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Empennage

Starting to rivet VS together

I got into the shed the other night and managed to get a start on riveting the VS together. First I clecoed the rear spar, spar doubler and rudder hinges together. I put extra clecoes in the holes I don’t rivet yet and set the flush rivets using the squeezer. I found I could reach all the rivets with the squeezer except for one rivet on the bottom hinge.

I managed to set this rivet using my gun. One rear spar … done.

I had one rivet on the upper hinge bend over so I drilled that out and reset it. The rest were all ok (as far as I can tell anyway). I’ll show them to the TC next visit.

Next I clecoed the rest of the VS skeleton to the forward spar. I riveted the middle rib to the forward spar first. I couldn’t get the squeezer into position so I ended up shooting these with my rivet gun and small bucking bar. I had a small amount of primer scratched off from the bucking bar. No major dramas … just annoying. I’ll touch up later.

I then went to set the first rivet on the lower rib-forward spar-nose rib union. I couldn’t get the rivet gun square using the normal set. “Uh ho. I’m going to have to use my offset bit”, I said to myself. I was really dreading this. My rivet practice wasn’t very successful using the offset bit with almost every rivet bending over on my test piece. This time I had my pressure set correctly and I took it very slowly. I just concentrated on keeping the gun square and used short bursts. I’m guessing because of the lower pressure setting the gun behaved itself much better than I remember and I managed to set the first of these rivets.

It was getting late at this point and I had to get up early so I called it a night.

Build time 2 hrs.

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About gstrack

Husband and father of 2. Control & Instrumentation Engineer. Flying nut. Gadget geek.

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