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[December 27, 2006]


I received my shipment from Aircraft Spruce today -- blind rivets, flox, invisible gloves and other goodies.


I needed a 3/16" squeezer set for the rivets to cover the tooling holes in the inboard and outboard tank ribs. I also got the largest 1/8" single offset rivet set for the leading edge to spar rivets. I will most likely use pop rivets, but this wasn't that much.


OK, onto tank sealing. I dumped my MEK soaked rivets onto a paper towel to dry.


Next I mixed up the proseal. 10:1 weight ratio. I ended up with 4.00 oz total, which was the perfect amount for all the stiffeners.


It mixed pretty fast and evenly. Thats good.


I am "wet" setting my rivets - That means I am putting some sealant on the dimples before I put the rivets in. Just an extra layer of protection from leaks.


Next I put in the stiffener rivets. Now this was a real trick because your hands are sticky as hell once the first rivet goes in. You also have gloves on which act like a trampoline for the rivets while you hold them. I used a sticky finger to pick up each rivet and put it into place.


Next was to put on riveting tape to backrivet.


I then applied sealant to the skin using a 1/2" paint brush I cut off short. It worked extremely well for working the proseal onto the skin.


And about 1 - 2 hours later, the final result. Once I backriveted the stiffeners on, I then made a fillet of sealant around each stiffener. Then I covered each rivet shop head with sealant. Then I wiped up all of the excess sealant. Cleaning up sealant is a hell of a mess. I definitely put the sealant on too wide on the skin which made for interesting cleanup. I think next time I would put it on the stiffener instead so I didn't have a lot of overlap. Nothing functionally wrong with what I did, just a lot of extra cleanup work.


Then I removed the rivet tape and cleaned up the outside. This was relatively easy. I then did the whole process to the other skin. Overnight, I moved the skins into the basement to help dry. The garage will probably get into the 30's tonight, while the basement will stay in the mid 70's with the heater in it. This should help accelerate the curing of the sealant.

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