Progress on practice project #3

I clamped and drilled the trailing edge wedge. Then I disassembled everything, machine countersunk the wedge, and scuffed all the substructure parts and the inside of the skins in preparation for priming. Next we’ll clean up the surfaces with some lacquer thinner and shoot the primer and then dimple and rivet everything together.

Another two hours in.




Started practice project #3

I think I’m getting the hang of this. I spent a couple of hours cutting, fitting, drilling, and de-burring this short section of control surface. Next I need to fit and drill the trailing edge angle. Then I’ll disassemble the whole thing and give the paint shop a trial run and shoot primer on the sub-structure and insides of the skins. Then I’ll rivet the whole thing together and move on to building an airplane.

I’m about two hours in at this point.



Went Flying Today and Completed Practice Project #2

Remy and I completed another practice project. This one had us actually laying out rivets, drilling, countersinking, dimpling, de-burring, and riveting. After some good advice from my friends Jared and Joe, we made some adjustments to how we were holding the rivet gun and adjusted the air pressure to the gun. Way better results this time than on the last project. We’re learning so much. One more practice project to go and then on to the vertical stabilizer!

I also got to go flying with My buddy Jared in his RV-14 today. Amazing airplane. Thanks to Jared for the flight and all the good advice! I hope my plane looks and flies as well as his.





We built a toolbox and mostly bought some primer.

Sophie and I started off this morning by heading to the Sherwin-Williams store in Roswell to see if they had any P60G2. Of course they didn’t but they said that the Marietta store had 4 gallons in stock. Drove to Marietta. They had the P60G2 but no R7K44 reducer. When the lady in Roswell said they had the P60G2 I assumed they would have the reducer so didn’t bother to ask. The gentleman at the Marietta store indicated that they had the R7K44 at their Product Finishes Center in Lithia Springs but that they closed at 12:00. Swell. I bought the P60G2 from him and drove to Lithia springs in search of reducer. He was wrong. They are closed on Saturdays. I travel next week and return to ATL Thursday morning. So I’ll swing by Lithia Springs on the way home from the airport.


On a brighter note, the airplane factory is coming together. We gave it a trial run and built the Van’s toolbox practice project. Remy is a natural. All his rivets looked great. I mangled everything I touched. Despite my ham-handedness we managed to turn out a pretty neat toolbox. We had lot’s of fun learning new skills together. I’m going to complete the other vans practice project, a section of control surface, before I start work on the plane. The empennage should be here next week!

I also covered the two worktables I intend to use for assembly with heavy brown craft paper. I had a big role hanging around the house. I was thinking I’d pick up some carpet remnants but then thought I’d give the paper a try first. I just stapled it to the two-by-fours around the sides of the tables. Worked pretty well for us today. If it get’s messed up I can just rip it off and replace it. It seems like it will be pretty durable though. And it’s easily cleared of chips and scraps with a bench brush and dustpan.




Toolkit Arrived

I ordered the RV14 toolkit from Cleaveland Aircraft Tool with the pneumatic squeezer and DRDT2 options. It arrived yesterday and I unpacked and inventoried the contents. The pins to mount the toke to the squeezer were missing and the DRDT2 was shipped separately. I emailed Cleaveland last night and got a response first thing this morning with an apology for the oversight. They indicated they’d ship the missing parts immediately. Great service, Cleaveland!



Two more worktables

Remy and I built two more worktables last weekend. Actually we built one together and Remy built the second one on his own Tuesday while I was away on business. His came out nicer than mine. We actually took the time to clamp the pieces and drill holes for the screws to avoid splitting the two by fours this time. We’ll move them down to the basement this weekend.



I’ve got an airplane factory in my basement

I’ve decided to build my RV14 in my basement. It has heat and AC. There’s plenty of space. It’s reasonably isolated from everyone else’s day to day activities. The garage would have been cramped, cold in the winter, hot in the summer, I would have to keep my car outside, and the garage is also our main means if ingress and egress. So an airplane factory in the garage would have inconvenienced everyone.

I completed the second worktable and Remy helped me move them into the basement from the garage. I’ll keep you posted as I organize the workshops and start to acquire the tools I need.

I sent off an email to Van’s with some questions about shipping, payment, and such that I needed to know before I place an order for my empennage kit.