<November 15, 2006>

Completed Riveting of Left Top Wing Skins

Whooohoooo... the top wing skins are done! I worked from home today, which allowed me to get an early start on construction, so I asked my friend Dan to come over and help finish up the riveting. The riveting went very smoothly and after Dan left I finished up by riveting the rear spar and inboard rib rivets with the squeezer (oh yea, I did have to shoot a few, read on for more info).



Hi Dan! I will surely catch grief for this photo, as he must have been in the process of blinking when I took it. He normally doesn't look so sleepy, sorry Dan. Anyway, using the gun with a flat mushroom set and my new tungsten bucking bar, the remaining skin rivets came out great. I wrapped the bucking bar with tape so that he could rest it against the ribs with scuffing them.

All done! After Dan left I squeezed the rivets along the rear spar, with the exception of the most inboard rivets (perhaps 6-8). These were so close to the spar stiffener and its rivets that I couldn't get at them with the squeezer yoke. For these, I ended up grinding down the angled end of my long bucking bar with the anvil end to a sharp edge (middle bar bottom picture here). This allowed me better access to the shop head side of the rivet. I made sure to put some tape along the rear spar and stiffener to keep the bucking bar from scratching it.

During my riveting with Dan I had a hole where a rivet wouldn't cooperate and sit in the hole correctly. I decided to run my reamer through the hole to correct the alignment, but I couldn't find it. I knew I had it last night when I was reworking the tank to LE seam, but it was nowhere to be found tonight. I gave up and used a regular drill bit, but after Dan left I went back to searching. It occurred to me that I have put a few of my tools down on the spar (while the tank was off) last night, so I must have left the reamer on the spar and reinstalled the tank. I removed the tank AGAIN and sure enough there was the reamer... D'oh!

Since the top skins were on, and the jig would soon be disassembled, I decided to remove the supports that were holding up the center of the rear spar. I had used construction adhesive to hold them down to the concrete so I got my hammer and chisel to remove them. I gave them a whack and the wood came off the floor, but took some of the concrete with it. Since this was a brand new house the concrete was relatively fresh, so the adhesive was obviously able to make a really good bond. I know this has almost nothing to do with aircraft construction, but I am amazed at how well this stuff stuck.