Finished Stabilizer, Starting Rudder

Finished Stabilizer, Starting Rudder
Photo by Arno Senoner / Unsplash

I managed to finish my first part, the vertical stabilizer! Then I cleaned it up a bit and behold.

Vertical stabilizer for an airplane sitting on a workbench. The aluminum is bare.
Close up of the surface of the above vertical stabilizer. The rivets are all flush with the surface

It was a long process to get into the swing of things for this build, but I am very pleased with the results. I had to drill out around 10 more rivets as I went due to over driving them but since I was so experienced from the last post I did, it wasn't really an issue. It is just part of the process as I learn and improve. With all that said, it is now time to start Section 7: Rudder.

Instruction manual opened to the rudder section. A diagram of the rudder is on the page

This section starts off wanting you to separate some parts and then clean up the edges. That is easy enough to do, it just takes time. Cleaning up the edges is, by far, the most time consuming part of the whole build. I am sure I'll get faster and faster as I go but right now it is a bit daunting. I just make sure to take breaks and listen to music as I work.

Aluminum part marked up for cutting. It is sitting on the instruction manual that is detailing the cuts
Same as above, an aluminum part marked for cutting

There isn't too much to say about these cuts. I used a dremel with a cutting wheel and it worked well enough. The next steps were to clean up the cuts and debur the edges overall. You want it so there are no tooling marks left and it won't cut you if you touch it. For this process I will use as needed (pictured below):

  • A big file
  • A small file
  • A deburring 45ยบ cutter
  • 180 grit wheel
  • 400 grit wheel

All of this fun work gives us this before and after:

Before cleaning up a cut
After cleaning up a cut

That is pretty much it. It looks like the next few steps is cutting out parts and cleaning them up so I expect a few workshop sessions of doing just that.