Happy/Sad...stupid wings...

A forum in which to discuss topics specific to the assembly of the RV 7/7A.
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RV7A
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Happy/Sad...stupid wings...

Post by RV7A »

Huge milestone today as far as I'm concerned. I riveted the leading edges!

The riveting went great. Unfortuneately, on the very last rivet on the first leading edge (on the top naturally) the rivet gun slipped and put a small dent in the wing. Probably some bondo before paint can fix that.

So after I riveted both leading edges, I was so happy and excited so I took the blue plastic off the skins. That's when the terror set in!

Stupid leading edges of the ribs!! They look like they are trying to poke through the wing! I've read about this on other threads so I spent a lot of time filing around the leading edge of each rib to make them smooth.

That work had no affect. They looked terrible. My wings look like a tube and fabric wing! Here's some pics...but remember, they look 10 times worse in real life. It's hard to see the outwards dents in the photos...

Image

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I know that the shiny aluminum shows every tiny microscopic flaw, so I scuffed the areas up and sprayed them with primer to see what it might look like once painted. They do look a lot better with the primer on it. Almost unnoticeable.

I'm not sure how to prevent this when I go to rivet the tanks together. What's the trick? Surely other builders have thought of ways to prevent this.

My whole goal for this airplane is come in from the garage one night with a smile on my face thinking, "man, that work I just did looks awesome!" But it seems like everytime I get something done I come in disappointed for the night.

I definitely liked building the tube and fabric planes much better.

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BSwayze
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Post by BSwayze »

If you take a cylindrical piece of steel or a short piece of pipe, with a curvature that somewhat fairly matches the inside of the skin, you can hold it in there as a "bucking bar" of sorts and lightly, and I mean LIGHTLY, tap on those bumps or protrusions and knock them down. I did this, using a heavy steel cylindrical piece about 3" in diameter and a small hammer with a smooth face. I was able to improve the appearance a LOT! I even got bold enough to try my rivet gun, set to very low pressure and a mushroom set, barely squeezing the trigger, and hammer them out even more easily. Mind you, be careful! Go slow and very carefully until you get the technique. Go too far and there's no going back, and you'll only make it worse.

Conversely, I had a few "craters" or depressions, around some rivets. Get the light just right and it really shows up. Using a small bucking bar, I got inside and lightly tapped on the shop heads of those rivets and I was able to bring those depressions out and get a smooth skin. Careful work here, too, will really make a difference.
Bruce Swayze
Portland, Oregon
http://www.BrucesRV7A.com
RV-7A Working on Firewall Forward

RV7A
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Post by RV7A »

I'll probably need a sledgehammer! LOL

Thank for the tip, I will try to carefully tap them down.

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bruceh
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Post by bruceh »

There is nothing structural going on at the very leading edge of the ribs. Just take the ribs and run the leading edge flange over your scotchbrite wheel until you have a nice smooth curve. You can take off quite a bit. My best tip for riveting is to use heavy duty packing tape over the rivet heads. It protects the aluminum surface from getting scuffed up by the mushroom set, and acts as a third hand to keep the rivets in place while you get the bucking bar in place.
Bruce Hill
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Hornet2008
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Post by Hornet2008 »

Yes, what Bruce said. Also the blue plastic stuck over the mushroom head will produce the same result.

Pete
RV 9

paulie
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wings

Post by paulie »

Bondo

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painless
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Post by painless »

No one will see it when you're going by at 200mph.. 8)

Poly Fiber's Super fill will cover that dent up nicely before paint if you can't tap it out from behind to your satisfaction.

Don't be too concerned about scuffing up the aluminum around your rivets unless you plan to polish. Those scuff marks will be totally eliminated as a result of paint prep.
Jeff Orear
RV6A N782P
Hatz Classic, Welding fuselage
Hatz build log. http://websites.Expercraft.com/painless
Peshtigo, WI

Hornet2008
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Oute Dent Removal

Post by Hornet2008 »

Have a look at this thread from VAF

http://www.vansairforce.com/community/s ... ight=spoon

Regards
Pete

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Post by RV7A »

Thanks for the link.

Mine aren't really dents...they would be more like outward dents. Think of a zit on someone's face!

A polished mirror aluminum surface shows every slight wave in the aluminum. So I used a scotchbright pad and scuffed up around the leading edge ribs on the left wing (the right wing looks great).

Once the aluminum is scuffed up, it's hard to notice the rib protrusions. I suppose it's not that bad. Sure you might see them in a few of the ribs once the plane is done and painted, but oh well. I'm building this plane to fly, not to win beauty awards.

I really don't think I can tap them out with a hammer because it's the ribs that are 'poking'. I would have to pound on the outside of the leading edge hard enough to bend in the rib! Not even gonna do that!

I think the reason my right wing looks great and the left doesn't is because of the year I took off from building or even thinking about the RV. I remember really working the leading edges of the first (right) wing so this wouldn't happen. I did work the ribs on the left wing, but probably not enough. When I came back to the project, I thought everything was ready and I riveted the leading edges.

I mean, everything was prepped and edge finished etc... I just mean that the leading edge ribs could have used a little more work to make them perfect.

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