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  #1  
Old 12-26-2018, 04:27 PM
Draker's Avatar
Draker Draker is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 217
Default Tool to trim external step kit

Looking for recommendations on trimming the steel external step kits. I'll need to trim about 1/8" off the inboard ends of the step tubes so the step flanges mate properly with the skins. They are too long and contact the baggage rib inside. Having not done a lot of steel cutting, I'm unsure of what would work best. I have a table saw and chop saw that are great at cutting aluminum angles, not sure about the steel tube. Could also use a band saw with a fine-tooth blade. Or a hack saw. Or maybe a tube cutter? What's a good choice?

The instructions also have you round the bottom-aft corners of the step flange where the skin conical bend is. I will probably try using a hack saw + grinder wheel for this.

Also these things look badly rusted after sitting around my garage for only 7-8 months. Should I go ahead and clean the surface of them off and at least prime them now?
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Ryan Drake
Livermore, CA
https://stiletto.smugmug.com/RV7
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N12VD reserved!

Last edited by Draker : 12-26-2018 at 07:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2018, 04:50 PM
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wirejock wirejock is online now
 
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Location: Estes Park, CO
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Default Angle grinder

I use an angle grinder with a 4.5" thin kerf metal cut off wheel. Harbor Fright sells one pretty cheap. I actually have a Ryobi brushless cordless. Both work the same.
Tip. Use a piece of heavy tape around the tube to draw a line or just use it as a cut line. Cut outside and grind or file to perfect fit.
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2018, 06:56 PM
wilddog wilddog is offline
 
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Default

That is probably thin wall 4130 and a fine tooth hacksaw blade will cut it almost effortlessly.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2018, 08:07 PM
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jcarne jcarne is offline
 
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I used a rather dull hack saw blade, it worked but a new one would have made it much faster!
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2018, 08:10 PM
DRMA DRMA is online now
 
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I'm building an RV-10, so don't know what the RV-7 steps look like, but if it is a steel tube you are trying to cut, I would recommend a pipe cutter. Most plumbers will have one of these, so if you ask around you may be able to find one you can borrow. It is basically a large version of the tubing cutter you are likely using for your fuel and brake lines.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2018, 09:09 PM
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Using the belt sander with a 220 grit belt gave me a lot of control. The tube grinds away very easily.

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  #7  
Old 12-27-2018, 10:17 AM
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Draker Draker is offline
 
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So many options. Thanks everyone! I'll just use a hacksaw and sand/grind the rest to fit.

Looks like I'll also be opening up the hole in the skin more for the weld bead to fit through (after I spent all that time carefully deburring it). I've had so many moments in this build where I should have read farther ahead in the plans.
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N12VD reserved!
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:33 PM
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Draker Draker is offline
 
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Two other questions regarding these step kits:

1. When to drill them to the skins? Vans instructions (and all of the build logs I've studied) show the step kits being drilled to the skins and installed on page 8-12, after the canoe is flipped and the top skins are fit. Is there any good reason not to drill these puppies before the side skins are riveted together? Why wait?

2. The flanges of my steps that attach to the skin have developed a significant amount of surface rust while sitting aside in my garage. Assuming when the time comes I just scuff/clean it all off. Just checking if others' kits rusted too and if I should be concerned.

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Ryan Drake
Livermore, CA
https://stiletto.smugmug.com/RV7
Donated 1/2/2019
RV-7A: Empennage and wing kits complete minus fiberglass, fuselage in progress!
N12VD reserved!

Last edited by Draker : 01-21-2019 at 07:19 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2019, 07:11 AM
BillL BillL is offline
 
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Ryan, have you had them sent back to Russ for the reinforcement? I would suggest you do that before installation. This step failure is a known problem.

Contact Russ, he might bead blast them for you as part of the service.

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...15&postcount=1
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2019, 07:19 AM
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Draker Draker is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillL View Post
Ryan, have you had them sent back to Russ for the reinforcement? I would suggest you do that before installation. This step failure is a known problem.

Contact Russ, he might bead blast them for you as part of the service.

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...15&postcount=1
It looks like on mine (kit ordered 18-Apr-2018) the reinforcement is already applied. Perhaps it is now part of the standard step kits. Lucky me.

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Livermore, CA
https://stiletto.smugmug.com/RV7
Donated 1/2/2019
RV-7A: Empennage and wing kits complete minus fiberglass, fuselage in progress!
N12VD reserved!
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