Tonight, I’ll start this post a bit differently from usual, with a story of sorts. A couple years ago, I decided to get myself a new tool: a cordless impact driver. My reasoning for this was to facilitate swapping out wheels on my car at track events. Not too long after that driver came in, I had occasion to remove a couple wheels on the car. Right after finishing that job, I think I actually said out loud, “why in the world did I wait so long to get one of these?”
Yeah, I had another one of those moments tonight. Recall that the last time I worked on this SB, last weekend, I spent 3.5 hours painstakingly drilling out 24 rivets, and then worried heavily that those were relatively easy compared to the 16 inside the stab. Well, tonight, over the course of a little over half an hour, I drilled out all 16 of those rivets, using the new tool I got from Cleaveland. I think it’s safe to say, at this point, that this thing was well worth the money.
After popping the heads off all those rivets, I managed to get one of the reinforcement angles out without too much drama, just by hitting the rivet shafts with a center punch. The other angle didn’t want to come out so easily, so I left that for tonight. Probably I just need to work in the rivet shafts there with a punch and hammer, but this was about 10:00 at night, and my neighbor has a newborn…I figure it’s good to try and keep the noise down.
But hey, this is great news – with the exception of getting that other angle knocked loose, I’m now finished with disassembly tasks. After this there’s some trimming of the spar flanges, fitting of the reinforcement doublers, and some modification to the ribs…then it all gets riveted together again. I think there may be a good chance I’m able to get this SB work wrapped up this weekend.