<November 1, 2005>

Begun Rear Spar Riveting

Wow, tonight has some highs and lows. I started by riveting the rear spar reinforcing fork to the spar. About halfway through the right fork/spar I realized something, I forgot to dimple the holes in the spar flange above the fork. Oh $*@%!!!! Panic came quickly, then denial, then anger. I reached for the dimple dies, but no luck, there wasn't enough space to get the dies in there and the spar was too thick for either the vise-grip or pop-rivet dimpler. D'oh! How could I be so stupid, and on the spars? After about 3 minutes of frantic thought, I came to the realization that the only way I way going to be able to dimple those holes was to drill out the rivets and remove the fork. The thought of enlarged holes and having to replace the spar came to mind, but I couldn't see another option.

I grabbed my new rivet-removal tool and mounted the #30 bit in it. I decided that I would try one rivet, and if I didn't like the way the rivet removal tool worked, I would stop and find another way to dimple these holes. Well, the first rivet went fine with the rivet removal tool guiding the bit right down thru the center of the rivet. So I tried another rivet, then another, then another. After a few minutes I had all the rivets drilled out without a single problem. I then chucked in a #31 bit into my drill to remove any stubborn shop heads that were still in their holes. Upon inspection all the holes were super clean with the exception of only one or two that were ever so slightly enlarged. Was I ever relieved! Looks like the rivet removal tool was well worth the $60 I spent on it. I then riveted the forks to the spars without further issues.

Here is the rivet removal tool I got from Brown Aviation Tool. You can see all the perfectly drilled out rivet heads... this tool is well worth the $60 it cost.

Here are the holes I forgot to dimple, and you can see how tough they would be to get to even with a narrow female dimple die (the yoke gets in the way). Don't do what I did... read the directions!!!

Both forks riveted in place... ok, that's enough excitement for one night, I need a drink!