Here is a list of my tools...in order of
most used tool.
I don't suggest running out and buying a bunch of tools like i
did....but buy as you go and make sure you get the best tool.
- My brain....well rested and free
of alcohol (for the moment...)
- Black Sharpie Magic Marker (the fine point tip from any office
- Small (6") Stainless Steel
ruler will measure as small as 1/64". Used
- Metal punch (got at home depot for
$5.00) Used to set a small indent in the metal
for drilling...stops drill head from wandering).
- Clamps, clamps, and clamps. I like
to use the orange spring loaded clamps from Home
Depot. These are quick and easy to use. I have 8 of the big ones and
10 of the little ones. I also
have a bunch of metal C clamps....but don't use
them as much as the spring loaded clamps. The
spring loaded clamps also are covered with
plastic so they don't damage the sheet metal.
- Deburring tool (keep the edges of
all your work smooth)
- Long drill extension 6" to use with threaded drill
bits. This is used a lot....for those hard to reach areas.
- 90degree angle drill. A must have for getting the
drill into tight places.
- 200 3/32" clecos
- 200 1/8" clecos (I would buy
another 200 of these...)
- Cleco Pliers (get two of these...one
for your helper if you can find one...run about $5.00
(for the pliers not the helper).
- 3" yoke hand squeezer Tatco ($160
from Brown Aviation Tools well worth the money...very
nice hand squeezer that has an interchangeable
yoke). Note that Cleveland also sells their own hand
squeezer now that has removable pins with pull rings....looks
really nice...but was not out when i bought my Tatco's.
- 2" yoke hand squeezer US
Industrial Tools. Came with my tool kit I purchased.
- Wiss straight (yellow) aviation
snips (non-serrated edge).
- Wiss tin snips
- Hand Seamer
- Lots and lots of hand files (got
these really cheap at Sun -n- Fun and Oshkosh).
- 30" Bending Brake from Harbor Freight Tools (This is a
great bending break for $50...skip the 18" brake and get this
one. It is made of heavy duty steel and works great!).
- Air compressor 5HP (i unfortunately bought the oilless...this is very
loud....you probably should get the oil compressor...more
expensive but less noisy).
- Air Drill (2200 rpm) (not used too
much as it sets off the compressor and wakes up
- Craftsmen (2500rpm) power drill (I
mostly use this because it produces less noise.
The air drill sets off the compressor too much)
- 2X Rivet Gun (I had the spars made
at the factory so you only really need a 2X gun....but
this is a serious point of debate among
homebuilders....i have not required anything
beyond a 2X gun.)
- Table Top Band saw from Home Depot (a must...for me anyways...i
used the bandsaw alot!)
- Table Top Drill press from Home Depot (also a must!)
- Air tool for cutoff wheels for canopy trimming.
- Many (many) assorted bucking bars.
- Circle cutter (fits into your drill)
- Instrument hole cutters (about $100 (in 2001) but works great!)
- Rivet cutter (a must)
- Crimping tool for PIDG (pre insulated diamond grip) Amp connectors. The only type of connector you should use for
- Battery charger for RG Battery. I bought my battery early
so I could make my battery box....thus the charger. I wanted
it to fit exact!
- Wire stripper
- Plumb bobs (3)
- Various screwdrivers, drill bits, rubber mallet, adjustable
wrenches, the usual stuff....
Tool (favorites) Providers
- US Tool
- Avery Tools
- Home Depot
Pick up all their catalogs at Sun-n-Fun or Oshkosh. Also note
that there are "show" specials for tools only available at
the show.....usually a great deal. Try to get tools at the shows
since you can see the tool and it is fun to buy them and lug around
heavy tools all day while at Sun-n-Fun and Oshkosh (especially bucking
This about does it. Always take your time and do a good
job. Do not rush the project or you will start to make
mistakes....(i know...don't ask how...).
Note: you will make mistakes...just try to paint
over them...or say your brother did it.
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