I have read and been told that you need controlled temperatures when drilling and riveting to produce good clean skins and surfaces.

How critical is this?

I am scratch building in a shelter logic tent in Alaska with working temps of 10-30f in the winter (colder than 10 and my hands get too cold so I stay inside) and and in the summer 50-60s at night and up in the low 100s with the greenhouse affect in the afternoons.

If I drill and rivet wings or control surfaces together with the temps fluctuating those 20 degrees, will it cause issues with the end product?

Anyone here have experience with finished planes built in those conditions?

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I can’t give a good answer to your question, but I can give you my vote for a fortitude award......  those are some tough conditions..... to SCRATCH build in none the less.  My hat is off to you.....

Thanks, I have been posting pictures of my progress on the homebuilt airplanes forum if you were curious,


  Aluminum shrinks and expands somewhat with temperature fluctuations. If all the parts are the same temp you are OK.

If one part is a different temp then another part, then a problem happens - holes will not line up.

Bottom line, no worries if ALL parts are the same temp at time of riveting


Thanks, that's what I was thinking as well, but like Perry mentions below there have been convincing cases for climate control.

I don't think (or don't want to think) that most builders are that perfectly controlled and there are plenty of well built flying examples built in the 'wild'.

I agree with Mark S. I think you would really have to be trying to make this a problem by somehow keeping one piece warm while the other is kept cold. That said, Mark Patey makes a convincing case for it in a video about his wife's 801. 


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