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RV-7A Construction Log
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Date:  3-24-2008
Number of Hours:  3.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  My first attempt

I received the Van's training project today. I dumped out all the parts, and thought, "now what?" The first exercise is to simply drill and rivet three pieces of aluminum together. The instructions were sparse causing me to have to read the manual chapters 3 and 5 several times. Step one, drill holes as shown. So I measured, and marked the aluminum sheet. I made a fence for my drill press and drilled 24 holes. They came out great. I like drilling and the fence helped keep all the holes in line. Then I learned what deburring means. My favorite tool is the quick debur tool for holes that has the bent shaft. I smoothed the edges of the sheet aluminum on my scotch bright wheel. I mounted the wheel in my little drill press. I tried it in the grinder but didn’t like it. Step two: countersink/dimple as needed. That's it. Pretty simple right? NOT. I didn't realize some of the rivets were universal, some were pulled and some flush rivets so all the holes got dimpled. Opps. Better watch for that in the future. I clecoed it all together and saw that the holes lined up great.
Step 3 rivet. I don't have a squeezer yet so I used my rivet gun and bucking bar. The part is small and I didn't clamp it down, I just started riveting with right hand on the gun opposing the left hand with bucking bar. I don't recommend this. I didn’t pinch or clamp the overlap sheets together and some space got introduced in between. The aluminum also got waiver. I read chapter 5 again. "When riveting sheet to thick angle pieces, use back riveting. Rats, they should have told me that first (oh they did). So I back riveted the #40 rivets on the lap joint and you can see they look much smoother. But one thing for sure is that this first exercises is great learning. The short instructions make you go search for info, learn it, do it, make mistakes, figure out why, and learn from the mistakes. My friends Bob and Dan dropped by and their comment after looking at this first exercise was, "shouldn't you take a class?"
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Now What?

Now What?

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Drill Press Table to Line Up Holes

Drill Press Table to Line Up Holes

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First Project Complete

First Project Complete

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