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Old 12-08-2017, 11:45 AM
iamtheari iamtheari is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: ND
Posts: 243
Default Newbie Questions About Tools

Hi everyone. I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger on my RV-14 kit but I am getting close. I want to make sure that I am 99% ready to go when that time comes, so I am doing things like preparing my work space and getting ready to order tools. I am a first-time builder and have no metalwork experience. A local A&P who used to build Kodiak wings at Quest wants to help, so I will have a good resource there especially for things like learning how to rivet.

I am looking through the Cleaveland tool kit recommended for the RV-14 and I have a few questions. Some of them are "Do I need this?" but most are "What else do I need?" If there is any possibility for doubt, it's best to assume that I don't have the tool. For example, I don't have a bench vise. Also, my theme is that I am spending $30,000 or more for the kit alone, and I really do not want it to remain a pile of parts in my basement for the next 30 years. I want the build to be a pleasure that I look forward to most of the time, so that I end up with a great airplane while I am still young enough to fly it. I don't want to throw money away, but I would rather spend an extra $100 on a tool than an extra lifetime of regret over not having it.

1. Cleaveland includes a 1/4" air drill in the kit. I assume that the lighter weight and higher RPM of the air drill make it worth the $250 price tag. Are there other pros/cons? Is there a different or additional drill that would be better to have? Is there enough drilling on the RV-14 to justify the air drill in the first place rather than using my good electric drill?

2. Cleaveland includes a C-frame bench riveting tool. My understanding from watching other people's build videos is that this is mostly for dimpling skins. Is the one they sell the one to get or should I look for something else?

3. Since I will have a skilled helper at least some of the time, are there any tools that are worth having two of? For example, Cleaveland's kit has a 3-piece aluminum deburr handle. Does it make sense to have two of those to deburr twice as fast or is that a false savings?

4. Cleaveland includes a 3X rivet gun. Is it worthwhile to have a 2X as well or can the plane comfortably be built with just the 3X?

5. What non-airplane tools am I going to need? I have an air compressor but plan to buy a different one anyhow (word to the wise: never buy an oil-less air compressor larger than pancake size, it's not worth it) and I'll just keep the old one in the garage while I build in the basement. I know I will need a bench grinder and bench vise. I suspect I will need a drill press and maybe a band saw. Help me out here. Also, I have used air-powered paint guns and I hate the cleanup process. Should I bother with a gun for priming or should I go with rattle cans?

6. I don't want to haul all of my garage furniture down to the basement, so I need to supply whatever work surfaces and storage are going to be necessary for this project. I am going to build two 24"x60" workbenches (thank you, EAA Chapter 1000). I'll probably pick up a Sears Craftsman rolling workstation with drawers (I have the 42" one with 11 drawers and a hardwood top that I like, maybe I can use that but more likely I'll buy another for airplane stuff and move it to the hangar when I'm done building). I also think I'll get the Harbor Freight 74-bin rolling parts rack for fasteners and small parts. What else do you consider a must-have?

That's all I have for now, but I'm sure I'll have more between now and sending in my orders for tools and for the empennage kit. I am planning to place my order sometime around January 15. Thanks in advance for any and all guidance along the way!
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