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Preparing to rivet the fuel tanks together

Today I started getting this organised in preparation to rivet the fuel tanks together. I wore rubber gloves during this entiere process to prevent oils from my skin contaminating any of the mating surfaces.

After getting some more PreKote I cleaned all the mating surfaces on both skins. I use this stuff before priming and other builders have had good results using this cleaner/etcher for fuel sealant.

Cleaning the skins

I then poured some thinners into a spare tin can and put about 180 -3.5 rivets into the can to soak. This removes all oils and other contaminants from the rivets. I then used PreKote to clean all the mating surfaces on the stiffeners, tank drains, fuel cap flanges and vent line clips. I placed all these on lint free paper cloth to dry.

Tank parts drying

I also picked up some 0.020″ Alclad so I can make the trap doors. I marked out 1.75″ squares and cut them out using my trims.

Trap door trimming

After rounding all the edges on the trapdoors using my Scotchbrite wheel, I marked out the lengths I needed to cut on the -P3 piano hinge.

Trapdoor hinge marked

I had to down tools at this point. I need to finish off trimming the hinge and riveting the trap doors onto the ribs.

Build time 1 hour.


About gstrack

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


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