Rivet count: 1819 + 0 new = 1819
I had a half day to work on the plane, so I jumped back into the elevator. After finishing the initial assembly and match drilling, it was time to take it all apart to prep for final assembly. I finished getting the blue plastic off the left top skin. I finished some of the holes and polished the edges. I also “broke” the trailing edge and the rolled leading edge so that they would sit flatter after riveting.
This worked fine until I got the the trailing edge. The instructions warn that normal dimple dies will compress the slight bend. So they ask you to grind down an old/cheap dimple to fit. As luck would have it, I had a dimple die that was sticking, so I bought a nice new one from Cleaveland Tools. I took the old one, cleaned up the pilot, and used a belt sander to grind down one edge. This went into the DRDT-2. Then I just had to watch the die orientation so that the ground down part was facing forward. Hard to see in the photo, but the ground down part stays inside the crease.
I also had to countersink (part of) the rear spar. The trim tab hinge needs to lay flat under the spar flange. So, you cleco it in place and countersink the top. I think you cleco the hinge in so that you countersink into the hinge piece if you go too deep. I found that even with a deep countersink (enough to hold a rivet just below the surface), the top of the hinge was unmarred. Clecoing the hinge piece does insure that you don’t countersink more of the spar though! The other holes are just dimpled. The instructions indicate that you should grind out/modify one of your squeezer yokes just to get it to fit inside the small, slanted spar. I think that was total overkill. You could use a pop-rivet dimple die or use a different squeezer. I used the vice-grip dimpler I used to dimple rib flanges. It fit fine and made short work of the holes.
There are many more small parts to get here. I finished the top skin, the root and tip rib assemblies, all of the ribs, the mounting plate for the trim motor, the sheer clips, the gussets and the rear spar. I still have to countersink the trailing edge piece and the larger front spar. I also haven’t even touched the bottom skin! Sigh.
So I probably have another day’s work to finish the left elevator and do the right one. The right one is a little easier (one fewer sheer clip, no trim tab, no trim tab mounting bracket), so hopefully I’ll get all those done soon. Then it’s off to the rivet races again for the 1154 rivets in the elevators and trim tab.