After realizing I have rivetted the wrong side of the stabilizer first, I drilled out the rivets and removed the skin. At first, I thought I was going to be able to salvage everything, but upon closer examination, it is obvious to me that I have to replace the skin as there is too much hole damage in some areas from removing the rivets. It looks as though the spar and ribs are ok. Putting the stabilizer aside for now and starting on the elevator. May try to pick up a new skin at Open Hangar Day next month.

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Comment by David A. Judkins on August 16, 2012 at 4:17pm

The spars and ribs are ok; don't think there is any damage that can't be repaired. Going to the next size rivet might be an option. When I get a chance this weekend, I'll take a look at that. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Comment by Chumphol Sirinavin on August 14, 2012 at 9:05am


If you can get a new skin to fix on a partly drilled skeleton of the stabilizer, you just do that.I hope you don't need the new spar and ribs. I used to use a thin clear acetate sheet to transfer the existing series of holes on skeleton to skin. It worked out quite alright. An owner/builder once explained me that the extra rivet line was for patching the skin after cutting it too short. An extra rib was added to take the patch neatly. 


Comment by Ian McClelland on August 14, 2012 at 1:47am

Hi David

I ground a punch small enough to punch out the mandrel first. It is then a simple matter drilling off the head.

It should only take a 2 second burst with the drill to remove the head. No hole damage is the result. Just be careful not to punch to hard! Sometines it is necessary to punch - drill - punch - drill to get out the hard mandrels.

Have a practice go first.

Comment by Ken Ryan on August 13, 2012 at 8:13pm

Live and learn. Remember that you can go up a rivet size if that would fix the hole damage. So if they are A4s maybe going to A5 might allow you to save the skin. I have found that the most important thing when drilling out rivets is to use very light pressure on the drill bit, so that when the head breaks free you don't continue drilling into the skin.

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