Gear Tower Riveting

Time: 6 Hours

I got back to working in the riveting if the gear towers this morning. The rivets on the face of the towers I was able to get with the pneumatic squeezer which last night I thought I would only be able to get with the gun and bar. I used several different yikes in the squeezer to get all of them through the lightening holes. Once I had those done I did the next few steps in the plans which ended up with the gear towers clecko’d to the forward floor section.

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IMG_3678.JPGHaving these towers in position allows them to be lined up and secure so you can rivet the exterior side gear weldements. These have a bunch if rivets, both forward and aft. I grabbed the 4X rivet gun and the AN470 head and my new tungsten bucking bar. I wrapped the bar and the spring on the gun to reduce the scratching of the primer. I started with the forward side rivets first, mainly so that I could get my riveting “legs” back and if I made a smiley on a rivet head it would not ever be seen! I love the new tungsten bar! I’m in the same group of people who say “I wish I had bought this a long time ago”!! What a pleasure to use, it’s just very dense and hardly moves as I buck and was small enough for getting into tight spaces. I got all the rivets done on the right side forward edge with only one smiley but it will never be seen. I moved on to the aft side and had great results with no smileys. I finished up the left side in about an hour and half.

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IMG_3681.JPGI am skipping a couple of steps in the build process since I’m going to paint these as a structure before bolting the weldements in and riveting to the forward floor. I then matched drilled the two upper supports, forward and aft. Van’s plans make a big note to not change or omit these parts as they are structural. I have heard of guys altering these so that certain avionics could fit behind the instrument panel. I also checko’ed the lower side braces.

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IMG_3682-0.JPGI then took off the braces and inboard weldements off and cleaned up the new rivets for priming.

IMG_3684.JPGI had to stop there as I have a 4 day trip to fly. I will paint these parts when I return and let them cure for a while before riveting them all together. Next up the forward baggage area.

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