David's RV-10 Build

Just another RV-10 builders log

Category: Misc.

Elevator movement

Today I worked on the pushrod for the elevators and got it mounted. This went really easy, but it did expose a flaw done earlier. My elevators are 1/8″ of an inch out of alignment. Van’s says this is perfectly fine as they have one plane thats 5/8″ out and it flys great. So I have 2 options, 1) Leave it or 2) Pull an elevator off and weld close the hole and try it again. I will probably pursue option 2 when I get to the point where I search out all the flaws I see in the empennage section.

I also “bolted” on the rudder, but I have some rubbing that I will have to fix in the near future.

First mistake

Today I received my DRDT-2 Dimpler. This thing is pretty bad ass. For those who don’t know, the sole purpose of this machine is to place little dimples in the aluminum so the rivets will sit flush. It does seem there is a divide in who likes it and who doesn’t. Personally I have ZERO desire to whack a hammer 3,283,394 times to get the perfect dimple. It’s getting covered in paint and I doubt there is enough of difference to justify it. The number one downside is its pretty easy to get on a roll while dimpling, more on that later.


After I got the table built, I began to start dimpling away at the Vertical Stabilizer skin. As fate would have it, With only 6 holes left to dimple, I dimple  a hole that should not be dimpled. While this on its own right was not the end of the world. I made it worse. I knew I wanted to use my steel back rivet plate so I had a hard smooth surface. But in a stroke of genius, I decided to use a bucking bar on top of the dimple with my rivet gun. This put a slight crease in the skin about 2″ long. I’m still on the fence if I should replace this.


I also picked up some SEM EZ Coat primer for long term protection. I had to order some Acid Etch and that will be in on Tuesday. But I gave a test run of 2 coats on some scrap and it looks pretty good. I’m not sure if I’m sold on the color yet though.


Tools & Toolbox kit

I had to go pick up my order from Plane Tools at the UPS Sort Facility in Watertown due to some sort of error, where my shipping town got listed at my billing town. Not the end of the world though. Isham had managed to pack alot of stuff into one little box. I was quite surprised what came out of there. Of course while unpacking I was so excited I didn’t take any pictures. After unpacking everything, I began the process of assembling the air tools. After the obligatory period of making noises with the various tools.

The next step of my adventure was to figure out how to make dimples with my pneumatic squeezer as my DRDT-2 has yet to arrive. That turned out to be pretty simple and soon enough i was a dimpling machine. After dimpling the edges, it was time to tackle some rivets. This I KNEW I was going to screw up. And it didn’t take long. After drilling out the first rivet, twice I decided to put the rivet gun down and try the squeezer. I ended up having much better luck with this, yet I know the rivets are not perfect. Next was the hinge, after match drilling both sides i decided to try back riveting. This was far easier than using a bucking bar. But I managed to over squeeze alot of rivets. I guess ill learn the timing eventually. The lower hinge I ended up using my squeezer again. Here is where I let it sit for the night. On Saturday I had flight school & a christmas party so nothing got touched.

Today, I came in and finished up the toolbox. The first thing I tackled was the AN470 rivets that hold the front stiffner on. You can tell which ones I used the rivet gun on and which ones I squeezed. The rivet gun ones look TERRIBLE. The latch is probably where I got my head out of my butt and figured some things out. When mounting the handle, I discovered the flow valve had more than 6 settings, which made me feel pretty dumb. Over all, the box looks good from far, but far from good up close. I’ll chalk this up to learning.

Next I started the Wing Kit. I didn’t really make it far in this as I don’t have my DRDT-2 yet. I got the stiffners cut, & deburred all the parts. That’s pretty much all I can do till next Friday.



Introducing Vans RV10 #41517

On Friday November 22nd, I made a huge decision in life. One that I have been wanting to make for about 5 years. After going back and forth via email with the fine folks over at Vans Aircraft.  I made a phone call and finalized my order for the RV10 Empennage kit. I have not received confirmation of it being shipped yet, but I anticipate it will be here in the beginning of the 2nd week of December. I will keep this site up to date on where I am in my build

David's RV-10 Build © 2015