Vertical Stab Skin

Hours Worked = 1.5

Tonight we Colleen got her first taste of deburring holes, and the DRDT-2 got it’s first shot at dimpling real airplane parts. Both did a great job, but Colleen was better at conversation!

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Deburring holes is FUN! I hope there is more as the build progresses!!

After the inside of the skin was deburred, we removed the protective blue plastic covering from the areas around the rivet lines. The blue plastic protects the all aluminum “AlClad” surface of the skins from scratches in shipment, and in building. We could have just as easily removed all the plastic, as the skins will be scuffed up before final paint anyways, but I’m OK taking my time, and hangar rash is something that’s always been a problem for me with my RC airplanes.

After the deburring and before dimpling, I scuffed the interior surface of the skins with a scotchbrite pad. This is in preparation for priming the interior parts. I scuffed before dimpling while the surface was still flat and easier to scuff evenly.

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The DRDT2 makes dimpling very simple. You just need to be careful to only dimple existing holes… not make new ones (which hasn’t happened… yet!)

And as always, here is a quick vid of tonight’s work:

2 thoughts on “Vertical Stab Skin

  • August 23, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Hi Ed, Coleen, Loe the web site and videos. I am just about to start on the RV-10 here in Australia (Have ordered the empennage kit). I am interested in the mention of scuffing the inside of the skins before priming. I would ave thought that would remove the pure aluminium coating. Given the primer is self etching (usually), I would have thought that this was unnecessary. Process I am planning to use (at least until I read your reply 😉 is Wash in Alumiprep, Alodine and Single part etch primer for small workloads, two part for large areas or numbers of parts.

    cheers and hope to keep in touch.


  • September 4, 2012 at 9:05 PM


    The scuffing I do to the alclad aluminum is done quite lightly with a maroon scotchbright pad. It is considered a “mechanical etching”. The primer I am using is a two part epoxy primer, and is NOT self etching.

    I had considered using alumiprep, but since that is also an “etch”, but chemical, it would be redundant to the scotchbright pads. It is also more expensive, time consuming, and dangerous to your health than the simple scuffing I do.

    I also chose not to go with alodine. I made this choice after a LOT of reading and thought. The conclusion I came to was that the process of scuff, alumiprep, water rinse, alodine, water rinse, dry, prime with epoxy primer would be the most absolutely bulletproof finish you could do. This is what a number of -10 builders (like Tim Olsen) did. But I felt that for the time and money the alumiprep and alodine (and other steps these processes require) it wasn’t worth it for me.

    In the end, I will have the protection of the alclad aluminum, and on top of that, the toughest primer around… Akzo Nobel 463. I will have two layers of protection, where the alodine would have given me a thrid.

    In either case, it’s much better protected than all those Cessna’s and Piper’s out there that don’t have any primer in them!

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