Today I took the empennage stuff completely apart yet again, deburred and cleaned everything, and primed the various parts that needed it:
I also vacuumed out the tailcone and smoothed and spot-primed a few places where there were scratches and tool marks.
Once the primer was dry (it doesn't take long in Kansas in the summer) I riveted the up elevator stop to the top deck:
I also riveted the forward attach plate and shim to the vertical stabilizer spar:
Scott came by to check out the project and I put him to work bolting the tail back on yet again.
Since all the bolts are in now, I attached the tailwheel. Once I'm done with rigging the control surfaces, I'll take the tail off and put it back in storage, but I should be able to use some shorter bolts and a temporary doubler of some sort to keep the tailwheel fastened to the aft bulkhead.
I installed the F-790 aft elevator pushrod and rigged it so when the elevators are clamped in trail with the horizontal stabilizer, the elevator bellcrank is exactly vertical. This happens when a 3/8" socket placed over the lower bolt head is perfectly centered in the access hole, like so:
Just for grins I also installed the F-789 forward elevator pushrod to see how it would fit. Something seems to be wrong, though… In this photo the elevators, bellcrank, and control sticks are all in their neutral positions, and even with the rod ends backed out as far as I dare, the forward pushrod is way too short. I promise I made it the exact length called out in the plans, so I'm not sure what the story is. It may turn out that I have to re-make that pushrod, which is no big deal since the end fittings are not terribly expensive and the tube stock is available locally – no expensive shipping of long pieces, hooray.
I also spent some time cleaning up the garage, which was a mess. It's still a mess but at least most of the tools are put away now.