More rudder work!

Yup, last week went pretty much as I expected at work.  Not much time for working in the garage until today.  Anyways, today’s first order of business was to fabricate a couple parts.  The plans call for R-716 and -717, a spacer piece and rudder bottom attach strips respectively, but these pieces aren’t included in the kit.  Turns out this is what the previously-mysterious “trim bundle” is for; it’s some pieces of alclad sheet of various sizes and thicknesses.  I found the appropriate pieces of aluminum, and thanks to the wonders of my bandsaw, I had my pieces cut up in no time. (in fairness, they’re pretty simple)

Next up is trimming the notorious R-710 rudder horn brace.  This fits between the root rib and the control horn, but as supplied it needs some material removed.  From reading other builder’s notes, I learned that it’s a common problem to remove too much material here and end up with unsatisfactory edge distance.  There are holes marked for the trim line, but given the common problem, I didn’t trust them.  Instead I temporarily put the root rib and control horn together, then used them as a guide to mark my initial cut lines on the brace.  The snips made quick work of these cuts.  On my first test fit, I found I needed to remove more material, which is exactly what I wanted.  A few more trial fits and some work on the belt sander, and everything fit together nicely.

The next bit of fun was the R-703 tip rib.  This rib has an additional strip that wraps around it, which will eventually house the counterweight and serve as an attach point for the fiberglass tip fairing.  The directions provide the deceptively simple instruction to “flute the leading edge until the holes line up with the R-713 attach strip.” Well, try as I might with my fluting pliers, I could not flute that thing sufficiently enough to get those holes to align.  The pliers also made such a wide flute that by this point, the holes themselves were not flat any more. (something I learned today: I need better fluting pliers)  So I got out the hand seamers, straightened that flange, and tried to come up with an alternate solution that didn’t involve stopping for a few days to wait for new tools.  Eventually I built a jig of sorts out of scrap wood, with which I was able to make a much tighter flute and get everything lined up.  Whew!

Next up, the whole skeleton goes together and there’s a lot of match-drilling to be done between the various pieces.  Nothing complicated here, just semi-tedious work.  After this, the next thing was to clamp those attach strips I fabbed up earlier and get them drilled.  However, I have some plans tonight, so I decided this was a good point to call it a day and get inside for a shower.  It looks like I should be able to finish my prep work and get everything cleaned and primed tomorrow.  Not sure if I’ll get around to any riveting, but we’ll see!

I wasn’t too good with photos today.  All you get is this photo of the temporary rudder assembly, complete except for those attach strips:

IMG 5936

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