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  #1  
Old 10-12-2011, 11:26 PM
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aarvig aarvig is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: KANE, Hugo, Minnesota
Posts: 765
Default Neighbor kids got into my shop...

Yep you guessed it. I forgot to lock the door and the little "fill in the blanks" got in and did this to my right elevator (of course the top)...




I tried so hard to have a dent free empennage, I even replaced this skin previously because of a dent. Now those little rascals did this. Is this fillable or do I have to replace the skin?
Lesson learned, lock the shop...oh and don't expect a perfect plane.
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2011, 05:29 AM
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pierre smith pierre smith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
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Default The parents owe you.

IMO, the parents owe you a new skin or elevator. The buck stops at the top.

Best,
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2011, 06:09 AM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,685
Default I would take it as a lesson learned and replace or accept

I would take it as a lesson learned and replace or accept the dented skin - but then I'm a passive soul that can't stand the ongoing tension brought about by confrontation. I would never survive in Texas. There is a bigger picture to consider on many fronts that only you are fully aware of including your work environment. The bottom line is the skin is damaged and I would replace it at this stage or I would leave it as is as structurally safe and accept the appearance. Attempts to fill this thin skin may work but my experience with a epoxy fillet on the rudder trim wedge was bad. The edges delaminated after painting. Some builders fill all the rivet locations and end up with a composite looking finish so experience varies.

Bob Axsom
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2011, 06:24 AM
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f1rocket f1rocket is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Martinsville, IN
Posts: 2,344
Default

I can't see the picture from work (site blocked) but I would be careful about additional weight in the empennage based upon the results of the Canadian accident discussed recently.

An experienced builder can put an elevator together in just a couple of days. Buy the parts and re-build it. In the mean time, work on something else to take your mind off of it and the little *&$^&@ who did it.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2011, 06:52 AM
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N282S N282S is offline
 
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Location: Topeka
Posts: 333
Default different approach

If you accept the dent and scratch then every time you look at it it will T you off.

Of course there a bizillion different ways to handle this. I would definately take the part to the parents and explain what happened. They may look at it and consider what you are building crazy and dismiss the whole thing. But, depending on the age of the kids and your relationship with the neighbors, you might consider buying new parts and having the kids come over to help you rebuild it. It might just help build a new kind of relationship with the kids and a new elevator.

My 2 c.
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2011, 06:54 AM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Location: Newport, TN
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Default

Some properly applied filler and that will never be seen again...unless you plan to polish instead of paint.
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2011, 06:59 AM
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N8RV N8RV is offline
 
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Location: Elkhart, Indiana
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Default

I agree with Brain -- fill it and forget it.

And, for your consideration, I once heard of a similar problem that a friend had with a neighbor's cat. The cat loved to come into my friend's garage and walk all over his car with his muddy paws. The friend mentioned this to his neighbor and suggested that he keep his cat at home instead of in my friend's garage. The neighbor suggested that my friend keep his garage door closed.

Fair enough. At least they had an adult discussion about it and remained friends.

Not sure what ever happened to the cat. It just ... disappeared ...

Since the dent/scratch is so small, I think you stand a greater chance of damaging the ribs by enlarging the holes when you drill out all of those rivets. Given a choice, I'll take a small, filled dent over enlarged rivet holes, but that's just me.

Depending on how old these miscreants are, it might be personally rewarding for you to invite the little rascals into your shop and teach them how to rivet on some scrap. And show them how to drill out rivets. It might sink in that the damage they did wasn't insignificant and you might end up with a riveting buddy out of the deal someday (if you build as slowly as I did, they'll be teenagers by the time you need someone to crawl back into the tailcone with a bucking bar!)
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Last edited by N8RV : 10-13-2011 at 07:07 AM.
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2011, 07:15 AM
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Geico266 Geico266 is offline
 
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Location: Huskerland, USA
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brantel View Post
Some properly applied filler and that will never be seen again...unless you plan to polish instead of paint.
+1. Should be fine after filling and paint.
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2011, 07:59 AM
Peterk Peterk is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,378
Default It's An Airplane

It's an airplane, not a loved one. Of course it can still fly. I don't understand the angst displayed by many homebuilders concerning perfection. I thought we were building airplanes to fly. Sleepless nights about how they look seems to me to defeat the whole purpose. Yes, a lot of hard, painstaking work went into the build. But it's still a thing...not a person. This reminds me of people who buy trucks and keep them immaculate...huh? As for the kids...now there's a topic that warrants sleepless nights and lots of care. Go fly.
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2011, 08:14 AM
diamond diamond is offline
 
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Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 710
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierre smith View Post
IMO, the parents owe you a new skin or elevator. The buck stops at the top.

Best,
I agree with Pierre, and if you have the slightest suspicion that this may happen again, I'd put up a few motion activated game cams.
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