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.