Forward Ribs and Bottom Skin

posted Jan 23, 2012, 5:56 AM by Bill Thomasson   [ updated Mar 13, 2012, 5:55 AM ]
Part Started: 1/17/2012
Part finished: 2/6/2012
Time : 57 hr
Changes from plans:
  Proseal skin on
  Stainless Steal air controler box. (Drop in replacement for Van's Aluminum one)
I have been deburring and assembling the forward bottom skin.  So far parts have been going together as called for in the directions.  I have not yet riveted the firewall (still need to prime) so I assembled the tunnel supports without the firewall initially for match drilling.
Firewall goes on.
Floors get match drilled them dimpled.  Starting to look like a finished area.
Forward spar gets match drilled.
Forward section gets bolted onto rear for match drilling of side panels and bottom skins.
Wow really looks like something.  Too bad I now have to dissasemble the entire foward section as none of it has been primed or riveted. It will take another 3 weeks before I have it back to this point but riveted.
Durring the joining I have found that I did not correctly assemble the mid side panels, and will have to remove about 20 rivets to move the forward part of it to the other side of the flang... arg.
Primed and riveted.  Did all the rivets except the 1049-D by backriveting. Prosealed the 1049-C ribs on so that no oil running along the bottom skin will be able to work it's way under the floorboards.
Joined firewall on.  Just before joining the firewall on you rivet the 1043-C onto the tunnel.  Do this BEFORE riveting the nutplates on it, as the nutplates get in the way of the rivet gun.  I was able to squeeze all the rivets joining it to the tunnel, but had to use all of my different yokes to do so, using the flap channel to get the squeezers in.  Would have probably been easier to just shoot the rivets, but could not because nutplates were in the way.
Chris Walters helped me get the last few rivets (skin just behind firewall in tunnel) that could not be backriveted.
Then joined the 2 halves prosealing the skin overlaps.
Then backriveted the skins to the spars.  Was only able to get about 3/4's of them backriveting, as the seat braces get in the way.  Luckly after the LZU pancake breakfast Daniel Schoning (Soon to be RV-8 Builder) came over and helped for a couple hours getting most of the rivets that could not be backriveted.  Still have 7 rivets that we could not get any bucking bar on.  Will look at them again in a couple of days, and probably post on VAF to see how others managed.
Here is one example of a rivet could not get any bucking bar on. (Overdriven rivet to left of rivet in question has been replaced.)
After installing and torcing 16 bolts a side (which seemed to take forever), the landing gear mount is installed for some match drilling.  Getting the bolts in the mount was difficult, did not have any problems with the mount aligning in the skin or being mis-shaped as some other builders have had.  Match drilled the gear support into the forward floor and rib.
Attached forward side skin for match drilling to gear support.  Wow, looks nice with skins on.... Just 80 hr more work and they should really be on.
Forward ribs and bottom skin complete! (Except for 7 rivets that I can't figure out how to buck)
2/6/12 - Finished the 7 rivets
Was able to buck the hard rivets by putting a filed down chissle on it, with my tungstun bucking bar on top.
Held the bucking bar and chissle myself, and had my friend and pilot Chris Walters drive the rivets.
We had the fuselage up on its side for easier access.  Cleared the sealing with about 1" to spare.
Since I had someone helping, I actually got to be in a photo :)
Forward Ribs and bottom Skin DONE!