Here I'll show some more detailed pics, so you can oversee the whole process. This is for general use and to make yourself a picture of the necessary steps. Builders won't get new informations here, but many people (like me) use the Internet before the make the decision to start.
This is how the parts come out of the box, except of the markings on the doubler.
|First step: Draw a centerline, mark the rivet spacing and predrill the holes.|
|Then you have to mark the cutting-lines and trim the doubler.|
|Now the lower end is trimmed to the plans. Cutting discs and a Dremel work great here. Offset snips would bent the aluminum. Don't do that on 90degree bents!|
|After everything is marked and triple-checked, it's time to drill. Straight into the working surface and clecoed after each hole. This way there's no chance of misalignment.|
|Now the parts are aligned and trimmed to match.|
|The brackets are aligned by a tight drawn wire, so they match to the centerline and to each other.|
|Disassambled once more. Now you have to dimple the rivetholes, either by dimpling with a squeezer or machining, if the thickness of the skin will allow it. (See tool section)|
all flanges, file all edges to a round shape, treat the
surface with some Scotchbrite, clean with Aceton, prime
and spray with Zincchromate at last. I think is not a
good idea to go cheap at this point. You will never reach
these places after riveting. Corrosion-protection is a
must, esp. here in northern Germany. If you build and fly
in Mexico, maybe you will trust the ALCLAD.
(Most parts of the RV's are plated with a thin layer of pure aluminum for corrosion-protection, but it is easily scratched when handling the parts during construction)
|After all: Time to rivet! The C-frame tool works great here....|
|...but some rivets will bent, anyway. So, drill out very carefully, replce, strike again, drill out once more and strike. Another beer, drill out........and try to keep cool. (Not that easy)|
|Here you can see the AN426 countersunk head rivets in front. You achieve a smooth surface. At this place the vertical stabilizer will match to the fuselage later (much later, grin)|
|This foto was taken in the 'pre-laser-aera', so strange constructions were built to align the skeleton. There is simply no straight, parallel line you can measure from, so you have to be tricky.|
|Skinning is the same as done with the horizontal stabilizer.|
this, the parts are ripped apart once more, edges and
corners have to be smoothed, holes deburred and dimpled
and the surface has to be cleaned. Then prime and
Before anything goes together forever, you have to assamble and disassamble parts ten times and more.
|Close shot of the skeleton, ready to skin.|
|Skinning is a nerve-wracking job. You have to crawl on the floor sometimes, your hand and the bucking-bar are trapped inside the stabilizer, you are trying to imagine, if the bar sits in the correct position to that rivet, the other hand is holding the rivet gun, your eyes try to watch around corners to align gun and surface, and then you fire the gun. Puuh! If the bucking-bar slips off the rivet or the gun is taken off too soon, you will produce a half-moon-shaped mark on your new part. No need the heat the shop here for me, I came out soaking wet with one moon on the counter.|
|At the beginning you can peel back the skin and control the rivets. The wire is a placeholder for the cable of the beacon on top of the stabilizer. Once closed, you are in trouble without it.|
|Vertical stabilizer all done!|