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Old 10-31-2013, 12:43 AM
tweiss's Avatar
tweiss tweiss is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 89
Default Tommy's -8

With the excitement of all the assembling, I have not made any effort to start and regularly update the progress of my build on this site.
I have thoroughly enjoyed following along with so many of you folks and your building experiences I thought it was time to pay it forward if you will with my build.
A quick story of about me getting started. Last fall through my friends and kids, we gave my wife the opportunity to be the airport hero and get me an -8 tail kit for my birthday. Well when my birthday was done she didn't come through with my thoughtful gift. But she didn't exactly say no either. She just felt she wasn't capable of making all the decisions that come with ordering such a thing.
So...... with all my best intentions, last February I thought it would be a great idea to get her an -8 tail kit for her birthday.


And the rest is history.


I've since lived that very exciting day of opening the boxes.


Inventorying the contents.


And clecoing parts together and taking them back apart, over and over again. Great fun!


Now anchoring off of VAF, I found so much helpful stuff here in regards to building the tail kit that I won't go into too much detail on every step along my tail build. I studied so many builders logs and posts prior to begining my kit that I knew where to pause and take a breath when I got to the problem areas. Plus I found a few areas challanging to me that seemed to be no big deal to others, so as I bring my tail build up to speed, I'll try to comment on those areas mostly and not drag out "another" tail build.

Well I'm glad I got this started tonight and look forward to making small updates daily (hopeful) until I get this caught up to my current build progress.

Good night.
Qualified Exempt
But dues paid anyway 2014
SB wings in progress
Tail kit complete
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:39 AM
izzybear's Avatar
izzybear izzybear is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 335
Default Cograts!

Looking good Tom - welcome to the "8" club!! Keep pounding those rivets and you will be done before you know it. Don't wait too long before ordering the wing kit - longer lead time to think about with the next kits
RV-8 N223GT (reserved)
Builder # 83331
VAF Dues gladly paid up till December 2021

"The ultimate responsibility of the pilot is to fulfill the dreams of the countless millions of earthbound ancestors who could only stare skyward and wish." - Unknown
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:54 AM
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ColoRv ColoRv is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tampa (BKV)
Posts: 926

And so it begins! Keep up on the builders log, it helps with motivation and that is the key. Find a good RV8 near you to look in on, buy him lunch once in a while and some av gas if he will take it. You're going to have fun!
RV-8 Flying
1,235th flying RV8
SARL Race#95
SnF Homebuilt Judge

2015 Sun n Fun Kit Built Reserve Grand Champion
2015 Oshkosh Kit Built Champion
2015 Jeffco Kit Built Grand Champion
2014 Oshkosh Outstanding Workmanship Award

Broken Warrior of the Jarhead Clan
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:03 AM
RV8 Tom RV8 Tom is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New lenox , Illinois
Posts: 77
Default RV8 Tail kit

So how was her gift received? Was she excited about it? Now try to get her out to the garage to help you. Congratulations of the begining of a great adventure.
Tom Ellis
New Lenox, IL
Tech Councilor
Flight Adviser
RV 8, N812TE- flying
RV-10, building
RV-12- building
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:36 AM
Pat Stewart Pat Stewart is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Granbury Texas
Posts: 1,136

Thanks for the idea Tommy. I plan on using your strategy and will buy my wife a new bass boat for her birthday.

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Old 10-31-2013, 08:48 AM
DaAV8R DaAV8R is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
Posts: 749
Default The present

I hope your wife realizes how lucky she is. You are really spoiling her.
Robert Williams
Lee's Summit, MO
RV-8 - Empennage & Wings Done
Working on Fuse

1946 Cessna 120
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:10 AM
tweiss's Avatar
tweiss tweiss is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 89

Thanks guys, I've been looking over your shoulders here as you build. Izzy, you're a couple steps ahead of me and hopefully I'll close the gap this winter. My plan is to build one sub kit per winter. I did order my wing kit (sb) before the price increase last spring. It's been out at the airport in my hangar ever since June. I don't impress myself much (ever really) but I have got to say that I have really put on an awsome display of self restraint this summer by not opening those crates! The tail had to be complete first as well as all the honey do's, and family summer time. I did bring the wing spar box home last week and opened it. It appears the inventory list is in the other box, so all the spar box contents are being left together until I get the rest home and do the appropriate inventory.
I've found it fun here to recognize all the generations of builders. You know, the guy who's just opening his tail kit today, vs. the guy who's hanging his engine or installing his avionics, to the guy who's got 1,000 hrs. plus flight time on his RV. There seems to be quite a few people within just a few sub kits of each other right now, and that makes it fun/comforting to hit off each other as we all battle our way through this.
So.... back to my quest to update my build frequently, I tackled the spar and angle reinforcement bars (tapering and breaking) with a file. It took me a while to feel confindent that I guessed right on what the plan was saying when they wanted me to "break the edges" of the bars. I never heard that term before.


Having a project has been a great excuse to build up my tool collection. This smart tool was useful a few times on the tail kit.


Then came the point in the project that so many had suffered with (cutting and drilling the HS-404 nose ribs). This can be searched and read until your blind. I had no idea how to do it better, but I approached the task with caution. The problem is "edge distance" on the rib flange that rivets to the HS-spar. I read the plans, measured and lightly marked the call out specs. Then I just through the nose rib up against the spar and eye ball'd the distance between the HS-810 and HS-814 and marked it free hand.


I wish I would have marked the call out line better so it could be seen in the pic, but I gained a pretty good chunk of flange by eye balling it. I then cut above and below my eye ball'd lines so I could file back to them as needed and threw the nose rib back up to the spar to evaluate where I was.


With just a little bit of filing the rib flange eased into just the right size (top to bottom) to squeeze in between the HS-810/814 angles.


The next blood pressure raising event was to drill the 4 holes per side through the spar, 810/814 angles, front and main ribs.


Of the 4 holes, the inner 2 now gave me lots of rib flange meat to drill through without being too concerned with edge distance, but the outer holes (upper and lower) challanged me for edge distance between the main rib flange (drill going through it in the pic above) and the 810/814 angles.

When it was all said and done I felt it came out OK. All the edge distances were withing specs. All the reading and viewing of pictures prior to tackling this was very helpful, but in the end just having the parts in my hands and fiddling with them was the most comforting tool to believing I could successfully complete the task.


This may be the only pic I have of this section riveted together.
So.... update goal met for this day. More to follow.
Have a great day.
Qualified Exempt
But dues paid anyway 2014
SB wings in progress
Tail kit complete
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:38 AM
Chuck Hagerty Chuck Hagerty is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lynchburg, VA
Posts: 105

I used the same ploy on my wifes birthday ten years ago as pertaining to a certain semi-automatic weapon. I hope your surprise was better received than mine!! Good luck, stay close to this site and closer still to a nearby friend with an RV. Enjoy the process.
Chuck Hagerty
Lynchburg, VA
RV-7A N954CH

First flight 1-29-13
Phase I complete 5-25-13

INVERTED: Looking Back on Walking Away
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:37 AM
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riseric riseric is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Québec, CNV9
Posts: 492
Default Looking good

It all looks very good Tom.

I also try to look into other builders work to avoid mistakes (though I still do some at times ).

Keep pounding, you will get more confidence as time goes.

And feel free to ask questions when in doubt, even if they seem stupid to you, they are not!!!

2021 dues happily donated
RV-8 slow built #83274
Grove Airfoiled Gear, Wheels & Brakes
VPX-Pro, EFII System 32, EarthX batteries
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:00 PM
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Skykingbob Skykingbob is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Bealeton Virginia
Posts: 577
Default Congratulations

Hey Tom......hope u enjoy your picked a great model by getting the -8

Bob "Skyking" Corriveau
Yes I paid my =VAF= membership dues!
RV-8 QB Reserved N212KB

Build Site:

"Nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished without inspiration, determination, and perspiration!"
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