Drilled left Elevator

When we left off last time, I was trying to decide whether to roll the leading edge of the right elevator now, or go ahead and start on the left elevator and roll both leading edges at the same time, once I finish the left and the time comes to hang both elevators from the horizontal stab.  I ended up making the decision based on a pretty boring rationale.  Specifically, I wanted to work in the garage tonight, but Josie had to work late, since it’s her busy season at work.  With no one to help roll the leading edge, and me itching to work, I went ahead and hung the right elevator from the rafters in the garage (it’s getting crowded up there!) and got going on the left.

All of the work tonight went pretty fast, probably because I’ve already done all this (with slight modification) on the right elevator.  I drilled the hinge reinforcements to the spar, drilled the two tip ribs together, then clecoed the counterweight and its skin in place on the tip ribs before drilling the two mounting holes for the counter weight.  Then I removed the counterweight, clecoed the tip rib assembly to the spar, and match drilled those pieces.  Next the root rib went on and was match drilled, and then it was time to cleco the skin in place.  With the skin in place, the clecos between the root rib and spar can be removed to make room for the control horn, which was the next item to match drill.

At this point we hit the slight difference between the left and right elevator, due to the presence of the trim tab.  The root rib is of course truncated, and there’s a second spar that goes in the trailing edge of the elevator where the trim tab will mount.  The next step for me was to cleco this spar in place and match drill it to the root rib.  After that, it was just a matter of going all around the skin perimeter and match drilling all the holes between the skin and skeleton.

It was creeping up on 11 PM by this time, so after pulling the elevator apart again, I decided to stop there instead of getting started with deburring all those parts.  I did go ahead and countersink the counterweight for the mounting screws, even though that’s a few steps ahead.  This was mostly because I’d gotten my countersink out earlier to swap out bits, and I already had it mounted in my cordless drill.  I countersunk the right elevator counterweight using an air drill, and while the results were acceptable, there was clearly some wobbling of the countersink.  I decided that maybe it would work better to use a slower speed drill, which the cordless is good for.  It was a good strategy; the countersinks in this counterweight are flawless..

Also, what with the kind of benign nature of tonight’s work, I decided to forgo the usual few photos for something a little different.  When I was about halfway through clecoing the skin to the skeleton, I decided that a time lapse of the evening’s work would be a nice addition to the build log. (it also helps satisfy the “proof you built the thing” requirement when this project is done)  On the one hand, I wish I’d started the time lapse earlier; it would have been cool to see the elevator come together from individual pieces and then come apart again.  On the other hand, I neglected to change the camera settings before I started shooting, and thus I filled my memory card up in the space of about 50 minutes; given that oversight, I wouldn’t have been able to shoot the whole procedure anyway.  I also shot in 4:3 aspect instead of 16:9.  Oh well.

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