Prepping for fuse riveting

Well folks, it’s almost time to go back and do this fuselage riveting that I’ve been putting off for so long. Today I wanted to go review the construction manual and get familiar with what needs to be done, with the idea being that when Josie is able to help me tomorrow, we can focus on shooting rivets instead of me having to spend a bunch of time staring at plans and stuff while scratching my chin.

This actually took a decent bit of time, just by virtue of me triple-checking everything. In particular, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why we hadn’t already riveted the row along the forward side of the center section. I even went back and read through all my old build log posts about the fuselage riveting, and that led me to the amusingly obvious answer – whereas the rivets on the aft side of the center section only go through the belly skins, the forward row also rivets in assembly with the forward bottom skin – which is exactly one of the components we’ll be riveting tomorrow.

Anyway, basically what we’ve got for tomorrow is to shoot a few rivets on the side skins, that row along the center section, and then the forward landing gear crossmember. Then we get to install the forward left and right side skins, shoot a few rivets in each one of those, and add the cooling ramp. There are also a bunch of fish screws at the base of the gear towers that I’ll probably recruit her help with.

The other thing I’d like to get done tomorrow will be riveting all the antenna doublers. I still needed to get the rivet holes in the lower skin dimples for this, and doing this meant getting out the old pop rivet dimpler. It’s not my favorite tool at all, but it gets the job done when nothing else will. I ended up recruiting Josie to help with this too, since it’s a lot easier with someone on both sides of the skin.

So I think we should be set for an afternoon of riveting tomorrow. Hopefully we can get it all done tomorrow, but if not I think we can maybe bleed into some weekday evening sessions as well. And then I guess I won’t have any excuses left for not getting busy on the main wiring harnesses…

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