October 2009 -->

Chronological Updates, September 2009
9 Sep 2009
Currently still in the planning stages; nothing ordered yet. Hopefully this will change soon! Until then, this site is just a placeholder.

In the meantime, here's a test image from my Flickr account:


Sunset on the Caspian Sea

I intend to put extensive photos of my build process up on my Flickr account, and I'll link representative shots here. 14 Sep 2009
Purchased a truckload of lumber, tools, and supplies today during my lunchbreak which will result in the production of two EAA-1000 standard workbenches as well as some assorted things which will come in handy during the build of the RV-10. Most significantly, a 6" grinding wheel, a HVLP paint sprayer, and the hardware needed to put a 220V outlet in my garage for the compressor.

In the evening I cut all the lumber for the workbenches and started assembling the first one. My ability to screw 2x4s together and have it all be square is somewhat lacking, but I managed to put together the top of one workbench that didn't look too bad.

15 Sep 2009
Ordered my sheet metal tools! Chose planetools.com for this; their kit seemed the best and their prices were good. Got their full RV tool kit (which includes the DRDT-2 and pneumatic squeezer) with several upgrades: the swivel flush set, longerone yoke, 4" thin-nose yoke w/ set holder and spring, professional tight-fit drill kit, double drill bits, extra clecos, adjustable set holder, and an upgraded 3X rivet gun. In addition to the kit, I bought a set of aviation safety wire pliers and a torque wrench.

This was my first big purchase for the RV-10, and the only major purchase during the planning and workshop preparation stage of the project. The next major purchase will be the empannage kit!

Also purchased some Alumiprep, Alodine, and Akzo primer from Aircraft Spruce. Props to Aircraft Spruce for shipping same day!

After work and handball I finished the first of the workbenches:
Workbench #1 Nearing 
Workbench #1 Complete

17 Sep 2009
Faxed off my order form for the empennage kit this morning!! Soon I'll actually be building an airplane instead of just thinking about it. :)

Also ordered a number of accessories from Van's, including an access panel and doubler (VA-195C & D) for the rudder trim, some NACA inlets to put in the tailcone in support of the overhead console vents, some nylon conduit, 18 gauge wire, and the practice toolbox and control surface practice kits so I can learn to use my rivet gun without ruining much of the actual plane.

I've got a bit more work to do before I can start really working; I still need to clear out some junk out of the garage and shop to make room for everything, and I need to wire up the 220V outlet in the garage so I can use the compressor. Speaking of which, there's still a number of items on order that I'm waiting on.

Very excited!

Update: Managed to max out my credit card by accident! Too many plane parts orders in one day! Of all the stuff I bought today and yesterday, three of my orders (including the emp kit from Van's and my compressor) were declined by Visa. Paid off the card so it has zero balance now, hopefully everything will go through successfully tomorrow. :) Oops!

Also managed to put together the second workbench tonight. Took a timelapse video of the process:

22 Sep 2009
Today I received six packages from Aircraft Spruce, Mouser Electronics, Amazon, Klein Tools, and Isham Inc. These included all of the parts for my rudder trim modification, some connectors and wire crimping supplies for the V.S. and rudder wiring, a water/oil remover for my compressed air system, and almost all of the tools I'll need for this project. The only major tools still to arrive are the DRD2 dimpler and the air compressor itself.

When I got home from work, only two small boxes were waiting. Opening revealed the air cleaner and torque wrench:
New Tool Tuesday

Shortly after this picture was taken, everything else showed up:
New Tool Tuesday

It took awhile to inventory everything, make sure all the parts were there, and figure out where to store all these tools. But it's all done now and the shop is almost ready for full-on RV building.

23 Sep 2009
Got a call from a freight company today telling me that my compressor had arrived in Albuquerque and asking if tomorrow would be a good time to drop it off. They only come up to Los Alamos once a week, so I said, "absolutely!"

In preparation for the arrival of the compressor, I spent the evening wiring up a 220V single-phase outlet in my garage. The only snag I ran into was the two-pole 20A breaker I purchased last week turned out not to fit my panel, despite being the right brand. Apparently I needed the squareD "HOM" version, not the squareD whatever version I got at Lowes. A quick trip to the hardware store in White rock determined that they had none, but a slightly longer trip to Los Alamos proper rendered the correct breaker for the grand sum of $12. With that problem solved, the remainder of the install went smoothly.

24 Sep 2009
A big day for big tools. First to arrive was my compressor.

The Compressor Cometh

The box looked like it was in good shape; unfortunately there were some problems inside. One of the wheels, which are shipped loose sitting beneath the compressor, had gotten lodged beneath the tank drain valve, which had subsequently torn a hole in the tire and dislodged the tire from the wheel.


The belt guard appears to have taken a good hit; the upper screw mount had torn out of the plastic and there was a big crack in the plastic.


Finally, there was no handle. That piece is supposed to be separate from the main compressor body during shipment, and it simply wasn't in the box at all. I got on the phone with the company I purchased the compressor from and they were really great about it; they immediately gave me a refund for a bit more than the cost of the missing/broken parts, and hooked me up with a rush order for the new bits.

As I was finishing up with that ordeal, FedEx showed up with my DRDT-2 dimpler! It's huge! It was a breeze to assemble.

Prepare to be dimpled.

That's it for tools; I have everything I need (aside from running air hose into the shop from the garage)! Now if Van's would just ship the emp kit... I'd be off and running!

27 Sep 2009
I spent some time over the last couple days getting the compressor oiled, started, and burned-in. It seems to be working very well. Today I went down to Lowes and purchased the air lines and accessories needed to plumb a compressed air line into the shop. I included a filter/dryer system in-line so that the resulting air would be sufficiently dry and clean for doing primer and paint work. I also added a retractable 50' reel up near the ceiling of the shop so that I could pull an air line to anywhere in the room, but not have it be in the way when I wasn't using it.

Compressed Air Plumbing in the Shop

I'm really happy with how the installation turned out; until I need to do air work in the garage, this should be sufficient. I went ahead and put a quick disconnect right at the compressor output, so switching to garage work will really just be a matter of buying another hose and possibly a second air cleaning system for that room. I could also add a T manifold to the output of the compressor so I can supply both rooms at once, if neccessary.

  October 2009 -->