November 9, 2009

Prep Work and Riveting the F-705G - 3.0 Hrs.

Today I finally tackled a little problem that's been on my mind for quite a while. It has to do with the 3 forward-most rivets on the top skin.

There's a bit of a dilemma here. There's a thick stiffener angle under the F-705 bulkhead in this corner. It's the F-705G angle. If you rivet this angle in place first, there's very little room for these 3 rivets and you can't get a bucking bar in there because the angle is in the way. Some builders have used pop rivets here. I hope to avoid that. On the other hand, if you rivet the skin in place first, it's very difficult to get in there and rivet the F-705G. Besides, I would like to keep this skin off and out of the way as long as possible while I work on other things in this area. So I would like to have the angle riveted in place now. When I visited my friend Stephen Christopher in Seattle a while back, I got a great idea from him. He solved this problem by using a thin razor blade to buck these rivets. No kidding! I thought if I filed a bit of the F-705G angle down for each rivet, I could use a makeshift bucking tool to reach in there when the time comes to rivet this skin on.

Here's my solution to this problem. I started by scrounging around to find something to use as a makeshift bucking bar. I found this little cheapo wrench that came in a bag of pocket door installation hardware. I wanted something a bit more substantial than a razor blade. A thin metal piece like this could work. I plan on holding my tungsten bucking bar up against this thing to back it up with more mass when the time comes to rivet. First, I filed away some of the metal on the end to round the end and make it thinner and then I polished it on the scotchbrite wheel.

Then I filed these notches in the F-705G where the rivet tails will come in through the side skin. I made the notches just wide enough for the bucking tool. I was able to leave enough edge distance for each of the rivets on the F-705G.

Here I'm checking to make sure this is workable. It fits! I carved out enough room for the rivet tail and this tool to be able to fit in there. The corner rivet will be the hardest to reach. This tool will slip in at an angle. It's so much easier to think about this and do it now while I can work with these parts on the bench. When the time comes, I'll hold my bucking bar against this little tool right up next to the angle to back it up and give it the mass needed to buck the rivets. I'm confident it will work. Stay tuned. It may be a while before I'm ready to rivet the top skin on.

Now that I'm confident that I have a way to make it work, it's time to go ahead with the riveting of the F-705G and the F-705 bulkhead.

So now it's time to rivet the 705G angles in place. I riveted these 6 rivets first. The 4 rivets through the red F-757, and the two flush rivets through the longeron. They all go through the F-705 bulkhead and the F-705G angle below.

Here's what it looks like underneath. Next, there are 9 rivets that go through the forward face of the F-705 and through the F-705G behind it. The open slot has to do with the tip-up canopy latch, and the open hole is where my static line will pass through. By the end of the evening, I had both of these done.

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