New Tools and Elevator Work

Time: 6 Hours

Today started by creating a couple of useful tools, both get credit from Jason at www.rv7-factory.com. The first is a hinge alignment pin. Due to the tight space where the rudder meets the VS or the elevators meet the HS it is very difficult to get the hinge bolts in place with everything else lined up. This tool allows you to line everything up from outside the confined space. Then you can deflect either the rudder or elevator to slide the bolt in.

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The second tool is a bolt retention tool. It will hold a bolt and allow you to get it into very tight spaces. I just used a piece of aluminum from the local hardware store that had the right dimensions I wanted. I made two pieces, one as the handle and the other the clamping piece. I drilled a #12 hole in the clamping piece and used the bandsaw to connect that hole to the edge creating a slot. I then created a slight bend creating a gap when the two pieces are laid together. A couple rivets later and I’m done. It looks like it should work well.

Both of the tools worked well after a little tweaking. Here is the view with the pins in.

And we have a complete VS and rudder!

Next up was to work on the right side elevator. Mostly match drilling and setting everything up.

Each control surface, the rudder and both sides of the elevators, have a lead weight ahead of the hinge line. This is to help balance them and give a better feel while flying. As I was working on the right elevator you have to match drill this weight. Not much fun to drill through thick lead. After you match drill it you remove it to make it easier to handle. Once I was all done with the elevator match drilling a light came on in my head! Something didn’t look right! As it turns out I matched drilled the lead with the head of it pointing inward rather than outward! Oops! Well that’s the first big mistake that requires an order to Van’s for parts. So I ordered a new weight, rib and strap, all that were drilled wrong in the process. I also ordered 2 extra ribs as I plan on cutting off the narrow tips to make riblets for the trim tab and l elevator. More on that in the future. So I called it a day cause its time for hockey, lets go Blackhawks!!

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