Tools

44I’ll be updating this page as I pick up tools, so check at the bottom for new additions!

You have to have the right tools for the job, and building an airplane is no exception. In fact, it’s a requirement!

It can be daunting, however, to fill a tool box with everything you need. I decided to go the kit route, as there are several options from major suppliers. Plane Tools, Isham, and several others all have beginners tool kits for sale. I was lucky and found a new kit fore sale from an individual who decided not to start his build. Saving money is always nice.

My tool box with room to grow.

My tool box with room to grow.

Avery Tools is the supplier for this kit and it is a great start with almost everything you need to get going. They also allow you to customize the kit to your liking which saves money and space in the garage.

I also picked up a lightly used pneumatic squeezer and the DRDT2 dimpler, both of which have already paid for themselves with ease and precision.  One note about the squeezer, I actually adjusted the safety lever such that it no longer requires me to push the actuating lever up and over to squeeze the plunger.  It makes it a lot easier when handling the tool and ensuring I get the alignment correct and stay on the rivet.  This is a danger and I do not recommend it to someone who is not comfortable with removing a safety feature of any tool.

All of this is in a tool box from Harbor Freight that I picked up with a lot of other random supplies for the garage including tool stands, clamps, stools, etc.

The power tools everyone recommends wont be used much, but should be handy when the need arises. A used band saw, new Ryobi drill press, grinder, and combination belt sander and disc sander line one way of the garage.

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The power behind all of the pneumatic tools comes from a Kobalt 60 gallon air compressor. This was the next biggest purchase but worth it! Yes, you can probably use a smaller unit but this allows plenty of time in between cycles to cool and provides plenty of pressure and volume for all the tools and paint guns I may use in the future. I plumbed it into a filter/lubricator and air reel in the ceiling.

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I got tired of spinning the deburring tool and took other’s advice by picking up an electric screwdriver from Lowe’s Aircraft Supply store.  This Skil 4-volt 1/4″ drive screwdriver fits the bill.  It’s got a slow RPM which is perfect for deburring and accepts a 1/4″ drive adapter which holds a standard deburring bit.