Home > VansAirForceForums

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

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 07-25-2017, 01:30 AM
SSR SSR is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 6
Question Shop with a few steps outside the main door?

Hi all,

I'm building a new 450 sq. ft. detached workshop at the rear of my property, but due to ground elevation changes the shop will need to have a few steps up to the shop's French double doors.

My question is... Will I be able to get a completed RV-8 fuselage out of the those doors and down the 3 exterior steps? Presumably I'd need to build some sort of temporary ramp and pulley system to lower it down the steps...?

Is this a recipe for disaster? Or has it been done before?

Luckily, from the bottom of the steps it's a flat, straight driveway right through a 7 ft. high carport and then out to the street.

Thanks for any insight / advice.

Last edited by SSR : 07-25-2017 at 01:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 04:22 AM
Flying again!'s Avatar
Flying again! Flying again! is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Keller, TX
Posts: 418

I can't find the picture but I remember seeing someone in Europe posting pictures of moving his plane out of the 2nd story of his house (I think he had to remove a window to do it). So if he can cope with that, 3 steps should not be an issue
RV-10 N331JH 3rd owner (First flew in 2005, #15 flying)
Northwest Regional 52F
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 06:09 AM
tgmillso tgmillso is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 794

Down the steps should be no problem, but these french double doors would want to be wider than the wheel track on the -8, which looks to be 82" outside dimension. From reading other posts you will need an 84" opening, which I suspect is wider than your regular double doors. You could leave the gear off and take it out on a custom trolley, or only build in there until the gear on stage, I suspect both those options would stink compared to having a door wide enough to roll it out. Although, as the other lads have said, anything is possible.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 06:19 AM
rv7charlie rv7charlie is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pocahontas MS
Posts: 3,888

FWIW, it's a lot easier to do most of the 'systems' work on the fuselage if it's *not* on the gear. With the legs on, it takes a surprising amount of time & energy just to climb in & out every time you need a new part, or that tool you forgot to bring with you. I've had the engine hung on my -7 with it still on the fuselage dolly (you must plan the support points to do this), so I could do all the engine wiring/plumbing without needing a step ladder to get into the cockpit.

I wouldn't suggest trying to move it down a set of steps while on the dolly with the engine mounted, but if it's just the fuselage and no gear, moving it through a wide door & down some steps should be a non-event.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 06:56 AM
wilddog wilddog is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: va.
Posts: 621

Since you are building the shop, why not just put in a bigger door? And I would also consider making it bigger than 450 sq ft, that is going to be awful small after you get some tools in place. Back to the original question, yes you can get it out ok. I would build it , then remove the gear, engine and tail to get it out. With two helpers, easy.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 07:30 AM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,390

Rather than building a shop with French double doors, why not build it with a single man door and double-opening barn doors? These barn doors can be made very simply, or can be very fancy. Most importantly, they can be made to fit the gear width of your aircraft.

It would just seem a lot easier to be able to do as much of the fabrication work on the airplane as you can while it is in your home shop. I say this as a guy who is building in a hangar located 15 minute's drive from home. Man, I waste a lot of time driving to and from the airport. Some evenings I know I should go to the hangar but I just don't feel like making the drive. If it was the garage attached to the house or a workshop to which I could walk I know I would make it there more often. Heck, I'd likely slip out to the shop for a quick lunchtime work session, too!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2017, 01:26 AM
SSR SSR is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 6
Thumbs up

Thanks everyone for the many excellent suggestions so far.

The reason I was going to use French doors was because this workshop will be converted into a mother-in-law suite detached dwelling in about 10 years (wood floors, full plumbing, etc). However, based on feedback I'm thinking of a variety of changes in the interim.

1) Rather than French doors, I'm now thinking of building in a garage door. Later, when the shop is converted to living quarters, I'll take down the garage door, frame over / fill in the gap, and mount French doors within that.

2) Rather than concrete steps up to the doorway, I'm now thinking of building a straight wooden ramp instead. Later, when the shop is converted to living quarters, I'll tear out the straight ramp and install a switchback-style wheelchair ramp.

3) Due to the layout of my lot, setback regulations, etc. the largest I can build the shop is about 16' x 32', so that'd get me up to 512 sq ft (up from 450). Hopefully that'll be enough.

Thanks again to everyone for the sound advice! This forum is great.

Last edited by SSR : 07-26-2017 at 01:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2017, 06:43 AM
rv7charlie rv7charlie is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pocahontas MS
Posts: 3,888

Don't panic on the size. I built the entire airframe, even hung the engine, in a work area that's roughly 21' x 20', with a 5' x 7' corner notched out for a bath. As strange as it may sound, your actual work area can be too big. If you're too spread out, you can spend more time walking back & forth for tools, etc.

One thing you might consider, though, is building with a higher than normal ceiling. More freedom of movement, more vertical wall storage, and allows overhead storage. My wings are both strapped to the ceiling of the work space, waiting for completion of 'systems' in the fuselage/FWF. And it will make the space feel bigger once it's converted to living space.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 09:49 AM
BenNabors BenNabors is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alabama
Posts: 129

Actually you do not need any steps, you can adjust the elevation down a foot or so on the high side and blend the remaining 8 inches or so into a gentle slope. You can also lose elevation from front to back along the outside but have a level floor. Send me a private message and I can explain.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 12:12 AM
SSR SSR is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 6

PM sent, thanks.
Reply With Quote

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 05:05 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.