<October 24, 2005>

Riveted Left Elevator Leading Edge & More Wing Countersinking

A decent night in the shop tonight... I am happy with what I was able to accomplish. First I riveted te left leading edge of the left elevator and then I got back to countersinking the wing spars.

Here's the left elevator after riveting. My process was simple, remove the 3/32" cleco, drill out with a #30 bit, insert 1/8" cleco, and repeat. Once all the hole were drilled, I removed the clecos (easier said than done here), debureed the holes, re-clecoed and then riveted. Easy-peasy!

Both elevator leading edges riveted. The bends could still use some work by hand, but will get to that later.

After finishing the elevator LEs, it was time to countersink the bottom of the wing spars for the screws/nutplates where the access plates attach to the spar. Since the tank attach countersinking is done this wasn't that difficult. According to a post on the Vans Air Force Forums, the factory has said that the optimal countersink width for a #6 screw is <.3125", so set up my countersink for .312" and tested in some scrap. The countersinks to the left are tests from the tank attach screws I completed the other day. I just noticed, the camera lens really distored the piece of metal making it look bent when it is really straight... interesting... I got a new digital camera a few weeks ago, and it does some quirky things.

I used the Van's method of installing the nutplates and using them as a guide for the countersink cutter. This seemed to work fine and produced decent results, but I did catch one instance of the cutter wanting to wander. oh well, you can't tell unless you look real close, and besides these are non-structural.