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Preparation
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(17:30)

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Right Elevator - 12/5/2005
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Started work on riveting the stiffeners to the right elevator skinStarted work on riveting the stiffeners to the right elevator skin
After scratching my head for several minutes and not being able to find anyone to help hold the elevator skin for the stiffener riveting, I came up with a solution. I attached an old piece of plywood to the back of the work bench and started adding scrap pieces of wood the top/front of it, to bring the top edge as forward as possible. Then I duct-taped the bottom of the elevator to the top of the back thingy (I don't know what to call it). Then all I had to do was pull the skin down onto the back rivet board and rivet away. It worked great.
Here's another shot of the back board thingyHere's another shot of the back board thingy
It ain't purdy, but it works. My wife walked by and gave me that look. You know that look....don't you?
Voila! As they say in FrenchVoila! As they say in French
I love backriveting. It always makes me look good. It's hard to screw up backriveting. One thing though, I noticed that in order to get a perfectly flat rivet head, I had to tilt the rivet gun a little to the right (towards the upward flange of the stiffener).
Here's a shot of the rivet headsHere's a shot of the rivet heads
Riveted on the spar and back riveted the other stiffenersRiveted on the spar and back riveted the other stiffeners
I was so frustrated with riveting the spar that I forgot to take pictures of the #$%^ thing. I squeezed as many rivets as I could into the skin/spar until I couldn't reach any more. Then it was time for blind bucking of the rest of the rivets. I held the skin upright with my armpit and bucked the rivets with my left hand. Then I jammed the side the rivet gun into my gut to prevent it from scooting around on the surface of the skin while driving the rivets in, using my mushroom rivet set. I managed to get a couple of dings in the skin (but not bad) until I got the technique down. After this ordeal I taped the skin to the back board thingy on the work bench and finished the back riveting of the stiffeners on the other side of the elevator. Phewww! UPDATE: 1/11/2006 When I got to the Left Elevator I found that I was able to use a combination of the Avery 4 inch yoke and the no-hole yoke to get the majority of these rivets in through the holes in the forward end of the skin and each opening on the ends. This left very few rivets to put in when riveting the skin to the spar. Take a look at this picture.
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This website was built to document the construction of an RV-9A in compliance with the FAA requirements needed to certify the aircraft. Any experiences and/or comments are by no means to be considered as instructions on how to build an RV-9A or any other aircraft.
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