<August 7, 2005>

Riveted the Rudder Trailing Edge

Wow, I am one happy guy today! I riveted my rudder trailing edge today, and it came out PERFECT! I don't think it would be possible to get better results. I think the key was the monster size back riveting plate that a local RV-9A builder loaned me. I mean this thing is huge... about 8-feet long and probably weighs 40 pounds! It enabled me to get the rudder riveted without having to move the rudder or back riveting plate at all. This made it easy as I could almost ensure a straight rudder as long as the entire trailing edge was in contact with the back riveting plate the entire time. I just walked up and down the rudder making multiple passes to set the rivets. If I understood correctly, the guy who owns this plate, not the one who loaned it to me, just bought a scrap piece of steel at a local metal salvage yard. IMHO, it was definately worth whatever it cost, and I highly recommend this method!

On another note, I only glued the trailing edge yesterday. I know you are typically supposed to let the Pro-Seal cure a few days before riveting, but we have had two 100-degree days and the garage has been like an oven. I figured the heat sped the curing process somewhat and that it was probably OK to rivet today.

UpdateÖ the reason the ProSeal was curing so fast was that I made a mistake and ordered the fast cure (30 mins) stuff from Vanís. I donít know why I ordered the tube-kit, I should have just ordered the 1-ounce slow cure jar. Oh well, itís only money.

Here is a picture of the rudder in place on top of the monster back riveting plate and ready for riveting. The bag and books on top of the rudder are there to weight it down. I used some pieces scrap carpet to bring the rudder skins even with the back riveting plate.

Here is another shot of the back riveting plate from another angle. It ran almost the entire length of my worktable.

The rivets after being set (partially) with the back-riveting set. I then turned the rudder over and finished it with my mushroom set.

The finished product. They look great! I took out a small ruler and made sure none were sitting proud, if they were I marked them and gave them a few more hits with the rivet gun. Time for a beer!