Elevator trim tab assembly section 09-14

Finally getting ready to assemble the first real part on the elevator after almost a month of prep. The first steps are to rivet the trim tab spar to the bottom skin with the trim horn.

I back-riveted the 426-3 rivets to spar and used the squeezer to rivet the trim tab horn to the skin and spar assembly.


After riveting it’s time to prepare the assembly to Proseal the ribs to the surface and rivet the top skin. First I applied the VHB tape to the bottom skin with the backing left on. I figured it would be easier to apply before the Proseal.

After reading myriad posts about the how much fun it is to work with, I was apprehensive. Overall, the smell wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated but the stickiness and tendency to get on everything did not dissapoint. Since this was my first experience with Proseal, so I did a few tests mixing and spreading the off-smelling goo. I have a full quart which is only good for 90-days so I’m not too worried about waste. Once I was confident that I knew enough to be dangerous, I started the mix of what turned out to be about 10x more of what I needed on a piece of scrap aluminum.

Per suggestions from others, I utilized a two-glove approach. I used thin lighter gloves on my hands then swapped out thicker 7mil XL gloves whenever my hands got covered with too much. Not much more to say other than I’m glad it goes on the inside of the elevator.

Reveting trim tab trailing edge

I let the proseal cure for a week or so while working on the elevators. The last part of the assembly is to rivet the trailing edge using the double-flush process. I followed Van’s instructions and used the VHB tape as I did on the rudder and there were no problems. I also used their recommendation and lightly set each rivet on the back rivet plate before doing the final set with the Cleavland angled rivet dies.