Home > VansAirForceForums

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

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Go Back   VAF Forums > Main > RV Building Tips/Techniques
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-02-2009, 07:42 AM
RV9er's Avatar
RV9er RV9er is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cumberland Maine
Posts: 55
Thumbs up Tip: Rib Flange Straightener Tool

Here is my version of a tool made by Bill Gast of Boone Iowa (Gotta give credit to the man who invented it) This REALLY makes the tiresome task of streightining rib flanges go fast, accurate and easy. Mine is made of some old Oak I had on hand, some flat bar from the local ACE hdwar store, a few screws and 2 AN Bolts from the used box . The angle between the anvil and the sqeezer is 11 degrees on the face and 11 degrees on the bottom of the sqeezer.

Last edited by RV9er : 12-04-2009 at 08:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 09:02 AM
larrynew's Avatar
larrynew larrynew is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: In New Braunfels, ist das Leben schön!
Posts: 922

Good design. I'm using one very similiar and it works well. My first attempt used 14 degrees as recommended on another website. I found 11 degrees works best for me.

Larry New
RV-7A - Built, flew 950+ hrs, sold
RV-10 - Built, flying 300+ hrs
RV-12iS - All kits ordered!
VAF on Annual Autopay
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 09:06 AM
mototopo's Avatar
mototopo mototopo is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 203

Why do you come out with this !#@!! tool just after I completed my last rib?!??!?!?!?
Was Avellino - Italy...
Now Cypress, TX
RV-7 I-KLAU (Reserved)
Empennage Done!! (except fiberglass)
Wings done!!
Working on aft fuse.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 10:13 AM
rv8eh rv8eh is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Posts: 202
Default Electrical tape is your friend

I built one of these out of scraps, and here are my lessons learned:

It matters where you pull on the lever, and how hard.
I marked the sweet spot with a strip of electrical tape.

I was getting occasional scratching of the rib from the tip of the lever (the business end) so ran a strip of electrical tape across it, and replaced it when it fell off or wore - 2x I think.

I used an imperfect piece of plywood for the baseplate, surface wasn't perfectly flat, and ribs would stick slightly as corners caught on the plywood's rough surface.
Yup, a strip of electrical tape a few inches either side of the anvil on the base plate, and no longer a problem. Replaced it occasionally.

I used the angle from the 21 years of the rvator article - it was nice to see the legible picture in the 24 years of the rvator version.

This tool didn't take long to make, and really sped up straightening the ribs.
Howard McKay VAF 573
RV-8A, empennage/wings
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 10:51 AM
Jim P's Avatar
Jim P Jim P is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 945

Claudio, ummm, actually, the flange straightener has been around for years and is detailed in the 21 (or 2x) Years of the RVator book. However, the drawings aren't very clear. For folks just starting the rib straightening, it's well worth the time to build the tool!
Jim Piavis
RV-7 (Flying!)
Redmond, WA
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 12:32 PM
RV9er's Avatar
RV9er RV9er is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cumberland Maine
Posts: 55
Talking Next RV

Originally Posted by mototopo View Post
Why do you come out with this !#@!! tool just after I completed my last rib?!??!?!?!?
Just use it on the second RV that you build.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2011, 09:34 PM
mculver's Avatar
mculver mculver is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 269

Resurecting an old thread for others who may not have discovered it. This is excellent idea, so built my own variation of the tool -- see
-- Mike Culver;
RV-9 project sold but details of the build at
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2012, 05:49 PM
SilverEagle2's Avatar
SilverEagle2 SilverEagle2 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: West Jordan, Utah
Posts: 228

Like Mike, I think it is a good idea for us to occasionally resurrect valuable threads.

I just completed my version of this tool and tested it. Thanks to Bill and others, for the ideas and design pictures.

Now, I just need to get the Empennage out of the way and get started on using it.
Jason Hess
N777JH - Reserved
RV-7 - Builders Log Tail complete, wings nearly done, starting fuselage!
RV Factory - Complete sans floor coating, Slideshow Here

People are not excellent because they achieve great things; they achieve great things because they choose to be excellent.
Gerald G. Probst, Beloved Grandfather, WWII B-24 Pilot, Successful Businessman
Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2012, 06:01 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,923
Default HS ribs

This looks like a pretty good idea and way to straighten out the ribs if they are bent. Im just on the empannage kit, but I didn't have much of an issue with bent ribs. The one's that were slightly out, I just used the hand pliers with a 2" mini brake I got at HF. I thought it went pretty quick. I can see how this would do a more accurate job than a hand brake - much more important on the larger wing ribs. If I don't do the QB on the wings, Im going to build one of these.

Thanks for bringing it up again. These little tips really help.
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 07:45 PM
wjb's Avatar
wjb wjb is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 1,124

After reading this excellent thread, I built my own version (with happy rib inserted)

It works great, though I learned a few things...

For one, you gotta pull pretty hard to straighten the 0.032 ribs; no issue with the 0.025 ribs. Don't be shy building this rig to be strong. The handle should be made out of a dense hardwood; I used 1" square maple here (that's what the aviation department of my local ACE had in stock). The handle is 18" long ... probably about right; 24" would be good too. I got best results clamping the plywood base to the bench so the rig wouldn't move. A 2x4 scrap seems to work fine for the anvil base.

Thanks VAF for the good advice!
Bill Bencze
N430WB RV-7 @KHAF, Flying 100+ hrs
VAF 2022 donation happily made
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 10:53 AM.

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.