<August 6, 2005>

Glued the Rudder Trailing Edge

Today I tackled the tast of glueing (Pro-Seal) the rudder trailing edge. This is done to hold the pieces together to make it easier/possible to rivet. I had ordered a tube of Pro-Seal fron Van's a few weeks ago, and I wish I had gotten it in a different container. Why? Because I spent $15 on this tube, 80% of which now gets thrown away. I would have just been better to buy a quart and only mix what I needed. By the way, this is sticky stuff! Had I to do this again I probably would have waited for a cooler day. It was around 100-degrees in the shop today, and the Pro-Seal started curing almost immediately. It wasn't really a problem, but it might have been easier to deal with had it been a little cooler.

UpdateÖ the reason the ProSeal was curing so fast was that I made a mistake and ordered the fast cure (30 mins) stuff from Vanís. I donít know why I ordered the tube-kit, I should have just ordered the 1-ounce slow cure jar. Oh well, itís only money.

I picked up a 6' long piece of aluminum angle at the local hardware store, and match-drilled and clecoed it to the trailing edge of the rudder. It really doesn't matter now, but in hindsight, I would have put the edge of the rudder even with the edge of the alumimum angle before I drilled. Oh well, next time. ;-)

Looks pretty good (straight) so far. I found that the dimples in the skin weren't sitting well in the countersunk rudder wedge, so I tool my speed deburring/countersinking tool and increased the depth of the wedge countersinks ever so slightly. This helped the dimples seat better.

Here is the tube of Pro-seal after mixing. Before mixing it was white, but you will see it turn gray as you mix it. Moving the mixing rod was a tiring job... my arm was sore. ;-)

I was a little concerned that I would have no way to dispense the Pro-Seal but I found the tube fit in my home caulking gun. This worked good enough for this small job, but I don't know if I would do it this way on the tanks.

After applying the Pro-Seal, clecoing, and cleaning up the Pro-Seal that oozed out, the rudder looks pretty straight. I will leave it a few days to allow it to cure. I didn't take pictures but I used little 1" x 1/2" wooden blocks to prop the rudder trailing edge open while I applied the Pro-Seal. While I was in there, I appled a generous glob of it to the last stiffener rivets on one side. This should give some cushion against vibration with the stiffener rivet on the other side. After about an hour or so, I took the clecos out and cleaned up as much excess Pro-Seal that seaped out through the rivet holes. I then cleco'ed it back together and it is now curing, which shouldn't take long in the 100-degree heat we have been having.