Wing - Left Wing

2004-05-23 - Riveting the top skins. (2.0 Hrs).

Today, I trained my wife on how to buck rivets and we finished the rest of the rivets on the top of the wing skins. I was a little worried about this because up to now, I have done all of the riveting by myself, and I wasn't sure how things were going to go. I'm very picky about how I want things done, and I tend to yell a lot when things don't go right.

Anyway, we started with some practice rivets in my original practice fixture. This is just two 6" pieces of scrap .025 aluminum sheet with both pieces bent 90° and riveted together. This didn't work all that well when I did my original practice rivets, and it didn't work that well with my wife. She got the idea pretty quickly, but the flimsy setup did not give us a good feel for how two people would go about setting and bucking rivets. We drilled, deburred, dimpled, and set about 10 rivets with varing degrees of success.

After a half-hour of this, I decided that this was not a very good training setup and said, "let's just try a few rivets on the wing." Pretty brave, considering that we still didn't have that much practice, with enough good rivets driven to to be sure that this was going to work. However, I was convinced that the problems that we had were not with my wife's bucking and driving skills, but rather with the crummy training session that I had put together.

So, I put a rivet in the top skin, showed my wife where to place the bucking bar, went around to the other side, and pulled the trigger (after saying "Are you ready?" "Yes, I'm ready." "Ok, here we go." "Okay." dit-dit-dit-dit). I don't know what I was worried about. Things went great. In fact, I have to admit that my wife did a lot better bucking rivets than I did on my own. Hey, you try sitting in an awkward position, reaching around the wing as far as possible with one arm, and with the other hand hold the gun up as high as possible, and then pull the trigger. Tell me everything went ok.

Almost all of the rivets that my wife bucked came out very good. We only had one drill-out, and that was my fault. Things could not have gone better. I was very pleased with the results--the wing looks great!

One thing to note. Before riveting, with clecos holding the skin down, you may be a little worried about how flush the tank and leading edge skins are going to be with the top skins. Don't worry, after the rivets were set along the top edge of the skins, everything tightened up very nicely. There's hardly even a lip where the two come together. Also, I didn't take a picture, but the scarf joint that you have to file down where the two top skins overlap came out just about perfect.

Patricia the riveter.