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Old 03-14-2008, 11:17 AM
thelynns thelynns is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 86
Default DRDT-2 VS C-Frame

Can a DRDT-2 make quality dimples like the C-Frame.

Yes if you adjust more preload then you think you may need. The manual for the DRDT-2 says preload is important and to adjust it to give quality dimples. It say's "Typically preload is approximately an additional 1/4 turn beyond step 5". Well, I'm new at this so I adjusted it the 1/4 turn more then step 5 from the instructions. The dimples were concave (under dimpled) outside the actual dimple but being new at this I thought my dimples were as good as they get. Well, not so. To get a quality dimple that looks as good as the c-frame I had to go 3/4 turn past step 5 of the manual. After doing so I can not tell the difference between dimples made from either tool. Now, with different thickness material it may need to be re adjusted. I don't know yet. That's fine, it's easy to adjust and I now know how to recognize a quality dimple.
My tool of choice will be the DRDT-2.

See my log entry at -
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:38 AM
airguy's Avatar
airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 4,857

Love the DRDT-2 - but yes you're correct about the 3/4 turn (or at least my experience agrees with yours). The whole point of the 1/2 vs 3/4 turn is to make sure that at the bottom of the stroke, there is enough pressure on the dimple dies to force the steel frame of the DRDT-2 to stretch slightly when taking up the last bit of stroke on the handle. This ensures maximum pressure on the dies, and also guarantees that you can't EXCEED a certain maximum pressure and start "squeezing" the metal to the point of plastic creep. The steel frame itself will spring before the work begins to creep.
Greg Niehues - PPSEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2020 dues paid
N16GN flying 560 hrs and counting! Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:05 AM
Skyflyer Skyflyer is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 140
Default Ditto

Ditto the importance of the proper preload. If not properly set an under-dimple results with a concave “valley” surrounding the flush head rather than a crisp transition from flat skin to dimple with a resulting smooth surface. To see the difference try both setups on scrap material then rivet each and compare. Be sure you know the difference before proceeding or you will be disappointed with your initial results. Properly set, however, the tool rocks and allows fast, quiet, consistent results.
Chuck McCluggage
Sugar Land, TX
RV-8 IO-375 WW 200RV
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:55 AM
JHines JHines is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 390

Got mine last week, works beautifully. Expensive, yes. But it's built like a battleship. It'll outlast me for sure.
Jonathan Hines
Charlotte, NC
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:22 PM
FL-flyer's Avatar
FL-flyer FL-flyer is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 38

Anyone know where i might be able to pick up a used DRDT-2?
No one at my airport is selling theirs, even after they have completed their airplanes (I guess its a testament to how much they love this tool!)
Casey M
Sarasota, FL
EAA 180
Starting on empennage section - August 2016
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:47 PM
Joe Parish Joe Parish is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 197

Post a want to buy ad in the classified section on this web site.
RV-9A N525XC
Superior IO-320
Dynon HDX
Flying as of 5-4-18
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:57 AM
FL-flyer's Avatar
FL-flyer FL-flyer is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 38

Thanks a lot Joe! I wasn't even aware there was a classified section on this site. That is great news, will post an ad
Casey M
Sarasota, FL
EAA 180
Starting on empennage section - August 2016
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:06 PM
atalla atalla is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Whistler BC
Posts: 201
Default A Drdt-2 Build Video

This thing is the best! Perfect dimples every time! Easy to build as well after you got the FEK
Have a Look!
Andrew Atalla
Red Seal Automotive Service Technician
Red Seal Heavy Duty Equipment Service Technician
Whistler BC
RV-7 Left Elevator in progress.
2018 Dues paid
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:18 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,952
Default DRDT-2 Purchases..

..can be made directly from the source (Experimental Aero). They are an advertiser on this site and, yes, the DRDT-2 is the bee's knees IMO..
Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 Working on the "Dreaded Doors"
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
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Old 01-26-2020, 02:58 PM
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Pmerems Pmerems is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 813
Default DRDT-2 News

Effective 2/1/20

All new DRDT-2’s will be lighter weight and less expensive to ship. This is good news to new customers.

As of January 1, 2020 Both FedEx and UPS lowered their heavy package threshold from 70 lbs down to 50 lbs. Any package over 50 lbs gets a $24 additional fee attached to the regular shipping costs. The shipping weight of the DRDT-2 is approximately 60 lbs. Since shipping costs were now increasing substantially, I began reviewing the 15 year old DRDT-2 design, requirements and analysis. After careful review and building and testing a lighter weight prototype, I am pleased to announce success. This lighter weight design works as well as the heavy weight when dimpling all RV sheet thicknesses from 0.016-0.040”. This lighter weight unit looks the same as the heavy weight DRDT-2 except for the reduced thickness of the structural steel frame.

There are several advantages to this lighter weight design.

1. Less expensive to ship than the heavy weight DRDT-2, even without the $24 heavy weight penalty fee.

2. Slightly less expensive frame material which means the DRDT-2 price doesn’t have to increase for a few years as other components increase in price.

3. Lighter weight is easier to handle by the customer.

4. FedEx/UPS do not have to take special precautions while handling the lighter unit.

5. After 15 years and over 2,500 units built, my back is feeling the effects of lifting 60 lbs over and over again during the DRDT-2 fabrication.

So if you had the opportunity to use a DRDT-2 in the past (other builders, training centers, USAF, National Guard, Airlines) the one you will receive will be built of a thinner and lighter frame.
Dream it, Build it, Fly it

Paul Merems (EAA Tech Counselor, EAA Sheetmetal Workshop Instructor/Volunteer 12 yrs)
ExperimentalAero-HANGAR BANNERS
RV-7A (Flying since 2010)/RV-4 (sold 1990)
Tucson, Arizona 85749
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