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Riveting the TailCone

posted Jun 24, 2011, 11:02 AM by Bill Thomasson
I followed Jessen's method of backriveting the entire tailcone.  Another site I got tips for this was Mouser's.  This went very quickly for 95% of the rivets.  The first thing to do is when cleco'ing the tailcone together, put all of the Cleco's on the INSIDE instead of outside.  This keeps them from getting bent, and keeps them out of the way.  Then follow Van's direction on what to rivet when.  The exception to this was I followed Mouser in backriveting the F-1055 stiffeners onto the skins before putting the skins on the tail.  To backrivet it you just end up flipping the tailcone back and forth on it's side to put 13 rivets (Avery backrivet plate) at a time, then flip it back to get those rivets sitting nicely on the plate, go inside or reach over and rivet them.  I was able to do all but 10 rivets total on the bottom and sides by myself. 
 Then had Dee (my wife) hold a large bucking bar to backrivet the last 10.
A few of the rivets for the ribs were under the edge of the J-Stiffeners, so you could not hit them directly with the backrivet gun.  I ended up filling down a chisle to work as an extension.
I would then put the backrivet gun as close to the rivet as I could on top of the chisle, with the chisle on the rivet. As you are not getting all the force of the gun on the rivet, you have to turn the pressure up some on the gun.
After doing the deck, and installing the static ports and lines, I also did the topskin backriveting it by myself.  I was able to do all but 13 rivets myself, with Dee providing support for the last 13.  The top being curved took a lot more time to make sure each rivet was flat on the plate before riveting.
Many times I used the wedges that were cutout of the trim tab clamps to put under part of the tailcone to get it to sit flat on the backrivet plate.