August 11th , 2007
Glued Rudder Trailing Edge

Today I tackled the dreaded trailing edge of the rudder. I don't know why, this was actually pretty easy. I deviated from the plans a little bit in how I glued this puppy. I was told about this method from another RV builder in town Eric. I used it and it works great.

Basically instead of using a long piece of angle to clamp the trailing edge to, I used two 4ft pieces of aluminum channel and clamped one to each side of the rudder. You can buy these from Home Depot or Lowes. I got mine from Eric and they were already drilled. They were used on a couple RV's before me. Below are the two U shaped channel pieces and the trailing edge wedge.

This chair has sure been handy. Sometimes it is more comfortable to work sitting down.

Here is a shot of the U channel's. They were already drilled from previous RV's but you could drill them out using the rudder as a guide.

Testing the attachment of the U channel stock to the rudder. Everything fits perfectly.

Nice and straight.

Another angle shot.

I checked to make sure these were nice and straight by laying an angle bar on top of them.

I ordered the 1oz sealant kit from Van's. I ended up with a little left over so it worked out great.

Using a hobby brush, I coated both sides of the trailing edge wedge and clamped everything together. This stuff sets pretty fast so you need to work quickly. The temp in the shop was 92 so I only had about 10-15 working minutes before the stuff gets really thick. However, this was plenty of time to get it on the rudder and get the clamps on.

Once I had it all clecoed in place I used Acetone to clean up the trailing edge and remove any goop that squeezed out.

 

I put a clamp on the last little portion (optional) to keep the trailing edge together tight.

A shot down the back shows how straight this ended up being. The whole process only took about 15 minutes and was really easy. I think this method creates a good result. I set the rudder aside. I am heading out to San Francisco on Monday so it will have a long time to cure while I am gone.

One other thing, There were two holes on each side of the rudder horn that I was not able to get a rivet in. How the heck do you reach these? I will research it out...

I also robbed a couple LP4-3 rivets from my wing kit to finish the control horn. I will replace them with some more from Van's.

 

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