7.8.4, 5 & 11 Deburred and dimpled right wing structure and riveted left leading edge

Today was one of those days. It started with me dithering about whether I should do some work of wether I should just chill indoors instead. I told myself doing something is better for the project than doing nothing so off I went up to the workshop. My plan is to repeat everything I did on the left wing structure on the right wing.

Four and a half hours later and the right wing structure is now at the same stage as the left wing; countersunk, dimpled and primed. No pictures of this as it really is identical to the left wing.

Once that was done I decided to rivet the left leading edge skin to the left wing main spar.

Wow, that’s the first major assembly permanently fitted to the wing. It looks fantastic without any cleco clamps holding it together. It still needs the internal ribs riveting to the spar as well but I need a hand doing this as some of the rivets are really difficult to reach.

While quality checking my handy work I spotted a minor error in my previous work. Somehow, one of the bolts holding the tie down bracket on is too short! I’ll need to replace it before closing the wing. I’m so glad I spotted this before the wing got closed up permanently!

Lastly I decided to JC5A the right leading edge and cleco that to the right tank. I like to leave parts like this for a few days to let them settle before I rivet them, I think they do move a bit with expansion and contraction as the temperature changes overnight.

That’s it! 6 hours of mundane repetitive work. Not the most fun day in the workshop but at least it’s better than doing nothing!

7.7.46 & 8.5 Another water test and some wing work

The sealant on the right fuel tank has had plenty of time to cure so I decided to fill the tank with tap water again and run another leak test. Fingers crossed the BNC connector holds up this time with no leaks. We’ll find out tomorrow night.

After that I ran the debur tool in the rear spar dimple holes as per the instructions. Apparently this helps the skin sit a little nicer when riveted. It was only a light touch but it still took the primer out of the dimple.

Next I needed to prime the holes that I countersunk yesterday. First I masked up the wing and then shot it with U-pol Acid #8 etch primer from a rattle can. It was only a light dusting aimed at adding a thin layer of corrosion protection to the bare countersunk holes.

Another step that I got done tonight was to remove the blue vinyl from the left wing skins. I used a wooden pole to peel away the vinyl. Even with the pole it still took some serious effort to remove all the vinyl. It’s so much easier to remove in the summer when the vinyl is warmer and glue is softer.

I was starting to get hungry so I quickly countersunk one row of holes on the right wing main spar. Three rows left to do another night.

That’s it! Lights out, it’s belly filling time!

7.8.4 & 5 Debur & dimple left wing structure

The replacement blind rivet puller arrived from Amazon today so I thought I’d pop up to the workshop for 5 minutes and quickly change the puller mechanism that I melted yesterday. It didn’t take long and worked a treat. I tested it on an AD-41H rivet and it passed. Good enough to do the tank attach brackets when the time comes.

After that I had a quick read of the next steps in the instructions which said the wing ribs should be deburred and dimpled. So I got the debur tool and started doing some ribs.

1,500 holes later and all the rib and rear spar holes in the left wing were deburred! After that I thought I’d set up the drill with the machine countersink bit and do a couple of holes on the main spar…

I had a weird problem while countersinking. I would set it up exactly so that, with a rivet in the hole, the depth of the rivet is 0.007”. However after a 5 or 10 countersinks in succession the holes would get deeper. Some as deep as 0.014”. Weird. Then it hit me. This tool is so accurate that the hole is getting deeper as the countersink bit heats up! So I decided to let the bit cool for a while and try again, great, it was back to the correct depth. From then on I simply countersunk then tested alternately which kept the bit at the right temperature. Soon both sides of the main spar were done.

Lastly, I decided to dimple all the holes in the ribs and rear spar. For this I broke out the pneumatic squeezer. I know I have a hand squeezer but I prefer the pneumatic for where good ol’ fashioned brute force is called for!

Oops! Five hours gone in the blink of an eye. I guess the lawn mowing will have to wait until tomorrow then! 😂

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