Today my housemate Sean graciously volunteered to buck a few rivets on the HS for me. We got the right side nose and main ribs riveted on to the skin and the riveting job is perfect.. No gaps, no funny business. The only regret I have is that i messed up riveting the end rib to the forward spar, and make a freaking ugly hole.. No matter though, I followed Van’s advice and made a new hole in the flange for that part. I know I measured 1.5d for the rivet distance, and it’s holding together just fine.. We’ll see what the TC or DAR says. In addition to the skin work, I attempted to fix the couple of bad rivets on the HS main spar. There were only a couple, but they all gave me a raft of grief. There’s one where the hole is way too enlarged, and no AD4 rivet is ever going to fill it and make a decent shop head, and my current AD5’s are too short. This is also the case on one of the elevator hinge brackets. Grr. I hate having 10 things unfinished, but I suppose I’d better get used to it. Anyway, I ordered some AN470AD-5-8’s and 9’s, which was dumb, because not only did spruce lose my order, those are the wrong kind.. I need AN426’s. They are on the way, should be here this weekend, and I should be able to finish the HS, assuming I destroy nothing else.
OK, so maybe the HS wasn’t ready to close. What I didn’t remember from the handbook, is that gaps between the skeleton flanges and skin are a no-no. Dan Checkoway had a look at the photos and the verdict was that the skin would have to be drilled off. But today, he came over and showed me how to rivet and check rivets correctly. He also demonstrated that it’s nearly impossible to do the nether parts of the HS solo.. You need a shooter and a bucker. We did the hard parts of the left side HS (fwd spar to skin, mid ribs to skin). The good part of that is that we were able to salvage all my old parts. The not-so-good-news is that I now have half of an HS that I ordered from Van’s thinking I was going to have to replace a bunch of it.
Thanks a gozillion, Dan! It’s so great that people like you are willing to share the knowledge and skill you’ve accumulated over years of work and practice, and I hope I can pass it on someday as well.
these are a few pics of the state of the Left side HS. This primer sucks, it’s not doing a wonderful job of hanging on under the duress of the bucking bar. But that’s a lesson learned for next time.. If I have to prime anything else, I’ll use a 2-part epoxy primer and alodine the parts like I’m supposed to.
This is the current state of the empennage.. One side at a stopping point while I determing whether or not I can close it up.
This is a shot of the space between the forward spar, outboard of the middle rib. The rivets that are done are for the top side.
Another shot of the aft middle rib, which shows the blind rivets securing it to the forward spar.
Yet another shot of same, a little closer. Still working out the best way to photograph this stuff.
Bottom side rivets on center and center nose ribs. Yes, there will be some buffing and polishing. Or that’s where the black stripe on the HS will go at paint time.
Top side rivets.
Middle Nose rib. Notice the dings in the primer. I’m going to sand these down where there are deep scratches and shoot some primer in over them before closing.
Another view of the middle aft rib connecting to the forward spar.. The weird ghosting is from camera jitter (my jitter).
Same rib, this time showing the aftmost rivets
Middle nose rib again, but this shot’s just cool.
Wider angle of fwd spar and middle main rib.
This is part of the aft spar, showing shop heads on the thicker channel (they’re not all facing this way, but the metal’s not warped).
Elevator hinge with 5/32 rivets instead of 1/8. See earlier entry for details.
Back inside now, looking at the oops where I patched a hole from a missed dimpling hit. The notch cut into the spar is fully deburred, and not contacting the patch rivet, even though it looks like it. This oops is about 3/4 of the way outboard from center. BTW, I’ll be going over those scratches in the primer as well.
Pointing to the space along the span where the oops is..
For perspective, this is where the oops is, but on the opposite side of where the mirror’s pointing to. This is just to show how far outboard the oops is.