Monday, December 28, 2009

Aft bulkhead - hangar riveting

I decided to brave the 25F ambient and trek to the hangar to finish up the riveting on the aft bulkhead. It went something like this:

- Put bulkhead gently into vise to hold it still while I use my two-per-customer hands to hold the rivet gun and bucking bar, using only minimal vise pressure to avoid twisting, marring, or in some other way damaging the bulkhead

- Realize that I can't rivet while wearing big, thick gloves. Remove same.

- Realize that the only thing colder than a 25F cold-soaked rivet gun is a 25F cold-soaked bucking bar. Forlornly eye discarded gloves sitting uselessly on workbench

- Drive two rivets.

- On the third rivet, cringe as bulkhead moves in the vise. Grin sardonically at having replaced smiley rivet created with a squeezer, a feat formerly believed to be impossible, with a smiley created the old-fashioned way.

- Re-evaluate my commitment to a smiley-free airplane. Decide that I will only get to build one airplane in my life, and I ought to do it well. Drill out the rivet.

- Immediately reward my conscientious diligence by creating another smiley when the bulkhead shifts in the vise again. Swear a blue streak.

- Drill out the new smiley. Belatedly tighten the grip of the vise using my patented, time-proven JOMT (Just One More Turn) methodology, hoping against hope that for once it turns out as something other than a disaster.

- Successfully drive new rivet. Successfully drive a bunch more rivets.

- Drive the last rivet, one of the two that go through the tail skid bracket. Decide that it needs just one more burst as it is slightly under-driven.

- Create smiley in last rivet. Skip completely past blue, swear azure streak.

- Again question commitment to smiley-free airplane. Again decide to do the right thing. Drill out rivet.

- Realize that I hadn't brought any spares in that size with me.

- Decide that this is enough for today as I have had my fill of education and recreation.

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