Worked on the fairings between the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. Since my airplane will be polished I had to first polish the fairings. Then I had to bend them. I used other builder's suggestions to figure out how to bend the fairings. Here is some of the text:
============== I annealed the aluminum with a propane torch... put a few sharpie marks/squiggles on the piece, heat it evenly until they disappear and let cool. Material should be softer and easier to bend. It will work harden again to a degree, but is not structural so no problem.
I did mine similar to what Bob Mika did, only I used a piece of 2" tubing in a vise to round the fairings. I started on the bench edge, but I got kinks in it. If you use your brake to start the flanges before you start putting the curve in the pieces, you'll have an easier time with them later. You don't need much to start, but just a nice kink where it needs to go. You can use your flanging pliers to adjust them as needed once you get them curved. The annealing process makes it easier as well. ===============
So that is what I did:
- Polish the fairings while flat.
- Used my long brake to get the bends started in the fairings.
- Used a propane torch to get the fairings hot, then let them cool.
- Used the edge of my wood work bench to make the curve along the length of the fairing. It doesn't take much effort or much time at all. Don't over do it.
- Used my seaming pliers to work the bends until the fairings fit flush.
- I did what some other builders did: I slipped the leading edge of the fairings UNDER the fuselage (seen in all 3 photos below). The photos look worse than the actual installation because the flash makes long shadows. The interface between the fairings and the fuselage is actually fairly smooth.
- Making the rivet holes in the tail skins, due to the "floppy" nature of the unsupported edges of the skins, was a bit of a pain. I found it easiest to lay the fairings against the tail and use the pilot holes to
Right side fairing in place (note fairing tucked under fuselage)