Despite fear of future parts not fitting, I riveted the rear bulk head together. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that everything will fit fine.
Denny Smith and Jim Armstrong, both Sonex builder, came by to check out my work. These guys are full of experience and fun stories. Suprisingly, they didn’t have any criticism of my work. They said it was beautiful! That was good to hear… and a wee bit disappointing because I was hoping to learn better technique.
They shared plenty advise, most notably, “Wait to rivet until you can’t avoid it.” The plans call for rivets all the time, but if you hold off the riveting, you’ll have more flexibility to fit parts and work more comfortably, and it avoids mistakes.
So I prepared the left side of the fuselage for riveting, but I’ll only rivet the bottom longeron and keep the other parts clecoed until rivets are absolutely necessary. Despite scrubbing the left skin with scotch-brite and cleaning it with alcohol, the factory stamping on the aluminum doesn’t want to come off totally. Oh well. More reason to paint.