Tag Archives: piano hinge

Vertical Stabilizer Skin

I have attached the vertical stabilizer skin with clecos and drilled most of the holes to the final size.  I also attached the piano hinge for the rudder.  I need to disassemble and deburr, but should be ready to rivet it soon.

I noticed a laser cut part on the rear spar with edges that looked like they weren’t totally deburred.  It seemed like it would probably be fine–I couldn’t really catch my fingernail in any of the bumps, but I knew it would bother me.  I ended up drilling out the stainless steel rivets.  This was a huge chore with my HSS (high speed steel) bits.  Apparently I need to get some cobalt bits as they are good on stainless steel.  I don’t have enough rivets to finish the job and will need to order more of that type from Sonex.  Notice the empty holes.

Left Elevator and Hinge

After figuring out a workable method on the right elevator I thought I’d show some pictures of my method on the left one.  First I cut reasonably close to the line with my bandsaw.  Then I trim up to the line with these offset Wiss snips.

I cut the corners with my Dremel tool.

I do the holes for the ribs using my handy rivet spacing tool.  There is a warning specifically saying not to drill through those holes (use it as a layout tool instead), but I have totally disregarded the warning.  Hopefully whatever bad outcome I receive by disregarding the warning is offset by all the time I save.

I also attached the hinge to the right elevator.  This needs to be positioned such that it will line up with the rest of the horizontal stabilizer when it is riveted together.  My yard stick seemed to be just the right thickness to use as a spacer and get everything lined up.

Horizontal Stabilizer and Right Elevator

I hear it is important to have photos in the builder’s log of myself building the airplane, so Caroline volunteered to come down and take some pictures.  I drew an outline of the horizontal stabilizer on my workbench and here I am precisely positioning the forward spar.

While we are at it, here is the vertical stabilizer.

I am still trying to decide what to do about corrosion protection, so I have been too chicken to start riveting.  I decided to start working on the elevators–I have been worried about how to cut the control surfaces with the tight bends.  I ended up cutting within an inch or so of the line with the bandsaw since it is difficult to see how close to the line I am on the bottom side.  Then I used offset Wiss snips to cut close to the line.  The Andy snips seemed to big for this job except on some of the long cuts.  I used my Dremel tool with an abrasive disk to cut through the bends.  Then I used the  scotch brite wheel to shape right to the line.

I started drilling pilot holes in my first piano hinge.