[March 11, 2007]

Lots of work today, I started out priming all of the aileron parts. It was breezy today which made it interesting to prime. I had to orient some pieces certain ways so the wind didn't take it.

I hung the counterweights from the garage door to get good access. I chopped up some old clothes hangars to make quick hanger brackets.

Nose ribs primed. I put a extra thick coat on the front of these where it meets the galvanized pipe.

And the outside of the trailing edge skin primed.

I had a some primer left over, so I put it in a plastic cup to store for later on today. I heard that if you keep AKZO in the refrigerator it lasts longer. I didn't trust the plastic cup, so I put it in a glass pyrex cup just in case AKZO eats through plastic cups.

I riveted on the doubler plates to the spar.

Next I pop riveted the counterweight to the nose ribs. I needed to bend the flange out so I could fit the pop rivet tool in. I also dipped the pop rivet into the AKZO before I put it in.

Everything clecoed back together, minus the end ribs.

I saw this method for riveting on Chad Jensons and Brad Olivers websites, so I decided to give it a whirl. I cut some 2x4's, leveled them and clamped them down to the bench.

Next I screwed down the spar to the 2x4's. Now the spar is secured to the bench and I eliminated the twist.

Next task was to figure out how to buck these rivets. I grinded down a little bit of this bucking bar.

This is the cool part - this bucking bar worked perfect. No brainer bucking all of these rivets. Well, there are a couple of nasty ones where the stiffener interferes with the bucking bar, so you gotta just nail it with the corner of the face of the bucking bar.

My fear in doing this myself is gravity taking ahold of the rivet gun and me dinging the nose skin. So with some scrap wood I made this contraption.

The rivet gun rests on a 2x4 and keeps it from going down to low. It worked great with zero dings.

This went fairly fast. My only issue was I was bucking a cleco instead of a rivet one time. Luckily I didn't do any harm.

Shot down the inside of the spar. All of the rivets look great (except for line the 4th or 5th one down...that was the only bad looking one).

Next the nose skin rivets got put in.

Then the end ribs. I put the aileron back on the jig to make riveting easy.

I flipped the aileron over and put in on a piece of 3/4" MDF. I used the MDF because it was twist free. I put some 2x8's on it to weight it down.

Next I broke out my new pneumatic pop rivet tool. I haven't use this yet.

For the leading edge rivets I dipped each CS4-4 rivet in AKZO, inserted it into the skin and popped it with the gun. The pneumatic pop rivet gun really impressed me. For the $26 (sale at Harbor Freight) it was worth every penny. I tend to buy a lot of tools and usually they come in somewhat handy, but this one is my new favorite tool. The problem I have with the hand operated pop rivet tool is it jumps on you when the stem of the rivet breaks off, sometimes causing the die to scratch into your work. Also, it is hard to maintain the face of the tool to the work while you squeeze it, not to mention general fatigue in your hands when you have a bunch to do. Not so with the pneumatic gun. Put the rivet in, pull the trigger and BAM ---- done. So, to sum it up, you get better results, quicker with no fatugue.

The pop rivets on the nose don't contour to the curve at all, so I took a hammer with a smooth face and covered it with masking tape to protect the alclad. With a few light wacks the soft rivets bend right over and contoured nicely to the skin. Like it really matter, because these are tucked in where no one will see.


Last Modified: August 13, 2023