Sunday December 17, 2006
Elevator Stiffers & Rudder Trailing Edge
(2.0 Hours Left Elevator, 2.0 Hours Right Elevator, 2.0 Hours Rudder)
6.0 Hours Total

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First thing this morning, I finished snipping and labeling all of the elevator stiffeners out of their 4-in-1 strips. Then I headed over to my dad's house and used his band saw to trim them to approximately their final shape. It took us a little while to come up with a jig for doing the long, angled cut, but it worked out great in the end. When I got back home, I finished off with the Scotchbrite cut/polish wheel in my bench grinder. There are 28 stiffeners in the two elevators, and it took a lot of time to go through this whole process.

Here is one of the "H" stiffeners. They sit in the left elevator in the space between the trim tab and the elevator spar. That's why they don't have the taper like all of the other stiffeners.

Here's one of the normal stiffeners...

And the whole stack.

This evening, I worked up the nerve to glue the trailing edge of my rudder together with tank sealant. I tried to get as prepared as possible and then mixed up my little tube of nasty stuff. My arm got a serious workout mixing it--the instructions call out 50 reps on the plunger before it's ready to use.

Here's the rudder glued and clecoed to the aluminum angle.

I stuck the container in our caulking gun, dispensed it onto popsicle sticks, and attempted to apply a very thin layer to the trailing edge wedge. It was sticky and messy! I don't think I got it as thin as would be ideal (I can see a little bulging already), but it will be satisfactory. I'll let it cure for a few days before I get ready to rivet.

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