Home > VansAirForceForums

- Donate yearly (please).
- Advertise in here!

- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Old 09-08-2019, 07:37 PM
RV701775 RV701775 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 31
Default Elevator Skin - Bad Day

I had a bad day today while priming my right elevator. After prep, I hung the right elevator up to dry and it fell off the hook about a foot onto the grass. It landed long side down and flexed a bit, but luckily I was working over my lawn. I did not see any bends or damage, but it did flex quite a bit. Any thoughts as to whether there could be hidden damage?

Also, after priming I noticed a dent in the skin. I think I may have tipped my cordless drill over and didn't notice. Any thoughts about how to fix this or if it could lead to a crack down the road?

I am going to take a break and get back to it in a day or two.


Last edited by RV701775 : 09-08-2019 at 07:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2019, 08:12 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO
Posts: 2,575

I can't tell for sure what to look at. Is it the place under the black tape? It looks like it is just the skin without the ribs so I dont see how flexing could be an issue.
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Awaiting DAR Inspection
Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2019, 08:17 PM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 1,857

Flexing of the skins is no issue. Some of the larger skins arrive rolled.
Colin P.
RV-6A #20603
Complete 5/10/19
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec), but donated early in Sep'19.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2019, 05:11 AM
RV701775 RV701775 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 31

Thanks. It is not black tape. Just the lighting where I cut the blue coating back. There is a small dimple in the center that I believe was caused by a dropped tool. I was planning on leaving it for the painter down the road. I don't think it is punctured.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2019, 10:10 AM
dreed dreed is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Camas, WA
Posts: 307

You could probably flatten that little dimple out with no issue it'd likely never show.

I wouldn't worry about the drop/flex and if you are like probably everyone else on here - you'll have at least a few more "oh $h** moments when you mess something up. Some of us, more than a few.

Don't let it get you down- keep pounding rivets.
Dan Reed
Camas, WA
RV-7A - Slider in progress - N167DR (reserved)
Working on finish kit/cowl
2018 and 2019 VAF dues paid
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2019, 10:14 AM
bkervaski's Avatar
bkervaski bkervaski is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 1,391

You may be able to fix this:

* Get some thick clear packing tape
* Apply packing tape in a single layer generously over dent
* Get a large spoon from the kitchen
* Put something like a bucking bar on the opposite side (to support against the pressure you're about to put on the skin)
* Massage dent using the spoon
* Watch magically as it starts to go away .. hopefully

I fixed a pretty bad one using this method.

Important! Be sure not to "massage" beyond your supporting "bucking bar" (or whatever you use) as doing so may create an impression.
RV-14A #140376
N196 (Flying)
2019 Bronze Lindy

Last edited by bkervaski : 09-09-2019 at 10:21 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2019, 07:40 PM
rjcthree's Avatar
rjcthree rjcthree is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bay Village, OH
Posts: 818
Default And....

The spoon trick works, but you’ll probably be left with a little center dimple that probably has a bit of a crack on the point side under magnification. Drill it for #40 or #30, dimple, and lightly set a rivet to nowhere. I think I have three or four of those, at two from the corner of a dropped tungsten bucking bar, and another from a dimpling tool error that I clearly remember.
RV-9A N183RC/90432: tip-up, O320H2, Ellison, Dynon D180, crossed over 100 hours TT
RV-8 83718, wing kit, tanks done, with a four year plus plan - on hold due to home move
2011-2020 VAF contributor

Last edited by rjcthree : 09-09-2019 at 07:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2019, 01:00 AM
rv9builder rv9builder is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 826

I have a similar dimple in my fuselage tail cone. I have no idea how it got there, but at some point during construction I must have accidentally banged something into the skin. I try to be as careful as possible while building, so at first it really bugged me. But now that a bit of time has passed, I'm not too worried about it. Considering the size of the finished plane, one tiny dimple doesn't seem like much of an imperfection. Build on!
RV-12iS Fuselage
RV-9A Project: Sold

VAF donation made for 2019
Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2019, 01:21 PM
wnplt wnplt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Idaho
Posts: 149

If you plan to paint the painter will fix it.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:33 PM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.