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Construction Tips & Help

Build Diary 2004

Build Diary 2005

Build Diary 2006

Project Helpers

Wings on about to roll out of the hanger for first engine start.

Roberts RV6, we stop for fuel on the way to the RV fly-in at Colmar.

The way to fit split pins properly -
Aviation Standards!!

Fitting a Dynon D100.

Installing Superior IO-360.

The Kit Tool List for a Quick Build
To build a metal kit aircraft you will more than likely need some new tools, some of which you may have never heard of or know how to operate. Vans specify's a required tool kit and some suppliers sell Van's tool kits. I purchased my 'tool kit' from Aircraft Tool Supply in America. I found it a lot cheaper to source the kit from the US. Especially with the exchange rate at the time - $1.89 to £. Expect to have to spend around £1,000 on tools and more if you need additional specialist tools as I will describe here.

IMPORTANT - Remember the kit is imperial, you need imperial equipment to ensure 100% accuracy.

Rivet & Dimpling
Rivet gun (2x or 3x)
Rivet sets ( 3/32", 1/8", 3/16")
Rivet set offset ( 3/32", 1/8", 3/16")
Retainer Spring
Swivel Flush Set
Selection of Bucking Bars
Clecos, Grips, Clamps and Fasteners (the more the better!!)
200 - 3/32" Silver
100 - 1/8" Copper
10 - 5/32"
10 - 3/16"
5 - Side Grip Fastener (1")
5 - Side Grip Fastener (1/2")
Cleco Pliers (2 pairs, for when you loose one or somebody helping you)
Rivet Cutter
Bench Mounted Dimpler
Dimple Die Sets (3/32", 1/8", AN6, AN8)
Hand Rivet Squeezer (3")
Squeezer Set (1/8", 3/16", Flush 1/2", flush 3/8")
Back Rivet Set
Back Rivet Plate

Air Drill
1 - 3/8" Drill
1 - Cobalt 1/4" drill
3 - Cobalt #12 drills
3 - Cobalt #19 drills
3 - Cobalt #27 drills
8 - Cobalt #30 drills + 12" long drill
8 - Cobalt #40 drills + 1 - 12" long drill
Adjustable Microstop and Cutters
100 degree 3/32" Pilot Cutter
100 degree 1/8" Pilot Cutter
100 degree 3/16" Pilot Cutter
AN6 Screw Pilot Cutter
AN8 Screw Pilot Cutter
Drill Stops (3/32", 1/8", 5/32", 3/16")
Angle Drill and (threaded) drill bits (#40, #30, #21, #11, #10)
Unibit Step Drill (#3)
Drill Gauges (wire & inch)
6-32 UNC (tap drill #35)
8-32 UNC (tap drill #29)
10-32 UNC (tap drill #21)
1/4" x 28 UNC(tap drill #3)
5/16" UNC(tap drill 6.6mm)
Fluting Pliers
Hand Seamer
Speed Deburring Tool
Edge Scraper
Offset Aircraft Snips (left & Right)
Vixen File 12"
Half Round File 12"
Needle File Set
Rivet Tape
Dead Blow Hammer
3M Cut & Polish Wheel 6"
Air Tool Oil
Flanging Tool
Edge Rolling Tool
Buy, Hire or Borrow
Instrument Hole Punch
Rolo Pipe Flare

Handy Links

Links to external sites open a new browser.
The Popular Flying Association (PFA)
Vans Aircraft
Flyer Magazine

Links to support sites.
RV UK Squadron
Advanced Flight Systems Support
Dynon Support
Garmin Aviation Updates
Precision Technical Publications

Supplier sites/links (opens new window).
Cambrai Aircarft Covers
Clasic Aero Design
Air Gizmos

Flush & Back Rivet Sets
Here are three different flush rivet sets and a back rivet (white) set. The back rivet set is mostly used during the construction of the empannage.
Rivet Gun
The gun takes a .401" shank rivet sets. They are available in different power, the common type for a quick build kit is 2x or 3x. If you are not building a QB and need to buck the spar rivets you may want a more powerfull rivet gun. Approx price $160.00
Your compressor needs to be 2.6 CFM (for 2x), 2.9 CFM (3x) or 3.1 CFM (4x).
Counter Sink Cage
Use this to cut 100 degree countersinks. For thin sheet use dimple dies. Different cutters for different size holes. #40, #30, #27, #19.
Angle Drill
This attaches to your drill and helps with tight spots.
Parker Pipe Flairing Tool (also called Rolo)
Use this tool to flair the brake and fuel lines. IMPORTANT - this tool makes 37 degree flairs. Conventional UK brake flairing tools are NOT suitable.

Price from some suppliers in UK around 75 +vat & carrage. From USA around $78.00 +vat & carrage.
Pipe Bender
Use this for fuel and brake lines. You can struggle bending by hand, but these are quite cheap.