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Asssembling the horizontal stabilizer – Part 1

With all the HS pieces deburred, dimpled, and primed, we’re finally getting to the HS assembly steps. Since we purchased this kit partially-complete, this also happened to be my first time riveting since the class I took back in April. In retrospect, I should’ve practiced squeezing on some scrap first or at least started with an easier task. Unfortunately, the stringer web took the brunt of my rustiness in the form of a few scratches and minor dents (since I also tried bucking a couple of the AN470AD4-5 rivets to the stringers). Nothing major, but I’ll need to buff out the scratches and re-prime the piece. You can see the dings here.

The biggest problem is that I had the pneumatic squeezer set up incorrectly—the gap was too small, so the squeezer was reaching the rivet earlier in the stroke, where it didn’t have enough power to squeeze it. Let’s just say now I know the squeezer develops most of its force at the last 1/16″ of the stroke, and it took me a while to figure that out.

The rest of the day went better. The picture below shows progress at the end of the day—about half the riveting of the inspar ribs to the forward spar is complete. We probably got 50% of today’s real work done in the last 10% of time.

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