Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trim tab

I took the plunge and bent the trim tab. I've read that some people have trouble bending the trailing edge, and most people have trouble with the bends in the inboard and outboard edges, so I've been putting this off for a while.

I built the trailing edge "bending brake" out of 2x6's and door hinges. I took my time and gradually finished the bend in the trailing edge. Came out great.

Then I built bending blocks to bend the tabs in the inboard and outboard edges. I decided to make my blocks out of an oak stair tread. I've heard it's best to use a hard wood for bending blocks, and a stair tread was a cheap way to get a piece of oak. I cut the blocks at the proper angle, used a roll-on glue to keep the blocks from sliding, and clamped the trim tab in place on the edge of my work bench.

I started with the inboard tabs. First the bottom, then the top. I really took my time working it with a rubber mallet and a piece of pine to soften the blow. Once I bent the tab as far as it would go, I used the mushroom set on the rivet gun to finish the bend. I set the pressure as low as it would go (just before it stopped hammering) and worked the seam back and forth. I am happy with the results.

Once I was done bending, I clamped the elevator hinge to the spar and drilled it in place. I trimmed the hinge on the trim tab side according to the plans. I clamped the control horn in place and drilled that to the trim tab. Final drilled all holes, deburred, dimpled, and countersunk as directed, and called it a night.

Time spent: 4 hours (74 total)

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