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.
Having 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.
I 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.
I then took off the braces and inboard weldements off and cleaned up the new rivets for priming.
I 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.