Fuselage Riveting

Time: 6 Hours

Today I started riveting the fuselage back together. First thing to do was to put the forward skins in place, along with the spacer’s, the gear tower box plate’s and the auxiliary longeron’s. The plans call one step prior to putting the forward skins in place, some ProSealing. They tell you to put a bead of sealer right at the corner edge of the firewall, presumably to prevent fumes and such from the engine area migrating into the cabin. I decided to skip this step and take care of it later. I will eventually fill the notches on the firewall from the forward side and run a bead of sealer on the aft side of the firewall where it meets the skin. It’s a tight space but with a long nozzle and my Semco ProSeal gun I should be able to do it pretty easy. The reason for all this was cleanliness and I didn’t want to create a bulge under the skin. ProSeal is thick and the fact that you don’t rivet this firewall flange until later means that you only use Cleco’s at this time. Cleco’s are not strong enough to properly squeeze the skins together with ProSeal between them causing the bulge.

(null)Once those your place you start with four rivets at the bottom of the skin by the wing spar. They are in a tight spot where a bucking bar won’t fit so you use blind rivets.

(null)Here is a view of both skins and parts all in place before riveting.

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(null)Once I have the skins in place I started the riveting process working forward to aft. I carefully studied the plans for all the different rivet call outs, in the holes that will be riveted later. I used my tungsten bucking bar and both of my rivet guns. For the upper longeron in the rivets around the wing spar I was able to use my pneumatics squeezer. I only had to drill out one rivet, not too bad.

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(null)It was getting late so I called it a night, I have a few more rivets left in the forward skins. Next I will start on the middle skins and work my way back on the tailcone. Saturday my buddy Glen is coming over to help me read at the bottom skins and the other rivetsthat I can’t reach.

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