Time: 2 Hours
My flight schedule changed this week so I was able to get in the hangar yesterday for a couple of hours. The plan was to get the rudder stiffeners riveted to the rudder skin. You have to do this task before bending the trailing edge of the rudder skin, otherwise you would have no room to rivet. The best practice to rivet the stiffeners is to back rivet. Back riveting has you use the rivet gun on the shop head (the end of the rivet that you are smashing) using a special back rivet set in the gun.
The process begins with placing the rivets in their holes and placing a special tape over them. This tape is sticky on the edges and not in the middle and allows the rivets to be held in place.
You then turn the work over to expose the ends of the rivets and place the second piece to be riveted over the rivet ends. You then place a back riveting plate, a 3/8″ thick piece of steal that has been machined smooth, under the work. This steal supports the rivets as you rivet the shop head.
Once you finish the row of rivets you can then remove the tape to reveal a nice clean line of rivets. It took me just at two hours to get both sides done with several breaks in there. Next up will be to bend the trailing edge of the rudder, I will get the help from an expert for that job.