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Old 12-03-2020, 01:06 PM
bsbarnes10 bsbarnes10 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 39
Default Table or sawhorses for wing build?

Hello! We're planning a workspace for the wing build on our RV-12iS project. This will not be the same location as the tail cone and fuselage so there is some freedom to tailor it specifically for the wings. I assumed the most desirable work surface would be a long table, with the approximate dimensions of the wing but I've seen some recommendations to use sawhorses instead. Are there any clear advantages / disadvantages to either method? Perhaps access to the underside for riveting without flipping the wing over?

Your thoughts would be appreciated...

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Old 12-03-2020, 01:24 PM
Bob Y Bob Y is online now
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Piedmont, SC
Posts: 276

Im sure others will chime in too, but I used sawhorses while attaching the ribs to the spars then transitioned to a table to attach the skins. Seemed to work well for me.
Bob Y - builder 12iS E-LSA
N569TT first flight 2/9/2020
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Old 12-03-2020, 03:38 PM
DHeal DHeal is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
Posts: 999

I used the same as BobY above -- worked very well. Put a cheap moving blanket or rug on top of the table to avoid scratching the aluminum. Keep it all simple -- nothing fancy is required -- the wing basically jigs itself.
David Heal - Windsor, CA (near Santa Rosa)
EAA #23982 (circa 1965) - EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor; CFI - A&I
RV-12 E-LSA #120496 (SV w/ AP and ADS-B 2020) - N124DH flying since March 2014 - 1,060+ hours (as of Aug 2021)!
VAF donation through June 2022.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:27 PM
N8DAV8R N8DAV8R is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Salida, Ca
Posts: 85

I built a wing cradle/cart that was good for assembly and storage. It's based on the standard EAA wing cradle but I extended it and added supports at the ends. I will keep the cart around in case I ever have the wings off. It held the wing securely, made an excellent work surface throughout the different phases of the wing build, and easily rolls around. Rolling was particularly handy with the size of a set of wings.

If I had not gone that route, I would prefer sawhorses for most of the construction. You'll also need a table for some portions of it. There were definitely a few things that were easier to do with the wing flat on the table and the whole thing at a comfortable working height.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:11 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 3,127

I have a 16 X 4 layout table that I used for everything. I wired it with 6 outlets spread out so I would never be more than 6 feet from a place to plug in a power tool.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:01 PM
R7237 R7237 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 108
Default Table

Started with sawhorses, but ended up building on table almost exclusively. Left the sawhorses for storing the tailcone cut to the right height for future attachment.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:12 PM
dsm8 dsm8 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Madison CT
Posts: 82
Default Table or Sawhorses

I used a table to build the "skeleton" and built some cradles that helped hold the wing vertically to make it easier to rivet. It decreases the amount of reaching or moving to the other side of the table. I bought a small tool balancer, put it on a rail, and attached my rivet gun or drill. Made it a lot easier.

There are some plans somewhere on the forums for wing cradles that rotate so you store the wing vertically, but if you need to install them they rotate to almost the exact height and slide them in.

email me and I can send some pics
Don "Donnie Mac" MacMillan
RV-12 12808
Finish kit 80% done 80% to go
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:34 PM
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rcarsey rcarsey is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Brunswick, NJ
Posts: 261

two cheap sawhorses made riveting all the ribs to the main spar a little easier. then for the skins, a table with carpeting on (or moving blankets). you'll probably need a couple sawhorses down the road anyway.
Rob Carsey, North Brunswick NJ
RV-12iS (N713) / Completed 12/2020
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Old 12-06-2020, 04:41 AM
bsbarnes10 bsbarnes10 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 39

Excellent! this is all good information, thanks to everyone...

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Old 12-06-2020, 05:47 AM
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mike newall mike newall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,177

It was either in the RV12 instructions or from this forum, but we were recommended to build a 12' x 3' table out of sizes around 4 x 1, 3 x 2 and 3 x 1. Top was blockboard, I edged with small pine to stop any spells etc and it is topped with heavy duty carpet tiles stuck on. Underneath is a slatting shelf that runs the full length.

It is probably the most useful bench I have ever made. It can be moved by two people, the surface is great to work from and I thoroughly recommend building one.
"I add a little excitement, a little spice to your lives, and all you do is complain!" - Q

Donated in 2021
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