Attaching the skin to the understructure3h
July 4, 2022
Today I continued riveting the right elevator to the skin.
The first step was to prepare the tank sealant. I weighed and mixed it on the scrap piece of aluminum. Delivering that sealant to the stiffeners was a bit of a challenge. My plan was to smear it using the popsicle sticks, which sort of did work. However, since the sealant is so sticky, it is hard to get it off the stick itself. In the end, I got it where I wanted it, but the skin around the area got smears of the tank sealant.
Then I riveted the skin to the understructure. Pretty much all of the rivets I set with the squeezer, except for the last two rivets in the trailing edge of the ribs of both sides. The second to the last rivet was accessible with the 4" think nose yoke, but it did not set right (possibly, due to the flex in the yoke), so I had to drill it out. I riveted all of these rivets with my indirect riveting bucking bar made from a masonry chisel. It worked well.
Then I torqued the counterweight. I am considering adding a nut plate behind the tooling holes on the counterbalance rib and the end rib, so I can screw more weight later if needed. The bolt will be on the counterbalance rib side, which is not ideal (if the bolt screws out, it might interfere with the horizontal stabilizer, which would be a huge issue). The better positioning would be inside the fiberglass tip, but that would require making these tips removable. I have not decided yet if I want to make them removable or not.
Finally, I reorganized my rivets into Harbor Freight storage boxes. It looks silly to have a single rivet in a whole box (I have a single LP4-3 left from the empennage kit), but the idea here is to have consistency.