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[January 28, 2006]


This morning I riveted the trailing edge of the rudder. First things first was I needed to clean up the sealer that seeped out. I didn't want to use MEK today. That stuff is too nasty. I tried Laquer Thinner and it worked great. I used a Q-Tip to get into the holes to really clean them out.

Next I re-clecoed the aluminum angle onto the rudder. Now you remember all of those big holes I made yesterday, well I used them for the squeezer to fit in to set the rivets. I saw this setup at Tom Emery's WPA RV Builders class but didn't understand it at the time. But, it makes perfect sense. Instead of setting the rivets with the backriveting set, I set mine with the squeezer. The enlarged holes in the angle allowed the flush rivet sets to fit in just fine. I set every other rivet, un-clecoed the angle, then set the rest. Checked the allignment and everything was right on. COOL!

Next I flipped the rivet over and raised the rudder 3/8" off the table - the same thickness as the backriveting plate. I used the mushroom set for the manufacturers head on the top, whole the shop head beat down to flushness on the bucking bar.

My end result was awesome. I had a 1/32" (0.0315) bow in the very middle. Van's says anything under 0.100" is what you are shooting for. I am happy. I went back over the few shop heads that weren't set all the way. I did notice some slight rippling/waves/bulges in the trailing edge where the sealant bunched up in the countersinks. I called up Van's and Scott told me that this wasn't anything to worry about - its more aesthetics then anything else.

Next I pre-bend the top leading edge using the edge rolling tool.

Angle reclecoed on.


Bottom shot.


This is how the rivet looked when set with the hand squeezer.


All the tivets set.


Flipped the rudder over and elevated it 3/8". Bucking bar is on the right on the first rivet.



Finished product. This is the mfg's head.


The shop head. The backriveting plate really scratched the piss out of my skin. Just an FYI to other builders - I would of put some masking tape on to protect this from happening.


I bent the leading edge to make the seam nicer when I roll it with the edge rolling tool.


Edge Rolling tool.

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Last Modified: September 4, 2017