Empennage arrival and inventory [5.0 hours]

The empennage kit arrived today. Well before I have enough tooling in place, and the workshop adequately organized. Inventory took 5 hours, and everything was present and accounted for. Clinging to the bottom of the Earth down here, I’m used to seeing all sorts of transport disasters. In this case, despite the best efforts of the freight companies, Van’s did such an excellent job of crating the kit arrived here unharmed.

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Workshop space

People have successfully built RV-10’s in absurdly small spaces. I’m fortunate to have an 11 x 7 metre workshop space available – all I had to do was remove the floor to ceiling junk pile it contained. As it turned out that process took months, and included extending a farm shed to provide extra space for vehicles and tractor attachments that were previously in the space that is now the RV-10 workshop.

I built a fixed, narrow workbench area in one corner, with plenty of pegboard to hang tools I don’t yet have. The old farm compressor was too small for this job, and so worn out it can be heard across most of the state while running. I decided to leave it where it belongs – in the farm shed – and install a new quiet compressor in the garage.

workshop1 workshop2

I built two full size and two half size workbenches. Not the exact dimensions as standard EAA workbenches, but a little larger just because of the common sheet size of MDF available. I also included lips around the outside for clamping, and put the two full size benches on 4 inch brake-able castors. These benches never carry heavy weights, nor are they ever heavily bashed on, and being able to wheel them around and position them according to different tasks seemed like a good idea. All benches, moveable and fixed, are the same height and can be abutted if necessary.

The drill press is overkill for the RV-10 project, but is there longer term for farm use.

I also built a large wide/deep shelf for storage of skins and assemblies, and installed some tray drawers for storage/organization of smaller parts. Of which there are a lot.





The little band saw that could

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I looked at a lot of metal-cutting band saws, but the cheap ones were junk and for such occasional use the not-so-cheap ones were hard to justify. I did have my late father’s old wood working band saw in the shed, and wondered whether it might be pressed into service. I was probably the last person to use this machine, 40+ years ago. It has precious few guards over the moving parts, and NO SWITCH – just turned on and off at the power point! In this day and age it’s hard to imagine letting a young pre-teenage boy use such a dangerous piece of equipment, unsupervised and alone, in a workshop – but back then things were different.

The old rubber power cord was perished beyond belief, and basically fell off. The old electric motor looked OK though, and after testing the insulation I wired up a new power cord, stood back, and turned it on. It worked! So I measured the length required, and ordered some 14 tpi blades from www.bandsawsupplies.com.au. Once these arrived I fitted one and made the usual adjustments to make it run true. The band saw cut through some sample pieces of Aluminium like butter. The only problem is, the Aluminium chips showered down all over the old electric motor, and also onto the rubber lining on the lower wheel. I’ll make a shield to keep the chips from falling through vents on the old motor, and just have to keep brushing them out of the old rubber wheel linings.

Engine patented in 1936, which makes me comfortable given that we all happily fly around using Lycoming aircraft engines

Engine patented in 1936, which makes me comfortable given that we all happily fly around using Lycoming aircraft engines

Modest guards on the front

Modest guards on the front

No guards on the back in those days!

No guards on the back in those days!