Category Archives: Tail - Page 2

Vertical Stabilizer Skeleton

I made the three vertical stabilizer ribs and started attaching them to the spars.

I drew the correct dimensions on my workbench and am using clamps to get everything in position before drilling.

Vertical Stabilizer Spars

Started making vertical stabilizer spars.  Got to really use some clecos.  I worked really hard in an attempt to keep everything straight and centered.  Getting parts clecoed together while leaving room to attach more parts was a little bit of a juggling act, but it was enjoyable.

You may notice a maroon scotch-brite pad in the background.  I had been trying to find them locally and finally found them at Fastenal.

Here’s a shot showing more of the clecos.

Tail 3

Made some clips and bent a flange on a piece of channel.  My shipment of Nuvite arrived and I tried it out on the leading edge we made at the workshop.  I was very pleased, but I think I went through the different grades too fast in an attempt to try them all out, so there seem to be some scratches left.

Tail 2

Started working on the tail.  I was hesitant to cut the spar channel on my compound miter saw because I was unsure if it would vibrate too much or get caught and bent.  I held it firmly and cut really slow and it cut perfectly.  I even made the 5 degree cuts on the flanges with the bevel feature of the saw.

Cutting the circle was another matter entirely.  First I used my unibit, but this vibrated like crazy and didn’t seem precise at all.  Plus it seemed to be melting the aluminum more than cutting and the force I was applying to cut was deforming the metal.  Not having a hole saw or a fly cutter I decided to use a forstner bit as a last-ditch attempt.  I added cutting fluid and the forstner bit went through like butter.  Spade bits probably would have worked just as well except mine don’t have a nice tooth on the outside to cut the circle out.

I have been dreading bending the forward spar fitting for a while.  I decided to try using my bench vise and a piece of thick-walled pipe I found in the basement with the correct diameter. I cut a “V” into a block of wood with my bandsaw.  Once I lined everything up, the bending was way easier than expected.

Tail 1

I purchased a mostly-unused tail kit from a builder in Georgia.  I was able to meet him half-way to save on shipping costs, but I totally forgot about the time zone and arrived half an hour late instead of early like I was hoping to.

He completed the rudder horn assembly to pretty high quality.  He also drilled one of the piano hinges.