<December 18, 2005>

Riveted Right Wing Ribs & Spars

A big day in the shop today, and I have big (as in size) results to prove it. Today was great fun as I riveted the right wing skeleton together. It was nice to have all that work on the ribs behind me and actually be assembling something, something big, today. I started with the generally preferred method of riveting the ribs to the front spar first, this allows you to flex the ribs out of the way for easier riveting.

I started with the 3rd rib from the inside, and worked my way inboard before going back to the 4th rib and working outboard. If I hadn't done this in this order, it would have been difficult to rivet the the inboard few ribs.

Look, no more clecos!

All my assistants were busy today so I riveted all of this solo using the double-offset rivet set. While I can't say I would suggest doing this solo, It worked for me. I used Snap-Socs on the rivet set to help hold the set on the rivet head, avoiding smiles, and they worked well. Overall, I am very happy with the results.

I then clecoed the rear spar on and put tape on all the clecos in the holes that don't get riveted now. I did a dumb thing here though. I riveted the rear spar with the factory head facing aft (for asthetics). Bad idea... the rear flanges of a few of the ribs distorted and didn't sit perfectly flush. Grrrrrr! I talked this over with an experienced builder-friend and while he agreed it wasn't optimal, he said that it shouldn't be a big deal as long as their isn't any space between the flange and rib at the rivet, meaning the rivets didn't squeeze between the two parts. That didn't happen, so I will live with the distortion and move on. I should know better, in fact I do know better, that's why I am so ticked at myself for doing this. Note to self... always rivet the best way regardless of asthetics!

To allow the the wing to rest in the wing fixture (jig) I clamped and drilled some scrap aluminum angle to the outboard rib. The blue tape is there to protect the rib and to serve as an alignment guide.

Big parts! One down, one to go.