Empennage - Right Elevator     44.25 Hours
Timeline sort: Forward Reverse
4.0 hrs
Tonight seemed to be all the remaining little details to finish the elevator. We finished riveting the remaining rib to skin rivets using the offset method as for some of the other narrow spaces. Then we trimmed down the couterweights and got them to fit just right. Lastly I installed the bearings into the spar.

The only thing of concern is that the inboard counterweight seems to be a little proud of the counterbalance skin. I need to figure out if I have to shave that down.

The very last item that remains are the tips, but I'm leaving that until it's time to do all of them.

3.0 hrs
Tonight Kim and I tackled riveting the trailing edge of the right elevator. I made the choice to not glue the edge and I think it was worth it. Came out as straight as I could have hoped for. The only thing I wish I had done was use the edge rolling tool to put a slight bend in the skin. I think that would have made it perfect.

1.5 hrs
Countersunk the AEX wedge on the tailing edge. This is one item that's I'm a bit leary about. In order for me to get a good fit, it seems like I have to enlarge the #40 hole to make the skins flush with the wedge. I had the same issue with the rudder, but as best I can tell, that's how it's done.

3.25 hrs
Felt good to get back on the build after vacation and such. I got started by reviwing where I was and what needed to get done. It's always best if you can do something on the project every day. If not, it's like flying, you remember how to do it, but without practice, you forget details quickly.

I jigged up and started drilling the trailing edge of the right elevator. I decided to skip the glue this time since many report that it's not needed.

0.75 hrs
Made short work of blind riveting the skin to the spar. Ray Hepling of our EAA chapter loaned me his pneumatic pop riveter. This is a must have tool, it will save your hand.

After that it was quick work to use the squeezer and finish the skin to rib rivets and with that the elevator is done except for the trailing edge.

3.75 hrs
Kim is going out of town this weekend, so she was trying to help me finish things that needed an extra set of hands. She back riveted the stiffeners to the skin. You need to be careful because if you don't force the stiffener and skin onto the plate you will end up with raised rivets. This is because the skin wants to bow up from the plate. Let's just say I got some good practice drilling out rivets.

2.5 hrs
We time shared between the rudder and the elevator tonight. We got the dreaded top skin to spar rivets in. Tomorrow we hope to get the bottom stiffeners on and then I can work on Proseal for the trailing edge this weekend.

0.75 hrs
We drilled and riveted the rib to the spar and the control horn to both. The replacement rib worked much better, still not sure how we screwed that up. I hope to get some help this weekend and maybe knock out the rest of the elevator.

1.0 hrs
Worked on the replacement rib. Drilled and dimpled all the #40 holes and decided to wait until I prime it and rivet it to the spar before I would drill out the control horn holes this time. They are still off a bit, but not outside of the control horn hole.

0.75 hrs
We back riveted the stiffeners to the top of the skin. That's as far as we can go until I get the replacement rib and sort out that problem. So on to the left elevator.

1.75 hrs
Today I took the day off and got started on the elevators. I'm sort of doing both at the same time for efficiency, but when it comes time to really assemble them I'll do them seperate. Got the spar, reinforcement plates and nut plates riveted together and added the root rib. Here I ran into a problem, for some reason the control horn holes didn't line up at all with the root rib. I have no idea how it ended up incorrect, so I had to order another from Van's so that I can redrill it. Not a great way to end a good build day.

2.0 hrs
Finished dimpling the skin, the remaining bit went much better. The only thing left to do is deburr the edges and it will be ready for prime and rivet.

3.0 hrs
Tonight Kim and I spent the evening dimpling most of the skin. We got almost completely done, but for some reason this one was just fighting us all the way.

2.0 hrs
Deburred and dimpled all remaining parts except the skin. I prefer to wait until I have Kim's help to do the dimpling because the leading edge dimples are a real pain to get to.

4.50 hrs
Decided which holes could have solid rivets and which had to be blind. So I drilled out the blind holes to #30, then disassebled the skin. Once I had that I I finished drilling the skin and removed it.

From there I worked on the sub-structure and mounted the control horn and final drilled everything. After that I began to deburr and dimple the parts.

1.25 hrs
Drilled out most of the #40 holes. I have to think about how many of the holes I can get solid rivets in for bottom of the skin to the spar. I have a 3" yoke and get a few around the elevator attachment points. You can just blind rivet the whole length, but I assume you get better strength with the solid rivets.

1.5 hrs
Added the elevator counter balance structure and skin. The directions for the elevator are different than the others. Before you assembled everything, drilled it all, then dimple, deburr, etc. This time they want you to do parts and rivet them together as you go. So I'm going off the reservation here and sticking to the original way it was done before.

3.5 hrs
Spent most of the time today removing the bule plastic around the rivet holes. This is no easy task by yourself when it comes to the inside. Once that was done I clecoed the stiffeners in place. I think I'll probably put the other parts of the substructure in place so I can just drill it all at once.

3.5 hrs
Took the day off and started work on the elevators. Since it's just me for the next few days I figured I would start with the elevators. Today I really took all the time to make the 30 stiffeners and reviewed the plans. Marking and cutting out all the pieces took quite a bit of time. Then it was an hour of quality time with the scotch brite wheel. I was pretty covered in scotch brite and aluminum dust.