Elevator assembly 09-20 to 09-21

After attaching the ribs to the top and bottom skins the two sides are aligned and riveted together at the the rear spar first, then the ribs.

Riveting the rear spar to the skins

Riveting the ribs

After the rear spar is fully riveted to the skins, the ribs are connected with LP4-3 pop-rivets. Getting the pop rivet gun inside the elevator isn’t that easy but there is more space than the rudder. The hardest ones are the furthest aft since you run out of room for the rivet gun. I applied the lessons learned from the rudder which is to use ample padding to prevent inadvertently denting the skins, use gloves, and use the special tools that Vans recommends. I was able to use my pnumatic pop-rivet gun for the forward rivets. A few of the rivets with the “rivet puller spacer” which basically helps offset the nose of the rivet gun from the rivet if you can’t set with one stroke.

Riveting the front spar to the ribs

Before riveting the front spar, effectively closing out he back of the elevator, I spent a little time double checking that everything matched the diagrams in the plans. Once I did this, riveting the LP4-3 pop rivets with the pneumatic tool was a breeze.