38-03 to 04 Breaking Edges, Dimple Puzzle & Stiffener Angles

Breaking Edges

The edges of the Top & Side Skins have to be “broken” to help improve the fit against the Rear Window.

Most of the edges can be reached with the Cleaveland Edge Forming Tool.


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But along the top …


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… and on one side at the bottom, another method is needed since the tool won’t fit.

I cut a slot in a hardwood block and used it to form the edge break as best I could.

I used tape to protect the paintwork whilst using the tools.


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A quick little job to open up the skin holes to #27 prior to dimpling.

I used a reamer with a wooden block as support.


Dimple Puzzle!

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Looks so easy, doesn’t it?

But this is probably the most awkward dimple in the entire plane.

There is not a chance to get a squeezer anywhere near this one.

Dimpling this before you attach the Rollover Brace would be a solution, but this hole is used to carefully position the Rear Window during initial installation.

In hindsight I might have been tempted to dimple it early anyway, and rely on the two holes either side for positioning.

So how to do it? Well Vans did kindly provide a hole underneath the flipping thing …


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My rotisserie again provided a possibility.

I managed to come up with a convoluted scheme to flip the fuselage upside down and use the C-Frame to hit the dimple with a hammer.


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I’m sure there are lots of builders out there who have come up with a better & easier method, or have some fancy tool.

Anyway, have a good laugh at my method.

This dimple took about 1 hour to jig up, and a split second to form it with a hammer blow!


Stiffener Angles

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The Stiffener Angles are easily riveted to the Side Skins with a squeezer.


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But the outboard LP4-3’s were very tight to position the pop riveter.

The little wedge technique is required, still with a considerable bend on the rivet stem.

Luckily they pulled OK.


Just a few 426’s to set, easily bucked, and the Side Skin riveting was finished : )

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