Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Saturday, November 29, 2008

7 hours, 221 rivets
Really didn't expect it to take that long, but the left tank baffle took all day Saturday. Katrin helped today. I hate to think how long it would have been without her.

Started by getting everything cleaned up and organized. Then mixed up a batch of ProSeal, which is captivating for kids of any age. With the goo ready to go, sealed and torqued the fuel pickup line fixtures, and then riveted the antirotation bracket on. Forgot to seal those rivets, so the first two rivets of the day were drilled out. After cleaning up, dipped the rivets in ProSeal, and set them again. This time was a take.

Then we did the baggie corner trick to squeeze proseal onto the skin forward of the baffle rivet holes. Dressed up all of the flanges, and put big gobs in the corners, then lowered the baffle in to place. Clecoed it on, and put a few clecoes into the ribs for good measure.

Then riveted the skin/baffle joint. It was messy and slow. On the second side, we got a new pattern established. Starting with a rivet in the middle, remove a cleco on either side of that, and do both sides at the same time. This almost halves the time needed. To take it a step farther, removed the next rivet on either side, and then the third next. That was doing 4 rivets at a go and was vastly faster.

After all the baffle/skin rivets, set the baffle/rib rivets. Used the squeezer on the four corners and the outboard bracket/baffle/rib. But had to get the gun out for the inboard bracket because no squeezer yokes would allow access. Then used the pop riveter to finish off the inner rib locations.

Spent about an hour cleaning up. Katrin stuck with me the whole time, but she was done with that noise by the time we were finished.

That tank took 76 hours, but that included a fair amount of work for the other tank also. We'll see how it averages out.

After a few days of cure time, it's time for a leak test!