October 12, 2005

Time to start riveting the skins.

I mostly used this low profile "no hole" yoke to do most of the squeezing. It just barely fits down into the counterbalance sheeting.

There's the counterbalance rib riveted to the spar and the skin riveted to the rib. You leave the spar rivets out at this point as those will be done later after the rudder skin is applied (those rivets will go through the rudder skin too)

Next you screw down the counterweight. Incidentally, I didn't have a #10 counter sink for the lead. Whatever....#12 countersink worked just fine for this purpose. Before torqing down the bolts to 23 in-lbs (spec says 20 - 25, so I split the difference) I mixed up some 5 minutes epoxy and put it in the screw holes and on the threads. I wanted to make sure that this stupid piece of lead would never cause me trouble in the future. That puppy is in there for good!

Woops....good thing I decided to triple check the trailing edge wedge. I found a hole that I missed when I was countersinking it a few days ago. No biggie.

There's the wedge. I primed it with rattle can stuff after deciding that I would NOT be doing the whole trailing edge thing with Proseal. Vans suggests you glue the trailing edge together first to keep it straight. It's not mandatory, though, and I know of enough people who have gotten it straight without the Proseal that I'm going that route instead. Proseal is nasty....why mess with it if you don't have to?

After screwing on the counterweight, and riveting the rudder skins to the countersink skins (sorry, no pics) you can finally rivet in the tip rib. Up to this point, the rudder is VERY floppy and difficult the handle. Everytime you move it feels like the counterweight is trying to torque the rudder into a pretzel. No worries...once this rb goes in, it all becomes quite stiff.

I had to use blind rivets on the back two rivets of the tip rib. I couldn't figure out how else to do it as there really isn't enought room for even a thin yoke or bucking bar. The instructions say that this is OK.

I the started rivetting the bottom rib. Once again, I had to use a blind rivet but the rudder's a bit wider at this point so I only needed one at the very last hole (top circle). The circled hole on the bottom is a pain in the butt. I can't quite seem to get anything in there to squeeze or buck (everything hit's the rudder brace). I'll probably end up grinding a bit off the no-hole yoke. That should give me the clearance I need. But tomorrow...I'm wiped.

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