Rudder and Rudder Trailing Edge Tips

By: Eric Panning
I've finished my rudder and was happy with how it turned out.  For 
alot of you this might be obvious but this is how I did it and it
worked for me.

Make sure to put a nice bend at the trailing edge on both skins. I
did a great job of this except at the very top.

Clean the trailing edge VA-140 and skins before proceeding

Get the 6 oz tube of the tank sealant and follow the directions. Use
nitrile gloves and apply a thin layer to the VA-140 trailing edge.
Be careful not to apply too much or to start getting it on other

You do not need two people to install pop rivets on the stiffeners if
you lay it on the table and hold open the skins with a 1x2 while

Be careful on the orientation of the shear clips to the stiffeners
and the top ribs

Clecos for every hole in the trailer edge. Weight is down as
described in the manual and let it sit for ~ two days.

Clean up was fairly easy - even the clecos.

I used a 2X rivet gun and ~ 35 psi for the trailing edge rivets. I
followed the instructions in the manual as was happy with the results.

If you are priming then you might want to mix up a small batch of
primer for the rolled leading edge and counter weight. I applied a
thin amount before riveting these two areas.

The manual describes taping down the leading edge and rolling it with
a 1 1/4" rod with a vise grip. This mostly worked, except the tape
would pull away enough that the leading edge was not uniformly
rolled. I ponder this a bit and ended up taking the same rod and
carefully match drilling it with the holes on the leading edge. You
only have to do this once as the pitch is the same for all the holes
in the other 5 leading edge skin sections. By using 1/8" clecos and
taping the rolling process was much smoother and I was happy with the

But a little extra in the bend for the overlapping section and
carefully bring them together for riveting.

For the rudder counter weight be careful with the bends and make sure
you account for the bend radius. I rec starting a little forward
(towards prop) of the bend line made by hand to allow for this.

Watch your toes! In some of the rudder counter weight steps you are
removing the weight for misc and if you have the rudder vertical it
will not hesitiate to come rocketing out....

I rec using some of the generic #8 screws - I was glad I did as I
went a little bit two far and started to match drill one.... don't
do this with the final bolts as there are only provided in the kit
(as far as I know).

Mine was pillowed and I did another rivet for the skins.

Overall came out great. I am about to prime the front spar for the
horizontal stab and then I get to try out the cradles....

Eric Panning
Hillsboro, OR
Kit # 150

For those hard to get rivets

Grind the teeth down on a vise grip pliers and use that to squeeze the rivet.
Use a chisel, ground down to fit, as a bucking bar

What I did:  I used a flat chisel about 1/4" thick on the rivet, with a flush set on the rivet gun,
placed on the chisel....then the back-riveting plate under the part, on the flush head.  This hammered
the shop head down fairly well.