October 26-28, 2009

Finishing up the Steps, Moving On - 5.0 Hrs.

Today, I finally put my rivet gut to work on the steps. Like they say, "keep pounding those rivets"! I ran into a challenge, however.

Most of these rivets are easily shot. There are two of them, however, that are nearly impossible to reach inside. Every bucking bar I have is too wide to fit in between the tubing and the vertical bulkhead for the two rivets shown above. A lot of guys give up and just use pop rivets here. I searched my shop to try to find something to use to buck these last two rivets. I finally came up with something creative.

I started with my heaviest squeezer yoke and an ordinary hardware store bolt. First, I polished the head of the bolt on my scotchbrite wheel, then I wrapped it with layers of masking tape until it fit nice and snug in the hole.

Voila! Instant skinny bucking bar!

It fits down in this narrow space just right so you can buck those last two rivets. It's kind of difficult to hold, so you may want to get a partner to hold it or shoot the rivet while you hold it.

My steps are now installed. FINALLY! Below, right and left sides as seen from the inside.

For the rest of the evening, I installed more of the soundproofing foam.


Then, the aft baggage side panels are installed. Pop rivets are used on top, flush rivets on the aft flange, and nutplates on the forward end. If you're building an RV and you're near this point, BE SURE TO INSTALL the RUDDER CABLES FIRST! Either that, or leave the snap bushings out so you can put them in later. The ends of my rudder cables wouldn't fit through the snap bushings. You have to take the snap bushing out of the hole, squeeze it to flatten it a bit, then the rudder cable end will pass through. Then you snap the bushing back in the hole. There's no way you can do that with this panel riveted on. I've seen a lot of builders putting these panels on first. I hate to think of the struggle they encounter when it's time to install the rudder cables. Why not do it now?

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