Bought Cleveland Main Squeeze

August 21, 2010

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Recently, I’ve been kind of unhappy with my economy squeezer that I bought from the Yard. (I think Avery sells the same squeezer).

The squeezer is great for the majority of tasks on the empennage, but it only has one yoke, and I really need a no-hole yoke for some of the tighter-access areas at the end of ribs and such.

So, to buy a no-hole yoke, it looks like I’m going to have to buy a new hand squeezer (insert long back and forth about pneumatic squeezers here. I’m okay with hand-squeezing for the whole airplane, but I want one that can exchange yokes with a pneumatic squeezer if I decide to get one in the future).
So, for no small chunk of change (thanks, savings!) I got Cleveland’s Main Squeeze model 22 and the 4″ Thin-Nose Pneu. Yoke. I won’t be able to use this yoke for dimpling (still have the economy squeezer for that), but this will be great for squeezing rivets.

Aug 27, 2010 Update:

My new squeezer showed up. The actual squeezer is unbelievably light, and the yoke is unbelievably heavy. Even before installing the yoke, I can tell this is a much higher quality tool than my “economy” squeezer.

Here are the two separate purchases from Cleveland.

Ready for ACTION!

This should give you an idea of the difference in quality between the two.

In addition to being easier to squeeze, I am most impressed with the yoke. While I was squeezing rivets with the smaller 3″ yoke, sometimes the yoke would “give” a little. I can only describe this as the “c” part of the yoke opening ever so slightly. This had the result of pulling the top of the yoke back just a little, sometimes shifting the shop head a little to one side, or in some cases, sliding the flush set along the manufactured head side during squeezing. Most of the rivets turned out okay, but I no longer have this problem with the new yoke.

Here’s a picture of SRS (shifting rivet syndrome).

Big difference in quality (pronounced "price reflects this") and operation.

Bravo, Cleveland.

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#10 Dimple Die from Avery…and More

July 21, 2010

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My latest tool order from Avery showed up.

Edge Roller tool, #28, #30, and #40 cobalt drill bits, #10 spring back dimple dies, and 101 clecoes. Why 101 clecoes? Because my total with 100 was $99.60, and they cost $0.40. I wanted to get to $100. Why? BECAUSE AVERY HAS FREE SHIPPING OVER $100.

Oh wait. No they don’t. That’s the Yard Store.

So I go to set the bag of clecos (and the one separate extra cleco that they had to throw in to get to 101) next to the other stuff, and it didn’t look good for the picture. So I grab the bag to flip it over, and guess what? The top wasn’t sealed, so 100 (+1) clecoes fall out onto the table (and my foot, and the floor) and scatter everywhere (roll under the workbenches, etc.)


It was like 52 card pickup, except with clecoes, and there were 101 of them.

But, I got over it, because these are nice new shiny clecoes. If you zoom in, you may be able to see what I paid, for reference.

After closer inspection, I pulled out the #10 dimple dies and set them next to the #40 dies, for scale.

#10 dies require a #12 drill bit (it's for a #10 screw). #40 dimple dies require a #40 drill bit.

The new clecoes almost fill my patent pending (not) cleco bin.


You can see the stratification of old (bottom) and new (top) clecoes.

Finally, the edge roller tool.

Nothing really special here, this should make some of my lap joints look a little cleaner.

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Tap and Die Kit, Roloc kit

May 15, 2010

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Nothing special today, I just stopped by Harbor Freight and used a coupon I had gotten in the mail for the Carbon Steel Tap and Die Set. The coupon was for $7.99, instead of $15. Not bad. I’ll need a tap and die set to tap the wing tiedowns, and who doesn’t want to save money?

(I also picked up a 1 inch diameter roloc kit that included some surface conditioning discs. I’m thinking the maroon is pretty close to maroon scotchbrite, and I want to figure out a good way to deburr wing ribs).

It isn't the highest quality set, but it'll do for the tiedown attach brackets.

It's pretty thorough. I grabbed the SAE version (they also had metric).

Subtotal for the Roloc kit, tap and die kit, and roll of blue tape was $19.97. Not bad.

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Drill Press!!!

April 26, 2010

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After the other day’s sucesess with fixing my dimpling errors, I need to run to the aviation department of my local big box store and grab a 6′ long 2×8 to cut in half and some hinges to make my homemade bending brake.

Instead of making it there, I had to stop by Harbor Freight to grab this drill press. Normally $90, I got a coupon in my email for $49.99. I can’t pass that up.

The box is a little damaged, but everything inside was okay.

A blurry shot of me starting to assemble.

Another in-process shot. This is surprisingly nice quality.

I had to install the little yellow knob to help open the lid. After this shot, I moved the belt down to the lowest speed (650 RPM, which is still pretty high).

I also bought these cool long pliers. I didn’t need them for the airplane specifically, but rather my girlfriend needed them to help clean out a hair clog in her sink in the bathroom. Good excuse to buy tools, and they don’t get accounted for on the airplane budget. Wuhoo!

Pretty nice pliers. I have a feeling I'll be using these often.

In the same email for the drill press, they wanted to sell me a (normally $15?) drill press vice for $7.99. Who am I to say no. I was a little disappointed that this one was only 2.5″. There were 4 sizes above it that looked nicer, but they exceeded my value-for-the-money threshold.

Drill press vise, also had via sale.

The allen wrench the drill press provided to help with assembly got filed away with my other extra allen wrenches.

You can see I am a little short on allen wrenches.

Back to the drill press vice. After a little cleaning, this thing doesn’t look half bad.

I'll have to find some bolts to mount this. Except I'll have to move it for different pieces. Maybe I'll just use clamps.

After a few minutes of trying to figure out where to put the drill press. This is what I settled on for now.

Notice I'm drinking sunset wheat tonight. Mmmm.

No hours tonight on the airplane, just tool assembly. Maybe I’ll grab some wood in the next few days to continue on the right elevator.

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Dimple Dies and Tungsten Bucking Bar

April 1, 2010

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I finally came across a couple places that needed a #6 dimple die set, along with a #8 dimple die set.

I surfed over to the The Yard and looked around. I swore they also had a #10, but they didn’t online tonight.

Anyway, they offer free shipping on orders over $100, so of course I had to buy something else.

How about a bucking bar? Sure.

Tungsten? SURE!

I’ve been wanting one for awhile, and I think it is going to improve my riveting quality and workmanship.

I’ll add pictures when they show up.

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Tools from Harbor Freight, Van’s

March 3, 2010

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I didn’t get any work done on the airplane tonight, again.

I did manage to stop by Harbor Freight and receive an order from Van’s. Just for effect, I’ve taken a picture of the only two adjustable wrenches I own.

So sad...

I found a coupon for these adjustable wrenches, except when I got back home, I saw the coupon didn’t take. Is it work the $2 to drive all the way back there? Probably not.

OH YEAH, look at these bad boys! $10 from Harbor Freight.

Next, I grabbed a new utility knife. I have a couple from 1963 or something, so this should be a good upgrade.

nice blue locking utility knife.

Here’s my modest order from van’s. I had drilled out a lot of An470AD4-6 rivets on the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, and I had to use AN426AD3-3.5s instead of AD3-3s on the rudder stiffeners, so I ordered 0.1 lb of each to kind of replenish my supplies. Also, there is the 3.5 oz container of fuel tank sealant to use on the trailing edge of the rudder. It’s coming up, you know.

The Van's order.

Finally, at HF, I noticed this furniture dolly. It’s not very big, but for $7, I figured it was worth it given that it would take me more money to buy the supplies to make one.

A furniture dolly for some future aircraft-related need.

I need to actually create some aluminum dust soon. It’s driving me crazy seeing the rudder skin with the beautiful stiffener riveting just sitting on the workbench, all lonely and such.

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Installed Air Regulator/Oiler

March 2, 2010

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Tonight, I didn’t get any work done on the airplane, but I did finally stop by Northern Tool and Equipment for some air compressor accessories. To get my Harbor Freight air regulator and oiler up and running, I needed a second air hose, some quick disconnect fittings, and some thread seal tape. Here are the purchases.

Northern Tool and Equipment purchases.

First thing, I grabbed the unit out of the box.

It's a nice red color.

Then, I used some thread seal tape, and installed the pressure gauge.

Pressure gauge, ready to be installed.

Next, I installed two male fittings on either side of the regulator/oiler.

Ready to be mounted to the workbench.

After taping the rest of the quick disconnect units with thread seal tape, I took everything out to the shop and started getting stuff mounted up.

Here's another lightweight hose I bought. This will go between the compressor and the regulator/oiler.

Then, I mounted the regulator/oiler on the side of the workbench.

I made sure to line it up so that it didn't obstruct the access to either of the top shelves in the workbench.

Then, I hooked it up and played with it a little to make sure it worked. I’m still not positive on it’s operation (I now have two regulators in series, but I think it should work).

I’m not marking any construction time for tonight, but I will record the entry under tools.

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Another Avery tool order

January 5, 2010

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I ordered the following from Avery today:

Part # 3753 – 6″ Scotchbrite cutting and polishing wheel

Part # SB280 – Perma-grit Sanding Block – Flat – 280mm x 51mm course/fine

I only make a special entry for these because they come so highly recommended. An F1 Rocket builder said he wouldn’t build again without his Permagrit block, and another RV-8 builder really convinced me yesterday that I am not going to get the edge finishing final product that I want with a scotchbrite wheel. I’ll add pics when they show up.

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First Avery tool order

December 25, 2009

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Dec 25, 2009

I made another tool order last night. This time from Avery. I’ve heard really good things about them, but they tend to be more expensive for some things. Merry Christmas to me (and all of you…).

POP RIVET DIMPLERS – 3/32″ – These dimple dies are for hard to reach places in the aft end of ribs. You can also use them on the skins, if you don’t really want to buy a c-frame, (or are planning on borrowing one, and haven’t gotten around to it.) I know a few people on the forums who have done all of their skins with pop-rivet dies. I definitely need them for the ribs, so if they work out, I’ll try them on the skins. Otherwise, I’ll get the c-frame.

3/32″ TANK DIES – This is for dimpling the understructure (ribs, etc.) with a slightly larger dimple (dies were made for dimpling the fuel tanks, where the pro-seal required to seal the tanks prevents the rivet head from sitting flush). I’ve decided, after reading Brad Oliver’s post on the tank dies here, and then confirming that many builders have gone this route, that this will be a good idea.

EXTRA LONG DOUBLE OFFSET BACK RIVET SET – I need a backrivet set anyway, so instead of ordering the cheap (pronounced “great value”) one from the Yard, I decided to just get one…one that will work when I need to backrivet something (in the wings?) with a double offset. People rave about backriveting the wing skins, and while I am a long way from those steps, at least now I’ll only need one backrivet set instead of two.

DRILL STOPS – #40 Drill Stop – I tried to make my own drill stops out of tubing, but it didn’t work. I hope these are nice.

DRILL STOPS – #30 Drill Stop – Needed the #30 size, too.

MONOGRAM AIRCRAFT SHEET METAL FASTENERS (CLECOS) – 1/8″ CLECO – Ha. I bought 18 of these to bring my subtotal to $100.02. Free shipping over $100! I’m so clever.

Avery tool order that came in. Wuhoo! Apparently I had already put away the pop rivet dimplers. Sorry. They come in a little plastic baggy about the size of the drill stop bags with about 6 extra nails in it.

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Automatic Compressor Drain Kit

December 13, 2009

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This afternoon (after a lot of research), I stopped by Harbor Freight and bought the Automatic Compressor drain kit.

Automatic Compressor Drain Kit

Automatic Compressor Drain Kit

I had come across this product on Mike Bullock’s site, and in particular, on his useful docs page (direct link to the .pdf here.)

Compressor pre-project

Close-up of the unloader line.

The parts that came with the Harbor Freight kit.

The assembly on the left goes underneath the compressor, (the auto-drain, towards the top in the picture), tees off from the manual drain (towards the bottom right of the assembly). The tee at the top of the picture gets installed in the unloader line, which provides pressure at compressor start-up and shut-down to the end of the auto-drain. That pressure moves a little diaphragm and valve that then opens a small hole in the auto-drain. You’ll see the final connections later.

Printout of Mike's Guide (it looks like it may actually be copyrighted by someone else. See Mike's page for more info.)

I’m ready to start.

The existing petcock (has a nice handle on it).

First, I removed the existing petcock.

The old petcock removed.

Needs a little cleaning, if you ask me.

Other side of the old petcock.

Here’s the new auto-drain (and tee) installed in the bottom of the compressor.

Tee and auto drain attached to the compressor.

The petcock that come with the autodrain was not as nice my original one, so I installed my original one to the tee. I had to be careful to make sure I had enough clearance when the compressor sits upright. I have about 1/16″.

Old petcock attached to the new drain tee.

Then I started running the plastic tubing from the auto-drain.

Plastic tubing attached to the auto-drain. (I haven't tightened down the nut, yet.)

Then, I stumbled across the part in the directions (both the Harbor Freight directions and the .pdf I had printed out) that mentioned that the kit I had just purchased included the unloader line tee meant for plastic unloader lines. Crap, mine’s copper. I’ll have to run to Lowe’s tomorrow to get a standard compression tee, then finish up. The .pdf notes that if you put the tee too close to the tank fitting, heat can make the plastic tubing get soft. I’m going to lengthen this connection to give me a little more room to work with when installing the tee.

The unloader line removed.

Sorry I didn’t finish. I got called inside to fix a crazy washer. (Wouldn’t drain or spin…grrr.)

January 1 update: I managed to fix the washer, but then had to go on vacation (feel sorry for me?). When I started the tail kit on Dec 30th, I powered up the compressor (still having not connected the plastic unloader line) and the automatic drain assembly leaked. Upon closer inspection, there was a HUGE CRACK in the side of the fitting. I packed it up and exchanged it for a new one at Harbor Freight. The new one should work, once I have some time to install it.

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