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Repetitious Day in the Shop

March 5, 2011

Oh my God my legs and feet are tired.  I started at 8:00am this morning.  yesterday I had cut and roughed in and finished most of my stiffeners.  Today I completed the task and got them sized up correctly.  Vans instruction for the stiffeners on the elevators are somewhat confusing.  Ok, no they are completely confusing.  I literally stared at the plans and the instructions for an hour and a half off and on trying to make what I saw fit what I was building.  Only after two cups of coffee and surfing VAF for a bit was I able to understand what was going on.  I’m now convinced that there are better ways to explain it.

The instructions tell you make the stiffeners (A-L) per the plans.  You look at the plans and A-F are on one elevator and G is on both, H is on one…4 times.  There is no “I”.  JKL are all on one of the elevators, but they have to be trimmed differently.  But you make JKL from BCD…. you get where I’m going with this.  It’s like a logic puzzle designed to make you waste 2-hours.  What is one of these stiffeners?  Well they are free “floating” and attached directly to the inside skin of these control surfaces.  I say they are floating, because they do not attach to any other structure like a spar or doubler.  The sole purpose is the add a bit of strength to an otherwise flimsy piece of aluminum.  Here are a few shots.

I wish I had taken some before pictures, you could see what kind of shaping has to go into these things.

Well after doing all the shaping then I had to drill…dimple…deburr…wash….prime everything.  And here it all is in all its glory ready for riveting tomorrow.

Both elevators with primer on the inside.

And lots and lots of stiffeners.

Now I know why they're called stiffeners. Your legs, feet and arms are stiff after making them all day.

I’ve got a video of some rivet that you might find interesting to watch.  I’ll see if I can figure that out tomorrow.


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