Tuesday January 2, 2007
Built Bending Brake (Right Elevator)
1.0 Hours

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The elevators on the RV-7, unlike the rudder, are each constructed from one single piece of metal. This metal is bent to form the trailing edge. It comes from Van's only partially bent, though, so you can rivet in the stiffeners. The builder is responsible for bending it the rest of the way. It's really critical to keep the skins straight for aircraft controllability.

Tonight, I constructed my home made bending brake for bending the elevators. It's simply two pieces of 2x8 attached together with door hinges.

I was getting ready to bend the elevator and noticed that one of the rivets we shot/bucked was sticking out badly. I had previously drilled the rivet in that spot out because the stiffener had not been flush with the surface of the skin. When we re-riveted it, I didn't realize how enlarged the hole had become and the new rivet didn't align correctly. I drilled it out, but now need an oops rivet to fill the hole. These "oops" rivets have a head the same size as a normal AN426AD3 rivet, but a shank the size of an AN426AD4. I ordered a few different lengths so I'll have them in the future when this, inevitably, happens again.

I'll be out of town from Thursday through Tuesday. The rivets I ordered should be here by then and I can continue. I've kind of set the rudder off to the side for now. If I can find a place to supply me a 5 or 6 foot long back riveting plate, that would make me feel better about keeping the trailing edge straight as I rivet it. We will see...

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