Elevator Section 9: Prep begins

This post consists of about a week’s worth of work. The elevator section sequence begins with prepping rib and spars, some final drilling and match drilling, a lot of deburring then mocking up the elevators.

First part of the elevators involves separating the ribs. I marked the boundaries with a sharpie, then cut between the lines, fine-tuned with the scotch-brite wheel, and clecoed back together. In addition, I separated the the E-1022 shear clips.

The next step was to flute, straighten and cleco the tip rib assemblies together. This process took several iterations of fluting and straitening to ensure that the holes between the ribs and the counterbalance skins lined up properly. I needed to cleco all the holes to keep everything lined up. As others have mentioned, I found that first clecoing the ribs together, then clecoing the skin starting from the forward worked best. Once they were properly aligned, the all the holes were final drilled to #30 and #40.

Moving on to the skins to skins to bend the close-out tabs. I was apprehensive about this process since it seemed like it could be easy to dent or mis-align the close out tabs pretty easily. Before bending the actual parts, I practiced with a few pieces of metal to see what worked the best. The process that I found worked the best was to position the close-out tab, then carefully begin the bend with a block of wood, then use a small mallet to bend it to about 75˚, and use the hand-seamers for the fine tuning to 90˚.

A few more preparation steps were done including, drilling pilot holes in the trim piano hinge, cutting out foam ribs. Before begining the mock up the elevators, I removed the blueing and decided it would be wise to get started on the deburring of all the ribs. This took a few work sessions to finish. I tried a slightly different workflow one these ribs: started with vixen or regular file to remove large protrusions on the edges, then I polished the large edges with the scotch-brite wheel, used a small file to debur the small features, then gave a final cleanup using an Ultrafine sctoch brite pad.

I still have some deburring to do on the skins and many of the match and final drilled holes, but I have the bulk of it done, so it’s time to start clecoing for the first mock-up. Once again, all the holes align very will with minimal coaxing of the parts with the clecos.