Between post #40 and #41 I took a break from building. Next thing on the to do list was roll the leading edges of the rudder and elevators. I needed a edge breaking tool. I had ordered one of the nylon roller type and it just never made to me. Since every order I make of these "special" tools usually come from the USA and it takes a few weeks I had was kind of out of things to do.
Eventually I asked a follow builder if I could borrow a few things to finish the empenage kit. But with busy schedules that also took a few weeks. So this past Monday I finally started working on the plane again.
Here is what I borrowed. I swear I felt like a kid on Christmas when I could finally get building again. Little did I know what was about to unfold.
Full disclosure, I thought I would roll the LE in a day and pop some pull rivets and be done with it... WRONG!
This turned out to be the worst part of the whole kit thus far for me. I absolutely didn't get how to properly do this. Even after yet another builder send me an email with pictures on how he did it and spend some time on the phone with me explaining his method (THANK YOU SO MUCH) I still had a really hard time with it and spend the better part of 20 hours spread over 3 days rolling these 3 leading edges.
Let's try to start at the beginning.
This is what I started with. 2 pretty decent looking elevators. By the way I primed the outside of the control surfaces during my non building time because I was getting pretty bad filliform surface corrosion at the rivet heads. I talked to Vans about it and due to the climate here I decided the parts were going to need some protection for the time of the build.
I used 3M tape and a wooden broom handle. Size was something like 0.85in. The plans call for 3/4 -1" so I thought this would work well. First I tried to roll them all at once but that didn't work out so good so I did them in 3 sections.
Then I turned it around and started rolling. I had carved the end of the wood to better hold it with some pliers. I also had this self made tool holding the wood from rolling up and preventing the bend close to the spar.
Result wasn't very pleasing. I suppose you can hardly tell whats going on this picture. But Lets just say I had an incredible hard time with this task.
After the phone call from a local builder he suggested to use a 22mm galvanizes pipe. So desperate me went to the hardware store bought exactly that and tried again. The tape stuck better to the pipe than to the wood. Ok. But I was still getting nowhere. Also, I felt I needed different sizes in diameter for the different sections. the small most outer part was easily done at first try with the pipe. The others not so much.
So this was version 2.0
What I found in the archives is that a lot of people had good success with this method: Socket Roller
I actually didn't take any picture because I was just really pissed at the whole time... I did Video tape the process. So if I get bored enough I may throw together a little clip.
Here is one elevator.
Oh yea and 2 roles of tape...
This was a PITA! What bugs me most is that through the whole first kit there have been tricky things but all was due to the fact that I have never done it before and was unfortunately making experiences on the actual parts. But after there was always. "well next time I will get it perfect, because now I know how to do it" Weather it was just use this tool over that or try different technique. But the rolling leading edges had non of that. If I had to do all of them again tomorrow it wouldn't get easier nor would I get a better results. So that was the most frustrating part for me.
I didn't learn how to do it and that is usually the rewarding part of the process