Genuine Aeronautical Control Surface Interface Insertion and Adjustment Tool

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Well, I keep forgetting to make the rod-end bearing tool outlined on Sam Buchanan’s site (

Anyway, I was standing in the aviation department at Lowe’s, and I turned around and there were the 1/2″ PVC sections.

All you’ll need is a “T” fitting, a coupling, and a length of 1/2″ PVC. They usually sell the pipe in 10′ sections, but if you dig through the pile, you can usually find a scrap piece that they’ll give you a discount on. I ended up finding a 6′ piece, but half was damaged beyond use. They marked it down from $1.53 to $0.51.


Anyway, I just eyeballed the pipe length and used an old hacksaw. It took about 10 strokes to cut through. (Sometimes it’s nice to be working with something that isn’t difficult to cut.)

Where's that yummy smelling PVC cement?

After cementing the T onto the straight piece. I used a hacksaw on the end of the pip and cut two slots (just wider than a rod-end bearing).

I had to use pliers to break these pieces off.

Then, I cemented the coupling on. I had to cut the coupling in half, because the coupling has two halves with a lip in the center.

It would be bad if this was the finished product.

After letting the cement cure, I took the end to my grinder, then scotchbrite wheel.

Looks good.

Nice and smooooooooth.

Let’s see if it works.


Although now that I am thinking about it, there may be a bigger size bearing I didn’t think about. Hmm.

DAMNNIT! While I wanted it to be long (to clear the bends in the front of the control surfaces), I made this 1/2" too long. I should have thought about where I was going to store this before making it.

No biggie, though. Since the coupling side is the harder side to make, I might just cut the T off, and cement a new T on.

30 minutes of Misc empennage work.

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