[January 16, 2007]

Tonight was the night I was trying to put off as long as I could - installing the baffles. I was discouraged from jumping on this monumental task for a number of reasons.

When I was about to go out to work, I got a call from a local guy interested in my project. We got talking and it turned out he lived less than 1/4 mile from where I used to live 2 years ago. Small world.

Got two shipments today - Some goodies from Avery - spring clamps, drill bits, nibbler and some other goodies. From Van's I got some Ooops rivets, tank leak tester (for $5, how can you not???) and the much needed stuff to finish up the capacitive sender on the left talk.

OK, time to get to work on this tank. I mixed up 2.75 oz of sealant for this monster task. While I was scooping it out of the can, I realized that I have nowhere near enough to finish the other tank. I should of ordered up some more with this most recent shipment from Van's, but didn't think of it. Oh well.

I applied a bead of sealant immediately below the rivet line on the skins. On the end rib flanges, I buttered them up with a thin layer, and on the inside of the flange I put a thick bead of sealant.

Van's doesn't tell you to do this, but some other builders have been doing it -- that is to put a thin layer of sealant on the flanges of the baffle. I also put a very thin layer of sealant on where the end rib flanges meet the baffel to make a good seal.

About 3 hours later I was done. I was able to squeeze the rivets on the outboard Z-bracket almost - one one of them was interfering with the AD470AD6- rivet I used to block the tooling hole. I was easily able to shoot and buck this one rivet solo. I then went and did the inboard z-bracket by shooting and bucking solo. It was super easy.

I put a strip of masking tape on the web of the baffle to prevent the squeezer from scratching it.

This is the inside of the tank. Looks like a healthy bead of sealant.

Funny thing happened - two of the shafts of the pop rivets broke prematurely. I read about this on the VAF forums. I cut it down with snips and will ground it down flush once the proseal hardens a little.

This is the mess of clecos I had to clean up. I was really dreading this part. This is the worst part of tank construction if you ask me. Ironically, these clecos were a walk in the park to clean up. Not much sealant on any of them. I think that the dimpled holes on the rib to skin hold a lot more sealant in them, compared to how the baffle meets the skin flushly. ANyways, it didn't take long at all to get these done.

Finally, I walked my pride and joy downstairs to the basement and sat it on this 2x4. Dave Parson did this as well, theory is any proseal on the baffle-to-skin joint will work itself down into that crevice by gravity. Hey, for free its worth a try.



Last Modified: June 20, 2024