September 10, 2008

Bottom Wing Skin Riveting continues - 4.0 hrs.

Today I continued riveting the bottom skins on the right wing. I'm doing most of it solo, which takes more time. But hey, it's progress and the results are excellent. I finished the inboard skin and riveted the flap hinge on, too.

Riveting solo on these skins can be done with excellent results if you take your time, and think of one rivet at a time. I used some cushioning material against my arm wherever it was possible. I also used a shop light inside the wing along with my little inspection mirror. This way I was able to inspect every single bucktail and make sure it was a good rivet, within specs.

Sometimes, depending on which rib you are working on, it requires left-hand riveting because the rib flanges can be oriented either direction. It took some time to get comfortable with this. I practiced on some scrap first. Once I got into it, I got excellent results with either hand. Again, just take your time and make sure the rivet gun is straight and the bucking bar is positioned flat to the rivet before you pull the trigger. These shots also show the v-blocks I made on the crossbeam of the wing cradle in the background to hold the horizontal stabilizer and elevators in storage. I don't have room to strap it to the wall anywhere in here, so this was a good solution. I think it looks cool, too!

I just had to throw in these photos of my battle scars from the evening. This is the bodily damage that comes from riveting solo. Ha! It's not a terminal illness, that's for sure. You can find ways to reach every single rivet, by reaching in through the ribs, the access openings, or just lifting the skin up and pushing your arm in. It's just one rivet at a time. Over and over. Sometimes the holes you are reaching through in the ribs are tight enough that there's no room for any cushioning material against your arm. And this is often the result. Estimated healing time - one good nights' sleep!

Minor discomfort... and believe me, it's all worth it!

Before calling it a night, I got all the riveting done on the inboard skin, the lap joint with the outboard skin, and the flap hinge riveted in place. You can see all the tools of the trade in this shot... the rivet gun, clecos, two shaker canisters of rivets, my little tungsten bucking bar, inspection mirror, etc. The shop light is inside the wing, and was moved from bay to bay to illuminate the work as I went along so I could inspect every rivet.

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