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Riveting HS and rudder understructure

Now we're back to full steam building! Due to priming parts and work schedule we have built several subassemblies simultaneously. Although that's a point of caution often mentioned when reading about a homebuilt project, it has worked out very well for us... There's things you can do easily on your own and then there's rivets that work best with 2-man ops only ;-) We have a very good teamwork going, definitely a big advantage over having to get somebody else every time you need an additional set of hands.

Also, interaction between subassemblies has been minimal so far, construction is not (yet) depending on build sequence. On the pic below and above you see the rudder main spar with reinforcement plates and nutplates being squeezed.

The bottom assembly where the rudder control cables will eventually attach and command the rudder.

yet clecoed only...

...and already riveted. For all those builders wondering about tools: we've mostly used the avery "longeron yoke" on our squeezer so far. For the AN4 rivet size, we would recommend squeezing the rivets in about 3 or even 4 steps to final size. They definitely come out nicer that way.

Although we've mounted one nutplate with the squeezer, it worked out better to buck the other nutplates. Somehow the nutplate makes the rivet try to wander around when squeezing.

We're glad to know by now that the primer and car color layers did not add any noticeable thickness to the parts. They fit just as well as without coating and the rivets called out by the plans still fit pretty well by length.



To keep the AN470 heads nice and avoid smilies we stuck 2 small snips of "Kapton" electronic tape on the dies. This technique is simple and easy, and the tape is quite durable which allows for more rivets before the tape has to be replaced.

Another "nice to have" workshop item are the friction mats (yellow in the bottom picture). They keep parts from moving and sliding on the table.

While most rivets on the spar could be squeezed, the rudder brace assembly had to be bucked since none of our yokes could reach beyond the flanges of all ribs/parts involved.

 



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