CHAPTER 18 - Riveting the Tank

Naturally, the warm spell we had here continued until it was time to rivet. While the temperature was good for Prosealing, it was quite uncomfortable for me. I elected to do the tank in four sections: stiffeners and fittings, inner ribs, outer ribs, and rear baffle. The stiffeners and fittings proved to be the easy part. Tape the rivets in place, smear the Proseal, and bang! with the back rivet set. It was a little tougher doing the nose plates and attach bracket, but the entire job was over quickly. This Proseal stuff isn't so tough.

The inner ribs proved to be sweaty work. Bending over the tank, holding a bucking bar in one hand and gun in the other (both of which kept getting heavier), and my eyes soon filled with sweat. Not only did it make it hard to see what I was doing, but I was afraid I'd drip into the tank and ruin my cleaning job. I eventually resorted to laying a towel over the tank and pressing my head to it occasionally. I also found that the towel deadened the riveting noise somewhat. While the photo may look like I've left horrible dents in my tank skin, that's actually smeared Proseal. Naptha cleaned it right up, and clecoes were soaked in it, until Judi came to my rescue and cleaned while I worked.

The hand holding the gun is bare - I found it easier to place rivets and handle the gun. The other hand has surgical gloves on; it was used to smear proseal, etc. I tossed soiled gloves onto the ground until cleanup time, when I found quite a pile. I'm sure the neighbors wonder what I was doing with them.

The outer ribs were not as hard. As you can see, I was able to sit down. The hot weather dictated shorts, I am happy to say that no Proseal got onto exposed skin, except for my hands. I did find that I had almost worked myself into a corner by riveting the attach bracket on first, as it interfered with a couple of the rivets for the skin. I was able to buck them after trimming a bucking bar slightly, but the next tank will see the bracket going on last.

Ok, so the Proseal wasn't so easy after all. By the way, I used a food scale to mix my Proseal. I'd adjust to 0 with a cup and popsicle stick on the tray, then use the stick to add 2.5 oz. of the white part. Then I'd dribble in .25 oz. of the catalyst and be ready to mix.