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[November 17, 2006]


Today was the day many weeks in the making. The riveting of the main ribs to the front and rear spars. I was a little concerned with riveting the ribs to the main spar because of there have only been 4 universal head rivets thus far in the project (HS) that have needed to be shot and bucked. Plus this involved using the double offset rivet set, which was new. Luckily my riveting partner/Dad went through the same arduous RV building training that I did. All in all, it wasn't bad at all. There was only one rivet with a bad enough smile in it that needed to be drilled out and one rivet that I screwed up bucking. One phenomenon both of us experienced was the factory head on the bottom rivet on some of the rib flanges moved on us. My first inclination was to drill it out and redo it. Well, dumb dumb me drilled it out, but ended up putting a new hole in the rib and spar that looked like a figure-8 when you look at it. I felt like dirt when I did it. A number of solutions went through my head. The first was why the hell didn't I just leave well enough alone? The second was to leave it. It is only one rivet. The this was to drill it out to 1/4" and put a bolt in it. Luckily, Van's tech support hours were only 30 minutes away so we decided to break for dinner.

I called Van's and spoke with Gus and the first thing we agreed on was it wasn't worth drilling out rivets to fix little problems, because little problems become big problems. He said that putting a 1/4" bolt through made the hole bigger, and I didn't have enough room without interference on the front of the main spar. His best suggestion was to make some filler plates and put a plate on either side of the original hole. Works for me!

I made two small plates out of the busted rudder horn that I had, only because it was thicker material and already had #30 holes in it. Made two plates, primed, and riveted it. Looked great and covered up the problem.

I then riveted the rear spar. The callout for the 2 root-most ribs was AN470AD4-8's. I found these to be way short and went with -9's which made a much nicer shop head. YMMV. It took a little care to make know what rivets to use and where not to put them, but it was pretty obvious with looking at the other holes in the rear spar. Also, I was happy with how the tip rear spar-rib dimples turned out.

Finally, I wanted to get these guys to sit on the wing jigs so I made up some brackets out of 1.5" x 1.5" x 5" aluminum angle (from Home Depot). I put then opposite of how Van's tells you to to make the spar sit somewhat level. I also used 1.5" because I can offset the tip enough from the bracket on the 4x4 so that I won't have interference issues with the skins. I got that tip from Chad Jenson's website (www.chadandbrittne.com). I bolted them onto the tip rib with 3/16" bolts from the wing hardware (AN3-4A). I will order replacements when I place my big order this week for other stuff I need to finish up the wings.

Got to get your priorities straight. First passenger of the wings on the jig was 12 pack of good old Natty Boh. Getting these wings on the jig was an event worth a beer treat.


This is the oops that I made on the rib to main spar. This is my doubler plate on the aft.


And a blury shot of my forward plate. This fix worked very very well.


This is my tip rib riveted to the rear spar with the dimpled holes.





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Last Modified: November 11, 2017