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I did several short riveting sessions this week, to do all the forward skin rivets that I could reach by myself. This morning Jim, a coworker, came over to man the rivet gun so we could get the rivets that I needed help for. There were six rivets that I had expected to do that I wasn't able to get a bucking bar on. So, I will drill the holes out to 1/8" and use CherryMax CR3214-4-4 blind rivets. These rivets have 1/8" diameter bodies, but the heads (and thus the required dimple) are the same size as 3/32" rivets. This is in addition to the ones inside the top of the landing gear boxes, which I had dimpled for 1/8" CR3212-4-4 CherryMax rivets.


The rivets that hold the hinge for the forward baggage bay posed a particular challenge. I thought I could get them with my squeezer, but there wasn't room to get the yoke in there. I used to have a "no hole" yoke that would have worked, but the guy who bought my pneumatic squeezer wanted it, so I sold it to him.


I pulled out the Rube Goldberg tool I had made to help rivet the nutplates on the edges of floor (a mod - not part of Van's design). There wasn't room to get a squeezer on those rivets, so I got some scrap steel bars, drilled holes to take rivet dies, and put the squeezer on the bars to squeeze the ends together. It worked quite well.




I reinserted several switches that I had removed to provide access to rivets, and riveted the channels on that bridge the forward and aft portions of the F-804 bulkhead.

I don't have those CherryMax rivets yet, but they can be done anytime. I've got two more rivets I need to do at the front corners of the skin. The engine mount limits access to squeeze those rivets, so I'll probably have to pull out the rivet gun for those.