October 8, 2005

Time to get busy on the rudder frame. Vans instructions start taking a turn for the worse here. As you get further along in the project, the instructions get less and less detailed. That's to be expected. Really, everything is pretty clear if you study the plans. The problem is that he's still doing a lot of hand holding (like debur this, dimple that...no kidding, I have to debur everthing??), but he's also starting to leave a lot of stuff out. That leaves you wondering if he's not telling you to do something because you should know enough to do it, or if he's holding off for a reason and you end up doing it later on. So it's a lot of back and forth trying to figure out what he's trying to get you to do. In the end, I ended up reading through the instructions to get the feel for what needs to be done, and then I just studied the plans and set out on my own.

There's this shim you have to make. Totally unclear what the shim stock looks like. In case you're wondering, it's this long 1 1/8 inch piece of aluminum. You'll make the shim out of this, and then come back and make the attachment points for the bottom fiberglass tip. There's enough length here to make everything you need to make and then some...there ISN'T enough to make two of anything, though, so measure twice, cut once.

Here's what the shim's used for (again, totally confusing in the instructions). The rudder horn goes INSIDE the flange for the bottom rib. The shim is simply there to take up the gap that leaves behind the rudder horn.

Here's a shot of the top of the rudder. The shorter rib is where the counter weights go. You have to be sure to get the front flanges on the ribs really really straight or the counter weight skin will no way fit.

Here's the that skin I was telling you about. Very tight fit...everything's got to be straight.

Clecoed the skins on. At this point he says to final drill anything you haven't already drilled. I didn't do that though...

You have to put this rudder horn brace in. If you final drill everything now, you just gotta come back and drill this guy again later. You have to take all the clecos around the brace out anyway because it doesn't have holes in it yet, so I just waited until after I installed it to final drill. This is another one of those spots where there's no mention of ever drilling the sheeting to the brace. I'm just assumed that was the right thing to do.

The I match drilled the whole shebang. Last step is to install the attach strips that you see at the bottom of the rudder (if you look carefully). All in all, a productive day :)

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