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Old 01-31-2012, 03:30 PM's Avatar is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: WA
Posts: 993
Default a great way to spend 45 dollars... put together a wing jack stand

I have been looking for a better solution to jacking up the wing for some time... I have been using a jack arm arrangement that slips into the axle but it is really a marginal solution; it is a bit pricey, takes way too much effort just to lift a wheel, and is in the way during maintenance. So, for a while I contemplated ordering a commercial wing stand... while they are pretty nice, they run around well north of 200 dollars plus shipping. Doing a bit searching on VAF there are several scattered examples of an inexpensive solution that I mined for ideas.

Parts that I used:
From Harbor Freight, a 3 ton super heavy duty long ram hydraulic flat bottom jack for a whopping 40 dollars (I even had a coupon for 10% to level off the tax).
From Lowe's, a 3/8-16 x 3" carriage bolt, lock nut, a 3-1/2" hose clamp, 1" steel pipe cap, and a single 10' stick of 1/2" emc for about 5 bucks.

I had a good piece of plywood in the hangar to make a 18"x18" base, and I just used some #10 cs screws that were left over from the build.

Set the jack in the center of the board oriented so that the pump arm is easy to access. Measure the desired length for the conduit support legs. Cut them and squeeze the ends in a vice, bend the ends to sit flat. Drill the base and supports, attach hardware... I used some gorilla tape at the top to cover any rough edges.

I drilled a slightly oversized hole in the pipe cap for the carriage bolt to nestle down into and tightened down a nyloc nut so the cap will just jiggle.

Thread the cap assembly into the tie-down.

Jack away

This works so well I really wish that I did it long ago...

RV7 powered by a lycoming thunderbolt IO-390
turning a whirlwind HRT prop

with more hours flying than building... 2,450 on the hobbs!
ORCA Flight
Race 771
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:34 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 15,956
Default Good idea, but....

Just a thought here, but I would cut off the excess bolt length, as it will make it stronger.

There maybe little to no chance of this bending, but why give it any extra help??

With the angle shown, the longer the bolt unsupported, the weaker it is.

Imagine what would happen if the bolt were a foot long
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."

Last edited by Mike S : 01-31-2012 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:22 PM
humptybump humptybump is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,180

Other than Mikes suggestion, I like this setup ! ... probably enough to make one of my own
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:55 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,858
Default a lttle bit worried....

about just having that hose clamp around the top of the braces. Would not take much side load to make that slip, or make one of the diagonals slip out from under it.

Maybe pin the diagonals to the clamp somehow? rivet them? just thinking out loud here....

Is there anything fixing the base of the jack to the plywood?
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet" Flying since Sept. 2009
Hobbs 670
1/4 share in 1959 C-182B (tow plane)
LS6-15/18W sailplane SOLD
bought my old LS6-A back!!
VAF donation Dec 2020
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:19 PM
Geico266's Avatar
Geico266 Geico266 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Huskerland, USA
Posts: 5,861

If you look carefully at the top of my jack I drilled a 1/2" hole about 1/4" deep. Then took a 3/8-16 socket head cap screw and rounded the head on a grinder to fit the hole in the top of the jack.

I stole the idea from a guy in KC about 6 years ago. I welded my braces to the ring at the top.
RV-7 : In the hangar
RV-10 : In the hangar
RV-12 : Built and sold
RV-44 : 4 place helicopter on order.

Last edited by Geico266 : 01-31-2012 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:37 PM
frazitl's Avatar
frazitl frazitl is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 488
Default I have three

made almost exactly the same as Stephens about 6 years ago for our Mooney.
To solve the problem of attaching the support struts at the top, I found a
ring in the electrical isle at Home Depot with an ID big enough to just
swallow the jack body. I think it even had four flats around the
circumference to attach the strut tops with screws. Anyway, they work
great. I countersunk the top of the jack ram to deepen the hole, and just
use two cut off bolts in the tie down holes to provide secure jack points.

Only improvement I might make is to buy some lock rings available from industrial supply houses like McFaddin-Dale. Probably safer if you ever have to leave the plane on the jacks overnight...

Terry F.
RV 7A N457RV
250 hours and lovin it!
Southern Nevada EAA Chapter 1300 -

Paid VAF 03/17
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:46 PM
panhandler1956's Avatar
panhandler1956 panhandler1956 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,686

Very cool tip! Thanks for sharing!

I love the innovation in our group.
Brent Owens
EAA Chapter 9 Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Columbus, OH
RV-8 'Contrary Mary' flying
N784DE S/N #82614
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:57 AM
NickAir's Avatar
NickAir NickAir is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: McMinnville, Oregon: HOME of the SPRUCE GOOSE
Posts: 540

I made similar jacks. Work great. Lock rings are a good safety idea.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo Da Vinci

Working on a RV-4
Citabria 7GCBC
Cessna 180, sold
RV7 I0-360 C/S, Slider, AP, Glass, etc. sold.
RV6 O-320 F/P, Slider, AP, Steam, etc., sold
Citabria 7KCAB rental
Piper Cherokee, sold
Sparrowhawk, sold

Proud -VAF- Supporter - Exempt, Dues Paid Anyway.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:44 AM
N8RV's Avatar
N8RV N8RV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 1,186

Originally Posted by NickAir View Post
I made similar jacks. Work great. Lock rings are a good safety idea.
OK, I'll bite. What are lock rings?
Don McNamara
Peoria, AZ

Builder: RV-8 "Smokey"
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:31 AM
fl-mike's Avatar
fl-mike fl-mike is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,553

I'm still an advocate for reversing the design approach of the jack ram to wing tie down point.

I use a 1.25-1.5" twelve point socket and bolt that to the tie-down hole with a standard hex head bolt. Put the ram of the jack into the open socket and there is no way that is slipping off.
Mike W
Venice, FL
RV-6A. Mattituck TMX O-360, FP, GRT Sport EFIS, L3 Lynx NGT-9000
N184WM reserved (RV-8)....finishing kit in progress. Titan IOX-370
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