Finishing the Rudder

While Tammy and Acacia were taking a nap, I decided to sneak off to the shop and get some work done on the airplane.  Since the trailing edge of the rudder was completed a few days ago, its time to finish it up, and that means bending the leading edge and threading in the mounting hardware.  I started off by bending the leading edges, which is done exactly like the elevators in previous posts.  I used Gorilla tape on the leading edges, and then a piece of wooden dowel rod as a rolling pin to roll the edges gently into a nice curved shape.  

Once both sides have been rolled I had to finish the bends by hand to make sure the skins are lining up with the pre-punched holes, and to make the leading edge bend nice and neat and smooth.  This is not a gentle process, and takes a lot of work to get the metal where I wanted it, but ultimately I got the bends to where I was happy.  Then I used 3/32″ clecos in the #40 holes to hold the bends while I match drilled everything to a #30 hole for the AD-41-ABS blind rivets.  As I drilled the holes, I replaced it with the larger 1/8″ cleco.

Once I had all the holes match drilled, It was time to deburr the holes.  Since this part is hard to get to, I used a scotchbrite pad on all the surfaces I couldn’t reach with my deburring tool and made sure they felt nice and smooth with my fingers before moving on. Once the holes were deburred, I clecoed it all back together using 1/8″ clecos and started the blind riveting process, one hole at a time. These came out looking pretty good!

I decided to go ahead and thread the eye bolts into the mount holes of the rudder and get them roughly into position.  I picked through my hardware bags until I found the proper eye bolts, and their jam nuts, then I coated the threads with a good helping of Boelube to help with the platenuts.  I threaded them all in, and got them to roughly where they need to be per the plans as far as depth.  I will temporarily mount the rudder to the vertical stabilizer in a few days to do the final alignment of the eye bolts, and then tighten the jam nuts fully to set their position.  I am happy with how the rudder came out!

Here is a gallery of all of tonights photos:

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Google Photos Link: https://goo.gl/photos/BqJkTwTFneTcLm1h6

Hours Worked: 1.5

 

Riveting the Rudder Trailing Edge

Tonight. I decided to take on the most difficult part of the empennage:  The Rudder Trailing Edge!  This one simple little piece of kit causes the most headache and heartache out of the entire tail section, and for good reason.  If you can’t get a good straight trailing edge on the rudder, you will have a hell of a time trying to get it all trimmed out and flying hands off.  I followed the Van’s recommendation (see previous posts) about using a piece of angle aluminum and Pro-sealing the trailing edge wedge into place and clecoing the trailing edge onto the aluminum angle to help it bond into a nice straight piece. That worked wonderful.  Then I used Van’s suggested method of double flush riveting the trailing edge.

To start off, I had to remove the angle that has been holding the trailing edge in its curing position for the last 18 or so days.  The Pro-seal had squished out a bit, and bonded the trailing edge to the angle, but it was pretty easy to separate and remove the angle. 

Once I had the angle off, I used a #40 drill bit in my hand to clear out the Pro-seal from al the rivet holes.  On quite a few of these holes, I had to use the deburring tool with very light pressure to remove some of the Pro-seal that oozed out into the dimple.  I also tried to clean up the edges and skin surface so that no Pro-seal would cause the trailing edge to not sit flush against the back riveting plate. I used some acetone to clean off the skin surfaces, because Pro-seal is some sticky stuff! Once it was all cleaned up, I inserted the AN4263-3.5 rivets and used some masking tape to hold the manufactured heads of the rivets into the dimples.

You can also see in the photo above, I numbered every rivet on the tape, and then wrote in my riveting sequence just above the numbers.  Van’s tells us to start off by half-way setting every 10th rivet using a back rivet set.  I started in the middle, and counted every 10th all the way to the top and bottom and marked the with the number “1”.  These would get set first.  Then I counted every 5th rivet and marked its sequence as number “2”.  Then I tried to roughly put my third sequence, number “3”, in between the 1’s and 2’s.

Just like the plans tells us, I flipped the rudder over and used my back rivet set on the tails of the rivets and the manufactured heads on the backing plate.  I have a longer backing plate so this made this part go really smooth.  I started out by half-setting all the number 1’s, then going back and doing the number 2’s and so on by working from the middle out on each sequence. Once I had them all half- way set, I flipped the rudder up to make sure the trailing edge was still perfectly straight….it was!!!

Now, I flipped the rudder over so that the tails of the rivets were facing the back rivet plate, and switched out the back rivet set on my rivet gun, for a mushroom style flush rivet set.  I used my same sequencing, and set the rivets fully by using the flush set against the manufactured head, and the tails were driven into the back rivet plate until they were nice and flush.  I only used the corner of my back rivet plate so that I could fit JUST the rivet I was working on against the plate, this would keep the other rivets from holding the trailing edge up away from the plate and causing it to bend.  It took a lot more fiddling to do this, but I think it made it turn out really straight.

After I had worked my way out from the center of the rudder, using my riveting sequence, I turned the rudder up to make sure it was straight:

Yeah….I am definitely happy with that!! It’s not exactly perfectly straight, but it is WAY closer than the 0.100″ than Van’s says is tolerable.  I held the trailing edge against my aluminum angle to get a comparison, and to measure against my dial calipers, the worst I could measure was only about 0.05″ to o.075″ which is perfectly acceptable.

Once I had the trailing edge done, I had a few more rivets to squeeze on the top and bottom ribs.  I had left these out to make it easier to apply the pro-seal, so its time to set those babies.  I was able to use my squeezer on all of them except the very last one closest to the trailing edge.  Vans’ says its fine to use a MK-319-BS blind rivet in these last holes because of the super tight clearances.  I decided that’d be the route I’d go, because I did NOT want to mess up this beautiful rudder with trying to squeeze or rivet that very end rivet!  So, I stuck in a MK-319-BS blind rivet, and carefully set it using a pop rivet tool.  They came out really nice, and are almost perfectly flush with the skins. When she’s painted, this will get a little bit of filler and you’ll never know it 🙂

The rudder is now 100% riveted together!  All that was left was to clean up the edges of the trailing edge with some scotchbrite pads to break the edges, as well as to knock off any squished out pro-seal.  Then I rounded off the corners of the trailing edge using a file and scotchrbite pads.  That’s it for tonight! I am happy to have this part behind me now.  I have been dreading it for a while, but it actually wasn’t to bad to do.  I set aside a day when I’d have plenty of tie to concentrate and get it done slowly and correctly. This rudder will fly straight as an arrow!

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Google photos Link: https://goo.gl/photos/auZhkD8hAYvLhdiH8

Hours Worked: 2.5

ProSeal Party!

Today was actually a pretty fun day.  I decided to wait on prosealing the rudder and elevators until I could do it all at once, and save on the cost of mixing up two different tubes for two different sessions.  I also took advantage of having some helpful friends to come by and lend a hand at this super messy task, with the promise of feeding them some of Tammy’s awesome “Mississippi Mud Pot Roast” as payment for their help.  One of the helpers has had experience with ProSeal before, so he gave us some tips on using this stuff.  Best tip:  Double glove….

We started out by un-cleocing the trailing edge of the rudder so we could get the trailing edge wedge out and clean it.  I used acetone to wipe down the wedge as well a both sides of the skin to make sure we get good adhesion, although after using ProSeal, I think this stuff would stick to anything. Once we had the parts cleaned off, we mixed up the tube of Proseal.  This was actually a neat setup, and the rods made it pretty easy to get it all mixed up and proportioned correctly.   Then we gooped on a decent portion on the trailing edge wedge, and smeared it to a nice even consistency using the pieces of some clothespins.

Having plenty of hands made this job go much smother.  One guy squirted on the Proseal from the caulking gun, while we smoothed it out using the ends of the clothespins and pieces of some paint mixing sticks.  Once we had the wedge good and covered with this sticky mess, two guys held the ends of the wedge, while me and the other helper held the trailing edge of the skins open just enough so they could slide the wedge in place. We lined it up with the holes and then used a few clecos to hold it until we could set it aside and then cleco it down to the 2×2 angle aluminum which serves as our straight edge.  Before clecoing it down to the straight edge, I did run my finger using some force along the the trailing edge to make sure all the excess Proseal was squeeezed out to prevent pillowing between the clecos. Then, once we had all the clecos inserted, we went back and placed some clothes pins in between the clecos to help clamp it down even further. I also gave each one of the clothes pins an extra “squeeze” every so often by pinching the down on the nose of them.

  

With the rudder ready to be set aside and cured, we moved on to the elevators.  I wanted to put a decent glob/dab of ProSeal at the ends of the stiffeners near the trailing edges.  This is supposed to help fight off any vibration and keep the stiffeners from cracking, so I figured its worth the little bit of time to go ahead and do this.  We started out by unclecoing both elevators, and then using a combination of paint mixing sticks, the caulking gun and finese to get a good blob of Proseal on each stiffener junction.  Again, having several sets of hands REALLY made this job much easier.  We ended up using nearly the whole tube (medium sized tube from Vans) on the rudder and both elevators.

After we had both elevators prosealed, we clecoed them back together, and I will finish riveting them in a few days once the Proseal cures. Just some words of advice:

  1.  Proseal is incredibly sticky, and WILL get everywhere.
  2. Double glove…it makes it easy to pull off your outer layer, and slip on a new set. Sweaty hands from the gloves are hard to get a fresh pair on, so double gloving avoids this problem
  3. This stuff smells like sewer and new tires. Make sure you have good ventilation. Its not as bad as AKZO, but man, its a weird smell.
  4. It has a pretty decent working time of about an hour or so. Maybe more if you are willing to risk it.  It was a little cold in the basement, so we didn’t want to chance it.

Here’s the whole photo album:

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Google Photos Link: https://goo.gl/photos/4fRLG915Z8FAGnmZ6

Hours Worked: 1.25

Riveting the Rudder

Tonight I started riveting the rudder together.  I planned on getting the majority of the rudder riveted, while leaving the out the last few rivets along the trailing edge.  This way I can more easily spread the trailing edge to make it easier to bond the trailing edge wedge and rivet it.  I spent about three hours on the rudder tonight, and it came out really great so far!

The work started by rolling the edges of the skins where it laps over the counterbalance skin.  I used my edge rolling tool to accomplish this, and it formed a nice little break that will let the two lap joints fit nicely with no lipping.  I also rolled the edges of the leading edge skin so that it will lap together very nice when I finally finish up the leading edge.  After that, I studied the plans, as there are several spots on the rudder that require different sizes, and made sure I had the proper locations identified.

I started riveting at the overlap of the R-901 skin and R-913 counterbalance skin.  These rivets have to be set first, because they become inaccessible once we install the R-903 tip rib. Once I had these rivets set on both sides, I installed the R-903 tip rib and clecoed every hole because this is a rather compound and complex curve. I started riveting by pop-riveting the rib to the R-902 spar per the plans.  Then I used the AN426 flush rivets on the very leading edge, where the tip rib fits into the counterbalance skin and began working my way toward the tip, removing one cleco at a time and then riveting in that hole.  Flipped the rudder over and done the opposite side.

On the upper side of the rudder, I left the last 6 or so rivets out of the tip rib/skin so that I can flex it open to install the trailing edge.  Once I had the upper tip riveted up, I decided to continue on and rivet the skin to the spar on both sides and then rivet the bottom rib.  I started out by riveting the skin to the rear spar in every other hole that way the clecos would hold the skin flush to the spar nicely.  Once I had every other hole riveted, I removed the remaining clecos and riveted those holes.  This worked really well, as I could insert all the rivets, and squeeze them in “batches” instead of one by one.  Once I had a side completed, I flipped the rudder over and riveted the opposite in the same manner. It turned out looking very nicely, but pardon the dust 🙂

 

All that was left as this point was the bottom rib,  the R-710 rudder horn brace and fiberglass mounting strips.  I started out by swapping out the nose on my squeezer so that I could fit into the tight space of the rudder horn in order to set those rivets.  I had BARELY enough clearance to get them done, but it worked out after being very careful with the squeezer.

Now that the hard part was riveted on, I continued on down the bottom of the skin and squeezed the rivets along the R-904 bottom rib, R-918 attach strips and the R-901 skin.  All of the rivets on the rudder I was able to set using my squeezer, so the results came out very clean and neat.  I did leave the last few rivets along the bottom rib out so that I can spread the skins to bond the trailing edge wedge.  I will set them while the trailing edge is bonding, so that will be in the next few coming weeks.  Here is what the rudder looks like after tonights session:

All in all, I am very happy with the way the rudder has turned out so far.  All the rivets are clean and flush, there is no warping or twist in the rudder that I can see, and I am ready to go for the trailing edge bonding.  That’s exactly what I had hoped to accomplish for this session, so I decided to wrap it up by clecoing on the my aluminum angle to the trailing edge and installing the edge wedge.  This way my rudder will be held perfectly straight while its sitting on the shelf waiting on the Proseal bonding, which I hope to do in the next couple weeks.   Here are the photos from tonights work:

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Google Photos link: https://goo.gl/photos/zmNYk13To4x1Ju6c8

Hours Worked: 3

Rudder Final Assembly Continued

Tonight I continued working on the rudder final assembly.  I stopped by Home Depot and picked up some 1.5″ aluminum angle so that I could use it when I bond the trailing edge. It came in an 8 foot length, so I trimmed to be just a few inches longer than the trailing edge, finished out the rough edge on that cut and then marked the center of one side of the angle to help align my drill holes. I laid one of the rudder skins on flat against the angle and the lined up the mark I made with the pre-drilled holes in the skin.  Then I match drilled a hole to start and clecoed the skin and angle right into my work table.  Then, to keep from over-drilling the skin, I just drilled every two holes all the way through and clecoed.  For the remaining holes, I simply ran the bit for a few seconds to start a hole using the clecoed skin as a guide, and then pulled the skin off and finished drilling the holes through the angle.  I then laid the skin back over my holes and clecoed it in a few spots to make sure it was still lining up, and it was.

Then I set the angle aside and kept on working on the rudder itself.  I decided to fit the bottom R-710 rudder horn brace to make sure I could rivet everything in place with the brace installed, and luckily my squeezer will fit in the tight space of the horn brace and set the rivets easily.  I decided to use the AN470 rivets instead of the blind rivets that is optional for this part.  I used my squeezer to set the rivets and left the ones that the skin rivets too for later.  You can see in the photo below that the access hole in the R-710 horn brace gives just enough clearance for the squeezer to get in and set the rivets along the bottom rib.

After that, I decided to get the trailing edge ready for assembly before I cleco on the skins.  First I used the DRDT-2 to dimple the trailing edge of the skins, and the I used a new jig from Cleaveland Tools that makes countersinking the trailing edge wedge a breeze!  This thing is dead simple, its shaped to fit the angle of the trailing edge wedge, so that the working surface sits flush and allows all of the countersink cage to sit flush while countersinking.  This is something a lot of builders have a hard time with, and struggle to make a good jig, so Cleaveland made one from a solid piece of billet.  Here’s how it looks:

You can see how the trailing edge wedge sits perfectly in the groove, and the holes in the jig allow the nib on the countersink cutter to travel completely through.  This little $36 tool made this job so simple I was glad to have it.  I had both sides of my wedge done in about 30 minutes, counting the time I took to adjust the depth.

 

With the trailing edge wedge done, I was ready to cleco on the skins and make sure everything still aligned right before riveting them on.  I clecoed on both sides and then inserted the trailing edge wedge and clecoed it together.  My rudder is still in alignment and its looking great.  However, while I was sitting down admiring my work, I started questioning when I should insert the rod end bearings for the rudder mounts.  They thread into the plate nuts I installed into the spar, but the plans has some specific lengths they need to be, and it looks like its measured from the inside of the spar to the center of the hole in the rod end bearing.   Heres what I am talking about:

Of course, with the skins on, I wont be able to measure from the inside of the spar, and it looks like its calling for a distance of 51/64 in this particular instance.  So, I am going to ask in the forums if I should go ahead and install those rod end bearings before I rivet on the skins.  So, with that little dilema, I decided to call it a night and wait until I get some advice on how to proceed before I make it harder on myself down the road.  This is a good stopping point anyways!

Here’s an album of all the photos from tonights work:

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Google Photos album link: https://goo.gl/photos/aHYpcitVP9jL4eYBA

Hours Worked: 3.75

Final Assembly of the Rudder

Well, I had some downtime, and didn’t get much done on the plane since I sprayed the primer.  I wanted to let the parts sit and the primer cure for a few days, but I wasn’t planning on this long 🙂  None the less, I got back on the ball today, and got some work done.  I want to finish up the rudder to the point of riveting the trailing edge, and then I will hold off on the Proseal until I need it for the elevator stiffeners as well.  So, lets build a rudder skeleton!

The work started off by gathering up and marking all the parts for the rudder.  Some of the marks were covered up with the primer, so I needed to find all the parts again.  I also took a little time to read the plans and get re-familiar with the rudder.  I had already deburred the parts before priming, so I needed to dimple the skins, spar and ribs. This went pretty quick with the DRDT-2, and using the pop-rivet dimple die tool to get the very end of the ribs.  I am still not sure how the heck I am going to rivet those things.

With all the parts deburred, dimpled, primed and ready to assemble, I began the work of final assembly on the rudder skeleton.  We start out  by riveting all of the reinforcement plates, R606PP, R607PP, and R608PP to the rudder spar R902. I also riveted on the K1000-6 nut plates to the proper sides of the rear spar.  I decided to leave these unpainted, since they have corrosion protection already applied.

Once the reinforcement plates are riveted on, I moved towards the bottom of the rudder and worked on the lower rib and rudder horn.  The R-904 has several different pieces that all fit together on the spar to form the lower assembly.  I attached the R-904 to the R-902 rear spar, fitted the R-917 shim, and finally fitted the R-405PD rudder horn with clecos.  Then I attached the K1000-6 plate nut to the assembly and riveted everything together.  There are several different lengths of rivets in this section, so I had to pay close attention and double check each rivet before setting it.

Now that the bottom of the skelton was done, I moved on to finish the top. Vans has us rivet the R-912 counterbalance rib to the rear spar, and then fit the R-913 counterbalance skin over the rib.  I attached the skin with clecos due to its thickness and the complex curve it has.  Then once I was happy the counterbalance skin was fitted nicely, I removed one cleco at a time and riveted it in place. It came out looking great!

The last step on this skeleton was to install the lead counterbalance weight.  I had pre-drilled and countersunk it a few weeks ago, but I still needed to do a little trimming to get the counterweight to fit around the rivet tails that were now sticking inside the skeleton.  I didn’t have to remove much material, so the balance shouldn’t be affected.  Then I secured the weight with the AN509 screws and torqued them down to 30 inch/lbs.  This is the 25 inch/lbs that is called for, plus the drag of the nylon lock nut, which I measured at about 5 inch/lbs.  I followed that up with a little torque seal to mark that I had them torqued, and also to show in case the screws start to work loose.

I called it a night at this point. I have a full rudder skeleton, and the next step is to cleco on the skins and start getting them ready to rivet, and then place the end rib on the top.  In the next session, I will cleco on the skins and make sure every thing is still lined up, and then use one of the skins as a guide to drill some aluminum angle for the trailing edge.

Heres all the photos from tonights work:

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And the Google Photos link: https://goo.gl/photos/SRSXVZCsuYNEQqeY6

Hours Worked: 4.5

Metal Prep on Rudder Pieces

Tammy and Acacia headed out to do some grocery shopping so I stayed at home and decided to work a little on the airplane tonight.  I only spent about 1.5 hours on it, but I ended up finishing all of the metal prep on the rudder parts.

I started out by deburring all of the holes in the remaining pieces.  I picked up a small little electric screwdriver which made the mundane process of deburring, really easy and quick.  I switched out the normal deburring cutter with the single fluted deburring tool when I worked on the thin skins.  I was also very careful on the .020″ skin to keep it from knife edging. I also removed some more strips of the protective plastic on the rudder skins, so that all of my holes are now clear of it.

Next up was to deburr the edges.  I fired up the scotchbrite wheel and ran all of the parts across it to smooth out their edges.  For the thicker rudder horn, I first worked it against the normal stone grinding wheel on the bench grinder, then smoothed it out on the scotchbrite wheel.   I then used my handheld deburring tool to smooth out the edges of some of the larger holes, and finished off the hard to reach edges with a scotchbrite pad.  I then rounded the corners of the skins, and hit their edges with the scotchbrite pad.

Not many photos since this is pretty simple work, but here is all the parts after they were done:

Hours Worked: 1.5

Fitting the Rudder Counterweight and Beginning Metal Prep

I only spent about an hour on the project tonight.  All I have left on the rudder is to fit the counterweight and then start the process of deburring, dimpling, and edge finishing so I can get the parts ready for priming.  I am seriously considering building an air tight spray booth in the basement that ventilates the air outside so that I can spray the parts regardless of time of day or weather outside.  Thats a project for another day though.

Tonight I began with drilling the forward hole for the counterweight into the R-912 rib.  I placed the E-614-020 lead weight in the rib and match drilled the hole.  The plans calls for a #10, but after getting the screw and nut called for in the plans, I think a #12 bit will work just fine.  I do however have a#10 dimple die set. I drilled a #12, and then dimpled the rib using the DRDT-2.  I also had a #10 countersink, so I used that in my hand deburring tool to machine countersink the lead weight.

The rear hole was back drilled into the rib using the pre-drilled holes in the lead weight as a guide.  Once I had that finished, I decided to work on preparing all the parts of the rudder.

Metal prep is something that you will spend A LOT of time on during a build.  I am going to pick up an electric screwdriver to hold the deburring cutter so I don’t kill my wrists using the little wobbly-spinning screwdriver tool. There are thousands of holes in the plane that need deburring. There really isn’t much to photograph or even talk about during these types of phases in the projects.  I started out by deburring a few pieces  of the rudder, and then decided it was time to call it a night.  I will pick up an electric screwdriver on Monday and make this work go a lot faster.  I knocked a few pieces of deburring out:

Heres the photos from tonights short build session:

Google Photos Link: https://goo.gl/photos/nvqHhj4oujqPV9bC6

Hours Worked: 1

Assembling and Drilling the Rudder

Tammy and Acacia were out of the house for the night, so I made the executive decision to go ahead and rivet on the stiffeners to the skins without priming them now.  I will prime them with the rest of the parts later on, so that means there will be a small section of metal that is not primed, between the stiffener and skin, but it is alclad so I am not too worried about it.

I started out by dimpling both the stiffeners and the skins using the DRDT-2. The thin .016 skin dimples incredibly easy, so I was ginger with the force. Then I back riveted the stiffeners onto the skins, being sure I kept the work on the back rivet plate.  I wished I could back rivet the whole plane! The rivets came out looking perfect.

 

I had previously built the rudder skeleton, so the next step was to cleco on the skins to the skeleton and then match drill all the remaining holes, including the trailing edge wedge.  I cleco’ed every other hole so I could drill perfectly aligned, and then moved the clecos to their neighbor hole and drilled where they were.

Now that the rudder is assembled, the plans has us fit the R-710 rudder brace and then back drill it to the skins lower holes.  First we have to trim away a little excess on the part, as noted in the plans. There are notches and holes that can be used as a reference to trim, but after reading from several other builders, I opted to trim on the outside of these lines to give myself some extra metal in case I have edge clearance issues.  Other builders noted that if you cut along the notches, you an run into edge clearance issues after you drill the holes.  

The above photo gives a better idea of what I am talking about.  The bottom line in the line Van’s has you trim, where I opted to give a little extra as you can see from the top line I drew.  Thats the line I trimmed along and it worked out really nicely.

I have plenty of edge distance for all the holes, and I will just file down the edges to make them smooth and get rid of that notches when I deburr and edge dress all the parts.  I then clecoed this part to the skeleton so I could complete the next small bit of fabrication.  Next up is to fabricate the R-918 rudder bottom attachment strips.  These are strips of .032 that gets riveted onto the bottom of the skeleton to provide a flange for the fiberglass bottom cap to attach to.  Van’s ships about 40″ of .032 that is already cut to the 1 1/8″ width, so all I had to do was cut them to 18″ long and then trim out the little notch as noted in the plans, which as easy enough to do.

Once you have both sides fabricated, we use cleco side clamps to hold them flush along the bottom of the rudder, onto R-904 rib.  Then, back drill each one using the holes in the skin as a guide.

I was careful that I didn’t run into edge edge distance issues and used a Sharpie to mark the holes and check they were not to close to the edge.  Once I was happy, I drilled them.  I completed both sides of the R-918 and decided that after 6 hours of working on the rudder today, I’d call it a night.

Heres all the photos from tonights work:

Google Photos link: https://goo.gl/photos/gozEbqnaSBR4ZtgT7

Hours Worked: 6

Assembling the Rudder Skeleton

After a short break, I started on the second work session for tonight.  I had finished up the rudder stiffeners prior, and now its time to construct the rudder skeleton.  The assembly starts off by clecoing R-904 rib to the spar R-902.  Once its clecoed, we need to wide the hole in R-904 to a 3/8″ hole to match the hole in the spar.  This is where a hinge bolt goes in the future. I used a step-bit (Uni-bit) to widen the hole, which worked nicely.

Next I fabricated the R-917 shim from some of the scrap aluminum that Vans ships with the kit.  There isn’t many parts you have to fabricate, but this one is pretty simple. The plans includes a full scale template of the part.  After I had it cut to shape, I rounded the corners and dressed all the edges smooth.

Now that we have the shim made up, we can cleco on the rudder horn and being match drilling everything into place.  The rudder horn required a bit of grinding to get it to fit snuggly inside the R-904 rib, which is called for in the plans.  I used my bench grinder to get a rough shape that would clear, and then worked the edges down using a file.  Once I had the edges rounded, I smoothed it all out on the scotchbrite wheel.  It’s sooth as silk and fits perfect, even though this took quite a bit of time.

I clecoed on the R-606PP, R-902 spar, R-917 shim, R-904 rib and finally the R-405PD rudder horn to the bottom of the spar. I also went ahead and clecod on the other two doublers, R-607PP and R-608PP.  I then match drilled them all using a #30 bit.

I then moved on to fluting and straightening the R-903 tip rib and the R-912 counterbalance ribs.  These parts have some pretty aggressive curves punched into them, so they needed quite a bit of work to get perfectly straight and square.  I used a metal rule to check that the holes were all lined up.  Then I clecoed them both onto the R-902 spar, and match drilled them to the spar with a #30.

This is where the lead counterbalance will go, and there is a .032″ thick piece of skin that wraps around them to form the counterbalance.  The plans has us mount that skin and then match drill everything to a #40.  This took a little bit of work and fiddling to get the thick skin to mold around the ribs just right to line up the holes, but eventually I got it clecoed on.  Then match drilled all the holes to a #40 as called out in the plans.

This was a good point to stop, as the next steps in the plans has us clecoing on the rudder skins, which I do not have ready yet.  I still need to prime them.

Here’s the photos from this work session:

Google Photo Album link: https://goo.gl/photos/82etN8p4fCdzm8bs7

Hours Worked: 3