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Old 01-18-2015, 10:21 AM
ShortSnorter ShortSnorter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: NOLA
Posts: 350
Default Great start to a bad morning...

I finished work yesterday feeling somewhat accomplished after riveting the trailing edge of the rudder successfully after I had been putting off the task for nearly a week.

I walked into the "airplane factory" this morning with two seemingly simple tasks: 1) Roll the leading edges of the rudder and 2) Pop rivet the edges together.

I got an early start this morning and drilled a few holes in my bench and installed three u bolts to hold the 3/4" conduit I planned on using to roll the skin.

The first skin rolled perfectly as planned, so I moved on to the next skin. Low and behold it rolled just as easy and I was making good time! As I starting untaping the skin from the conduit my heart stopped when I got to the top of the rudder and saw this:

I apparently I rolled the conduit too far and the u bolt was driven in to the side of the spar. I literally sat and stared breathless and speechless for at least a minute, not believing what i was seeing. Adding salt the the wound the rolled edges went together absolutely perfectly!!

I know that I'll probably have to redo the rudder but I figured I'd share and make a deposit to the "be careful of this" repository.

Maybe I'm just being optimistic, but the bend did not seem to move/affect the rivet orientation. In other words, the depth of the dent in the spar flange doesn't seem to be deep enough to affect the rivet.

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Old 01-18-2015, 10:54 AM
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Kahuna Kahuna is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Gold Hill, NC25
Posts: 2,419

I would not be building a new rudder. Seaming pliers slowly and gently to prevent cracking, will get it close to correct, then an impact flush set and a bucking bar, or tap hammer and bucking bar, will finish the job nicely. Then a little filler before paint, and your good to go.
6A, S8 ,
Gold Hill, NC25
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:59 AM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,095

Pretty sure Kahuna has it nailed, but you might want to run it by the factory just for your own peace of mind.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:00 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,759
Default Rudder

Before you loose hope, send an e-mail to the Mother Ship. You never know.

You might consider J-bolts instead of U-bolts. On mine, I ground the end of the J-bolt to a smooth round end so it rides up and over. I still watched them to make sure but it also allows the bend to go farther till the J-bolt touched the spar web.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit, now FWF
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:21 PM
ShortSnorter ShortSnorter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: NOLA
Posts: 350

Thanks for the input, an email has been delivered to Van's. Sometimes the smallest oversight can cause major heartache!
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:54 PM
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bddalm bddalm is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Peachtree City, Georgia
Posts: 42

I agree with Kahuna. Remove the fastener, straighten with seaming plier and you can route out a little of the edge to make a smooth transition. Just maintain edge distance on the fastener.
Brian Davis
KFFC-Peachtree City, GA
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:11 PM
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KJBSouth KJBSouth is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Spring Hill, Florida; Flushing, Michigan
Posts: 110

Others have encountering the same problem. You are not alone. I just finished rolling the elevators using the homemade J-bolt procedure mentioned elsewhere on the Forum. I have found it very useful to search the forums for part numbers on each step of the build. It's saved my tail several times.
Karl Bambas
1954 1st solo
1964 Mooney Statesman, 1979 C-172, 1948 Globe Swift (all sold)

RV-7 "Dream Weaver" N50KB
Empennage arrived 10/14
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:20 PM
DragonflyAero DragonflyAero is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 173

A pneumatic squeezer with flush sets in both sides might also work to flatten this out. I have used this on a number of oops occasions. Remove the rivet, flatten, redimple and then rivet. You will have to look hard to find any trace!!!!
Bill Vinson
RV-7 Standard Build
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:24 PM
sblack sblack is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,520

I would use a plastic mallet or deadblow hammer and a dolly. Seamimg pliers will leave marks and a metal hammer will stretch the metal. The dolly could be a pc of hardwood sanded to the right radius and it could have a recess for the existing rivet. Whatever you do do it slowly and patiently. Sneak up on it, don't try to repair it in 3 blows. A half hr of gentle tapping and checking is much safer.
Scott Black
Old school simple VFR RV 4, O-320, wood prop, MGL iEfis Lite
VAF dues 2020
Instagram @sblack2154
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:58 PM
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ERushing ERushing is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Molalla, OR
Posts: 434

Ouch. I used the same method and realized just before I was about to do what you did. I got lucky.

I wrestled with that leading edge for probably 8 hours trying to get it how I wanted it (perfect.) That's the one thing in the build so far that I'm really not happy about. It'll fly. It'll be safe but it didn't turn out how I wanted it!

Good luck!
Eric Rushing
90% done, 90% to go.
Looks like an airplane!
Molalla, OR
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