Eleven Days In


The FAA says amateur building is to be an educational process.  It sure is.  We are learning not only new mechanical skills but also new ways of thinking and communicating.

Left horizontal stabilizer skeleton.
Left horizontal stabilizer skeleton.


We are eleven days into the metalworking and have yet to set the first rivet.  The parts in Vans kit are formed and most holes punched, but they all require smoothing of edges, resizing of holes, deburring of drilled holes, etc.

Van’s construction instructions start off being very detailed.  We soon found that details are needed which are not in the instructions and only exist in the plan drawings.



Skin on and ready for match drilling of skin to rib and spar flanges.


We started drilling skins to the ribs following the instructions and not noting that the drawing wanted a smaller drill size than in the previous instruction.  A phone call to Vans gave relief.  It’s OK to use larger rivets (1/8 vs 3/32″) on the inboard rib providing edge clearance rules are not violated.  Fortunately our edge distances are OK.



One hole at a time.

As a result of my drilling snafoo we built a new rule.  Dolly and I will each independently read plans and instructions for any construction step. and come to a common understanding of what is to be done.




Her side is all done.
Her side is all done.


I can’t give enough thanks for Dolly’s  involvement in this project.  Without her the results could b e disastrous.






I did some also.
I did some also.

Today we have the left and right sides of the horizontal stabilizer parts all drilled and deburred, and are in the process of dimpling holes in the ribs and skin.






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