been able to do anything, but Daniel had some time tonight and came out to help me for a while. We got busy and riveted the side skins to the F-704 and F-705 bulkheads. We also riveted the skin to the baggage area on the right side. Also, over the last few days, with a little time here and there, I have been able to squeeze the skin-to-longeron rivets.

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)