February 26, 2008

So after one failed attempt, I have a method to do the riveting that I needed to do. I had to coordinate a bit to use the tools I needed so it took me a little time. The plans call for the real beefy AD5 rivets (5/32" diameter) for the hinges that are riveted together. Since I'm making more of the hinges that way because I couldn't find the angle cheaply, I had a lot of rivets to pound. At first, I tried just using a rivet gun and a bucking bar but that didn't work out so well. The bucking bar wasn't big enough and the rivet gun wasn't strong enough. I've been told since that hand-riveting AD5 rivets usually doesn't work out so well.

After some consultation with some metal plane builders, we found a good method. We couldn't use a pneumatic squeezer because nobody had one strong enough for the AD5 rivets. We ended up using a C-frame dimpler/riveter (or hand riveting dimpler tool) as a riveting base. A 5/32" cupped squeezer set was put at the bottom and a flat riveting shaft came down from the top. We used 3x rivet gun on the top to pound the shop head while the cupped set held everything mostly stable and in alignment. It worked really well and getting good consistent rivets wasn't too hard. Especially since this was the first time I've riveted anything. We checked the rivet shop head with a rivet gauge. All good. Here's a couple shots of one of them close up and the group of all of the hinges for the tail. The two control arms I got from another Falco builder and I got the T hinges from Sequoia because I couldn't find reasonably priced T-angle stock. I still have to prime them. Thanks to David Karlsberg for letting me use his tools and showing me how to do it and thanks to Dan Checkoway for suggesting this method.

So with this done, that means I'm ready to go on to assembling the tail. Aside from the main wing spar, I've built all of the structural wood parts for the plane and I've got all of the equipment I need to assemble the tail. I guess I'm in no rush though. The space I have to build in is only big enough to assemble the tail and the ailerons and flaps.

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