Ordered Wing Kit

May 14, 2010

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Well, I did it.

At 10:35am PST this morning, I sent in my wing kit order.


Given the 13 week lead time, it should arrive sometime in…(counting)…August.

Don’t worry, I still need to do a few things before it arrives:

  • finish up the right elevator
  • start and finish the left elevator
  • install the empennage tips
  • clean up some edges
  • build wing jigs (not jigs…”stands”)
  • paint garage ceiling
  • epoxy garage floor (maybe)
  • build garage shelves in the same manner as workbenches
  • buy and install wood floors on first floor (1000 sq ft.)

I think I can keep busy for a couple months.

Later Friday night, I heard back from Barb.

Andrew, you’ll have about 8 weeks to decide how to ship your kit, but you
will need to let me know before your ship date if you want to us any other
method other than by my normal freight company.  Thanks for the order.

Then on Monday morning:

Andrew, it will cost about $359 to ship the wing kit to your door by ABF.

Now I need to contact Tony Partain to get an estimate through him.

June update:

Apparently, if you order the deluxe locking fuel caps, Van’s will credit you for the caps they normally send with the kit. That turns $210 deluxe locking fuel caps into $150 deluxe locking fuel caps. Wuhoo!

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Riveted E-615PP Trim Reinforcement Plate

April 6, 2010

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WUHOO, tool order arrived!

3 things in the order, $154.90. Ouch.

Also included was this AWESOME sticker.

Where should I put this?




On the airplane? no.

Finally, the air compressor won.

Decorated air compressor.

Look at that beautiful tungsten bucking bar.

Old and new.

Also, I got two more dimple die sets. #6 and #8, on the right.

Just for comparison. #40, #30, #6, #8. Still need a #10.

Alright, back to work. First up, using the #6 dimple dies on the E-616PP Trim Cover Plate.

Nicely dimpled. I don't think it matters that you take off the blue vinyl. Maybe that was a bad idea.

Here’s the bottom side (top side when mounted on the bottom of the elevator on the airplane).

Peeling off the blue vinyl.

Then, edge finished and scuffed for priming. I’m going to wait to prime this until I can actually by the electric trim motor since you have to drill more holes. Just thinking ahead: can I countersink and use NAS rivets for the trim motor mounting brackets? Nope. These are pretty structural (hold the motor, and therefore the trim tab, in place.) I’m sure those directions will confirm the need to dimple. I’ll need to dimple E-616PP and the brackets that are used to attach the trim motor.

Ready for priming, except for all of the extra holes I have to drill, deburr, dimple, and rivet.

Same deal on E-615PP.

Ready for priming.

On the fancy priming stand.

After shooting primer to one side of E-615PP, I decided to add 4 holes for each of my new dimple die halves.

4 holes drilled.


7/32″ seems to work well for holes in a home-made dimple die holder stand.

7/32" is a good size hole for these.

Then, I shot primer on the other side of E-615PP. While I waited for that side to dry, I edge finished E-616PP.

Look at that nice edge. I love the scotchbrite wheel.

Now that E-615PP is dry, let’s do some riveting! I grabbed the K1100-06 nutplates (or platenuts as Van calls them) and the 14 required rivets. Remember from March 28th, I am using NAS1097 rivets here.

I am going to be using NAS1097 rivets here (smaller head than AN426 rivets) so I can countersink (instead of dimple) the holes here. That saves me from having to dimple the nutplate ears, which will save me a lot of hassle.

I finally found the rivet callouts.

I thought that because I countersank (verb tense?) the reinforcement plate that the 3.5 would be way too long, but the -3 was definitely too short. I grabbed 14 NAS1097AD3-3.5 rivets.

-3.5 (length) should work here.

I put all of the nutplates in with a single cleco and a single rivet, taped into place before starting to squeeze them. I hindsight, I should have backriveted these. So dumb.

Half of them done.

Then I did the other half.

Nice and flush. There is one that is almost proud, but doesn't affect the cover plate, so I may not try to muck it up further by drilling it out. We'll see if I can sleep tonight.

Once I got those 14 set, I grabbed the An507-6R6 screws and got the cover plate screwed on.

Ready to screw down. see in the lower left where the shadow under E-616PP is a little bigger? The dimpling kind of warped the plate. I'll have to try to coax this flat again.

I couldn't get the screws in all the way without a lot of effort. Is this normal for nutplates?

Anyway, 14 rivets set in just under an hour. I’m going to mark an hour today (a little long), then short myself on a post in the near future.

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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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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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Ordered Empennage

November 30, 2009

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Well, it’s official. Today at 2:08 pm EST, I emailed Barb my order form. I didn’t buy the electric trim yet, but I am planning on installing electric trim by the time I finish the kit. (Didn’t want to spend the $300 to have the trim motor sit for months on a shelf.)

Then I got the confirmation:

Andrew, I was able to print your form with no problem. Thanks much. We will process your order and ship as soon as we can.

Update on Dec 7th…

Andrew, although your order has been put to crating, it has not shipped yet. We normally ship with Fed Ex on a 3 day service, and you will get an email with the tracking once it leaves our door. Thanks for your order and have fun building once you do get you kit.

But then a couple hours later…

Andrew, I was told this afternoon that we are totally out of parts for the RV-7,8, and 9 kits. We should have some hopefully by next week and will ship
your order as soon as we can once the parts have come in from production.

I’m pretty upset that the lady on the phone told me they were in stock and it was a whole week (and an email inquiry) after my order was placed that I find this out. I think this means the kit will arrive sometime around the 19th… Grrrr…

Update on Dec 14th…

Anna from Van’s called. She said they are still working on catching up, and that she thinks my kit will be ready a week and a half from from today…which is actually a blessing. That puts it on the FedEx truck on the 23rd, which puts it on my doorstep a little after Christmas, which will line up nicely with some holiday time off from work so I can get started. Hopefully I’ll be able to put in some 8 hours days on the project early on.

I’m impressed that they called. Van’s did not impress me by ignoring me for a week. Besides, even if they had shipped the tail kit today, I wouldn’t have been able to start until after Christmas anyway.

I’ll update the later tool post when my tools come in. (Or after Christmas if my dog, Jack, decides that would be a good gift for me.) He has a hard time ordering things off the internet with no thumbs, so I helped him out.

Update Dec 22nd:


After a short stint in Wichita for a wedding (shudder, and yes, I am entitled to a shudder… I put in two years there as a young, single male) and the beginning of a christmas vacation in the keys, I got an email from Van’s for the first emp box (29 lbs) tracking number.
It should arrive just in time for the few days I have off while at home before returning to work. This ended up working out pretty well. I wonder where that second box is…

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Ordered some more tools. Again.

September 15, 2009

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Ordered some more tools today. I’ll update the post when they come in. I’ve been ordering from The Yard, given the price advantage. Until I run into bad quality, I’ll probably just continue along that route. I’m sure some of you may have some comments about that.

Here’s the list. So far, project costs is $596 dollars. I have a spreadsheet I keep with estimated cost for each tool, then my actual costs, including shipping (free if order is over $100 with the yard). Then I calculate how much I save for each tool or item. I’m estimating I’ve saved about $678 by shopping around vigorously.

K Series Spring Cleco 3/32″ (0-1/4″)
K Series Spring Cleco 1/8″ (0-1/4″)
Cleco Pliers with Grip
#30 High-Speed Jobber Bit – 135 degee Split Point
#40 High-Speed Jobber Bit – 135 degee Split Point
Auto Center Punch Large
Safety Glasses Clear
Plastic Spring Clamp Small
Plastic Spring Clamp Medium
12″ Drill Bit High Speed #30 AED
12″ Drill Bit High Speed #40 AED
Dimple Die Set 3/32″ Male/Female
Dimple Die Set 1/8″ Male/Female

9/18/09 Update: The above ordered tools arrived, and I am again happy with their quality. I added some more spaces to the right of my rivet/squeezer/dimple set tool holder of sorts. Here are a few pics of the tools and their new home.

A closeup of the first of many clecos.

A closeup of the first of many clecos.


Clecos and Pliers. I sprung for the pliers with handles. High class, huh?

Clecos and Pliers. I sprung for the pliers with handles. High class, huh?



Dimple Dies.

Dimple Dies.

Everything in the order.

Everything in the order.

And a punch.

And a punch.

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