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Steve's CH750 Cruzer (N750SB)
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Date:  6-8-2017
Number of Hours:  6.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  Began construction of replacement rudder

As I have mentioned before, I was not satisfied with how my rudder turned out at the Zenith workshop, and I had done further damage trying to get it and the vertical fin to fit well. I decided to scrap them both and start over and build something that wouldn't keep me up nights. I also am much more familiar with the tools and techniques than I was when I did the rudder before.

So, after uncrating I took a look at the kit. One of the first things I noticed was that the piano hinge and spar were pre-drilled. The piano hinge is also cut and formed with a pre-derined top and bottom. At the workshop, the piano hinge needed to be positioned very precisely and cut to clear the top rib. I think one of my issues with the original rudder was that I was slightly off-center positioning the piano hinge and hence had difficulty getting full rudder travel when attached to the fin. This change should eliminate that issue. The printed photo assembly guide that came with the new kit had better photos and instructions. I won't go through all the details of the process as it for the most part was the same as before with the noted exceptions.

One thing I did do differently, which I wish I had done on the elevators was when making lines and marks on the plastic rudder tip, I put masking tape on the surface and marked on that instead of directly on the plastic. Much cleaner result and I could use a fine tip pencil on the tape.

Working in my own shop with my own tools and at my own pace, I could just feel the difference in quality going into this rudder vs. the workshop, where I felt rushed (self imposed, the folks at Zenith were fantastic).

At the end of the day, I had the spar, ribs, and piano hinge riveted. The top rib and cap were drilled, parts were Cortec treated, and the skin was positioned and ready to rivet.
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Rudder frame in progress

Rudder frame in progress

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Ready for riveting at end of the day

Ready for riveting at end of the day

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