I started the morning with a quick removal of the 19 rivets that were placed in error. I learned very quickly that the best method for me involves using a drill bit that is the next size up (#19 for A5 rivets and #29 for A4s). By carefully drilling straight down the mandrel hole, it cuts the head of the rivet right off at the surface. Then it is a simple matter of pushing the body of the rivet through the hole with a mandrel of the same size (held by vise grips). Later in the afternoon I shook out the loose rivets and started out again. This time I was completely successful and the part looks great. My big disappointment came when I flexed the hinge and found that it was binding. After about 10 different removals/replacements, each time with a different "fix" (that never worked), I've concluded that I'm going to have to order a new hinge and replace the one that's riveted in. The good news is that the other half is not already riveted in the stabilizer. If I can get an identifical part, I'll try to use the pre-drilled stabilizer half with my new half (in the elevator). The problem is that I put the hinge line too close to the back of the elevator. It didn't bind when it was clecoed, but the additional clamping action of the rivets moved it just enough closer that it rubs along most of its length. The sad irony is that my skills at drilling out rivets will come in very handy in the hinge replcement. I'm probably facing the removal of 60+ rivets. With that happy thought, I cleaned up shop and decided to call it a day.
Done, but with a binding hinge. Bummer.
Yes, the trim is on the opposite side. ZAC said OK, and it allowed me to cut out a "smiley."