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Work Continues

Since January I’ve worked off and on getting the tail squared away.  The last task I did was getting the vertical stabilizer mounted.  I must say that this went without issue.  I am quite pleased with the turn out, though I guess I wont know how well it went until I get the rudder on.

IMG_20170416_121738Once you get the VS in place you have to check for a truely vertical settting.  Here I am measuring the distance between the top of the VS to the tip of the horizontal stabilizer.  The measurement between the left and right HS is correct within 1/32″.  That is as perfect as I can get.

IMG_20170416_121832After drilling the aft holes for the VS spar and putting the bolts in, you turn your attention to the forward spar.  Here I am fiddling with the bracket that holds the front spar of the VS to the front spar of the HS.  I didn’t know it when I took this picture, but I had the bracket in the wrong orientation.  That is why you read the directions 5 times after you think you have it right, before you drill anything.

IMG_20170416_181945Once you have it clamped in place and you’re happy, you check that the hinges are straight and that there in no flex in that rear VS spar.  This was my final check and it was very good.

IMG_20170416_182023_1Time to drill.  After checking things over and over I am pretty sure this is good.  Now I have to drill and get it all put together.

Next weekend I’ll see about getting everything riveted and finalizing it.

Elevator Control Rods

This weekend I took the time to build the control rods for the elevators.  This is a task I did before when I did the ailerons, but it had been awhile.

No pictures for cutting and priming the tubes.  You can use your imagination.  The real issue is you have to drive X number of rivets around a circumference of a rod.  You start with a strip of paper that is the exact circumference of the rod.  Then you divide that value by the number of rivets.  So you have 8 rivets that need to fit a 6.5″ circumference, then you make a tic mark every 13/16″.   You then wrap the paper around the rod, and transfer the tic marks to the metal.  Drill.  Rivet.

Drilling can be done several ways.  I chose to use the drill press for more accurate holes.


My drill press is plenty able to handle this with my pipe guide.


I used my pneumatic puller to set the pulled rivets.

The one on the left is the rod from the control stick to the bell crank.  The one of the right is from the bell crank to the elevator.

Now I’m ready for the step after drilling all the holes in the HS.

I Need Some Time to Ponder the Rear Spar

I have no idea why.  It is pretty easy.  Make a measurement, drill some holes and you’re done.  Its the measurement…it always comes down to the measurement.  The problem is the instructions.  They tell you to measure the height of the tooling holes in the inner rib of the HS from the deck.  This is really hard.  The holes are recessed into the HS so it is incredibly difficult to get a accurate measurement.  I tried multiple ways, and was just not happy with the consistency.  Shopping for something else at Lowes I determined that a 3/16″ rod would solve the problem.


So there you go.  This will produce an accurate measurement.  I don’t need the actual value, I need to make sure the number is consistent on one side and the other.

Ok…the numbers are off.  I thought about just lifting one side, but that didn’t feel right.  It turned out I had some washers missing from the forward spar.  Once that was corrected the value was spot on.

There is one more important measurement here.  Looking at the rear spar, above, you have to get a measurement of 3/16″ from the bottom of the spar to the deck.  So I begin the search for something that is 3/16″ that I can slide under there to get the right measurement.  If you notice there are rivet heads under the spar, which means you have to find something that will fit in between the rivets.  About an hour of messing around with various methods and failing it suddenly dawned on me that the 3/16″ rod that I bought is, ironically, 3/16″.  Duh.


Viola!  A precise 3/16″ gap.  The gap is required to get a 0° incidence from the HS.  Getting pretty close to time to drill.