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Old 04-20-2010, 08:51 AM
RudiGreyling's Avatar
RudiGreyling RudiGreyling is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: South Africa, Johannesburg
Posts: 1,324
Default Section 43: Cabin Top - Tips?


I am getting ready to start Section 43: Cabin Top. I've pre-read the plans a couple of times but I am apprehensive to start with it, maybe because it is such a big structure. Any tips before I delve into it?

Rudi Greyling, South Africa, RV 'ZULU 7' Flying & RV 'ZULU 10' Flying
"Science, freedom, beauty, adventure...what more could you ask of life? Aviation offers it all" - Charles A. Lindbergh

Last edited by RudiGreyling : 04-21-2010 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:21 AM
bcondrey bcondrey is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bellevue, NE
Posts: 556

Most is very straight forward but here are my thoughts:
- Recommend not trimming the interior door flanges very much until later when you're actually working on the doors. The scribe marks aren't very good and there's nothing gained from doing it early.
- Do as much of the interior finish as you can BEFORE final attach. This includes sanding, filling, paint, headliner, etc.
- If you're putting in an OH console it's much easier to install with the cabin top off.

RV-10 N442PM
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:28 AM
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johngoodman johngoodman is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Peachtree City, Georgia
Posts: 440

You could start by slitting your wrists... just kidding, sort of.

There is a lot of cutting and it's not fun. Arm yourself with some good tools, such as a die grinder with a new wheel. I'm also impressed with the vibrating saw that was invented to cut off casts for broken bones, although I don't think it's strong enough for the thicker parts. Look into those small handheld belt sanders that use 1/2" or 3/8" belts. A bigger handheld beltsander is also useful.
Do it outside and use a real respirator and goggles. Start with just getting it to fit on the fuselage. Once you get it to snug-in, you can move on to the rest of it. If you can find all of the scribe lines, it's pretty safe to cut to them, but be careful. Don't let a die grinder cut get too close to a corner - use sanding drums, etc.
The bottom that is attached to the door rails is surprisingly thin by the time you get it to fit. Same goes for the blend at the bottom corners of the windshield area. If you can possibly look at a finished RV-10 first, it would help a lot.

Good luck,
John Goodman - 40572
First flight was 25 June, 2011
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:17 AM
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douglassmt douglassmt is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 743
Default Cutting

I experimented with several tools for cutting and found the best results with a sabre/jig saw using a carbide tipped blade - cuts like butter with little dust, just chips - and lasts forever. For thinner material, I used a diamond wheel for a dremel and roto/zip tool. The dremel is underpowered but the roto zip is plenty powerful. The kerf is almost paper thin but it can bind up in thicker material. The jig is better for cutting curves, but you can do it with the diamond wheel if you're careful. The right tool depends on the thickness of the material being cut and the angle you need. I agree to leave the door flanges uncut for now. I may have taken too much off by cutting to the scribe line. Won't know for a bit yet. All in all, it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting.

Good luck and ask for help/suggestions if you need it. When in doubt, don't cut.
Bryan Douglass
=VAF= 2022 dues paid
RV-10 N242BD
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:38 AM
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PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Pisctaway, NJ - USA
Posts: 105
Default Oscillating saws?

I have a Fein Multimater oscillating saw/tool that comes with diamond disk blades, carbide disk blades, toothed saw disks, etc. It reminds me of the bone cast saw mentioned earlier. I'd be interested in seeing if anyone else has tried it for this task or the canopy cuts .

Dremel has come out with one along with Craftsman and a few others. I'm sure at least one of you has one of these things.

It looks like this:
Happy Landings!
Kevin "PropellerHead" Schlosser
Tooling Up for an RV-10 build.
Relocating to VA. Planning custom home build around RV workshop with wife's blessing!
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Last edited by PropellerHead : 04-20-2010 at 12:20 PM. Reason: My spelling could be better
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:40 AM
dsyvert2 dsyvert2 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: TX/FL/CO
Posts: 117
Default Additional Thoughts on Cabin

I agree with not cutting the flanges until you get the doors. I cut mine according to the plans and thought I cut too much. I then built them back up only to find out I did not cut them too much when I put the doors on.

In the US I bought a 2-3/4" x 17-1/2" inline sander from Harbor Freight that has 3,000' strokes per minute when I was doing the cowl. I wish I had it when I was doing the cabin and the doors. I put emory cloth on it and it creates a very straight plane and cuts less fast than a belt sander.

Cut a little at a time and test fit. I hoisted mine off and on many times.

Last think through the door opening against the fuselage. When you attach the cabin to the fuselage there needs to be an allowance made for the doors to fit flat against the fuselage. The plans give you some dimensions but never really explain why.

Dave Syvertson
Finishing and FWF
Sugar Land, TX
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:56 PM
woxofswa woxofswa is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mesa Arizona
Posts: 699

I just mounted mine for the last time last week.

One of the handiest tools for me was a cheapo pneumatic disk cutter from Harbor freight. It's been on sale for $4.95 but even full retail is less than $10.00 I bought some of their Russian thin cutting disks and cranked that bad boy to about 140 psi and it was a trooper.

I also really used the heck out of my Craftsman cordless multitool sander. It's their version of the Fein multitool but a lot cheaper. You need an extra battery to always have one charged up. I went through a couple of the base pads and a couple of dozen sanding pads, but it really helped. I used a belt sander and a Black and Decker mouse for the big stuff. I used half a kit of Super-fil at least. I bondo'd and sanded for the last time at least a dozen times.

I echo what others said about doing as much off as possible. I installed the aerosport overhead console and full padded headliner before installation. If you do a console remember to put in the four rivits in the cargo upright before final install. The plans have you do that after install, but you can't with a console.
Myron Nelson
Mesa, AZ
RV-10 N24EV
KITPLANES Contributing Editor
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:34 PM
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douglassmt douglassmt is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 743
Default Fein

I used the Harbor Freight Fein knockoff on the wing tips and it worked pretty well, but I was not happy with it on the canopy and doors. The material is much thicker and there is lots more of it, so the blades get dull much more quickly. That's why I loved the jig saw with carbide tipped blade and the rotozip with the very thin Dremel diamond cutting disk. I also used my belt sander extensively for sanding door and window edges and openings as someone else mentioned.
Bryan Douglass
=VAF= 2022 dues paid
RV-10 N242BD
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:40 PM
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sportpilot sportpilot is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Waycross, Ga.
Posts: 243
Default tools

I used 2 tools for the cabin top and also the windows. A die grider with a 3 inch cutoff wheel, and a belt sander with 80 grit. You can do a little with a double cut file, but dont plan on doing much hand work.

The hardest part is getting it to fit around the door opening and the windshield posts. The scrib lines are not very good so be careful not to cut away to much, specially around the door frame. Cut and fit, Cut and fit, Cut and fit. Have some muscle handy to help lift it on and off. Awww, its really a lot of fun.
Claude Stokes (sportpilot)
Finished Building an RV-10 and a Titan Tornado 2
RV10 approaching 150 hours Vans kit 40418
See Pictures of the RV10 here.
Waycross, Ga. Airport KAYS
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:15 PM
Strasnuts Strasnuts is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 562

belt sander and a diamond saw blade on a die grinder.
A&P RV-10 Flying 1000+ hours
SuperSTOL Flying 170 hours
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