MARATHON! Vertical Stab 5 / Rudder 7 (13.0 hrs)


One day, two people, thirteen hours of work! With my buddy Chad’s help we were able to accomplish a lot in one day.

First up… dent repair! After walking out of the shop dismayed the other day I decided to do some research on repairing dents on skins. There are multiple solutions from covering it up with an epoxy before painting to using a rivet gun with a flathead rivet set. This post is the best solution I’ve found. Using a rivet gun frequently over corrects and flattens the aluminum material resulting in a domed bulge. Today, I set about correcting two of the three small dents that I made on the previous day. First was the mysterious dent left by the male dimple die. Using the above method, it is almost completely gone. After painting there’s no way it will be noticed and there are certainly no structural concerns. The second “dent” was the crinkle that my wife made in the skin. This is also substantially reduced and can only be detected if you know exactly what and where to look for it. I’m extremely happy with the results and I cannot recommend the method described in the post from Van’s Air Force above highly enough. It is very difficult to get a good before and after photo for the crinkle that my wife made however below are before and after photos of the small dent made by the dimple die.

After all the dent work was completed I finished dimpling the skin.  This was very slow work as I was trying very hard not to make any more marks in the rudder skin.  When I was done the dimpling process my buddy Chad came over and we played 9 holes of golf down the road.

This is when the real work started. Before the night was out we would have all the priming done, the vertical stabilizer completely assembled, the rudder stiffeners attached, and the trailing edge bent! Another sub-assembly completed! The rudder will be completed soon.

Here is the after photo from the dent made by the male dimple die. 20130421-011944.jpg

A picture of my new c-frame dimpling set up.20130421-011951.jpg

20130421-083557.jpg

The rudder after dimpling was completed. 20130421-083605.jpg

20130421-083615.jpg

20130421-100123.jpg20130421-100131.jpg20130421-100201.jpg20130421-100210.jpgUnfortunately, I didn’t have my phone with me for a good portion of the evening, so there are no photos of any of the priming process.  I also didn’t get any photos of the back-riveting process for the stiffeners on the horizontal stab.  The rear spar:20130421-100139.jpg

Here is the vertical stab skeleton clecoed together. 20130421-083624.jpg

Chad putting clecos in…20130421-083631.jpg

The garage mascot is sound asleep.20130421-083639.jpg

Here’s Chad with the completed vertical stabilizer. 20130421-083645.jpg

And me!20130421-100216.jpg

Leave a comment