Empennage Inventory

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The RV-14 Empennage arrived Friday, this time in a completely undamaged box. I set the box up on tables so I wouldn’t be hunched over digging in the box. It is very well packed. Before digging into the inventory I was faced with the Van’s entry exam, assembling the process book binder for the manual. The pictures were unreadable but I wasn’t going to get beaten by a binder!

I inventoried all of the parts from each subkit by section, HS, VS, Elevators, Rudder and Fuselage. Each section on its own shelf. I put the larger fuse skins I wasn’t ready for in a spare bedroom to make room in the shop. I inventoried all of the hardware into one storage bin. I picked up some small baggies from Walmart to sort through the small quantity items. This means only sorting through the pile once. Some of the parts bags have quite a few SKU’s. There were a few very small missing items, every part needs to be gone through. I will email vans with the short list of missing parts on Monday.

In the last photo you can see the back rivet plate I put in my work table. 12×16″ half inch cold rolled steel that I sanded through a few grits using a palm sander. It was $45 from Metal Supermarkets in Wheat Ridge. It weighs a little over 25 lbs. It looks cool, even though I have yet to back-rivet anything!

I am going to visit another local builder and frequent VAF poster, Wirejock, on Monday to see his 7a project and learn how to buck a rivet. I am not sure I will be able to keep my hands off the toolbox project until then.

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Shop and Tools

I spent the last few weeks setting up the shop as an airplane factory.   I built the garage a few years ago with some friends and have done many house projects, but it is time to put away the construction tools.  This entire section is being written before I have any building experience or idea what I really need. The shop has been setup to the best of what I believe will facilitate efficient, quality workflows, but I am sure will change as I learn more.

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I already had most of the required tools not included in the RV-14 Tools kit from Isham. This includes a drill press, portaband w/ stand, and bench grinder. I purchased the tools located in the black chest, drdt-2 and belt sander for this project.

I have power and heat but purchased the compressor and ran the shop lines to minimize setup time everyday. I am really happy to have air in my shop! I poured a small concrete pad behind the garage and assembled a Rubbermaid shed around the compressor. I soldered 3/4 inch copper lines into the garage with a filter/regulator and a few outlets along the west wall.

I built 2 EAA 100 Tables the same height as the other workbenches. I used 3/4 inch plywood and a few coats of poly. I purchased casters from Harbor Freight and used old door hinges to allow the wheels to be lowered. I mounted a compressor manifold on the table with its own regulator. My plan is to run air brush hose rated at 80PSI to mini-couplers from Cleveland for my rivet gun, cleco remover, and maybe the drill and/or squeezer.

I mounted a few extra LED light bars from Costco to make sure the shop had more than enough light. I also have a 220v Heater from Northern Tool I bought 2 years ago that has been running flawlessly. It will bring the temp up from below freezing and cost only $100. I also have both power and hose reels hanging from the ceiling.

I organized my Isham RV-14 kit in its own cabinet to keep things straight. I had built a stand for a HF portaband a year ago for various steel metal working projects and can’t tell you what a great tool it is. It makes cutting through metal accurately very easy. I expect it will come in handy for this project as well.

I am planning on priming with Sherwin Williams P60G2. I will spray with a HF HVLP gun using a 3M respirator and organic cartridges. The tail, practice and toolbox kit should arrive Friday.

Empennage delivered…damaged

I have been in a hurry to get the shop completed and had a spot to inventory all of the parts but it turns out I will have at least another two weeks to prepare. The crate had a forklift run through, it was bandaged together with a tow strap. I could inspect a few parts that had obviously been bent by the forklift. What a disappointment. The driver was friendly enough and the crate never came out of the truck. I refused the delivery. I may see what other shipping options are available, as from what I have read on VAF this is becoming a common occurrence with FedEx deliveries.

Planetools order and Inventory

I ordered the Planetools kit mostly because it came standard with a pneumatic squeezer and the drdt-2 which seems like a good investment staring down a 2000 hour project. I added all three yokes for the squeezer and the imitation Sioux air drill. I ordered my tools the same day as my RV-14 empennage kit and they arrived a few days before scheduled delivery. The drdt arrives in a different package. I have not received that yet. I finally had a chance to layout the tool kit and inventory/organize the parts. They all fit neatly in a small harbor freight rolling chest that I can use to keep my aviation tools separate from all of my general use equipment.