Home > VansAirForceForums

- Donate yearly (please).
- Advertise in here!

- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Old 08-30-2017, 06:04 AM
Raybilt Raybilt is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Florahome, FL.
Posts: 12
Default wing ribs to main spar riveting

Hey guys,
I finally got back on my -7 build and it has been going fairly well. That was, until I began riveting the wing ribs to the main spar. I ended up with approx 20 rivets that should be replaced. I used a 10 degree offset rivet set on my 3x gun with the little red plastic cover installed. I work alone, which is probably part of the problem. I completed one wing and am about to start on the other. Any suggestions?
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 06:19 AM
rv7charlie rv7charlie is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pocahontas MS
Posts: 2,755

I tried various bent & offset sets with lousy results, & finally settled on the longest straight set I could find, with 'hockey tape' over the tip. If the flanges are clamped well with clecos, the main ribs can be flexed to the side slightly, allowing an almost perpendicular shot at the head.

I'd send pics of all the bad ones to Van's, & ask their advice on replacement. Often, what looks really horrible to us is still a serviceable rivet, and often, drilling one out can result in a weaker joint than just leaving it alone. While you're asking, ask about pulled rivets in those locations. IIRC, at some point they've said pulled rivets are a viable option on the main ribs.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 06:30 AM
Raybilt Raybilt is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Florahome, FL.
Posts: 12

Thanks Charlie. What is "hockey tape"? I will send pics to Van's. Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 06:45 AM
cczarnik cczarnik is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 96

I used a Cleaveland double offset two handed to keep it from turning, and brought my wife in to buck (first time). Came out great less one rivet that I drilled and reset.

The nose ribs are going to be tough, already got a note back from Vans to use pull rivets there, but the challenge is holes are right up against the main ribs, going to be tight even with the little wedge trick-
7a emp complete, wings underway
VAF Dues paid - 2017
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 06:58 AM
tgmillso tgmillso is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 564

Here's the deal. You need some additional gear that will use time and time again, so it will be by no means a one off purchase just for this task. Once you've got this gear, those rivets will be easier than shooting rats in a barrel.

1. Tungsten bucking bar. There are numerous posts on the forum discussing this and the one that gets called out time and time again is the one to get (the 1lb thin rectangular bar with one end slightly canted). The 1lb bar still seems to work fine on the 1/8" rivets, as tungsten seems to punch well above its weight category. Don't ask me why, but there's some type of magic going on there.
2. 12" straight rivet set. This will allow you to bend the rib slightly out of the way and shoot almost straight onto the rivet. Be sure to put some duct tape on your gun in places where it may rub on a rib so that it doesn't mark your primer/alclad. These longer rivet sets can be a little hard to find, but you can try Cleaveland Tool or Brown Tool. You will need plenty of pressure/flow to run these longer sets due to their mass, so try them first off the aircraft, and don't forget to turn your gun down afterwards or you will mash the next rivet you shoot if you go back to using the regular rivet set.
3. Snap Socks. These plastic caps fit over the head of the rivet set and stop it marking things so badly if you don't shoot square. I never shoot a AN470 without them. You will just need the orange 1/8" size available from Aircraft Spruce. They are ridiculously expensive little bits of plastic, but worth every cent. Value pricing I think is the official term. I prefer to call it daylight robbery. One bag should do you for the build.
4. Place some duct tape around the rivet you are shooting incase things don't go to plan. Two layers if you are really nervous. Saves damaging your expensive spar or web.
Good luck.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 07:26 AM
rv7charlie rv7charlie is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pocahontas MS
Posts: 2,755

Originally Posted by Raybilt View Post
Thanks Charlie. What is "hockey tape"? I will send pics to Van's. Thanks again.
Basically, cloth reinforced bandage tape.

The stuff I used was non-elastic (probably 'stick tape' in the link above). Just google 'hockey tape' & you'll see hundreds of places to buy it. It adds just a bit of friction between the set & rivet head, so the set is less likely to move sideways if you let it 'float' while driving the rivet.

Note that I learned this from others; I'm from the South, too. My only prior knowledge of hockey was via the nickname Don Rickles gave me.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 08:59 AM
wirejock's Avatar
wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 2,884
Default Tip

There's an easier way. Take a look at my blog.
Support the spar with wood blocks over a couple EAA work tables end to end and high enough for the back rivet bucking bar. Adjust height with some foam. Ribs will be up. Rivet one rib at a time so they are not flopping around on clekos. I used my back rivet plate with the back rivet bar on top then a tungsten bar on top of that. Adjust height with foam so the rivet doesn't touch the bar. When you drive the rivet, flex the rib over enough to drive the rivets. The foam allows the assembly to flex down so the rivet shank hits the bar and you get perfect shop heads. No need for offset or extra long rivet sets and no messed up shop heads.
I used LP4-3 and LP4-4 on the leading edge ribs.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 12/01/2017. Plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (1,800+ hours)
HS SB, empennage, tanks, wings, fuse, working finishing kit
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.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 09:39 AM
Raybilt Raybilt is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Florahome, FL.
Posts: 12

Thanks to all of you for your input. Quite frankly, I was getting a bit discouraged and your input has been a great pic-me-up.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 05:48 PM
jcarne's Avatar
jcarne jcarne is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Worland, Wyoming
Posts: 419

I actually just did this about two or three weeks ago. I had garbage results with any kind of offset rivet set. I went to a straight rivet set with the spring removed and taped all of the rivets, they instantly started turning out perfect. I also had to tape the sides of ribs where the gun would touch it to avoid scratching the primer.
Jereme Carne
RV-7A Emp. done
Wings mostly done
Working on Fuselage
Finish kit on order
Exempt but gladly paying!
Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 12:43 AM
Aero_Octaveus Aero_Octaveus is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 152

Take a look at my blog. I used wirejocks method for back riveting some of the ribs but found it a bit tricky when you get to the thick parts of the spar. So I switched to using a 2X4 clamped to the table as a bucking bar rest. Then I used a long straight rivet set cause I hate using the double offset set. You just have to move the rib over a tiny bit to clear the gun but it works sooo good. Just have a buddy hold the bucking bar on the rest and shoot the rivet. Move the bucking bar rest to the next rivet. The rest works perfect for someone inexperienced with holding a bucking bar!
Garet Hess - Edmonton, AB
2016 Donation Current
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:24 AM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.