Firewall Done, Forward Floor Work

Time: 7 Hours

After my regular weekend breakfast with the guys I headed home to get to work in the Hangar. First up was to finish the riveting of the substructure to the firewall. There were 3 rivets in each of the lower engine mounts that I could not get with the back rivet set. I thought long and hard about how to tackle these rivets by myself. Trying to hold the metal, bucking bar and the gun at the same time proved to be a problem. An idea popped in my head, why can’t I use the DRDT to dimple these rivets. If I’m carful I could get these done with out damaging the machine. I had to take a couple of parts off of it so that I could get a straight shot at the rivets. In the end it worked like a charm. With all the firewall rivets done I moved to the nulplates on the firewall with the back rivet set. Next would be the rivets on the flanges of the substructure that would eventually hold the baggage compartment floor in place. The plans tell you to do this step before doing all the other riveting on the firewall. The problem is that with these nutplates riveted in place cause a problem for several of the firewall rivets and the back rivet set. The way I did it was simple and had no issues.

With all the firewall rivets done I moved on to the forward floor section. This was pretty simple to do with the back rivet set. I just took my time looking at the plans as there are certain areas that don’t get riveted now. I started with the nutplates on the cross members and then moved to the floor.

That’s as far as you go for now on the forward floor. The next task was to work on the cooling ramp. I’m not totally sure what this ramp does for cooling just yet. It gets riveted to the lower part of the firewall in the front and curls under going aft and tapers as it goes towards the back. I’m sure I will understand as I get farther down the build. I just needed to trim each side of the ramp to a prescribed angle, deburr the edges, deburr the holes, dimple the holes and prime.

While the primer was drying between coats I started the next task which it the gear towers. These towers will tie the main landing gear to the fuselage and is what gives the RV-8 it’s incredible gear strength. I started by fluting the flanges if the forward and aft walls of the towers on both the left and right gear towers. This will allow them to sit flat.

I separated and deburred the heavy angle aluminum pieces that tie the gear towers to the forward floor. With those done I clecko’d all the parts together.

I decided that 7 hours was enough and felt like this has been a great weekend in the Hangar. My flight schedule is light this week, so I should get in some good Hangar time over the next few days.

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