Today I took on the task of forming the leading edge of the rudder. I went to home depot and purchased a 3/4" (1" outer diameter) galvanized pipe. I got that home and noticed that my hands were full of grease. The pipes at home depot have a lot of goop on them. Some laquer thinner took it right off. Next I took my rotor zip and cut off the threads on one end and filed them down smooth.
I started with the right side down. I used 2" masking tape to tape the top 4-6" or so of rudder to the pipe, then bent it, the whole time pulling back and pushing down to promote a good bend. I did each tab on the rudder individually. Some people do the whole thing at once but that was too much bending for me, and I can see how you can get into trouble fast doing it that way. My final bends were 80% or so to where they needed to be. I pulled the two tabs together with my hands and used masking tape to keep the edge together while I clecoed it together. I was VERY happy with how tight everything was.
Next I drilled out everything to #30, deburred, then pop riveted all of them. The top pop rivet is pretty difficult to get. You might need to grind down the pop rivet gun.
I was pretty happy with how the rudder turned out. Then I noticed some very slight oil-canning on 2-3 stiffeners on one side. From research in the groups, this is somewhat normal. I think I am going to call Van's and see what they have to say.
Next I build a PVC tool to insert the eye-bolts into the rudder. This gadget is made to not mar up the eye bolts with a metal tool. For less than $5 in PVC parts, its well worth it.
Before I put the bolts into the nutplates, I put some BoeLube on the threads. Checkoway recommended this in one thread, and it worked great.
Next I mounted the rudder on the VS and was amazed at how nice it all fit together.
Leading edge being formed.
Notice how tight the leading edge is where it comes together.
The bottom part drilled to #30 and the first poprivet put in.
Bottom part done!
I used duct tape all the time to pull the edges together for clecoing. It helped me work the metal to where it needed to be.
Me with my new rudder.
PVC pipe for the eye bolt tool.
Make cuts like this.
Cut the end off of an end cap.
Put the end cap on the PVC and glue.
The finished product.
Rudder mounted on VS!
Man this thing is smooth. Very very nice.
Last Modified: October 5, 2022