Trevor & Dewey's RV-7 Construction Log

Empennage - Rudder

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Date: 9/21/2009
Task: Rolled the leading edge and set the rivets

I purchased a 3/4" water pipe from Aircraft Home Depot this weekend and used it to roll the leading edges per the instructions. It went okay but was tough. The leading edges are thin metal but its not easy to bend. Not to mention, the leading edges need to be pretty tightly pulled together to get the punched holes to align. I had a lot of trouble and it took a lot of hand massaging to get the bends right. In the end it looked okay, but not as well rounded as I'd hoped.

Here is the 3/4" galvanized water pipe with duct tape on the threads to protect the skins.

The top skins rolled together and clecod. I first used my edge rolling tool to create a slight bend in the top skin. It helps flatted out the edge after riveting.

Here the bottom of the middle section has been rolled. It needed some more work...

The middle section has been completed and clecod in place. I did have to do a lot of hand massaging of the bends to get everything to fit smoothly.

The bottom part was by far the most difficult. It was as if the skins were not long enough. It took a lot of massaging to get the skins to fit correctly with a smooth bend. I think I spent an hour alone on this one portion.

Here is a view with the entire leading edge clecod into place.

After calling Van's I decided I wasn't going to be a hero and used pulled-rivets for the aft most hole on the tip rib. I used an MK-319-BK. It appears there are two large scratches above and to the left of the hole. They are just surface markings.