Left Elevator 6th day and Trim Tab Assembly

My solution from yesterdays problem of riveting the trim tab spar and piano hinge was to take a squeezer die and cut off the shaft. After smoothing off the bottom of the die, I superglued it to my no-hole yoke as shown in the picture below.

This worked great and kept the yoke from bending the piano hinge.

I decided to add a couple of stiffeners to the trim tab as is done with the elevators. The plans dont call for them; however, our old trim tab had flexed a little so maybe this will help the new trim tab.

Lining up the new tab against the piano hinge to make sure the trim tab edge line will match the edge line of the elevator.

Drilling the piano hinge to the trim tab.

Drilling the trim tab spar to the top of the trim tab.

Deburred, dimpled and primed everything.

Almost finished trim tab. The top wont be riveted until the two pieces of angle that attach to the trim motor arm are riveted to the trim tab tomorrow.

Left Elevator... 5th day

Drilled hole in spar for the 5 wires that go to the electric trim motor and put in a plastic grommet.

Drilled and cleoced the piano hinge that holds the trim tab. Plans call for AN257-p2, however, the AN257-P3 piano hinge (a little deeper hinge) fit better so that is what I used.

A problem came up in riveting the piano hinge to the spar. The heads on the piano hinge interfer with the squeezer because they are lower than the rivet. If I turned the piano hinge over, it would work fine, but the top of the piano hinge would protrude a little above the elevator. Going to quit for the evening and research how to fix this.

Left Elevator Continued..4th day

Laid out the lines on the aluminum cut from the left elevator to make the trim tab from.
Cut out rough shape using hand shears.

Installed spar skeleton into skins and started all the prep work that needed to be finished before riveting. Finished drilling and dimpling all holes into skeleton.

Cut edges from leading edge for the counterweight rib skins will go.

Cut edges from leading edges for where the horizontal stabilizer attach brackts will mate with the rod end bearings on the elevator. Skins are cut 1/8 inch undersize on each end. Final cuts will be made after leading edge skin is rolled and pop riveted together.

Left elevator is ready for final riveting. Am going to go home and review all plans to make sure I didnt overlook anything before riveting elevator skin to spar skeleton tomorrow.

Left Elevator Continued..3rd day

Drilled electric trim brace to elevator skin.
Drilled holes at each corner of cutout and enlarged with unibit.

I used a cutoff wheel to cut between each of the holes.

Preliminary hole shaped. Now lots of filing and sanding and shaping to get it to final shape.

Since the bracket for the RV-6 is the same as for the RV-4, borrowed the bracket and motor from the RV-6 and used it as a template to cut the outer shape into the elevator skin and as a guide for the holes for the 7 screws that will hold the bracket and motor to the elevator.

Hole in skin was cut the same way as the electric trim brace. Drill a hole at each corner , use a cutoff wheel to cut between the holes and then file and sand to final shape.

K1100-6 countersunk platenuts are attached to the electric trim bracket .

Platenuts attached. Now time to prime and backrivet plate to skin.

Electric trim bracket riveted to skin and motor and cover temporarilly installed. Everything fits ok. Whew! I have to remember to drill a hole in the spar behind the motor because as it retracts the shaft extends backwards from the motor and will hit against the spar unless a hole is drilled for it to extend through.

Time to call it a night and head home to barbarque some steaks on the new grill.

Left Elevator Continued...2nd day

Cut the aluminum from the left elevator skin to make the trim tab. If I cut it wrong, I will have to start over on the left elevator.

Finished drilling holes for stiffeners and spar.
I used the same template I made for the right elevator which saved some time.

Fabricated the stiffeners from 3/4 x 3/4 x .032 angle and drilled to skins.

Primed elevator skin and stiffeners and riveted stiffeners to skin.

Taped 1/8 in metal rod to bend in skin and used home made brake to finish bend in elevator skin.

Riveted left elevator horn to spar.

Started laying out brace for electric trim option for elevator.
Vans traced out opening on sheet of aluminum. You have to cut it out yourself.
Somehow I either lost of didnt order the plans for the electric trim option so am using the plans from the RV-6 to fab the trim on the RV-4 elevator.

Left Elevator Started

Started the left elevator today. Its pretty much a duplicate of making the right elevator except for the addition of the trim tab which is cut out from the elevator skin.
Stiffeners are fabbed and clecoed to the skin.

Spar skeleton is fabbed, primed and test fitted to skin. The inner rib is shortened to make room for the trim tab to fit below it.

Right Elevator Continued ...5th day

Riveted the inner rib to the spar.

Riveted on the elevator horn to the spar.

Attaching the outer ribs that hold the counterweights to the spar.

Set the elevator skin and spar skeleton in the jig and started drilling the spar to the skins.

The inner ribs are too small to dimple normally. The Avery vise grip dimpling tool is a vise grip with the two mating dimpler parts welded onto the vise grip jaws. Works great.

Heavy rain on Christmas Day started pouring in the hanger door as well as creating a deafening cacophony of sound that reverberated off the roof.

Started final riveting.

The no hole yoke head came in handy to finish riveting at each end of the ribs where there wasnt much room.

The left elevator is test fitted onto the horizontal stabilizer.
The gap between the counterweight ribs and the horizontal stabilizer looks about right.

Right Elevator Continued ...4th day

Christmas Eve here so only worked for a few hours.
Started by dimpling all of the holes for the spar on the elevator skin. The pnuematic squeezer makes it easy. I had to use the 4" head to reach all of the rivet holes.

Primed and painted both the left and right elevator horns while I had the painted mixed. A finish coat of PPG DAR pairnt was put over the primer to make sure no corrosion happens to the steel horns. I will let them dry overnight before riveting the right horn to the elevator spar.

Started laying out the stiffeners for the left elevator.

Right Elevator Continued ...3rd day

A template was made from 3/4 in angle for the holes that need to be drilled in the elevator skin that mate to the spar.

The template was clamped the each side of the elevator skins and used to drill the spar attach holes into the skin.

A piece of .032 2024-t3aluminum was used to make the two bands of aluminum that go over the tip of the elevator that projects forward to hold the counterweights.

Since the tips are angles, the pieces look like long boomerangs until they are bent in the middle.

Ready for test fitting. Pieces were cut 1/4 in oversize and over length. Final fitting will determine actual size and length.

The pieces of the spar skeleton were matched up, fluted and drilled.

The elevator horn was drilled to the spar. Since the spar tapers through the full length, it was hard to get the elevator horn square. The edge of the table was used as one side and the spar was clamped parallel to the table. A 90 degree carpenters square could then be placed on the table edge and the other end of the square was used to line up the horn.

The spar was temporarally attached to the horizontal stabilizer to get the exact distances needed for the rod end bearing and ribs.

A sharpie was used to draw a line down the center of the spar where the holes would be drilled.
The spar was then inserted into the skin to where the sharpie line could be seen through the center of the holes and clamped and drilled.