Sunday, April 14, 2013

Looooong day

Today was a big day.  I'll start by saying that I am one step away from completing my first component of the airplane, the horizontal Stabilizer.  As you can see below the assembly is complete and the only remaining step is to install a hinge that goes in the very center of the aft spar.  I have to add that I inspected the work and determined that it would be safe for operation so I riveted it all together!  HS closed.
before I removed the plastic protective cover

after I removed the plastic, kinda hard to see now with the reflections.

One of the most exciting aspects of the day was that I spent the majority of the day bucking rivets.  Yep, it wasn't has hard as I thought it was going to be and in fact I got to where I was really enjoying it.  There is one place on the inboard section of the forward spar where you have to rivet the spar to the inboard nose ribs that causes many people trouble.  I stopped there last night because I wasn't sure how I was going to reach in and buck those rivets.  Well they say your brain doesn't stop working while you sleep and low and behold I woke up with the solution to the problem.  You can see it in this next picture.  I simply laid an allen wrench on the spar (at about the height of the finished rivet) and then laid my bucking bar across the wrench.  This gave me a stable and level way to buck the rivet.  The rivets turned out great!

So its about 6 pm on Sunday night and I have been at it for about 11 hours.  I'm beat!  The good news is that my back didn't get sore today so hopefully the time in the garage is strengthening it.

I just realized I forgot to post about yesterdays work.  Travis was off so he came over and helped me rivet the nose ribs in place.  I'm glad he was available because there is no way I could have reached in far enough to run both the rivet gun and the bucking bar.  We make a pretty good team!  It was nice working on a project with him again, we haven't done that in a long time.

Travis checking the rivet we just set.