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seb7701

Drifter tail feathers - where to get battens

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Hi all.

 

Looks like I need to replace a batten/rib (or whatever the correct term is) in my horizontal stab on my drifter.

 

Can anyone advise as to the best place to obtain battens? I see Krystal and Lauren have batten tips left over at Spectrum, but waiting to hear about the battens themselves.

 

Also love to see the inside of a some tail feathers if anyone has any snaps handy - I really have no idea what I am looking at or how they go together - and yeah, I know I'm about to find out!!!

 

 

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Tried a yacht shop or sail maker?

 

 

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Hi all.

Looks like I need to replace a batten/rib (or whatever the correct term is) in my horizontal stab on my drifter.

 

Can anyone advise as to the best place to obtain battens? I see Krystal and Lauren have batten tips left over at Spectrum, but waiting to hear about the battens themselves.

 

Also love to see the inside of a some tail feathers if anyone has any snaps handy - I really have no idea what I am looking at or how they go together - and yeah, I know I'm about to find out!!!

I will try and get around to uploading the video that Fisher made about fitting sails, it covers all that stuff.

 

The tailplane ribs are made of foam, I can't remember which type, but it's a light blue colour, Fisher mentioned that early Drifters used polystyrene foam, which he also said didn't last long. The ribs are cut out on a bandsaw (or equivalent, then sanded to shape, then attached to the frames using filament tape.

 

Extruded polystyrene- used in building insulation would probably work well, it has much better properties than the normal moulded polystyrene.

 

 

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Yeh, what M61A1 said, it is a type of closed cell foam in there... that is all I know about it.

 

 

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The ribs in the tail feathers are foam cut to fit snug and held in place by anti-chafing tape.

 

Here is a photo of the internals. Sorry about the messy junk room.aaaaa.jpg.42d77c3ea6264c55dd63a9c0263f2deb.jpg

 

 

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Having it Cat Scanned for safety.

 

 

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Thanks heaps gents - really good stuff. The largest one on the starboard side has dead set broken in the centre, much to my annoyance. How does the horiz stab attach? I was hoping to get it all apart while leaving skins all intact and simply inserting what was needed into the inboard end of the horiz stab. Not looking so likely now. I alway DID want ceconite tail feathers....

 

 

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Thanks heaps gents - really good stuff. The largest one on the starboard side has dead set broken in the centre, much to my annoyance. How does the horiz stab attach? I was hoping to get it all apart while leaving skins all intact and simply inserting what was needed into the inboard end of the horiz stab. Not looking so likely now. I alway DID want ceconite tail feathers....[/Disconnect the elevator push rod, remove two bolts between elevators, disconnect bracing cables on whichever side and it will slide off the plastic lugs on the vertical stab, it may take a bit of wriggling to come off.

you may be able to de-rivet the fabric on the inboard end and fold the fabric back enough to install a new rib, depends where it is in relation to the elevator hinge.

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Horiz stab is only attached by the 4 cables that go from stab up to rudder and stab down to boom

 

 

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M61A1 - had that exact thought, even if the inboard hinge has to be removed, but might be enough slack not to need to. Just need to track down the foam.

 

XP- bloody ripper - I was hoping that the wires would undo and the horizontal just slips off some pins or something, given the lack of other obvious attachment points!! Awesome! Thanks again for the snaps, as it really made it easier to picture what i was dealing with.

 

Hoping to pull out the old one(both pieces...), use as template and go again. Thankfully the broken one is the largest, which is closest to the inner seam.

 

So tell me, if there are foam formers in the tail, then the wings have bent tubing battens I am guessing?

 

Thanks again men, seriously!

 

 

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M61A1 - please let me know if I could perhaps get hold of that covering DVD one way or another if you dont get a chance to upload- happy to pay!

 

 

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I'm workin' on it.....I've managed to convert the files to something youtube recognises, it's currently uploading, but with our real fast internet out here, it's telling me 618 minutes to go....and it's done 18%.

 

 

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Hmm - happy to donate a box of CD's if need be!! Failing that - carry on!!!

 

 

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Just a short note about rivet drilling.....try really hard not to let the rivet spin as you drill it. There are a few techniques for this, 1.if you can, hold it from the back (unusual for a blind rivet) 2. drill at a slight angle 3. drill in an oscillating motion (carefully..it makes the hole you make slightly larger than the drill size, so it can't grip the sides) 4. get some sidecutters under the front to hold it. Once they spin they are extra hard to get out, especially if they are stainless, which most Drifter rivets are, and it makes the hole oversize.

 

 

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Very good point. Will try and get the stab off in the next day or so and see what how much fabric I can slide outboard without un-doing the hinge. Could get lucky, but no expectations yet! Have order fibreglass tape which I believe is what hold the foam into the frame???

 

 

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Very good point. Will try and get the stab off in the next day or so and see what how much fabric I can slide outboard without un-doing the hinge. Could get lucky, but no expectations yet! Have order fibreglass tape which I believe is what hold the foam into the frame???

Seb, you probably don't need to make a new foam rib, depending on what yours are made of. Some of them, but not many, were made from moulded polystyrene (the type that is white and looks like lots of small round balls all stuck together) and if they are made of that you probably should replace them all. It's far more likely that they're made from extruded polystyrene (blue foam) or a closed cell rigid PVC foam, either Divinicell or Klegecell. Whichever it is (of the last three) it glues together very well with epoxy (I'd use 24hr Araldite) and the glued joint will be the strongest part of the rib.

 

Then tape it back in place using the fibreglass re-inforced tape mentioned earlier.

 

The ribs are not structural, in fact the earliest Drifters didn't have them at all, but they do help to make the tailfeathers work more positively when they have only a little deflection i.e. the controls don't 'hunt' so much when the stick is centred. The ribs also help to make the fabric a little tighter than it would be otherwise. I have heard of a few rib breakages before and they have nearly all been the result of someone dropping something on them, or damage in transit on a trailer. A long while ago I saw a Drifter on a central Qld cattle station where all the ribs had disintegrated and they had no plans to repair or replace them, they'd just got used to the pitch control feeling a bit sloppy. They were probably the moulded polystyrene type.

 

Happy Driftering!

 

 

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Hi Seb mine had broken ribs when l replaced my skins so l used fiberglass over the top of them all worked well .

 

cheers Geoff

 

 

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Thank Geoff- prob a good idea actually.

 

HITC- thanks fir ghe detail- I really did get the impression that they werent vital!

 

Annoying for that reason, as I could ignore it, but the half which is floating around is probably the more concerning part, just in case it rubs something.

 

Glad you mentioned it- I thought I was being dodgy, but thought had crossed my mind to glue the old one!! From the feel, I think (and hope) it is the harder foam, not the cheap esky type, so might be right. Given the tail comes off so easily, will take a look. Skins not that tight now, so re-rivetting should be do-able.

 

Times like this I greatly appreciate the back-up gents, so thanks! Very consoling!!

 

 

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Just a short note about rivet drilling.....try really hard not to let the rivet spin as you drill it. There are a few techniques for this, 1.if you can, hold it from the back (unusual for a blind rivet) 2. drill at a slight angle 3. drill in an oscillating motion (carefully..it makes the hole you make slightly larger than the drill size, so it can't grip the sides) 4. get some sidecutters under the front to hold it. Once they spin they are extra hard to get out, especially if they are stainless, which most Drifter rivets are, and it makes the hole oversize.

You need one of these, using your fingers on the knurled part , hold the serrated end on the rivet head , then drill through centre of tool with a bit slightly smaller than rivet . dont know the brand name but got it from america a few years ago. works a treat.

 

cheers ,

 

tony

 

IMG_5353.JPG.5f6945bf06550971b278238ff96418eb.JPG

 

 

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