Sunday, June 7, 2020

How to rivet on a panel, part 3

Boy, work weeks are terrible for shop productivity. I had hoped to at least get a few minutes in the shop during my work week, but I just couldn't.

Anyway, in Part 2, I was frustrated with rivet spacing, so I went into a side trip of designing and building a "rivet fan," a tool for spacing rivets. It was a little funny to have the 3D printer running here in my home office while I was working, but it all came together just fine, and I'm glad to report it works great!

 Here it is, in fact, in its natural habitat. It expands pretty far, so I am able to mark ten locations at 3" spacing, or anything down to about 3/8". This makes it easy to fit a series of holes to a space.

 So once I have all the locations chosen and marked out, I used a hammer and a punch to make a dimple at each mark, so the drill bit would not wander.
 And then I drilled the holes.
 And then deburred them, from both sides. If they weren't deburred, the panel might not sit tight against the frame.
 And all the cut edges of the panels also got deburred with a file - again, from both sides.
 All the markeings got wiped off with acetone.
 And then the panel got clamped back onto the frame. I used the blue tape and Sharpie marks to get it back where it had been.
 Then, I used the holes in the panel as guides to drill holes in the frame. I put a Cleco in the first hole, and about every other hole after that, to keep the panel from shifting relative to the frame.
 And here it is with all the Clecoes in place.
 Once I had the frame all drilled, I took out all the Clecoes and removed the panel, and went back to deburr all the holes in the frame.
 And I used a caulking gun to apply sealant to the panel all around the edges and along all the lines of rivets.
Then I put it back on the frame and started pulling rivets.

It's all riveted up now, and it looks really good. Tomorrow, after the sealant has had a chance to cure, I will clean off all the bits that squished out, and I will wipe down the outside of the panel to remove all the ink and such.

Also tomorrow, I hope to clean up and paint a bracket and possibly start on the front firewall.

1 comment:

  1. Doing this without clecoes would be truly an exercise in futility. I hadn't realized that you printed that rivet fan. Good on ya. I've been using my stainless one for many years. I have used my angle drill in a few spots so far. The limiting factor to how close to inside angles a rivet can go is getting a puller on it reasonably straight. Really happy that I sprung for the pneumatic puller early in the game.