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Old 08-27-2013, 10:27 PM
JoeGepner's Avatar
JoeGepner JoeGepner is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Bonner Springs, KS
Posts: 18
Default RV-7A N74WL Joe Gepner

Hi Guys,

I'm just getting started on my RV-7A build (I haven't even unpacked the tail kit yet). Tonight I finished building a couple of the EAA benches and I had a quick question for the experts here.

I have been planning to build the tail and wing kits in an old storage room in my basement. It's nice and climate controlled, and also as far as I can get from my kids room so I can hopefully run the air compressor at night.

The room is roughly 18ft by 14ft. Do you guys think that is big enough to get through the tail and wings? Once it's time to start on the fuselage, I thought I would pack up shop and move to the garage. Am I going to be kicking myself for not starting in the garage?

Joe Gepner
Bonner Springs, KS
RV-8, working on empennage
Website name doesn't match my airplane, long story...
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:33 PM
RV7AJeremy's Avatar
RV7AJeremy RV7AJeremy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Gilbert AZ
Posts: 416

I'm no expert but I say build where is it climate controlled. The emp kit is easy to move around, the wings on the other hand are a little more difficult to maneuver. Do you have easy access to the basement (door directly outside etc)?

I bought a portable air conditioner for my garage; I don't think I would work on the project nearly as much if it wasn't climate controlled. Have fun!
Carbon Cub EX2 N852AZ KCHD
EAA Tech Counselor
2017 Bronze Lindy
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:37 PM
DaleB's Avatar
DaleB DaleB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 2,359

Joe, you might think about putting the compressor in the garage and running some air pipe down to your work room. I picked up a kit from Northern Tool that uses 1/2" nylon pipe with push-in fittings, makes plumbing pretty easy.

Building the empennage down there won't be a problem, space-wise. Before you start the wings, though, just be sure you can get a 4' x 10' x 8" object ALL THE WAY outside without bumping into anything. It would really suck to have a rude surprise when it came time to move the wings.

Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:43 AM
mburch's Avatar
mburch mburch is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,375
Default This guy

Joe and I have to share an office. Ever since he bought the tail kit it's been nothing but RV talk all the time! Can you imagine a worse work environment?

Matt Burch
RV-7 (last 90%)

Any opinions expressed in this message are my own and not those of my employer.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:52 AM
JoeGepner's Avatar
JoeGepner JoeGepner is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Bonner Springs, KS
Posts: 18

Thanks guys! This is exactly what I was hoping you would say.

I have a straight shot up the stairs from my basement, and the door to my basement lines up with the door to my garage. So I think I should be fine. When I finished my basement I was able to get 12 foot long sheets of sheetrock down there without too much trouble.

My basement is one of those "daylight" basements. So I do have two windows that are about 3ft by 5ft. They are kind of old and I've always thought about replacing them some day. Maybe the "wings come out of the basement day" will also be "new basement window day".
Joe Gepner
Bonner Springs, KS
RV-8, working on empennage
Website name doesn't match my airplane, long story...
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:04 AM
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tkatc tkatc is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,747

That basement looks plenty big and climate controlled is ideal. I do think you may want some more lighting though. Nice benches....perhaps when you drill enough holes into them you will replace the top with an overhanging lip. Very convenient for clamping!
My ATC opinion is NOT an official FAA recognized opinion, so any advice you get from me is ONLY my opinion.

Track my RV7A!!

Bought my flying -7A
Building an -8! (Fuse)
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:49 AM
crabandy crabandy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa, Ks
Posts: 2,421

I built almost the entire airframe in the same size basement of my Bi-level, it was way better than the garage. I built the wing/fuse in the basement, wings were also fully riveted but I dissassembled the fuse for deburring and reassembled and riveted the fuse in the garage.
I left the air compressor and other loud/messy tools in the garage, I made a small hole in the wall to pass the air hose and an extra extension cord into the basement. It worked great keeping the mess and noise in the garage, plus it opens up the outlets in the basement. I did have to plan air tool usage around the wife's TV shows however...
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:58 AM
JoeGepner's Avatar
JoeGepner JoeGepner is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Bonner Springs, KS
Posts: 18

Better lighting is a must have for me. I'll swing by Lowes and pick up some more overhead fluorescent lights so its not so dark. I also like the idea of running some air hose from the garage to the workshop.

I got cheap and didn't want to buy an extra sheet of MDF/Plywood to get an overhang on the two EAA benches. I'm going to build one final workbench out of a solid core door that will have a nice overhang on it though.

I hear you on the wives TV shows! Better to take a break than get in trouble and make too much noise.
Joe Gepner
Bonner Springs, KS
RV-8, working on empennage
Website name doesn't match my airplane, long story...
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:35 AM
Rupester Rupester is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,194
Default work surface(s)

I recommend your next work surface be constructed as a work table, not backing up against the wall. I don't think I could have completed my build if all the bench space was against the wall. My big-*ss worktable saw probably 75 to 80% of my activity, regardless if riveting, f'glassing, or assembling. Access to all sides of a workpiece is critical at times. ... IMHO.
Terry Ruprecht
RV-9A Tip-up; IO-320 D2A
S. James cowl/plenum
(Dues paid thru Nov '18)
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:03 PM
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BSwayze BSwayze is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Molalla, Oregon
Posts: 955

I like your space! I would second the idea of more lights (you can never have too much) and other suggestions made here. I would get some inexpensive particleboard for tops to your workbenches, with the overhang for clamping. It makes a perfect, smooth, flat work surface, and it's easy to replace when it's drilled full of holes and worn.

I also think if I were you, I'd consider finishing the sheetrock on the wall where your plastic is hanging, paint it a bright white. It will brighten it up your shop even more. And at the same time, you can make a holder of some kind for your drawings. Something as simple as thumbtacks, or several little spring clips to hold your drawings up in front of you. You'll be spending a lot of time studying your drawings. Put them at eye level, well-lit, and make it easy. Most of the mistakes I made came from not spending enough time looking at the drawing. It's time well spent.

I also like the idea of building your fuselage to the point of disassembly before final riveting. Now the only thing you'll have to figure out is where you're going to prime and paint things. I'm sure you don't want the fumes in there, wafting up into your living space and irritating your other half. Not to mention the health hazards. So you'll be doing a lot of up-and-down the stairs with parts in hand, before and after priming. I painted a lot of my stuff outdoors. But overall, it's still worth it! You have a great workplace.
Bruce Swayze
RV-7A Standard Build
First flight November 3, 2019!
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