Vertical stabilizer riveting pt 2

I continued rivet the VS tonight. This time I did everything with the pneumatic squeezer which produced much more consistently round shop heads. Except for the two that wanted to bend over rather then squish down nicely. I drilled those two out. I’m also not thrilled that the squeezer put a small smile around the right side of the hole when it shifted. It’s not too bad but I need to do some research about when I need to be concerned about this kind of damage. It’s not the first time I’ve done it (I know I made at least a couple on the rudder spar reinforcement plates) and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I do it.


I also ran into what seemed like an issue when I was riveting the rudder hinge brackets to the VS assembly. I assumed I squeezed the first rivet way too far because it was way too thin so I adjusted it and tried again. This is what the first two looked like:


Notice how thin that shop head is? Well, that is way too thin to be a structurally sound rivet. The one just to the left of it has the right thickness but the diameter of the shop head there isn’t large enough. This is when I realized that maybe the rivets the plans called for weren’t quite long enough for this spot. I have read on the VAF forums that sometimes the rivets called for in the plans are wrong, otherwise I never would have questioned the plans and may have set all of the rivets like the one on the left. Maybe that is what I was supposed to do, but I opted for drilling them out and using the next size longer rivets.  Here is the first rivet drilled out:


When I tried a new rivet in the hole it was a little loose but I think the hole is still ok. It looks offset a little, but I think the impression around the top left of the hole is just the primer that got squished out of the way by the first rivet. Here is the second rivet drilled out after I set a new rivet in the first hole:


This rivet came out much more nicely than the first rivet. I drilled out the manufactured head and then pushed the rest of the rivet out using a punch and a hammer, which is the way rivets are supposed to be removed. The first rivet I ended up drilling all the way out because I couldn’t get it to budge with the punch and hammer. I’m a little scared to really hit it too hard with the hammer because I don’t want to bend the parts.

The new rivets that I set in the bracket holes were much better. The shop head diameter and height were all the correct dimensions, so even if it would have been fine with the rivets the plans called for I’m much happier with these.


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