I thought for sure I would finish the elevators today. But no! Came up short by five AD-41-ABS pop rivets.
Started the day by riveting the trailing edges. I lightly set all the rivets with the pneumatic squeezer first. Then propped everything up so that the trailing edge rested flush to the back rivet place and very carefully used a mushroom set on the bottom to finish the double flush rivets. With he “backward” trailing edge of the elevators, I almost needed to use just the edge of the rivet set. It was tricky but I’m happy with the result.
Remy helped me roll and rivet the leading edges.
I cut and installed the lead counterweights. Is it me or does installing lead in an airplane just seem wrong? 🙂
And here they are. My almost completed elevators!
Finish riveting the leading edge (ordering rivets today)
Terminate the wires from the (waiting for crimper to arrive)
safety wire trim tab hinge pin (waiting for safety wire to arrive)
I went through three changes of gloves and still managed to get it on my hands.
Prepped the scuffed surfaces with isopropyl.
Sealed the trialing edge ribs in place. Peeled the tape and stuck the top skins to the trailing edges. Weighted down the aft section to ensure good bond of the skins to the ribs. The sealer cures in six hours according to the data sheet. So should be riveting the trailing edge and finishing up tomorrow.
I got home from a grocery run with the family and my replacement trailing edge was waiting in the driveway. Thank you, Van’s. Their shipping team is not taking any chances. The trailing edge was wrapped in paper, and sealed in a length of PVC pipe with PVC end caps. The end caps were sealed with that tape they use for packing everything. This is the stickiest tape ever. I’m thinking I might build a plane from it after the RV is done.
I was just going to bring it down to the shop. But once I saw the packing job, I just had to open it. …and since I was down there and the drill press was still set up for countersinking trailing edge, I clecoed it to the skin, marked it, trimmed it, and finished the outboard end correctly this time. And then I countersunk it.
…and while I’m down here, I might as well prep the skins for bonding, too. Same drill as the trim tab… Measure, tape, strip primer with isopropyl, sand, and wipe with acetone.
I finished back riveting the stiffeners to the skins. I had one oops where a rivet got cockeyed just before I drove it. It left a ding in the skin but didn’t penetrate. I debated replacing the skin but opted to move on.
I used 3M F9460PC double stick VHB tape to secure the trailing edge extrusion to the skin and clecoed it together. I put some long rivets through every tenth hole or so, put the tape on both sides of the wedge, and used the rivets to properly register the taped wedge to the right skin. Then I clecoed it in place and removed the rivets.
I riveted the stiffeners and shear clips together. I removed the backing from the other side of the tape while I pried the skins slightly apart so the strip didn’t tear. I removed clecos as I worked my way to the top of the trailing edge. I pressed the left skin into the tape and clecoed every hole.
I mounted the counterbalance. I had to file a bit off of the forward corners to clear the shop heads of the rivets holding the counterbalance rib in place. I riveted the skin to the spar, and riveted everything else except the trailing edge. That will be tomorrow’s adventure.
I neglected to shoot progress photos along the way but here’s the result of today’s work…
I primed all the rudder parts and skins today. I picked up a roll of hardware mesh at Home Depot and put it up on some blocks over my paint table. I did this to keep all the small pieces from being blown around by the spray gun. It worked really well.
I got the shipment of VS replacement parts from Van’s today. Unfortunately only four of the five parts I ordered arrived. They shipped the wrong part for the fifth on. I ordered a VS-705 they shipped an E-705. I called and they’re shipping the correct one. Oh well. I’ll just continue on with the rudder until it arrives.
I riveted together the spar, reinforcement plates, counterweight rib, bottom rib, rudder horn and shim. The I screwed up and riveted the rudder attach nut plates to the wrong side of the spar. Drilled them out and re-riveted correctly. Cost me six rivets and an extra thirty minutes. No harm no foul.
I’m still struggling with my riveting technique with the gun. There was one rivet on the rudder horn that couldn’t be reached with the squeezer. I managed to put a big smile into the rudder horn. I think it will be okay.
I made a drill guide from a paint stirrer so that I could more accurately drill perpendicular to the chord of the rudder. I cut a 6 degree angle on the end and held it flush to the rudder and aligned the drill to the edge of the stick.
Off to Vegas tomorrow for a conference. won’t be making ay progress until next weekend.