Before attending the SportAir Sheet Metal class, I thought I’d try building Van’s toolbox practice kit. My dad and I knocked this out in about six hours (which seems really slow, but aluminum construction was pretty new to both of us). It was a good introduction because it was fairly simple but had examples of several different skills that will be used to construct the actual plane.
Here’s the inside.
The ends were flush riveted in place, so this gave us some experience drilling and dimpling as well as using both the squeezer and rivet gun.
The front edge was riveted on using universal rivets.
The lid is held on with a piece of aluminum hinge. These hinges are used in a number of spots on Van’s aircraft.
The DRDT-2 dimpler arrived today. This tool is awesome; it makes perfect dimples and is quiet. With a new baby in the house, I’m doing everything I can to reduce the noise I make while building.
The tool kit from Isham arrived minus the DRDT-2 dimpler which was back-ordered. Details can be seen on the tools page.