Attempt to fix rudder mistake

So I realized that the rudder stiffener being on the wrong side of the shear clip shifted its position just enough to make it very difficult, maybe even impossible, to get all of the rivets through the holes that connect the shear clip to the rudder spar. This made me decide to attempt to drill out the rivets so that I could reposition the parts. I had a couple options on how to drill them out. With a jobber length drill bit I could fit the drill between the other shear clips and stiffeners with no trouble, but because of the diameter of the drill motor, I didn’t like the angle that the drill bit would go into the rivet. To attempt to fix this angle I decided to use a 12 inch drill bit that I would flex, using a gloved hand, so that it would get into the right position to drill the rivet out without turning it into a hole. It seemed like a good idea at the time but in hindsight I should have bought/borrowed a 90 degree drill instead.

This is what my technique looked like. Due to the length of the bit I had to position it between the stiffeners right next to the drill.


I started off slowly and checked my progress on the rivet after a small amount of drilling. Looking good so far…


Got the first rivet drilled out and I’m feeling like this might actually work out.


Three rivets later…


The bottom right hole is the picture above is nearly perfect…I’m not sure how I pulled that off. The other three are not quite as good, with the top left being the worse. The holes in the picture may or may not look very bad to you, but when I insert some rivets to check the size there is a lot of extra room. I’ve emailed Van’s to see what my options are for this part. My biggest concern at this point is that the stiffeners this clip was attached to now have matching holes. It will be really easy to replace the shear clip, but if I have to replace the stiffeners as well that will mean a lot more rivets have to be drilled out which gives me a lot more changes to mess up other holes.

I won’t touch the rivets for the other clip that needs to be repositioned until my 90 degree dill gets here, which I’ve already ordered. Until then I think I might start riveting together the vertical stabilizer.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s