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Old 05-25-2021, 06:28 AM
FlyGuy65 FlyGuy65 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Houston (Kingwood), TX
Posts: 83
Default Solo wing rivet (rv7)

For those of you who riveted your wings solo, did you have them vertical in the jig, or flat on a bench? Particularly interested in bottom outboard skin.

Also, did You use Vans pattern (Inboard to outboard, somewhat L pattern), or entire aft spar first, or something else altogether?

Had great help on top skins. Solo on bottom inboard, which really was not an issue. Now planning how to do outboard bottom so I can hit the ground running when I get back to the shop.

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Old 05-25-2021, 06:31 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 6,340

I did the 10 bottom skins solo. I had them vertical in the holder. There was one row of rivets that was particularly challenging and recall having my son operate the gun on a handfull of rivets. Still have two smiley's under my wing to remind me. I thought the vertical orientation helped, as reaching up under the skin was more comfortable than if I had to reach in horizontal.

I followed Vans guidance on those and satisfied. Can't say if the 7 instructions would be similar.

N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019

Last edited by lr172 : 05-25-2021 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:46 AM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Buena Park, California
Posts: 530

I had a helper when I back rivet the top skin of my RV8. I did the bottom skin solo. For the outboard skin, I hung the wing vertical and peeled back the skin far enough to slide my arm inside to buck the rivets. I did a dry run using clecos and mark the sequence on the blue vinyl plastic so I won't forget.
RV8 standard build: Empennage 99% completed
Wing -- Closed
Fuselage -- Canopy Done. Fiberglass 80%
Avionics Installation -- 90%
Firewall Forward -- Cowl completed. Baffle 90%
Electrical -- 90%

Donation paid through 2021
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:54 AM
Dave S Dave S is offline
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Eagan, MN
Posts: 59

I just did my right wing bottom skins solo. I basically followed Van's advice as far as pattern. I will say it is definitely a long sleeve job. I didn't think much of it at the time, but the next day I had some nice bruises on my forearms.

I used a table top and and the floor as far as placing the wing on to get my body in the right position to be able to hold the rivet gun and the bucking bar in the right place.

Good Luck
Dave S
Eagan, MN

Wings- Lower Skins to go
Fuselage- In progress
Tail Wheel Endorsement-
RV Familiarization-
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Old 05-25-2021, 07:15 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,542
Default Wing jig

Wing jig.
I read lots of builder say it wasn't necessary. Maybe not but I could twist the wing in the jig even after top skins were riveted. Not much, but it would move. Glad I used it. Even bucking moved the wing a tiny bit. I checked it often riveting the bottom skins. In the end, they were perfect. Less than I could meausre with the 64th scale.

I used a helper whenever needed. My arms are big and short.

L pattern

Old tube sock. Cut the toe off and slide it on your bucking arm.

Tungsten bar. Make a shim so the bar will be perpendicular to the rear spar rivets. Tape a lanyard to it so it won't make a dent when you drop it.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit, now FWF
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.

Last edited by wirejock : 05-25-2021 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:24 AM
DeeCee 57's Avatar
DeeCee 57 DeeCee 57 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: LSZF
Posts: 689

Riveted the whole -4 solo, save for 10 rivets in the rear fuse... wings riveted in the jigs, sometimes using unorthodox methods
Picture dated 1989...
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Life's short... Enjoy

DC aka Dan

RV-6.9 #25685, slider, O-360-A3A (carb/dual Lightspeed II), MTV-12-B, HB-YLL owner & lover
RV-4 #2062 HB-YVZ airframe builder
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:52 PM
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DrillBit DrillBit is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 211

Riveting the bottom wing skins, solo or with a partner, is surely The Test of how thoroughly the rib lightening holes were deburred.
Kurt Haller
P-town, CA (10 min from KLVK!)
N748PK, RV-9A
Flying as of 13 July 2019

VAF dues last paid 30 Dec 2020
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:14 AM
fixnflyguy fixnflyguy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posts: 1,407
Default What I did

I riveted my -4 wings entirely solo except a few..same as DeeCee. I like working solo , and most of my riveting was late evening so help wasn't easy to find then anyway. The leading edges were the most difficult, as I reached up through the spar holes and rib holes. I made one piece upper skins in lieu of the 2 piece. Upper skin first , lower inboard second, then the outboard last.All done in the jigs. My pic is 1994ish and my helper in the backround was best at sorting rivets, not yet ready for the bucking bar.
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Bill E.
8A7 / Advance NC
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