Long Time Coming

Whew! I can’t believe my last post was back on January 30th. I have been steadily working on the RV around some good-sized family and work obligations. I was also held up wrangling some rivet help but Ryan and PDub came through in the clutch to help knock out the gussets and aft deck. Tonight’s post will include a bunch of what’s been done over the last couple of months. Kinda of a catch up posting. Hopefully I can get back to regular updates as my progress picks up in the warm weather.

Here’s the aft deck and 709 bulkhead riveted on. We ended up squeezing most of these rivets.

The 706 and 707 gussets were straightforward to install. With the bulkheads still being easy to slide fore and aft unsecured, I was careful to drill into the longerons with the skins mostly attached to better lock down the final position of the bulkheads.

The top gussets at the firewall were a challenge to rivet. While Ryan worked the gun, I had to stand on a stool, bend over the side skin and hang upside down with the bucking bar. It wasn’t fun for my back but we knocked both of them out in a couple of hours.

One of those “grrrrr” moments. This blind rivet goes on the forward side of the wind spar cut out on the fuse. There’s no way to buck a regular rivets so the plans call for a blind rivet. The challenge though is that the blind rivet can’t seat 100% as the business end hits the spar components. Many advise to work the rivet into its final seating by squeezing a little a time and working the rivet head down into position. I ended up whacking my rivet puller to get this one to seat leaving the mandrel and head deformed. The wing will cover this cosmetic flaw. Moving on…

The baggage floors are mostly riveted on now.

This past weekend I riveted on 705G which is the big piece of angle that will eventually support the canopy frame. I hope this doesn’t bite me in the rear later if I was supposed to wait to install this. Getting those rivets out would not be fun.

Here’s a reverse angle showing how the outer-most rivets would be virtually impossible to rivet once the canopy deck is installed.

The baggage area bulkhead skin is made of upper and lower halves. I knocked those out a couple of weeks ago but had to wait till I put the top skins back on before drilling all the #8 screw holes. Tonight I went back and drilled the holes for nutplates. Tomorrow I can squeeze these rivets and call the baggage area basically done.

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