This is what started it all off for me--the Zenith info pkg.  Well worth getting.

And then I got the DVD from homebuilthelp.com for the rudder pkg.  Another well worthwhile purchase, although, unfortunately, the demo was on a 6XX series aircraft instead of my 701.

I already had a workbench, but it was too small, on wheels, and in the wrong location.  I used my Harbor Freight hydraulic tubing bender to position the bench where I needed it.

This is the 2" x 6" and 2" x 4" framing for the workbench.

This is the finished 4' x 12' workbench, rock solid, 3/4" plywood top, all level and flat.

It took about two weeks for the rudder starter pkg I ordered to get here (FL) by UPS in this bullet-proof box.

Here's the contents all laid out, incl the assy manual.  It was all in good condition, but three glitches: The rudder horn received was not per the packing list--I got a 0.090" thick horn instead of the 0.125" listed.  I was assured I got the correct one for the 701.  A ref dwg 7-R-0 was missing, but they emailed me a replacement.  And, the revision levels of the dwgs didn't match up with what the manual listed.  I was assured I got the correct ones.

Btw, I downloaded the color version of the assy manual pages from Zenith's Update site page, instead of using the el cheapo b/w pages provided with the kit.  Easier to distinguish stuff--plus, you can tell what size clecos they're using when the manual omits what size holes to drill (pre-drill or not).

Here, I've got the doublers trimmed, some holes drilled to size, and clecod to the spar.  At that time, I didn't have my Handi-Clamps yet (TP640HC from Aircraft Spruce), so I used what I had.

I've got the rudder horn clecod to the bottom rib.  When I mated it up with the spar, I had to do a little grinding on my bench sander to make it fit correctly.  The manual omits mention of this, but after fitting the rib to the spar, the horn should be removed and set aside until final rudder assy onto the fuselage--because it just gets in the way otherwise.  And btw, the recommended minimum equipment list shows only 5ea  5/32" clecos, not the 10 you need.  It also is missing a #40 drill bit, clamps, etc.  It has become obvious that keeping paperwork current and accurate is not Zenith's strong suit.

This is the handy-dandy sophisticated tooling I developed to put the rivet-line marking on the flanges of the ribs.  I figure it beats  doing it by hand like they show in the manual.  I just have to position the magic marker up or down on the shims to put it exactly where I want it, hold it in place, and then slide the rib along the bench top.

In the process of of installing rib #6 on the fwd face of the spar.  With the only clamps I had available that would work, I had to use a long 1/8" drill bit to get in there.

Zenith uses what they describe as 'toggle clamps,' (TP176A from www.ustool.com, info omitted from the manual) which would've been more useful.  I was going to order some, but they're $18 per, and later on in the manuals, they say you need 4-6 of them.  So I'll see if I can make do with what I already have on hand.

Voila!  All the ribs clecod in place on the spar.  Hopefully, the predrilled holes in the skins will line up tomorrow.  I'd sure like to know why the bottom rib doesn't have a narrow flange like all the other ribs, and why the aft skin doesn't extend all the way down to the bottom instead of being riveted along the magic marker line you can see at the top of the bottom rib (which the manual doesn't mention you need to do).  I think it'll look kinda kluged up.  The DVD  rudder looks more 'normal.'

You can see I got my Handi-Clamps--very useful things.

I got ahead of myself here.  I was surprised  at how fast the ribs went on.  I was thinking I had to set up the beams and cleco the skins on today, but I didn't have any beams on hand yet.  So I was pretty upset, esp since  Zenith and homebuilthelp.com don't give you any clue where to get steel beams of the req'd size.  So I thought I had a problem--and naturally, just before a weekend.  But luckily, I remembered that I had a defunct gyrocopter that I had partially taken apart and stored away, and it's made up of expensive 2" x 2" 6061-T6 square tubing--perfect!  Anyway, what I actually need to do now is take this all apart, deburr, clean up, and ZnCrO4  everything interior before riveting it back together then clecoing the skins on.

I see by my last post that it's been about two weeks--health problems, plus misadventures with the green zinc chromate.  I couldn't find anywhere what the mix ratio is for paintbrushing, nor what type of paintbrush to use--maybe I should've picked up on the clue of that.  It was a messy disaster.  All that terrible stuff is now safely in the trash where it belongs.  I used the reducer/lacquer thinner to remove all the zinc chromate I had badly applied, so I'm back to square one.  After the fact (of course), I saw a video clip of somebody suggesting to use yellow instead of green, because it's so much easier to see inside structures.  I didn't like how dark the Aircraft Spruce green was, anyway, so now I have some yellow spray cans from West Marine.  I'm wondering how to reach back into that trailing edge crease.

Quite a few days ago, I got the green zinc chromate all cleaned off, and recoated (two coats) with yellow spray-can zinc chromate from West Marine.  It's lousy stuff, splattering all over the place, but it did the job, and it won't be visible.  I got a can from AC Spruce that I'll try on the skin's interiors next.  Today, I started re-marking and re-assembling ribs & spar & doublers, and installed my first rivet!  See it?  Pretty exciting.  I used both Zenith's hand and pneumatic riveters to do the doublers onto the spar, and that went well.

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Comment by Zenith.Aero on October 1, 2012 at 3:46pm

Great info. Thanks for sharing!

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