Right Elevator Stiffener Riveting

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A few days ago I got a little time in on the project. I’ll see if I can remember what happened. 3 hours, 116 rivets…2 of them drilled out and reset. Here we go. First thing, in preparation for stiffener riveting was to get the skin devinyled. Here’s my devinyling table, wooden stick (won’t dissapate heat) and permanent marker.

Ready to use the soldering iron to devinyl.

After devinyling the inside of the right elevator skin.

For some reason I like devinyling. Don't ask me why.

Here’s the outside of the skin after devinyling. This actually takes a long time to do.

I just devinyled the stiffener holes. I'll devinyl the rest after drilling to the skeleton.

At some point last weekend (can’t remember which day), I was sent to Home Depot (maybe Lowe’s…it was a busy day) to grab some gardening supplies. I took the opportunity to grab some indoor/outdoor carpet for the workbenches.

Here's what I call my toolbench with a new carpet surface.

You should be able to see the “workbench”‘ with carpet on it in future pictures. Anyway, I grabbed the skin and did some deburring (interior and exterior) and some scuffing (interior only, for priming).

Scuffed strip on the left, non-scuffed on the right.

After a few more minutes, I dimpled the skin (no pictures, sorry), and then decided they were ready for priming.

Where is that self-etching primer?

i got the picture order backwards, so you’ll see the skin primed later, but here I am getting ready (or just finishing) stiffener edge prep. I usually use my Permagit block to knock down any ridges, edge deburring tool (pictured below)  to chamfer both edges, and then a scotchbrite pad to smooth everything out.

Right elevator stiffeners and my edge deburring tool.

Here’s the picture of my primed skin.

It looks sloppy now, but wait until I get the vinyl off. Then the primed lines will look nice.

After the stiffener edge prep, the stiffeners got taken inside to be washed with dawn detergent.

Here are half of the stiffeners, being cleansed of their oily fingerprints and aluminum dust.

I decided to take a picture of how much detergent I use. Nothing really important, just camera-happy, I guess.

Dirty stiffeners need to be cleansed of their aluminum dust and fingerprints.

After cleaning, they go back outside for priming.

Boo-yeah, primed stiffeners.

While those were drying (and then flipped and sprayed on the other side), I placed rivets in the dimpled holes and taped them in place.

Rivets just asking to be beaten into submission.

I started to backrivet, and everything was going very smoothly.

Beautiful shop heads.

More beautiful shop heads.

God, I love backriveting.

But anyway, I got through all 116 rivets, then flipped everything over and saw these!

Ahh! Worst rivet ever!

This one is not so bad...

I figured out why this happened, and it falls squarely on me.

While I was dimpling, I didn’t pull the other half of the skin back well enough, so the skin side that was being dimpled was not sitting parallel to the faces of the dimple dies. One side of the die dented each of the last stiffener rivet holes on one side. The rivet in the second to last picture was flush against the backriveting plate, but the skin was dented, or above the backriveting plate.

I’m going to drill out all of the bad rivets on the trailing edge (of course, the worse of the bunch is on the top of the elevator, right where all of you are going to come look at my elevators), and then  try to smooth out the skin by backriveting it with a flush set from the inside out.

It might ruin the skins, which will be expensive. I’ll be sure to take some pictures of the process. Maybe it will save one of you some time and frustration…

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