Sheet Metal Practice
After reading all the posts on the Yahoo RV-9A Discussion Board I decided to purchase the sheet metal practice kit used at GeoBeck, Inc.'s training class. Since it's in TX and I'm in SC, attending the class would be rather difficult.

February 2, 2003 - Got my Sheet Metal Tools video and practice kit from GeoBeck, Inc. a couple of day ago. I also got the RV-9 Emp video. After watching the sheet metal video about 6 times, I was ready to build the mock-up control surface. The leading edge here is not as round as it should be. The plans for this control surface did not specify a length directly for the stiffeners to be cut, so I just used them as they were. They could be been cut a 1/2" shorter. This would have allowed enough metal to give a good curve to the leading edge without having to stress the piece (and arch the spar) to get the two edges to meet up. This is the flawed part of my work on this piece, but now I know how to avoid this in the future. DCP_1124.JPG (430432 bytes)
I am pretty happy with the riveting job I did on the practice project. There are some rivets that might be replaced because they are marginally too flat, but I did only a couple to get used to that process. Now that I know what a good rivet job looks like and how to do it, I feel pretty confident to continue on with the Empennage. DCP_1129.JPG (312594 bytes)
The stiffener rivets all came out very nicely. I would recommend getting the back riveting steel plate from Avery's. It is well worth it. After reading alot on the RV-9A Discussion Group at Yahoo, I decided not to worry so much about removing the blue protective plastic from the sheet aluminum early on before drilling and dimpling. As long as I don't bang the metal and put dinks in it, the paint job will hide everything. DCP_11332.JPG (693890 bytes)