Wing Top Skins Prep

Time: 8 Hours

In preparation for the top skin riveting I have several tasks that needed to be completed on them. The usual suspects like edge deburring, hole deburring and dimpling. But I also had a couple extra items as well. The first up was to scarf, thinning down the two pieces if metal to make them lay flatter, the forward corner of the two top skins where they overlap. You will see the overlap all the way down the wing skin from forward to aft as it is an overlap. The scarf joint helps the area of the overlap butt up and transition nicely where it meets the fuel tank skin. I marked the spot with a red arrow for you to see where the bulge is compared to the tank skin.


20140417-123609.jpgI marked the inboard skin with a piece of tape to let me know how far I can go on the filing.

20140417-123944.jpgThe process was remove the skin and file down a little on top side of the inboard skin and a little on the underside of the outboard skin. Then replace the skins and evaluate and repeat as necessary.



20140417-124309.jpgI then spent the next 3 hours deburring all the edges and holes, man there is a lot of holes! For the skin edges I decided to try something new compared to the 1″ 3M wheel I usually use. I used good quality sand paper in 3 grits. I started with 180 then 320 and finished up with 400. I’m real happy with how easy it was and the speed at which I could get really nice edges. I then grabbed my edge rolling tool, if you don’t remember it places a small bend 1/4″ from the edge of a skin to allow the skin to sit flat when riveted to another skin.


20140417-205316.jpgI talked to my friend and fellow builder, Glen V., and secured his help tomorrow to rivet the top skins. He is a pro and is working on his second RV-8, the first was an award winner! I feel pretty lucky to not only bend his ear from time to time, have him inspect my work but to also volunteer to help build when I need it. So I needed to finish up these skins tonight to be ready for him. Out came the DRDT tool to dimple all the holes.



20140417-221632.jpgI then grabbed some primer to coat the scarf joint as well as the strip where the outboard skin overlaps the inboard.


20140417-222040.jpgOnce the primer dried I clecko’d the too skins as well as the wing walk doubler to the wings for riveting tomorrow. Wow almost 9 hours in the Hangar today, love it!


20140417-231605.jpgNow if I could get the Blackhawks to beat the Blues in this 2OT game one!

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