<August 3, 2005>

More Rudder Riveting

I riveted the rudder skins to the skeleton today. Not so hard but a few quirky things along the way.

There are several different rivet lengths used to join the skin, counterbalance skin, spar, and rib. To avoid confusion, I marked the area with the rivet lengths and riveting sequence. I was able to reach all these rivets with my 4" no-hole yoke.

Rudder tip rib installed. I squeezed all but the last two (aft) rivets on each side.

I decided not to be a hero and just use pop rivets for the last two holes joining the skin to to the rudder tip rib. When filled and painted, you will never know they are different. When the rivet shank broke, the pop-riveter when sliding across the skin. This picture gives the impression that the skin is damaged (dented), but it is just light surface scratch.

At first I thought I might have problems getting the last rivet installed, as the rivet on the other side of the rudder was interfering and the rivet I was trying to install wouldn't sit flush. I decided to give it a try by pressing down on the pop rivet tool while squeezing (as you always should), and it went flush as the rivet shank got shorter, and it looks perfect from the outside. Riveting the rest of the skin to the skeleton was uneventful.

I was able to reach the rivets attaching the skin, rib, and horn brace by using the longeron yoke. I did somewhat of a dumb thing, not a mistake, just not thinking ahead. When I riveted the skeleton together, I should have riveted the horn brace at that time. Now I have to use pop rivets (LP4-3) to attach it to the bottom rib.

I couldn't reach the far forward rivet with the squeezer, so I used the altenative pop rivet called for in the plans.

Here's what I ended up with. Looks good so far.

Before calling it a night, I riveted the forward flange of the horn brace to the rudder horn. Again using my longeron yoke, I was able to use solid rivets here. I ran out of LP4-3 rivets to attach the aft flange horn brace to the bottom rib, so tomorrow I will hit up some local builders for the two rivets I am short.