<November 6, 2007>

Aft Fuselage Riveting - Day 1

After weeks of work, a few delays and a lot of frustration, I finally got to start riveting the aft fuselage today. It really feels great to finally be at this point.

My friend, neighbor and fellow RV-7 builder Trevor agreed to come over and help me with the riveting. Trevor just recently started his -7, and this was the first time he had done and team riveting (for lack of a better term). I couldn't have had a better parter, and when we got into a groove we were just flying along.

In addition, I got a new digital camera today. There really wasn't wrong with the camera I was using (Kodak P850), but it is large and I really wanted a pocket camera. After reading the stats and reviews, I settled on a Canon SD870 IS. It is small, but not small on features, and will probably be my go to camera from now on.

Before Trevor arrived, I had a few minutes to kill so I decided to countersink the perscribed holes where the F-776 Bottom skin attaches to the F-704 Bulkhead. In summary, there are floor stiffeners that attach to the front flange of the F-704 Bulkhead, and have a flat (non-dimpled) surface is important. Van's gives you the option of countersinking the entire row of rivets, but like most builders I opted to countersink only the required holes, and I will dimple the rest. Van's has a FAQ on their web site that explains the options in detail. I counted and marked the holes to be countersunk, double and triple checking my work before I touched it with the coutersink cutter.

Here's a 3/32" rivet sitting in a countersunk hole, and all I can say is Wow! I am amazed at how close and detailed the pictures are with this new camera. I could never have done this with my Kodak camera.

Here's Trevor; Bucking bar in one hand, light-saber in the other. Trevor, you're not going to win and fights with that little thing (snicker).

In a little less than two hours we were able to rivet the bulkheads and side skins to the bottom skin.

Look ma... No more clecos! Ok, so there are still clecoes, but not as many.