Scott's RV-14 Build

Aileron Pushrods/Bellcranks

I decided to buy a better bench drill press. I needed it to finish the aileron pushrods and will use it for jobs in the future. I should've bought a decent one in the first place. Lesson learned. I went with a Ryobi from HF. I've got a bunch of Ryobi power tools and they've all worked fine for me. And if I didn't like how it worked, I could return it. It's funny how seemingly simple parts can sometimes be a huge pain to fabricate. The steel aileron pushrods were no exception. With my new drill press I got accurate holes drilled through them and the rod ends. While centered in the tube the holes aren't exactly 90 degrees out from each other. I just could not figure out a precise way to do that. I tried multiple techniques I'd read about on the forums on test pieces, and none really worked well. At least for me. Eyeballing it got me closer than any other technique. Although annoying it's really not that critical. What's more important are the holes being centered in the tubing, and they are. Once drilled and the insides of the steel tubes primed it was time to rivet on the rod ends. The KAI warns the very long AN470-4-11 rivets are difficult to set due to clinching. The VAF has lots of guys complaining about their problems doing this and techniques for success. Some guys weld them on. Others use JB Weld to fill the hollow rod end interior to better support the rivet. And there was a myriad of riveting techniques. It was only 8 rivets, but I was dreading it. Finally, I reasoned those thousands of RV are being built and flown using the technique that Vans recommended, which was to incrementally set them with a hand squeezer. Fortunately, I have a good one. So, I slowly and carefully set all 8 rivets in small increments, inspecting frequently and making adjustments as needed. And I ended up with 8 nice shop heads and no redos. Whew. Glad to get those pushrods done. Wasted too much time on them. But being part of the flight control system, they needed to be right. From there it was on to the aileron bellcranks and getting them mounted in the wings which was uneventful.

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