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Old 09-18-2018, 07:52 PM
jmw116 jmw116 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Houston,Tx
Posts: 14
Default New RV7 builder

Did not see a good area on the forums to post this so feel free to move if needed.

Long time RV lover, first time builder. 90's kid currently working as a Cessna Citation pilot in Houston. Own a Grumman yankee (looks alot like an RV6a) as my personal airplane. Flew it to Oshkosh 2018, life long dream in the bag there.

I finally convinced myself that even though I can not afford the RV7, I will find a way! Currently prepping the shop and looking into the tool options. Here is where I am on tools.

Clevland or Brown?

I like that Brown has free shipping, but does not even stock a DRDT2 dimpler !?!? Wants : DRDT2 and Pneumatic Squeezer in the kit.

Is one kit more complete than the other? ANY input is greatly appreciated. I would like to scout some used tools. Atleast on the expensive items. Alot of these tools are foreign to me.

Planing on connecting with my local EAA chapter to find a new RV friend. There are plenty of RV's in Houston.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:06 PM
wirejock's Avatar
wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 3,217
Default Tools

Sound like you have a pretty good grasp on tools.
Most of the big houses are good. I like Cleveland but nothing wrong with the others.
Can't go wrong with Sioux but others are fine. I love my Sioux tools.
Check out my blog. There's an Excel builder log link with a full 7 inventory tab.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 12/27/2018. Plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
HS SB, empennage, tanks, wings, fuse, working finishing kit
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:50 PM
RV7ForMe RV7ForMe is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Europe
Posts: 432
Default Good Job!

Also a kid from the 90s and also not enough cash to build the whole 7 but started anyhow. You will love it. It is so much fun and you learn so much. Cant Go wrong with the tool kits. I got the brown one. I wrote a bit about my experience with the tools and the 7 kit some where on this forum. Anyway. Congratulations you are in great company here.
VAF dues paid until 10/2019
RV7 (N137MX Reserved) - Empennage 95% done
RV7 (N137MX Reserved) - Wings Started...
RV7-A - Rebuild in process
Cessna Rocket 210HP - Best dang 172 Ever made! (sold)
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:49 AM
rapid_ascent rapid_ascent is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dublin, CA
Posts: 965

I buy lots of Cleaveland tools they seem to be high quality. I didn't purchase a tool kit but started just buying what I needed. Some people buy the full tool kit and then decide they don't like building then they have to sell the whole tool kit. Just a thought.

I would get the Souix drill. I have one and love it. I originally had a lower price drill and it works but not good enough for drilling hundreds of holes. I also have the smaller hoses from Cleaveland these are great too. I have one hose for my drill at high pressure and one for my rivet gun with a pressure regulator at low pressure. Both are always available so I can switch back and forth.

I also have the quick change chuck setup on my drill. This is very helpful if you need to switch back and forth between #30 and #40 drill bits. I took the original chuck and used the quick change adapter so for other sizes I can still use it with my drill. This works great too.
Ray Tonks
2018 Donation Paid
RV-7 Fuselage in progress
* Rolled the Fuselage
RV-7 SB Wings
* Both Wings fully skinned
* Fuel Tanks Complete - No leaks finally
* Ailerons Complete
* Flaps Complete
RV-7 Empennage - Complete (a little fiberglass work left)
Vans Training Kit # 2 - Complete
Shop Setup - In Progress (Gathering Tools, Never Complete)
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:41 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 14,610
Default Welcome to VAF

Justin, welcome aboard the good ship VAF
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:05 AM
Draker's Avatar
Draker Draker is offline
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 202

I bought a tool kit from Cleaveland, but minus all of the expensive items like the pneumatic tools, dimple dies, and boxes of clecos. Instead found most of these second hand on eBay or Craigslist. Ended up saving a bunch, which I ended up spending on even more tools as the build progressed. I wish I didnít cheap out on a drill press though: my crappy harbor freight one drills oblong holes and is therefore useless.
Ryan Drake
Livermore, CA
Donated 1/2/2019
RV-7A: Empennage and wing kits complete minus fiberglass, fuselage in progress!
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:20 PM
jmw116 jmw116 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Houston,Tx
Posts: 14

Thank you for the responses!

At this point it is rather confusing because it seems no tool kit is what the builder wants. With the exception of Islam which is way out of the price range!

Cleveland offers the upgrades and makes it simple for someone brand new to this, and comes in at around $2000 shipped with the upgrades. The kit looks a lot smaller than the Brown kit. Lots of small items are not in the Cleveland, such as a blow hammer (no biggie).

Overall I like the Brown kit the best but find it disturbing that they do not offer easy upgrade options to the kit like Cleveland. I should add that I did not have a pleasant experience with the sales person on the phone with Brown.

Last edited by jmw116 : 09-19-2018 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:58 PM
ColoCardinal's Avatar
ColoCardinal ColoCardinal is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Morrison, CO
Posts: 350

You won't need every tool in the kit, immediately. Take your time and buy what you need, as it's needed. That will give you time to shop around. You may want to check the local garage sales, estate sales, and auctions. Ask the guys at your local chapter what, if anything, they have available to loan. Watch VAF for guys selling tools. Sometimes a guy will be selling a partially built plane. Contact them to see if they're also selling any of the tools. You get the idea.

Oh, and try not to buy j"unk" tools. As the saying goes: "the bitterness of poor quality will linger long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten". Buy good quality used tools. Not necessarily the best (you won't be using them 8 hours per day).

Save your money for the plane itself. You'll need it. It will cost more and take longer than you plan!
Carl - - Morrison, CO
Airworthiness cert issued 12/24
best X-mas present I could have hoped for!
paid 'til 10-19
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:19 PM
jmw116 jmw116 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Houston,Tx
Posts: 14

How useful is the Pneumatic Squeezer and the DRDT dimpler over the hand squeezer and C frame?
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:15 PM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,634

Originally Posted by jmw116 View Post
How useful is the Pneumatic Squeezer and the DRDT dimpler over the hand squeezer and C frame?
I know an airplane which was built without pneumatic squeezer. Still flying. I also know a kit sold unfinished with every single tool imaginable.
Welcome Justin!
Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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