7. Rudder

Rudder Horn

The rudder horn needs to be radius’ed on the top flange in order to help it fit on the bottom rib of the rudder. I did this with a combination of bastard and vixen file work, followed by 240 and then 400 grit emory cloth. Fits like a glove now.


The stiffeners come connected together and require a small amount of trimming near the ends (this is where the rudder trailing edge comes together.  I used my Aviation Snips (mine are pretty heavy duty Klecks). That worked perfectly.  The Rudder Brace also needs to to be trimmed. Its just about on the edge of what a snips can do, but it was too complex to try and work it into the band saw. First big mistake, when I snipped though I barely nicked the actual piece, I sanded the nick out, but it was worried because it was pointed right at a rivet hole. I ordered a new piece. (Oddly enough, I showed it to my Tech. Counselor and he said it probably would have been just fine).

Another oddity is that the stiffeners are aligned on top of each other when in the skins. This either means that they will be slightly twisted, or the pre-punched holes are just slightly different between the two skins. With it all cleco’ed up I really can’t tell.


These skins are THIN. Read the plans multiple times. I almost trimmed the left and the right (only need todo one). Used the Cleaveland/Avery Edge forming tool to make a pretty lap joint. The key is to not bend it too much.

Trailing Edge

Trimmed the trailing edge per the plans. I plan to use the angle iron method to keep it straight. Double Sided tape is on order (Vans doesn’t suggest the Proseal method anymore).


Clecoed the entire essembly together. (The plans have you rivet the spare assembly together, then do the skins and stiffeners. I choose todo it all at once so I only need to prime once). This was a ton of stiffeners.