Sam Buchanan's RV6

Building the Fuselage

sam-3.jpg (12849 bytes)


Page One
Page Two
Page Three
Page Four
Page Five
Page Six


7/13/98; 6.25 hrs; dimpled fuse aft bottom and side skins; riveted right aft side skin.


fuse-53.jpg (48811 bytes)


By starting with the right side skin, then clecoing and riveting the bottom skin followed by the left side skin, I hope to be able to rivet nearly the entire tailcone without assistance.



Idiot Alert: I think I just executed the worst "stupid" so far in my project. As I was riveting the first aft side skin, the gun slipped off one of the rivets along the curved portion that is near the bottom of the fuse. The resulting ding really hacked me off since I am seriously considering not painting my airplane in the near future. I turned the air regulator down a little more and continued riveting. A while later, the same thing happened again; The gun bounced off the rivet and another ding resulted.

Yep, a few rivets later, it happened again! Three smileys on one side of the fuse! After walking around the shop a few times and engaging in self-flagellation, I started wondering if I had lost all the riveting skills I had accumulated up to that time.

Then it hit. I have three air outlets in my shop, one set at 80 lbs, the others regulated at 25-35 for the gun. I was wondering why I had continued problems with the gun bouncing even though I had reduced the air pressure after each of the dings. Yes, I had plugged the rivet gun into the wrong air line!

Fortunately, I found my brain sitting on the workbench before it had time to dry out completely, and after reinserting it into my head, I continued with the riveting session without further problems.

Now I need a good method to work out dings without resorting to filler. Any ideas?


7/14/98; 3.0 hrs; more riveting on aft fuse skins; dimpled cabin bottom skins and clecoed to fuse skeleton.

7/15/98; 2.0 hrs; riveted most of left aft side skin.

7/16/98; 2.25 hrs; dimpled and clecoed both forward side skins.

7/25/98; 7.5 hrs; riveted both side skins and left cabin bottom skin.


fuse-54.jpg (48524 bytes)


Since I am riveting as much of the fuse singlehanded as possible, I removed one baggage rib so I would have better access to the left cabin bottom skin.




fuse-57.jpg (47002 bytes)


This allowed me to "stand" in the fuse and reach the rivets for the left bottom skin after both side skins were riveted. The right bottom skin will require Melanie's assistance for some of the rivets.





fuse-56.jpg (47266 bytes)


I am very fortunate that Melanie, my 15 year old daughter has developed into a fine rivet driver! She does great work, but she sure ain't cheap!








fuse-55.jpg (49119 bytes)


The fuse is looking very airplaney! It should come out of the jig soon.





7/26/98; 1.75 hrs; riveted right cabin bottom skin.

7/27/98; 1.25 hrs; dimpled forward bottom skin; countersunk floor stiffeners.

8/2/98; 3.25 hrs; riveted floor stiffeners; riveted forward bottom skin; REMOVED FUSE FROM JIG!!

8/3/98; 1.5 hrs; built supports for fuse.


fuse-58.jpg (40898 bytes)

It isn't good construction practice to have the fuse rolling about the shop floor as we complete the constructions sequence, hence, a set of supports was fashioned to hold the fuse securely. You can see a more elaborate fixture in the "Construction Tips".



fuse-59.jpg (44315 bytes)


This is the support for the tail of the fuse. Simple, quick, and effective.







fuse-60.jpg (48826 bytes)


The forward end of the fuse is supported by an equally simple system. Most of the materials came from the wing kit crate. The hold shebang is held together with 4" drywall screws. The main longeron is about 42" above the floor.







fuse-61.jpg (46609 bytes)


This is a detail of the "false spar" that supports the fuse. 5/8" holes are drilled to clear the plate-nuts on the forward side of the fuse.




8/5/98; 2.5 hrs; primed inside of fuse; drilled aft deck to fuse.

8/6/98; 3.0 hrs; riveted aft deck and reinforcing angles to fuse; installed J-stringers for top skins.



Back to Fuse, page four

Forward to Fuse, page six

Back to RV6 Home Page


Please submit all questions and comments to



Table of Contents

RV6 Home

Who is Sam? 
The Hangar 

Getting Ready to Build 
     Odd 'n Ends 

Building the Tail 
     Horz. Stab Log 
     Vert. Stab Log 
     Rudder Log 
     Elevator Log 

Building the Wings
     Wing Spars
     Wing Assembly
  Fuel Tanks

Building the Fuselage

The Finish Kit


  Flight of  Rediscovery 

  The Beat Goes On 

The RV Journal
Front Page 

Talk to Sam


Van's Aircraft