I’m a little late publishing this post, but I’m trying my best to keep everything in the right order. Dad and I completed the bulk of the construction on the left elevator during the week following Oshkosh, since we were highly motivated after the big show.
We started by preparing and priming the stiffeners and skins, and backriveting them together using the indispensable Cleaveland C-Frame and backriveting attachment.
We found that the best countersink technique involves mounting the microstop cutter directly in the drill press, and then using the down-stop on the drill press to set the depth of the countersink, rather than using the microstop. In fact, in the photo below, you can see that we’ve removed it completely.
Next we match-drilled the skin to the understructure, and set about bending the tabs for the trim tab slot as described in the plans. Dad had prefabricated an excellent wooden block on which to do the bending, and we used another hardwood block as a bending tool, along with the deadblow hammer, until we achieved acceptable results.
After bending, we moved on to riveting the understructure, using the bench-mounted squeezer where we could, and free-handing it where we couldn’t.
We had to drill out a few rivets in the spar to end rib intersection, and ended up using oops rivets along the whole line (pictured above).
Here’s a shot of the blue RTV sealant after applying it to the trailing edge of the stiffeners, as called out in the plans (sometimes!). We ended up making a big note to ourselves to remember to put this goop in before closing things up, since it was only specifically mentioned in the right elevator section!
Finally, we installed pop rivets in the trim tab cutout, and then used the trusty Sioux gun and bucking bar around the perimeter of the skin. Don’t forget to leave the top section of skin un-riveted along the trim spar! That’s where you’ll install the hinge for the dreaded trim tab. We taped that area off so we wouldn’t have any foul-ups!
Happy Rivetheads (and “Robot”)!