Aileron Hinges

The aileron and flap hinges are made from rod ends that are attached to steel tube structures, which are bolted to the wings. Eagle-eyed John Wigney was visiting our hangar last spring and pointed out that the plans call for 5/23″ rivets in that joint, but our previous builder had 3/16″ installed bolts instead.

Bolts in the hinges

Bolts in the hinges


After John pointed out the difference, I asked Bob Barrows about the substitution. He said that the bolts would be fine, but that rivets would be much lighter. He said it would be no problem to swap out those bolts for 3/16″ rivets, so that’s what I’m working on today. Those are -6 size rivets, which are the largest in the whole airplane. My little 3x gun and pneumatic squeezer aren’t really beefy enough to set rivets that big, so I had to come up with some other options. First I drilled a 3/16″ hole in the anvil on my vice. This hole perfectly fits the rivet set that will cradle the manufactured head of the rivet.
Vice Modification

Vice Modification


Rivet set in the vice anvil

Rivet set in the vice anvil


A regular anvil would have been better than the vice, but I don’t have a regular anvil. I removed one of the bolts and put in a rivet:
Rivet in place

Rivet in place


Then I used a hammer to form the shop head of the rivet.
Formed Rivets

Formed Rivets


These turned out pretty well. It took some serious hammer wacks to form the rivets though!