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Old 05-23-2019, 10:19 AM
LCampbell LCampbell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 13

After a successful visit from my EAA Tech Counselor, it was time to return to the previous assemblies and get them all closed up, which included the Vertical Stab, Rudder and Horizontal Stab. This whole process can be a bit overwhelming, with a 1000 small questions, but they are getting figured out and answered one by one, and itís satisfying to check off complete sections in the build manual.

The Vertical Stab finished up pretty straight forward. The Rudder went ok but had a few minor speed bumps. Surprisingly, the tank sealant/trailing edge part wasnít one of them, as that went smooth, and I think the trailing edge came out nice and straight. Although the recommended pipe to roll the Rudder leading edge worked fair, since the rudder is tapered, being wide at the bottom and more narrow at the top, itís really not the perfect shape to do this. It gets you close, and the rest is just done by hand and enthusiasm. In the end, I think it turned out ok, without it wanting to crease at the spar. The counter weight and bending the skin around it, was a surprising challenge, mostly because when making the bend, I ended up around 1/8 of an inch too close, and the lead weight did not want to fit back into position. SoÖsince itís not like I could flatten the skin out and try again, nor could I shave lead off the weight, something had to give. In the end, I used the rivet gun itself with a flush rivet head and worked the lead to give it a slightly tapered, and rounded edge on the sides to better fill the space, and allow me to pull both skins in. With much grunting, groaning, and gnashing of teeth, I got it to an acceptable place.

After the couple of challenges on the Rudder, closing up the Horizontal Stab was quite relaxing and enjoyable. Iíd say the roughest skin rivets so far, were the inner nose ribs, mostly because the skin and the rib really didnít want to be next to each other on a few of them. Other than those few, the rest went smooth. I did learn of the trick of a simple piece of the making tape on the flush rivet set, to significantly reduce scuffing up the skins. Itís surprising how long that piece of tape lasts, and how much it helps. As I said at the startÖ so many little things to learn, but thatís part of the fun.


A funny remark from my EAA Tech Counselor when looking over my build log, was telling me you should have some pictures of you in there, so it show's you're the one doing the work. After a chuckle, here's the obligatory 'me' picture.

Pleased how the trailing edge came out on the Rudder.

Rivet gun + lead weight = custom fit shape.

Snug fit, but lead weight now fits in the space like a glove.

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Old 05-23-2019, 10:29 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 14,800

Looking good, you are moving right along.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:38 AM
LCampbell LCampbell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 13

For what seems like simple objects the elevators sure do have plenty of steps to them. All done now and it went pretty well. The biggest speed bump was joining the club of the twisted elevator trim tab. I remade the left one when the first try produced a trim tab with a quarter inch of twist to it. I guess I got lucky, because the right one came out just fine. When remaking the left one, I did just about every step, with the tab weighted, clamped or taped to the glass table top trying to keep it straight. When it was done, it came out close enough to be happy with.

When it came time to rolling the leading edges, I thought that since they were straight rolls, unlike the tapered ones on the rudder, that they would go easier. I’m not sure the reason, but when it came time to roll them, I was practically doing a chin up on the pipe, trying to keep it against the table top, while my wife was trying to roll the pipe and we were both getting no-where. I thought… there has to be a better way, without all the grunting, groaning and gnashing of teeth. So, I took the pipe, and cut it to lengths that worked, and then cross drilled some ¼ inch holes through it, 45 degrees apart from each other, and a bit offset. Dressed up the holes a bit, then cut some ¼ inch spring steel rods that I had, to about one-foot lengths. Add in some clamps to hold the whole thing tight to the table top, and it made rolling the leading edges a piece of cake. Now, they could be done all by myself, nice and slow and controlled. As the pipe rolled about, just pull the top pin while still holding it in place with the second pin, and insert the one removed on the next hole that’s opened up on the pipe.

So far so good, and one more section in the ‘done’ category…. Now on to the tailcone, and still having a blast.


Under construction

Rolling the edges with little force or effort. Once they get to about here, I'd have to remove the clamp in the center of the rolling skin as it would be in the way, and have to resort to just a clamp at both ends.

Close up of clamp holding pipe to table, and rods doing the rolling work, showing offset.

Take 2 at an elevator trim tab, keeping it to square to the tabletop for about every step.

Finished result, without the twist of the the first attempt.

Nice and straight elevator trailing edges.

Last edited by LCampbell : 09-16-2019 at 07:54 AM.
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