Time to build the rudder frame

With the skins done for now, it’s time to build the rudder frame. First step is to fabricate a small 0.032″ spacer that fits between the rudder horn and spar.

Rudder horn clecoed to the rear spar

The plans are a little confusing on this step; a detail drawing on plans page 7 seems to indicate that the holes on this spacer should be drilled in assembly with the rudder horn and spar. But there is a plans step that covers this match-drilling later in the construction procedure, so it pays to read all the way through and entire procedure. Then read it again…and again. Also, a fair amount of filing and finishing is required to allow the rudder horn to fit snugly inside the lower rib’s forward flange. The plans say to do this “if required”. Trust me, it’ll be required. In general, this portion of the plans and instructions are not very well written. A lot of re-reading and visualization are required. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but a little more work by Van’s to add just a few clarifying words would really help. Van’s, if you’re reading this, I’d be glad to help.

Rudder frame clecoed together

The frame is clecoed together here. One other thing that’s unclear in the instructions is when to match-drill the rudder spar reinforcement plates. I did it when match-drilling the skins, but it should be done before the skins are clecoed on. It’s possible to hit a stiffener with the drill bit when match-drilling those reinforcement planes. Ask me how I know this…

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