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Preparation
Empennage
- Horizontal Stabilizer (49:40)
- Vertical Stabilizer (21:15)
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   and Longerons
(17:30)

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Pop-Rivet Dimpler 101
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Horizontal Stabilizer - 9/14/2005
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Dimpled and Countersinked the right HS ribs and sparsDimpled and Countersinked the right HS ribs and spars
After drilling out the #40 holes in the skin into the ribs and spars, I took everything apart, then started dimpling the ribs, making sure that I didn't dimple everything, as the instructions stated. I ordered 3/32 small diameter female dimple die to dimple the ribs. The standard female dimple die is too wide and bends the flange out when making a dimple in the ribs. Then I used my microstop countersink to countersink the holes in the spars and the spar doublers. What to countersink in the doublers is very confusing. I finally read on the plans where it mentioned that all doubler countersinks are "forward" except for the ones that are "aft" on the rear span as indicated on the plans.
Removed the blue plastic film on the right Horizontal Stabilizer skinRemoved the blue plastic film on the right Horizontal Stabilizer skin
I got an old soldering iron and rounded off the sharp edges of the tip. Then I used a metal ruler as a guide to melt the plastic film around the holes in the skin. Then it was easy to peel off the blue plastic that was over the holes.
Started dimpling the right Horizontal Stabilizer skinStarted dimpling the right Horizontal Stabilizer skin
I bought a "C" frame dimpler and experimented on one of the extra sheets of aluminum that come in a small bundle with the kit. I really didn't like the way the dimples turned out, making a slight dip in the aluminum sheet, which you could only see when holding the sheet up to a light. I talked with a RV builder friend of mine about this and he suggested that I use Pop-Rivet Dimplers to dimple the skins. I ordered the Pop-Rivet Dimplers and started using them. It's slow work, but the quality of the dimple is outstanding, passing the "light" test easily.
A shot of the Pop-Rivet Dimplers from AverysA shot of the Pop-Rivet Dimplers from Averys
The dimplers use a standard 6 penny finishing nail. I found that I could get about 6 dimples out of a single nail before having to get a new one.
Recieved my order of 400 #40 clecos from Aircraft SpruceRecieved my order of 400 #40 clecos from Aircraft Spruce
I grabbed an old milk jug and made my own cleco container. Now I have around 600 #40 clecos for the rest of the project.
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A website designed for Van's Aircraft Homebuilders, helping them find the information they need to build the most dynamic aircraft in the world.
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This website was built to document the construction of an RV-9A in compliance with the FAA requirements needed to certify the aircraft. Any experiences and/or comments are by no means to be considered as instructions on how to build an RV-9A or any other aircraft.
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