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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.


But along the top …


… 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.


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!


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 …


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.


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


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


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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