Cleaveland Aircraft Tool – August 29, 2013 – Online Builder Hangout

This session we discuss use of the DRDT and C-Frame, proper dimpling, reaming, the Boeing Quick Change Kit, and more! For more information, visit

Online Builder Hangout – September 2013

Cleaveland Aircraft Tool September Online Builder Hangout covers several methods and tools for deburring pre-punched skins. We also cover the different grades of grinder wheels used in deburring. There were several questions about drilling out rivets, so we covered a number of those as well.

What to expect when setting rivets with long-reach yokes

  1. If the rivet is ANY over the 1.5 times length it wants to start bending. Generally Van’s specs are slightly under with extra rivets used to increase strength.  The bending does not cause what you are seeing, but plays a part, see below.
  2. I often scuff the rivet set that goes on the shop head on a concrete block, sidewalk, brick; something pretty smooth and flat, but not polished.  Do it one way, rotate 90 degrees and do it again.  This is an old carpenters trick to keep a hammer face from sliding off of a nail when struck.  Since you are on the yoke side, you could rough it up a bit with some 80 grit sandpaper, but I would likely try putting a piece of masking tape on it first to see if that gives just the adhesion that you need to keep the rivet from sliding.  Again, see below.
  3. Finally the reason for both above… as you place a force roughly the weight of a car on that rivet, things want to do anything but stay neutral.  The longer the yoke the worse things get, and this is why:  Obviously the yoke wants to flex when force is applied, the longer the yoke, the more the moment arm.  Like any mechanical thing, with the force applied the yoke wants to bend toward it’s weakest axis.  In this case the yoke will want to spring sideways, top one direction, bottom the other.  This is made easier if the rivet slips on the yoke, the roughness helps to limit this side slip.
    1. This is more pronounced on the longer reach yokes, and the reason you can’t rivet with the DRDT.  Back to the longer rivet, there will always be some tipping, the longer the rivet is, the more it would rather tip, than collapse.  Once it starts to tip, the prior mentioned problems just are exacerbated, thus it is far better to use a slightly short rivet, than a slightly long rivet.
    2. There is a final point to consider and that is the fit of the ram in the yoke.  The reason that we designed around these yokes was not only their popularity, but the fact that the ram goes through the yoke with a pretty tight tolerance.  The ram is guided by the yoke, thus flex in the yoke will also move the ram with it.  Some systems have this section of the squeezer independent of the yoke, and the problem is just made worse by one bending one way, and the other bending the opposite.  Look at the fit of the ram in the yoke, if the fit is loose because the ram is out of tolerance too small, or the yoke is out of tolerance too large, the ram will have ‘room’ to get an angle on it.  Also and more importantly on the thin nose yokes, make sure that if you are using an adjustable ram, that you use a long set for a short rivet.  This will keep the ram further engaged into the yoke, and give it a longer ‘arm’ to align with.

February Builder Hangout

Mike Lauritsen presents a couple of options when fabricating aluminum angle. He covers the use of manual and power tools from the hacksaw to the miter saw, filing, nibbling and grinding. Learn the basics of fabrication from plans, including layout and measurement. A handy overview for those just getting started or considering building an aluminum aircraft.

0:00 Introduction
3:00 Agenda
4:30 Starting fabrication of a rudder part
5:30 Intent – Where to start, what to do first, how to layout
11:00 Use your ruler backwards
13:30 Soft Jaws
14:30 Make your work comfortable
15:45 Rule of thumb for blade tooth pitch (1.5 teeth in material)
17:00 Filing
19:30 File types
23:30 The Power Tools
24:45 Miter Saw
24:17 Bandsaw
25:26 Belt Sander
26:10 3M Deburring Wheel
26:45 Belt Sander Grit Question
27:19 Square Hole in Sheet Aluminum
28:42 Question about Technique for Landing Light
30:00 Nibbling Tool

Wayne Johnson – Featured Builder – September 2013

What’s your project: Van’s RV-12
How many hours do you have in so far: Around 510
How many hours left: Just started the fuse kit, probably much less than half way to completion.
Favorite part of building so far: The completion of a sub kit is satisfying. I get to see big assemblies instead if little parts and that gives me a sense of accomplishment.
Biggest challenge so far: Finding a balance between perfect and good enough. My background is in precision machining and everything needs to be nearly perfect. I tend to spend too much time de-burring.
What are you most excited to tackle next: I’m just starting on the fuselage kit and it is much different than the empennage and wing kits. I have enjoyed it all so far but it did tend to get a little repetitive so I could use a change of pace.Advice for new builders: Read and follow the the plans carefully and concentrate on what you are doing. It’s easy to make assumptions about how things should go together and make a mistake, don’t ask me how I know. Measure twice cut once, read twice rivet once. handle: waynej

David Kennedy – Featured Builder – August 2013

Dave Kennedy

What’s your project: Van’s RV-7A

How many hours do you have in so far: Around 650
How many hours left: Not sure, going by average 1,200 – 1,400
Favorite part of building so far: It was rewarding to finish the assembly of the wings and see them hanging on the wall, completed.
Biggest challenge so far: Probably building the fuel tanks. The pro-seal is messy and always wondering if I was going to finish a given section before the epoxy set up to fast. Thanks to my friends, Ken and Bill for lending a helping hand with the final assembly of the tanks.
What are you most excited to tackle next: I am working on the fuselage and the next big step will be to assemble the 3 sections of the fuselage, tail cone, mid and forward section to the firewall. Just about ready to rivet everything together with the side skins and looking forward to rolling it all over and seeing it completed to that stage. handle: Kenntek