I hope this helps, but you may already be committed by virtue of having any rivets set. Perhaps this will help with your approach for the other wing?
I was able to rivet the both inboard bottom skins by myself (as documented for the left side
and right side
). I did the left side first and it took me 9 hours. The right side took me 4 hours.
As suggested by others, strategic riveting order and cleco'ing allow you to preserve access as you progress through. I used these bucking bars during the process.
I didn't have this one at the time, but I imagine it would be nice to have too (I bought it to set some of the rivets around the step-attach inspection area when finishing the baggage area
A key strategy is to match your direction-of-access with the direction of each rib's flange. I suspect Van's selected these orientations with bucking access in mind. For example, (ribs numbered inobard-to-outboard):
- Rib #1 can be squeezed. Do it last.
- Ribs #2 and #3 flanges point inboard, access them from inboard through the lightening holes.
- Ribs #4 and #5 flanges point outboard and inboard, respectively, access them through the inspection panel.
- Rib #6 flange points outboard. Access it through the lightening holes of rib #7.
- Lay towels down on the wing spar so when you drop the bucking bar, nothing gets dented.
I reviewed my time lapse video to see what I did so I can share that with you in hopes of helping. The wings remained in the cradle. I was on my knees the vast majority of the time reaching upwards or inwards. I forewent the plans' suggest riveting order. I could not find a way to follow that order as a one man operation. I have noticed no "oil canning" on the inboard bottom skins.
- Taking the J-stiffener rivet line as the demarcation between aft- and forward-halves of the skin, the aft half of the skin was cleco'd in place to include the J-stiffener rivet line. See image below.
- The aft-spar rivets were all riveted.
- All clecos were removed.
- All ribs, from aft to forward, up to but not including the J-stiffener, were riveted. For the first few upper rivets on each rib, I used a cleco two holes below the rivet being bucked to help keep things aligned.
- The J-stiffener was riveted.
At this point, all rivets between and including the J-stiffener to the aft spar were set.
- The outboard-most rib (#7) was cleco'd to the inboard bottom skin. This rib does not get riveted until the outboard skin is in place.
- Rib #6 was cleco'd then riveted (aft to forward).
- The main spar rivets between ribs #6 and #5 were riveted.
- Rib #5 was riveted (aft to forward).
- AHRS tray was cleco'd riveted.
- Rib #4 was then riveted (aft to forward).
- The main spar rivets between ribs #5 and #4 were riveted.
- Rib #3 was riveted (aft to forward).
- Rib #2 was riveted (aft to forward).
- The main spar rivets between ribs #4 and #1 were riveted.
- Rib #1 was squeezed (aft to forward).
Here you can see the aft spar rivets in-progress. Note that the forward half of the skin is not cleco'd at this point. This permitted that half of the skin to bend as I reached for access.