Trevor & Dewey's RV-7 Construction Log

Empennage - Horizontal Stabilizer

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Date: 8/26/2009
Task: Finished dimpling all parts and prepared for priming

Today was a long day with a lot of progress. I first started by dimpling HS-405. I then realized that I had forgotten to drill the two nose rib holes in HS-706 on the right side. So I had to cleco the rib back to the skin and match drill. I then reamed all the holes in the skin and deburred. After looking closely at the drawings, I realized I put too large of a notch in HS-702. I called Van's this morning and they said it was not an issue. The notch doesn't come even close to any rivet holes, so there are no edge distance issues. After sanding/filing all the edges of the skins and deburring all the holes, I brought out my C-Frame for the first time. It was very straight forward to use and went pretty fast once I got the hang of it. The deburring and dimpling process is VERY time consuming. I'm learning faster ways of deburring and realizing only 1/2 turn is necessary to remove any burrs. I also made a sanding block for edge deburring. It seems to make things go a lot faster.
Finally, as the evening hours set in, I was able wash both HS skins with soap and water to degrease. I then washed with alcohol and masked off the edges to prevent any overspray getting on top of the skins. A good friend of mine who built an RV-4 and RV-10 recommended I use rattle can self-etching primer for the tail. I had already purchased Stewart Systems EkoPrime, but elected to hold off on using it for now. I primed the skins and plan on priming the ribs and spars in the morning.

Dimpling the rear spar.

Out came the C-Frame to dimple the HS skins. It did take another set of hands to bend the skin out of the way on the inner rib holes.

Completed dimpling

Prepped the skin for priming. I used some 3M tape on the outside along the rivet lines to prevent any overspray. Once I was done spraying, I ran a rag with alcohol along the outside skin to remove any overspray.

First skin primed!