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[December 30, 2005]


Tonight I learned the joy of back riveting. I didn't have much time to work on the project, but I did manage to get all of the stiffeners back-riveted to the left skin. This was cake. I can see now why people say that even monkeys can back rivet.

I started out by doing one row of rivets, one row of tape. Then two rows, then 5 rows, then the last row. It didn't occur to me until I finished that I should just tape all of them to not only speed up the process, but the tape will act to protect the alclad on the outside of the skin while the skin is being slid on the table. Man, I think I will only just show people my RV from the right side. All of my f-ups have been on the left side.

One thing that I will complain about is the rivet tape that is included with the Avery toolkit. It is manufactured by Scotch and has a green tracks on either edge and is clear in the middle. Now, it goes on all fine and dandy and holds up well to the riveting process, but if you yank it off too much, part of the green sticks to the skin. I tried alcohol at first but that didn't even make it budge. Next I tried lacquer thinner on the smaller spot and that picked it right off. I went for a larger spot and I was rubbing it a little more intensly until I saw small little scratches in the alclad! DOH! I do not know how the geniuses at scotch can make a tape that doesn't come completely off if you pull it a little fast. I also do not know why it can't all be clear. If someone out there knows the answer to this, please let me know. I just don't get it. I am going to do what Tom Emery suggested and buy some removable magic tape for the rest of the plane. We used it in his class and it worked really well.

The first stiffener before riveting


And a blury shot of the same stiffener after riveting.


The outside portion of the left skin...it sure it as smooth as a baby's butt, and easy. With most things in life, the harder you work, the better your payout is. Well, that doesn't go for riveting. Shooting and bucking = most work and least attractive results. Squeezing = some work, OK results. Back riveting = no work, great results.


Inside shot of the stiffeners. Before I put on the stiffeners. I made sure all of them were flat on the part that attaches to the skin. A few of them needed to be bent/twisted a little to be perfect.


This is what the rivet tape green looks like after lacquer thinner hits it. I stopped here for the night. I will come back to this another day.

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