Back riveting the rudder stiffeners was pretty straight forward and one of the most enjoyable parts of the build thus far.
I forgot to dimple the attach strip and didn't realize it until after I had riveted it to the skin. Oh well, drilling out the few rivets was pretty painless.
While halfway through dimpling the stiffeners I noticed that the female die was leaving a slight mark on the inside edge of the stiffener. I posted the question on VAF whether or not I needed to replace these. The consensus was that where the marks were are not the load bearing part of the stiffener and that I needed to use a reduced diameter female die. I already have the reduced diameter dies but just didn't not think to use them. Chalk it up as another lesson learned!
Here is my airplane part christmas tree. I hung the stiffeners from the ladder and had the space heater blowing on them to help accelerate the drying since it has been so humid here.
Here is the entire rudder (sans the horn brace) clecoed together. Now time to take it all apart dimple, prime, etc. In the last picture you can see that Louie decided to take a more active role today and supervise. I am amazed that this dog is un-fazed by the rivet gun, drill, etc. I bet he will be a good flying buddy when its all said and done.
After a few days of deburring and priming parts I was able to start putting them together. Here is the making of an RV-14 rudder.
Van's did not include the proper length rivet for the lower nut plate. My friends at the local FBO let me bum a few rivets from the shop. 470AD4-9's were what was necessary to secure these nut plates.
The first steps in the rudder section have you separate and debur ALOT of parts. There aren't many pictures in the early steps due to the monotony of the work. The rudder horn brace on the left was damaged while I was cutting it on the band saw. First parts reorder to Van's! Good News: Part replacement with shipping $12.50. Bad News: Holidays. It took over two weeks before I received the replacement.
I am unhappy with the final rivets on the top VS rib flange. I should have flipped the rivet the other direction so I would not get the flange pucker like I did. The joint is sound but I just don't like the look of it. I have learned my lesson though on fixing something that doesn't need to be fixed!!
I have learned early on if something is cosmetically unsatisfactory but structurally sound, LEAVE IT ALONE!! I had a very light smiley on one of the hinge bracket rivets so I decided I'd replace it. After I got the rivet out a portion of the manufactored head was stuck to the paint/powder coat of the hinge bracket. I used a sharp wood chisel to unembed the rivet head and in the process successfully managed to gouge the surface of the bracket. I polished it it out and contacted Van's and they said it would be fine.
Here the internal structure of the vertical stabilizer is all put together.
I wasn't very happy with the first flush rivet on the VS skin. I had tape over the rivet set so I wouldn't mar the skin. The result left a slightly "domed" rivet head. Although it was hardly noticeable and one rivet out of many on the skin, I decided to leave it alone since it was in a bad spot. I will take the tape off of all the flush rivet sets from now on.
I smeared the head of a AN470AD4 rivet on the spar doubler while bucking. I should have squeezed it.
After removing the rivet the area around the shop head left a slight "counter sink" where the rivet had expanded and stretched the material slightly. After confirming with other builders as well as a few IA's I know, I replaced with rivet with a slightly longer one.
In the picture to the right I was looking at how bad the inside surface of the skin got scratched from the top rib of the VS. It wasn't too bad so I just scotchbrited and shot it with some zinc chromate. I have decided that I am going to prime all of the internal ribs/spars/stiffeners as well as where they mate to the skin. I am using Moeller's zinc chromate at the moment. I tried both the yellow and green primers but have found the green to cover much more evenly.
The vertical stabilizer all clecoed together. Tiffany's favorite task is clecoing, good thing because it is one of my least favorites.