Fuselage - Forward Section

2006-02-12 - Preparing to rivet the side skins. (4.0 Hrs).

Drilled the holes for the fuel vent on the other side, and did some clean-up on the center section. There's a ton of little things to make sure are done before we can rivet the side skins. Way more than Van lists in his little 3-item checklist.

My uni-bit only goes to 3/4", so this is what I used to drill the 1" holes for the fuel vent in the side skins. My advice is to find another way. This hole saw is way too wobbly to use on metal. The bad thing is that this was the second time that I tried to use this piece of junk. I had an "idea" of how I could make this work, but like a lot of my ideas, it didn't work out. To be honest, the hole is not that critical. The big ole rubber grommet that goes in there will fit anything from 1" to 1.25". I just like a 1 inch hole to be 1 inch.
What I ended up doing for F-7101 was to use my uni-bit out to 3/4", then I used my rotary rasp to enlarge the hole to 1".
This worked great, and really wasn't all that much trouble.
Countersinking the upper holes in the F-704H side plates.
The holes on the AFT end of the center section need to be deburred and dimpled.
Many months ago, when I riveted the center section, I had a problem with this rivet and ended up using a pop rivet here. I think I was pretty irritated with this hole and figured, what the heck, it's on the bottom of the fuselage. Well, everytime I look at that big ugly rivet it still irritates me. So this thing has to go.
I mean, that's one big ugly rivet!
Problem solved. Honestly, I don't know why I didn't just do this right in the first place.
We need to debur the bottom skin where we cut the holes for the main gear.
I don't usually give tips, because, frankly, what do I know. Well, here is a tip that can save you some pain later. Notice the tab at the bottom of the rib? This is going to be hell to rivet later. The tip is to make sure that all of these small tabs on the ribs are bent down, just a little, so the tab is compressed when it is riveted.
Learning from my screw-up on the tabs on the center section ribs, I bent all of the tabs on the AFT bulkheads before reinstalling the longerons.
Still a little work to get the center section ready.
The AFT fuse is back on its back with the longerons inserted.