Time: 6 Hours
Today I ran to Home Depot to grab a 36″ Dewalt clamp to help spread the fuselage sides apart so I could get the support bar in place. This bar will support the pilots seat back and provide structure to the top of the fuselage sides. When I returned home I used a couple small pieces of wood as spacers and put the clamp in place after reversing the ends so it would be a spreader. This was all so I didn’t scratch the paint as I slid it up into position since it is a tight fit. I had to do a little prying to get it up into position along with the two spacers but didn’t cause any damage to the paint. Once the bar was in place I removed the clamp and returned the ends to the clamp position. I then put the clamp on the upper edge of the sides to now squeeze the skins, longeron and bar all together to get the holes to line up. I first started with the 8 vertical screws and their washer/nuts. I held the Philips head still and tightened the nut so the screw head wouldn’t tear the paint. I then followed those up with the solid rivets. I used several of my pneumatic squeezer yokes to get all but 3 rivets per side. On one rivet I used my small mushroom head in the rivet gun and my small thin bucking bar. The last two rivets are all but impossible to get too with any type of bucking bar and Van’s calls for CS4-4 flush blind rivets. All these turned out perfect and no damage to the paint.
I then put in the 16 AN3-4 bolts that are on the sides. I will say these took me forever to get as the 4 inboard ones are in a tight space and the top outboard ones don’t have a lot of room to run an open end wrench.
I took time in between the bolts and riveted the hinge to the pilot seat back.
After I finished up the bolts I finished riveting the passenger seat back. It went pretty quick with the rivet gun and tungsten bucking bar. As with the pilot seat back I left the hinge off so I could paint first.
The bar looks pretty good in place!
To protect the bar and side rails I bought some packing pad and tape to wrap those areas.
Long day for not a whole lot of items but it was a good day! Next up the seat floors and passenger foot wells.