VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

-POSTING RULES
-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

  #1  
Old 04-12-2021, 07:40 PM
N_Franklin N_Franklin is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Manchester
Posts: 3
Default Howdy!

Howdy Y'all,

I had been really thinking on this for some time, while I was working on my private. I have been lurking on here for several months now, and I have come to the conclusion that I think an RV, specifically an RV-14A, would be right for me. I passed my checkride a few weeks back, and now I think that this is something i want to do and move forward with. I have seen the lead times for kits from Vans, and put in a tail kit order last week to try to start the clock, but I was hoping that i could get some advice from the experienced builders on how to best start. I think i have reasonable woodworking and light machining experience (i have already made some initial workbenches for this project), but i can't say i have any "aircraft building" experience, outside of theory and R/C, and have never so-much-as held a rivet gun. The Vans website says that is enough to get started. Is that what y'all think, too? I assume those toolbox/sign/etc. starter kits are a good idea?
There are several sites out there who advertise "RV" tool kits. Are they a good idea, or is it better to try to piecemeal out only the tools you need? Is there a brand/source/site most people use?
Did most of you have prior experience? How difficult is it to dive right in? How much of a learning curve did you experience? How often have you relied on other builders in the area?
I want to do this right, and acknowledge that i really don't have much experience with this and am rather new to GA as a whole, and want to learn as much as i can. Thanks in advance, everyone, I appreatiate any insights y'all have.

TLDR: Howdy! New kid on the block here, any tips for just getting started?
__________________
N_Franklin
Long time aviation enthusiast, New Pilot
RV-14A Tail Kit ordered
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-12-2021, 07:43 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is online now
Senior Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 15,845
Default Welcome to VAF

Nathaniel, welcome aboard the good ship VAF
__________________
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-12-2021, 08:33 PM
CJK CJK is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 106
Default

I am far from an experienced builder, so keep that in mind when reading my reply!

I had a lot of the same questions you posed -- here's what I did:

1. prior experience: if you've not done any metal working, taking a class with EAA or having an experienced builder help you at the beginning will be invaluable; I took a week long course at Alexander Technical Center in Georgia 12 years ago, and I retained enough from that to allow me to dive right in on my -14

2. tools: I am kind of a tool nut, so I decided to assemble my own set of tools; I'm glad I did so, but it took a long time to get everything together, and I probably paid more in shipping than I would have had I bought everything together.

3. tools continued: I've mainly purchased from Brown Aviation Tools, Aircraft Tool Supply, and Aircraft Spruce; I did make a few purchases of specialized items from other places, like Flyboy Accessories. Completely happy with everyone with whom I've done business -- all the positive things you've heard about the homebuilding community are true, it seems!

One thing I did before I actually started building was ORGANIZE: I organized my parts storage, my fasteners, my tools, and my workshop. It took me quite a while, but I find the environment in which I'm working to be very pleasant and conducive to getting things done! (It also impresses my curious neighbor -- bonus! )
__________________
Chris Klugewicz
fly from KJWN, live near KSRB

RV-14 build underway
∙ N415EJ reserved
∙ empennage started April 2021
∙ currently working on: Section 6 - Vertical Stabilizer

build log: kitsune.aero
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-13-2021, 05:57 AM
Dennis Harm Dennis Harm is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cadott wisconsin
Posts: 48
Default RV14A

Hi Nathaniel,I have building my 14 for 6 years now. Started out helping my brother build his 9A so thatís where I got my experience. 1st thing buy quality tools so you donít have to buy twice. I went with Clevland tools, they have a good 14 kit but youíll still have to add more as you go.get organized this will save you hours searching for parts like I did.and if in dought about the build ask,ther are numerous sites out there to gain info. Tim Olsens site was a tremendous help for me . Good luck and enjoy the build Click image for larger version

Name:	308B268E-35BE-4BF4-AD3B-A86302AC3B33.jpeg
Views:	54
Size:	703.7 KB
ID:	10321
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-13-2021, 05:35 PM
wirejock's Avatar
wirejock wirejock is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,379
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by N_Franklin View Post
The Vans website says that is enough to get started. Is that what y'all think, too? I assume those toolbox/sign/etc. starter kits are a good idea?
Yes. My advise is find a Mentor and build at least one. Then drill it apart and do it again. Then go home and lather, rinse, repeat. Sound dull but it develops skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N_Franklin View Post
There are several sites out there who advertise "RV" tool kits. Are they a good idea, or is it better to try to piecemeal out only the tools you need? Is there a brand/source/site most people use?
Yes. Unless you get lucky and find a used set. You may not use every single tool but a kit will save some cash. You will piece meal lots of tools afterwards. Another reason to learn with a Mentor. You will get a feel for which tools you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N_Franklin View Post
Did most of you have prior experience? How difficult is it to dive right in? How much of a learning curve did you experience? How often have you relied on other builders in the area?
Most? I think most have some sort of hobby experience but I feel anyone can do it. Your previous skills are more than adequate.
Learning curve? One for every skill. First aluminum, fiberglass, engine, avionics, paint, etc. It's not a problem if you enjoy the process.
Others? What time is it? Find a Mentor and start making a list of resources like builder blogs. VAF is probably #1. Always search for tips before starting a component. Don't make other builder's mistakes. They are easy to prevent by searching.
__________________
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
http://wirejockrv7a.blogspot.com
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit, now FWF
Disclaimer
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-13-2021, 06:02 PM
David Paule David Paule is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,761
Default

Plan for storage. As you get the kits, you'll have lots of bits of hardware and lots of other parts. Then as you build, you'll gradually have a bunch of large airplane parts that need storage room.

I found that the shop differed considerably as I moved through the components. I set it up for the empennage kit, rearranged it for the wings, rearranged it again for the fuselage, and expect to rearrange it yet again when I hang the engine. Painting or wrapping will need a whole different set-up. Caveat, I'm building an RV-3B and that might affect this paragraph;s applicability for you.

Add The Yard Store to your tools vendor list. I've had excellent service and tools from them. Gotta say that uniformly, RV suppliers and vendors are a wonderful bunch.

Dave
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-13-2021, 06:38 PM
llohrman2 llohrman2 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Wichita
Posts: 14
Default

Find an RV Builders group on your area. If you can't find one, contact Van's for a list of builders in your area at least. Most builders are more than happy to share their expertice and knowledge (and sometimes tools). And who knows, you may form friendships for a lifetime by doing so. (Ask me how I know)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-13-2021, 06:44 PM
N_Franklin N_Franklin is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Manchester
Posts: 3
Default

Thanks for the rapid and thoughtful responses!
I think that Mr. Klugewicz , Mr. Larson, and llohrman2 bring up an excellent point about finding mentors. I have been going to several of those Saturday morning fly-in breakfasts (KSYI, KBGF) hosted by eaa, now that they are happening again. Is there another resource of in-person support that y'all have found helpful, outside of other individual builders? llohrman2 mentions specific clubs, how common/active are those?

Thanks for all the tool recommendations! I had not seen some of those sources. I will really have to sit down and do some shopping soon!

Given the extended lead times from VANS, would y'all recommend getting in line for QB wing/fuselage kits now, or waiting? I intend to go after the empennage fairly aggressively, when it gets here, but don't have to much context for how long it will actually take. Did it go together pretty quickly for y'all?

Last question: I have noticed that, be it here, on youtube, personal sites, or whatnot, many people extensively document their builds with both photo and video recordings. I understand why personal documentation is important, but is it normal/recommended to publish them? They make for great resources for people like me, but are they useful to the builder as well?

Thanks again!
__________________
N_Franklin
Long time aviation enthusiast, New Pilot
RV-14A Tail Kit ordered

Last edited by N_Franklin : 04-13-2021 at 06:49 PM. Reason: more people posted while i was typing.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-13-2021, 06:45 PM
sellis sellis is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Shalimar, Fl
Posts: 14
Default

I just started the empennage on an 8. I did the one day Synergy course in Newnan, Ga, and it was fantastic. There's still way more to learn, but it really helped me over the initial hump to get started.
__________________
Shaun
RV-8- Empennage has begun
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-13-2021, 11:24 PM
Eric P Eric P is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Central CA
Posts: 16
Default

I did the same as you are for about two years. When i finally decided to jump in, I too was concerned. I didnít have any metal working and relatively light woodworking in my past. So, I took the 1 day Synergy class and felt much more confident. Purchased my empinage kit and have been having a great time with it.

When I first started, I had the feeling that must work and work fast. Once I slowed down and worked when I wanted to, I made fewer mistakes and really began to enjoy the work.

Recommendations:
Watch the applicable YouTube videos. Just seeing things go together helps sometimes.

Complete a practice kit or two.

Sometimes tools can come up for sale here. I made a couple of purchases. The remainder came from one of the larger tool suppliers.

Join your local chapter of the EAA.

Find a mentor if it all possible.

I utilize the EAA builders log for my accounting. Itís kind of ďdear diaryĒ but it has its uses too.

Work at your own pace, not what you see others doing on the internet.

Enjoy your build

Eric...
__________________
Eric P
2021 Dues paid
RV-10 Complete through Horizontal Stabilizer
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:11 PM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.