Making Space and Tool Purchase

In order to transform my garage into an airplane factory, I needed to clean all the crap out of it. It’s a wonder we’re still able to fit both cars in there. There’s a motorcycle, generator, lawn tractor, snowblower, and numerous rakes, shovels, etc.. Not to mention, I could really stand to get the enormous pig roaster out of my basement.

So I went ahead and ordered a humongous shed. A 20’x14′ Cape Ann style shed, vinyl sided to match the house. There should be more than enough room to store a ton of stuff (yeah, I say that now…) and clean out the garage and basement.

Today (the day before Christmas) it got installed. Merry Christmas to me. 🙂 Some pics below:

 Also, yesterday I placed my order for a full RV toolkit. I have tons of tools, but none of the specialty tools that I’ll need for metal work and building an airplane. There are a few different vendors to chose from, but I ended up going with the full kit from Isham (


My main attraction to this vendor was the fact that their kit includes the very nifty DRDT-2 dimpler (shown here with a small “table” built around it to support metal skins, while using it):


This tool seems to be much easier to use and produces more consistent results compared to using the more traditional c-frame tool where you have to hit it with a hammer until it’s right. Isham’s tool kit also comes with what some would call a luxury item; a pneumatic squeezer. This will help make squeezing rivets much more consistent and easy (hopefully)


Based on reading some builder blogs, I decided to get the following add-on options to the kit:

an angle drill, adjustable set holder for the squeezer, both the longeron and 4″ thin nose yokes for the squeezer, and the RV-10 package (which gives you some special shaped bucking bars, additional die sets, and more clecos).These seem like things that I’ll need relatively early on in the build, so might as well get them now.

I’m sure that I’ll still need to buy some additional things as I go, but this kit should hopefully get me most of the way to having the right tools for the job. They certainly aren’t cheap, but I’ve learned long ago that I’ll end up being 100 times more frustrated and probably just end up damaging parts if I try to do something without the proper tool for the job.

Below is the complete list of tools that I’ll be getting in the kit:

Commercial Quality Dimpler
Pneumatic Rivet Squeezer
3″ C-Yoke Installed on Squeezer
Adjustable Set Holder for Pneumatic Squeezer
3600 RPM Palm Air Drill, fast, smooth & quiet like Sioux
3X upgraded Rivet Gun with excellent teasing trigger
EZ change spring for straight rivet sets
EZ Change Spring for flush sets
Swivel and Air Flow Restrictor with fine precision adjustment
1″ Diameter Flush Rivet Set
3/32″ Cupped Rivet Set 3.5″ long
1/8″ Cupped Rivet Set 3.5″ long
3/16″ Cupped Rivet Set 3.5″ long
1/8″ Double Offset Rivet Set
Back Rivet Set (Special cut on one edge for close edge work on RV parts)
Tungsten Bucking Bar
Microstop Countersink Unit, needle-bearing, non-chattering with nylon foot
#40 Countersink Bit, 3/32″
#30 Countersink Bit, for 1/8″ & #6 Screw
#8 Countersink Bit, #8 Screw
#10 Countersink Bit, #10 Screw
Left Cut Snips, easy to use offset type
Right Cut Snips, easy to use offset type
Straight Cut Snips, easy to use offset type
#40 Aviation Cobalt Drill Bits for 3/32″ rivets, 8 each
#30 Aviation Cobalt Drill Bits for 1/8″ rivets, 6 each
#27 Aviation Cobalt Drill Bit
#21 Aviation Cobalt Drill Bit
#19 Aviation Cobalt Drill Bit
#12 Aviation Cobalt Drill Bit
1/4″ Aviation Cobalt Drill Bit
12″ Aviation Extra Long #40 Drill Bit
12″ Aviation Extra Long #30 Drill Bit
Deburr Tool, Speed Handle Type for small & large holes
Cleco Pliers
4 Cleco Clamps, 1/2″
4 Cleco Clamps, 1″
Pop Rivet Tool, Professional Heavy-Duty unit with Swivel Head
3/32″ Universal Cupped Squeezer Set
1/8″ Universal Cupped Squeezer Set
5/32″ Universal Cupped Squeezer Set
3/16″ Universal Cupped Squeezer Set
Flat Squeezer Set 1/8″, 2 EACH
Flat Squeezer Set 1/4″
Flat Squeezer Set 3/8″
3/32″ Rivet Dimple Die
1/8″ Rivet Dimple Die
5/32″ Dimple Die
3/16″ – #10 Screw Dimple Die
#8 Screw Dimple Die
#6 Screw Dimple Die
Squeezer Set Organizer
Squeezer Set Adjustment Washers
Stainless Steel Rule, 12″
Unibit 1/4″ – 3/4″ by 1/16ths,
3 Permanent Markers, Sharpie
3M Cut & Polish Wheel 6″
1/2 x 1 Reducers for 3M Wheel
325 Cleco Fasteners, 3/32″
175 Cleco Fasteners, 1/8″
10 Cleco Fasteners, 5/32″
10 Cleco Fasteners, 3/16″
Edge Deburring Tool, Hex Swivel type
2013 Updated High-Leverage Fluting Pliers
Rivet Cutter
Air Tool Oil
Drill Stop Set of 4
Rivet Set DOTS, Easier than Rivet Tape
3/32″ Pop Rivet Dimple Die,
1/8″ Pop Rivet Dimple Die,
Hand Seamer
3/32″ Drive Pin Punch
1/8″ Drive Pin Punch
Scotch Brite Hand Pads, 4 each
Rivet Length Gauge
Rivet Shop Head Gauge, 4-piece
Technical Resource Manual
RV-10 Option adds 175 3/32″ Cleco Fasteners and 125 1/8″ Cleco Fasteners, Special Bucking Bar and additional Squeezer Sets

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