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RV-7 Construction Log
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Date:  2-4-2012
Number of Hours:  0.00
Manual Reference:  Section 6
Brief Description:  Rudder Assembly - Part 2

Next up on the rudder was riveting the spar reinforcements and nutplates to the spar. On the upper two plates I was able to reach all rivets with the squeezer using the 1.5" C-yoke and the longeron yoke.

Before further assembly, I noticed that I hadn't dimpled any of the rudder ribs or rudder brace. The counterbalance rib was a piece of cake, as was the brace, but the aft most several rivets on both the bottom and tip ribs proved to be a challenge, requiring several hours work to dimple about 12 holes. :O( What ended up working best was the pop-rivet dies, though the nails had to be bent to go in the holes, then straightened for pulling. Even at that, some of the dimples came out a bit shallow. After trying several techniques to deepen the dimples, the one that worked the best ended up being putting a -3 length rivet in the hole, the female pop rivet die over the rivet, and back riveting using a chisel to transfer the energy from a flush set in the rivet gun to the female die, as per an EAA video I saw a few months ago. The rivet acted as the male die, and it was short enough that it didn't get set.

While assembling the bottom reinforcement plate with the bottom rib, rudder horn, and shim, the upper corner holes couldn't be reached without bending the rib out of the way, so I tried shooting them. While I had the bar and gun out, I tried shooting all of the rivets in this section. I ended up "smearing" four or five of them, but fortunately, drilling them out didn't enlarge any of the holes. I gave up and just bent the bottom rib out of the way and reset all the bad rivets with the squeezer.

As on the Rocket 14 years ago, riveting the bottom of the rudder brace to the rudder horn was pretty much a non event - thanks to the longeron yoke. The fit was tight enough that I had to open up the adjustable set holder wider than required, put the nose of the yoke in the brace, then readjust the holder. A bit tedious, but all 4 rivets set properly on the first try.
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Riveting the hinge reinforcement plates.

Riveting the hinge reinforcement plates.

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Pop rivet dimple dies in aft section of rudder bottom rib.

Pop rivet dimple dies in aft section of rudder bottom rib.

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I was able to reach all four of the rudder brace to rudder horn rivets with the longeron yoke.

I was able to reach all four of the rudder brace to rudder horn rivets with the longeron yoke.

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