There are at least two ways to rivet the top skins onto the wing. The first is to have a person on the rivet gun and another on the bucking bar. This method has the gun on the outside of the skin. It’s the usual method but you do need two people that are fairly well experienced at both tasks.
The other method is to back rivet the rivets from the inside. Basically someone simply holds a big metal bar over the rivet head while the person on the gun does the riveting work. This method also produces better results with less bad rivets, apparently.
So for those reasons I decided to try and find a 12″ long offset back rivet set. After a good search around it seemed impossible to find one for sale here in the uk. I decided to message my friend Richard and ask if he had one by chance. Luckily he did and was happy to loan it to me! Yay!
Now that I had the back rivet set I was ready to make a start. Luckily my Dad had some spare time and was keen to help. So he popped over and we made a start. The wing skins use 4 different size rivets so first we made sure we knew exactly which ones went where.
Once we were confident about which rivets went were we made a start. Dad was on the outside with a large heavy bucking bar and the cleco pliers.
And I was on the inside with the rivet gun.
We then went on to shoot approximately 1020 rivets to finish the top skins of both the left and right wings. The last bit of riveting was the bottom row of rivets which needed to be done using a hand squeezer.
The wings look great floating in the frame without any clecos holding them together.
After that we also fitted the conduit for the wiring. The first four ribs where a nightmare because they were so close together but the rest were easy enough.
After Dad left I couldn’t help myself and installed the plumbing for the AoA and Pitot.
I got my Garmin GAP 26 down and started prepping it too. There is a problem as you can see in the picture: the silver AoA is predrilled with tapped screw holes but the blue mast isn’t drilled! Hmm, how am I going to fix that I wonder?!
Finally, I fitted the Aileron hinges and fairing I’d prepped the other day for final drilling. It’s getting late so I’ll do the actual drilling next time.
That’s it for this session. One of the most productive weeks so far and I’m super excited to crack on with some fun parts coming up next time.