Dimpling Done

Time: 8 Hours

Today’s task was to finish up the few items that still needed deburring. I then moved on to the big task of dimpling all those holes on the skins. First up I laid out the skins with the plans next to them so that I could mark out the holes that don’t need dimpling with a red marker. That took a little while as there are a bunch of different symbols that tell you what style rivet as well as the length. After I laid out all the holes and their marks I needed to do 2 tasks first. The first was to edge roll on all of the skins. The forward side skins needed the aft edge rolled. The mid side skins needed the aft edge rolled. The aft edge of the bottom skins also needed rolled. This process puts a slight bend in the skin so that when the two skins are riveted the top skin will pull tight and make a tight seal.

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IMG_5067.JPGThe second task was to scuff the insides of the skins that would be visible in the cockpit and rear baggage area. So I masked off the areas and used my small orbital sander with 3M scotch-brite pads which made quick work of it. I also scuffed up the bottom 3/4″ edge of the aft side skin where it will over lap the aft bottom skin. The forward and mid skins got the entire surface scuffed since they will be seen.

IMG_5076.JPGI then grabbed the pneumatic squeezer and the DRDT dimpling machine and several dies. I had #8 screw holes, #6 screw holes, 1/8″ and 3/32″ holes to dimple. There was one spot in the mid fuselage bottom skins at the aft end that needed dimpling but they overlap each other and needed to be countersunk instead.

IMG_5075.JPGFrom there I hit every hole with one of the required dies and dimpling tool. It took a while and I used the workbench for some and but the DRDT on the floor for the long aft side skins.

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IMG_5078.JPGSo that was a great 8 hours in the Hangar and got a lot of work done although you may not see it. The skins are now ready for primer and paint. I will start that this weekend and will prep all the other parts for the same. I’m getting so close to assembling the fuselage for the last and final time!

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