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Old 12-11-2017, 06:19 PM
n982sx n982sx is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 242

Originally Posted by iamtheari View Post
Same goes with driving all rivets with a 2X gun vs a 3X.
I should qualify my earlier 2X rivet gun recommendation. I do not recommend it for rivets larger than AD3's (the vast majority of rivets are AD3's). I used my 3X gun for AD4 rivets or any AD3 rivets that you set with a 12" offset back rivet set. If you go with only one gun it should be a 3X with a regulator attached to the gun in my opinion. If you're going to slow build, two guns, each for the right purpose, is a worthwhile investment.

I also used a DRDT and am very pleased with the results, if you set it up right the dimples are nice and uniformly crisp. My wife did a lot of the dimpling with it and it was very easy for her to use.
Bob Meyers

Built and Flying RV-14A N626KM SN 140093
Built and Flying Sonex N982SX
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:20 PM
sf3543 sf3543 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 900

Same advice for slow build versus QB.
Get the 3x rivet gun unless you can borrow one for the larger rivets.
You don’t need all the tools right away. Get started with the minimum if you want and get them as you need or want them.
For some items, such as dimple and squeezer dies, I think quality is the way to go, so don’t skimp on them. It will pay off in the long run. You can search the forum for discussions on the best ones. Avery isn’t around any more but I like Cleveland tools, too. That’s just me.
I prefer the battery drills, since they are smaller and lighter than they used to be, but if you decide you need a pneumatic drill you can always get one.
As you progress you will decide what you need and want so sometimes it’s wiser to wait on some items.
Try to meet some builders near you and you can probably get a chance to try out some of the more airplane specific tools before you commit to buying your own. Meeting other builders or joining an active EAA Chapter is about the best thing a new builder can do, in my opinion.

And yes, the RV3 is a challenge, but a lot of fun. Can’t wait to finish!
Good luck and have fun!!
Steve Formhals
RV6, RV8 (2), RV12 & RV3 about 2/3 done.
A&P, Tech Counselor & Flight Advisor

Last edited by sf3543 : 12-11-2017 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:31 PM
Bernard Hartnell Bernard Hartnell is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Grand Junction, CO
Posts: 60
Default If I had it to do over:

Do over; I would invest in an RV builder tool kit offered by a number of tool companies. No reason to scimp as you will end up buying later, waiting on a needed tool and pay additional freight.

Don’t be afraid of harbor freight for band saw, bench grinder for your scotch bright wheel, vice, and lg belt and arbor flat sanding unit. I did not get the sander and cost me very inefficient time with hand sanding but tools. Besides, you’ll become addicted to that Chinese rubber smell there that will keep calling you back for endless little stuff like drill bits, parts drawers etc etc.

Be sure to join an active EAA chapter with several active tech counselors. You will be eternally grateful!!!

If your a builder type, enjoy the journey! If your first and foremost a pilot, think twice and decide if your willing to invest a couple full years and have the perseverance! I’m at the close of the building project but first a pilot. And time is ticking as I grow older (66)! I am 6’3” and 235lbs so the 10&14 were my only options. If I were a “normal pilot”, small and smart, I would have bought a 7 and be flying! But this 14A was my choice and I stuck with ITV thick and thin!
Anyway, whoever reads the this, enjoy your aviation journey! Keep the rubber side down!
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:26 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,461

Lots of good advice above, so here is my 2 cents.

I have three air drills: one that always has a #40 bit, one that always has a #30 bit, and one for everything else.

I have a battery drill and only use it once in a while. Compared to the air tools, it's heavy, bulky and slow.

Two cleco pliers are very handy.

Forget about the rivet gauge. Make your own using the minimum and maximum dimension given in that riveting spec that is on Van's site. It'll be more accurate and handier.

Cleaveland makes the best dimple dies. The drill bits they sent were not nearly as good, but Gen-Av-Hdqrs sells excellent ones.

A pneumatic squeezer is a must. I have three yokes: 4", 1.5" and longeron yoke. These are generally sufficient but once in a while something else would be nice.

Caveat, I'm building an RV-3B which might be more tool-intensive than a -14.

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