Rudder 07-10 to 07-13

Me with RV14 fin and rudder

Rudder is finished!  Counterbalance attached and top rib riveted in.  Lots of other builders have used Pro Seal on the stiff nuts for the counterbalance but I decided it probably wasn’t necessary. I did give them a drop of Loctite as a precaution though.  Some tight rivets on the skins especially near the trailing edge where Vans suggest parting the trailing edge.  This works fine but I had quite a struggle getting the skins to sit nicely again.  The top rib has blind rivets where it is too tight to squeeze or use a bucking bar.

Next up, the dreaded trailing edge.  I decided to use a technique recommended to me by another builder which involves using a piece of angled aluminium match drilled to the trailing edge.  Every 6th home I drilled it out to about 3/8th so that the squeezer would fit through.  It’s then a case of setting the rivets until nearly flush and then moving the angle.  As you have to alternate the rivet direction it is all quite time consuming. To finish the double flush rivets I squeezed them with a set that had been ground down to an 8 degree angle (thank you Robbie).

The results are reasonable and the trailing edge is straight with a little bit of waviness but well within tolerance.  If I had used the angle during the build and been more careful peeling back the skins to rivet on the stiffeners, I think it would have been near perfect.

Next up was rolling the leading edges.  I used a 1″ diameter broomstick and duct tape.  I needed molegrips to get a decent radius but it worked out quite nicely.  Edges blind riveted (overlapping edge slightly bent with a Cleveland Tools trailing edge roller) and job done.

Quick selfie – down with the kids…

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