Elevator Structure Assembly

Good productive weekend! I primed and started assembly of the elevator, starting with the trim tab.

I ran into a hole misalignment with rib #1 on both sides, looks like other builders have encountered this too.

I decided to use a #20 drill bit to fix this – the hole misalignment was too great to use a reamer.

After drilling the holes, rivets went in ok.

I goofed up a little riveting together these clevises to the elevator brackets (see pic below). It seemed like it didn’t really matter which way to put the rivets in, even after I had everything clecoed together. But after I did one side, l discovered the “shop” side of the rivet sticks out quite a bit on these stainless steel rivets, so I switched direction for the other clevis. In the next step, the AN3 bolts go into the other holes as seen in the photo, but getting the bolts tightened was a little tricky on the side where the shop side of the rivet was sticking out, making it harder to get a socket on it, but ultimately a non-issue.

Next, it took me a little bit to figure out the right way to fit this channel into place – it’s a really tight fit! After looking at photos from other blogs, I figured out the way I originally thought was correct – it fits over the channel that joins the spars, but under the lip of the spar. I had to use a C-clamp to squeeze it in so that the holes would line up with the spar and doublers – and even then I still had to use a reamer to get the holes clean enough to install rivets.

Once all together, this is a pretty stout/strong structure.

A few more parts to rivet on, then I’ll be ready for skins.

This little plate is to mount the trim servo, which I already purchased from Aircraft Spruce.

I’m considering buying a second rivet gun. As much as I like my Milwaukee, it would be nice if it were easier to change the nose piece bit – it’s threaded and uses different sizes for different rivets, just like other rivet pullers. The assemblies I’ve done so far use both 3.2 and 4.0mm rivets, and I find myself having to switch the nose piece pretty frequently. It only takes a minute to switch, but it would be even faster to just reach for a different tool.

Leave a Reply