<October 19, 2005>

Bent Elevator Leading Edges

I bribed my buddy Dan tonight with dinner. I told him that if he would come over to help me with the plane for a while, my wife would make a nice dinner. He gladly accepted my offer, so we got bending and then had a nice dinner and chat afterwards. Thanks for the help Dan!

Here are the first two sections bent. I choose to bend my leading edges a section at a time as I think you have more control, but hey, that's just me.

I used the Jeff Bordelon method of bending. Jeff used loosely positioned c-clamps to hold down the pipe during bending. It seemed to help somewhat, but I do have some comments (see below).

Remember... Before you bend the upper tabs, use your edge forming tool on the tabs so that it lays flush over the lower tabs when riveted. You don't want any wavieness to this seem, and it is hard if not impossible to do once it is bent (rolled).

Here is the right elevator LE clecoed together. The fit was not perfect, but acceptable.

Another angle. Ok, my comments on bending using the c-clamps... While they helped keep the pipe flat against the table, I think they made the bend too sharp, or maybe I should say I made the bends too sharp. I found that the c-clamp method worked good for the outboard sections, but inboard tab need a larger more gradual bend and I found myself removing the clamps to make those bends. I was using 3/4" heavy duty copper pipe, which works well, but I found I actually had to take some of the bend out of the inboard tabs to get the fit right. I think this was mostly my fault, but I think the c-clamps contributed to my overbending.