I started out the weekend by cutting my rudder skin to shape. The hinge clearance areas are done by drilling holes near the corners, then connecting the holes. I like using the Dremel for cuts like this because it doesn't leave the serrated edges and wavy distortions like snips or the nibbler.
After half an hour of careful filing, the finished cut looks like this. Now do that 3 more times and watch as Ben pulls his Vertical Stab parts out of the box and clecoes them together.
To keep the whole "match-drilled kit" label in perspective with what I'm doing, I'll post some notes on Ben's progress as he builds his new RV-8 alongside my "old school" non-match-drilled RV-3B. This is Ben's RV-8 vertical stab after just a few hours of work. It took me like 20 hours to get to this point on mine, not including building the friggin jig to make it straight. He had the whole thing clecoed together by the end of the first half-day of work.
My rudder stiffeners are now taped in place, ready to match drill the skin rivet holes. While the instructions say to drill the stiffeners and skin in one step, I drilled the stiffeners alone first so that, if I screwed one up, I would not also screw up the skin. This also made it easier to drill the aft couple of holes straight since the upper flap of skin is in the way and it would be tough to hold the drill to a mark without the pre-drilled pilot hole. I taped the upper portion to the wall to keep it out of the way, then started drilling them in the middle and worked my way toward myself (forward), clecoing the stiffeners right to the table as I drilled. Then, I moved backward toward the trailing (folded) edge. By the time I got to the last couple of holes, the clecoes held the stiffener and skin flat to the table, making them easy to drill straight.
The new backriveting plate. I just thought the wrapper was funny. "DO NOT USE FOR FOODSTUFFS." Like I would reuse this to wrap my meat.
Rudder skin dimpled and ready to rivet! As usual the DRDT-2 dimpler made it easy and the dimples turned out pretty good. This will be my first shot at back-riveting. I've seen it done a couple times a long time ago. Will let you know how it turns out. :-/