Home > VansAirForceForums

- Donate yearly (please).
- Advertise in here!

- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Old 02-19-2018, 08:36 AM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sunman, IN
Posts: 1,181
Default For Fiberglass

I highly recommend PermaGrit tools for working with fiberglass. They make the job substantially easier...
Aerospace Engineer '88

Structure - 90% Done
Cabin Top - Aaarrghhh...
Doors - Done
On Gear
290 HP Barrett Hung
ShowPlanes Cowl with Skybolts Fitted - Beautiful

Dues Paid 2018,...Thanks DR+
Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2018, 11:25 AM
Ryano Ryano is offline
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 50

Looks like people have covered most of what I would recommend.

As my -7 is for now literally an "in house" build I've made an extra effort to please my housemates by setting up the quietest shop possible.

A fellow builder of a lesser aircraft type turned me on to this compressor.

All told it's about as loud as a vacuum cleaner while running.
It should also be noted this compressor in truly in the house as seen (hopefully) from the picture below. (Note... apparently I need to work out the image thing again.)

I bought the cheapest bench-top drill press that looked reasonable. It has already been useful for a number of things.

You can't go wrong with a Weller WES51 soldering iron. Works great, and the tips are cheap. I recommend it to anyone getting into electronics and/or de-vinyling aircraft skins!

Practice Kit completed 2/19/2017
Tooling up for -7 empennage build.(100% tooled 1/31/2018)!
Orphaned -7 empennage kit purchased! 9/15/2017
-7/8 Rudder 25% complete.
2018 Donation paid...

Last edited by Ryano : 02-19-2018 at 10:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2018, 04:37 PM
bayoubengal bayoubengal is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Perry GA
Posts: 23

Thanks for your responses. I took a lot of notes. I did go by Harbor Freight and checked out the recommended workbench, 20% off brought it to $128, so I picked that one up. Think I will build a couple of the EAA benches also. Canít get a SportAir RV workshop until June, so until then Iíll be setting up shop, tooling, and playing musical chairs with multiple motorcycles, ATVs, dirt bikes and tractors. Iím fortunate that in addition to my main garage, which we use as a garage, I have a 24X24 workshop/garage and three other outbuildings...
David W. Hutchinson
NAAA Certified Aircraft Appraiser (Nationwide)
Perry, GA.
RV-10/N433DH (Res)
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 10:47 AM
dspender dspender is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bay City, MI
Posts: 416

Rely on support from Van's. I almost always found them useful. Follow the manual and their suggestions.
Try not to get hung up on how expensive things are when building an airplane. Once I came to grips with the concept, it's an airplane, the financial aspects were less bothersome.
Make sure before you buy you can get it out of the space you will build it in.
Make sure your significant others support your craziness.
Treat the experience like you would a college degree; at the beginning you never know everything you will need, it will be expensive, but you will be much more confident in the plane you fly in and you will be able to help others with their problems.
Resolve that completion will only occur if you regularly stick with it.
Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Many times I told myself, each rivet set or step completed was a tiny airplane in itself.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 07:37 PM
bayoubengal bayoubengal is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Perry GA
Posts: 23

Thanks Doc. Good advice.
David W. Hutchinson
NAAA Certified Aircraft Appraiser (Nationwide)
Perry, GA.
RV-10/N433DH (Res)
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 08:05 PM
BoilerFlyer's Avatar
BoilerFlyer BoilerFlyer is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 13
Default New Start reply

First - welcome! I can't say enough how amazing this group has been throughout my build process. I could not possibly agree more with one of the other folks here who mentioned the greatest tool you have is VAF. This forum is priceless going forward and full of incredibly helpful, and highly non-judgmental builders. That last part is key - never, never, never feel like you shouldn't ask because it's stupid. Chances are, someone else made the exact same mistake and they can talk you through it. I think you have some excellent answers already, but I figured I'd toss a few other things out there from the perspective of someone who isn't much further along (wrapping up the empennage now and wings get here in about three weeks!). So in answer to your questions, here is what I've learned and by all means it is merely what works for me.

1) I highly agree with another builder that said anyone who tells you something is indispensable is probably lying, so I'll simply point a few things out. The only two items I swear by are the DRDT dimpler and a tungsten bucking bar. The tungsten is so consistent it is hard to not fall in love with it. Outside of this, I would emphasize that more important to which tools you buy, quality will matter more. Tools wear out with repetition and building an airplane is nothing if it isn't repetition. Don't buy cheap bandsaw blades. You'll gouge the aluminum parts or worse, yourself. Drill bits are disposable - so when they dull, dispose and buy more. You can get them from Aircraft Spruce for about $2 each. Get plenty.
2) I split the difference. I don't have a 60 gallon compressor bolted to my garage floor, but I have a nice larger compressor that is good for spraying and running my air drill for long periods of time. Plenty of builders on here get away with pancake compressors - this is more of a personal choice so go with what you're comfortable with.
3) Well, I'm officially jealous of your workshop. You're set. Look up plans for the EAA Chapter 1000 work tables if you haven't already. Excellent design, durable, and cheap. Lots of builders here use them, I do.
4) Yeah - I'm still learning this too. My biggest lesson perhaps comes at the extremes. On one side, the fear and need for perfection will be incredible. You'll feel defeated the first time you mar a surface or something doesn't look perfect. You'll email and call Van's and more often than not they will say build on, but do it anyways. On the other hand, you will also go on incredible streaks that build incredible confidence, so remember to know when to call a foul on yourself.
5) I use an online blog for friends and family to keep track of. More than sufficient.
6) I just took the EAA Sport Air Workshops class for electronics this past November. Early, yes. But I intentionally took it before I'd need to do any wiring so I could start planning out my build. This is a spectacular course.

Keep in touch, happy building, and I do hope any portion of these ramblings was useful!
Kyle Hultgren, Fishers, IN
RV-10 empennage in process, QB wings ordered!
2018 donation made
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2018, 02:17 PM
DRMA DRMA is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 267

Congratulations on starting the RV-10 building journey. I have found it to be both rewarding and sometimes maddening, but overall well worth the efforts.

Regarding tools, don't get too concerned with buying everything you need before the empennage kit arrives. There are of course many specialized tools you will need immediately for the empennage, but most of those are included in the Cleveland kit you have purchased. I started out with a similar set of tools, and have added to these during the build as new types of work required additional specialized tools.

I started with a couple of the EAA work benches plus one other similar but more square bench made from leftover wood, and have been very happy with just the 3 work benches. I also installed a number of additional overhead fluorescent shop lights, and added a couple more as the project progressed. And I still make frequent use of flashlights. I would also suggest a good set of shelves for storage of parts, and a set of small parts bins with partitions for all the smaller nuts, bolts, rivets, etc. I started out with 3 for the empennage, and am now up to about 14 of them as I am getting near completion. Again, you don't have to buy them all at once.

As for larger tools, I found the following to be very valuable. You can succeed without these, but I found them to make life much easier and the build more enjoyable as a result:
- DRDT: Most needed during all the sheet metal work. Not as important as you get to the finishing kit.
- Pneumatic squeezer with 2 jaws. I probably could have used some additional specialty jaws a few times, but not often enough that I bought more. I found my squeezer used through this website.
- A good oil lubed, belt driven air compressor with a large tank. Much quieter than the cheaper compressors, but well worth it for lower noise and less frequent running, while still not running out of air. After a lot of research, I bought the Quincy 26 gal. vertical 2 hp compressor from Lowes. (Just checked and I don't see it listed anymore on Lowes website, but still available from Northern Tool.) I originally planned to re-wire it for 240 volt, but tried it on 120 volt and haven't had any troubles so left it there. Just focus on compressor output in CFM @ 90 psi rather than horsepower (this one is pretty good at 7.4 CFM @ 90 psi).
- A benchtop band saw is very useful. You could probably survive without it, but I'm glad I had one.
- A slow speed bench grinder (Rikon makes a reasonably good 8" one) with a 3M Scotch Brite wheel (wheel supplied with the Cleveland tools kit). I haven't found the smaller hand tool wheels supplied to be very useful though.
- A good tool box with base cart. I ended up buying a second base drawer unit later as I accumulated more tools and outgrew the original tool box combo. Keeping your tools well organized and put away at the end of each day makes finding them much easier when you need them, which saves time overall. Also, I recommend building a shelf under your EAA benches to hold sandpaper, gloves, paint sprayers, clamps, etc.
- A good quality pneumatic rivet puller (for pop/blind rivets). Pulling these with the hand puller is doable, but takes a lot more time and effort, and I found the finished rivets weren't as consistent as with the pneumatic puller. I originally bought the Harbor Freight puller as others said it was fine, but after returning 2 different ones for credit that didn't work right, I went with a bit more expensive but much higher quality puller, and have been very happy with it. It also has a smaller profile which gets into places the H.F. puller wouldn't have.
- I have found a good Dremel tool to be invaluable in working on all the fiberglass parts of the RV-10. You won't need one right away, but there is an awful lot of fiberglass trimming and cutting later in the build, and after trying several different methods I settled on the Dremel as best. I have mostly used it with the cheap diamond cutting disks from H.F., but also sometimes find the Dremel brand diamond cutting disk (larger diameter than the HF disks) to work better. I also have used it with the small sanding drums quite a bit. But buy the extended exchange warranty (mine was from Lowes) as I've gone through 2 of the Dremel motors during the build. All that fiberglass dust does a number on the tool over time, and when it quits you don't want to wait weeks for Dremel to repair it and send it back.
- In addition to the small 1/4" pneumatic drill, I have a 3/8" battery drill that I also use quite often. I mostly use the pneumatic drill as it is small, light, and good for most tasks. But for larger step drills and for keeping a reamer handy to quickly use when riveting and a rivet doesn't quite fit right it has been well worth having. I just used the one I already owned, but have had to buy new batteries for it.

I have learned many times over the years (often the hard way), it is best to invest in a good quality tool. In my experience, cheap tools can be very frustrating to use and often give poor results and do not last. For some one-time use applications they may be fine, but in most cases you are much better off spending more $ for a quality tool.

Hopefully something in this longer than planned message will be helpful. Any questions as you go are cheerfully answered by the participants of this invaluable VAF group. Or send me a PM if you want a single answer.

Enjoy the build!
Dave Macdonald

RV-10 Finishing Kit & FWF in-progress
2018 VAF Dues Paid
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:54 PM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.