So this weekend has been kind of busy, and I haven’t had as much time for airplane work as I expected…but it’s kind of OK, because I’m discovering that this riveting work is kind of physically trying. The combination of bending over and frequently reaching down into the fuse while handling the rivet gun and the bucking bar…well, my arms get tired pretty quick, and then I try to stand up and my back has some unkind words for me. But I’m making it through…
Today I shot the last remaining row of rivets through the aft center section bulkheads. Then I shot all the rivets from the forward side skin to the left gear tower – I decided that the -5 length rivets were OK after all. Finally, I riveted the junction of the left mode side skin to the aft side skin. This was a fun spot – the instructions say not to rivet the rear armrest until after this junction (which also included a bulkhead) was riveted. I understood why once I got to it – there’s one rivet that is impossible to buck with the armrest in place. The armrest has to be unclecoed and swung up out of the way. Once the bulkhead was done, I riveted the armrest to the skin.
Finally, I moved back to the aft side skin and riveted the next two bulkheads. This still leaves the two aft most bulkheads, but at this point I felt like it was time to call it a night. I’ll probably need two more evening work sessions to get the right side of the fuse to the same point, then I’ll have to decide whether to try some of the more difficult rivets solo, or if I should flip the “canoe” and get into two-person riveting mode.
In the meantime, here’s the left side of the fuselage, mostly devoid of clecos: