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Old 10-30-2017, 10:13 AM
Thunderpig Thunderpig is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Titusville
Posts: 27
Default Dimples and dimpler sets

Just posted a couple pictures of my about to be finished -10 HS and I am getting some comments on how I may not be "aggressive" enough. I am using an Experimental Aero dimpler with a dimple die set from Cleveland. Will try to get some pics posted on here...all arrows and suggestions are welcome.

Main question is, is there a difference in the die sets and just how tight can one go when dimpling. Not wanting to cause stress cracks...I am currently deburring and priming before dimpling.

Last edited by Thunderpig : 10-30-2017 at 11:33 AM. Reason: add pics
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:44 AM
BrianDC's Avatar
BrianDC BrianDC is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 133

I think there are a lot of opinions regarding dimples and how they are done.
C-Frame vs DRDT-2?
Which dimple dies have the best results (Avery / Cleaveland vs other)?

There are a few threads that go into a very detailed discussion on the topic.

No matter what you do, I'm sure someone will provide advice on how you are not doing it "correctly".

All I can share from my limited experience is this: Have an EAA Tech counselor come by and evaluate your progress. They will be able to tell you if you need to adjust your technique or if what you are doing meets the standard.

Once you establish what you are doing / what you have done is safe, then it's up to you if it's perfect enough for you. I have no illusion that my building technique is going to win awards. I just want a safe and reliable airplane! Minor imperfections (maybe) in my dimple technique (using DRDT-2 personally) or those occasions where my rivet gun made a mark on the skin are just part of the build process.

Only other "advice" I can give you is take a piece of the cutoff provided in the kit, drill some holes in it and dimple it with different levels of force to see the difference it makes.
Brian Lester
RV10 - #41778
Empennage - Done (for now)
Wings - in progress
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:06 PM
John Tierney John Tierney is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Salem, WI
Posts: 250

The dimples do look underdone. It is nearly impossible to over-dimple with hand tools. With the old C-Frame you violently whack the dimples dies with a hammer.

The DRDT-2 does a nice job when set correctly. Compare the DRDT-2 dimples to dimples made with your other tools, i.e. hand or pneumatic squeezer, pop-rivet dimple dies or vice-grip dimple dies.
Make sure you have set the DRDT-2 to go over-center, but not so much pressure that you stress the mechanism.

You should expect to see a slight halo from the outer edges of the dimple dies on the al-clad.
John Tierney
Salem, WI
RV-7A - Final Assembly
N777JT Reserved
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:42 PM
Thunderpig Thunderpig is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Titusville
Posts: 27

I made some adjustments and can see the difference...I have a damaged skin from the rudder that I am making adjustments on. Thanks for the inputs...
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