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Tip: 480 hrs into my RV-7A... what I've learned

Paul 5r4

Well Known Member
Greetings to all from South Alabama! I am into my RV7A 480 hours as of today. Still a long way to the finish line but I'm feeling like I've at least made a dent in the the project. :) I thought it might be helpful for newer builders if I posted what I've discovered so far. I was surprised but really it's going pretty much as planned. No big suprises or anything. Vans prints and call outs are so far right on the money. When vans people say all those prepunched holes will line up perfectly I admit I was skeptical especially with parts like the HS stab skin. I'm here to state for a fact... there is near perfect alignment in every hole!! Haven't found one yet I couldn't get a cleco in. Moving on. Shop set up. I now have two sets of shelves to spread parts out on. Makes it much much easier if everything is not laying on top of everything else. If all your parts are not organized you'll spend an extrodinary amout of time on a scavanger hunt. Also I was way WAY too many hours into my build before I broke down and bought a small bench top sander. A good investment from the beginning!!! Also this last Christmas Helen, my companion in this quest, bought me a table top band saw. Now I don't know how I got along without it. These two items together were less than $200. Go buy them from the start and you'll save tons of time!!! Now... one other thing and one of the most important. After you inventory your parts, take all the bolts, washers, nuts, cotter pins, fittings and all other parts out of all those bags from vans and put thim into some drawers organized by their proper engineering numbers. Why, because during the build you'll find all the prints call for all parts by the proper engineering type numbers. I spent the first couple hundred hours working "backward." I'd look at the print see I needed a so and so part, look at the inventory sheet for that part to see what bag it was in then have to find that bag THEN have to locate the part in that bag. What a pain. Guess I was a slow learner. It'll take a full day getting everything organized correctly but this was the biggest timesaver of all. Of course, do the same thing with the bazillion rivets you'll receive. An advantage to organizing all the parts is you'll become much more familure with everything. I'm going to try and post a couple of pictures of my project but as of yet haven't been too successful with that. BUILD ON!!!
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thanks for the tip. I have had my RV 8 emp kit for two years and only completed the inventory. Now a new swimming pool and other home projects later my lovely bride had finally gave in and gave me the go ahead for the tool kit.... come on sun-n-fun, only a few days away. AVERY TOOLS here I come. I have cleaned the garage and bought shelving, and built a nice work bench. I can't wait to get started.

Rich Denton
More convenient parts storage

Paul, I use storage bins such as this to store all of my parts/rivets/bolts/etc. The removable bins are great when you're working on a piece using a particular size of rivet (ie 426-3.5's). Just take the bin out of the cabinet and you've got clean storage near your workspace!

part organization

I'm jealous of you guys... I can not figure out how to post a picture but thanks to you guys it didn't matter. Both of the post with the pics are exactly what I did. Can't encourage new builders enough to spend the time to organize like this because it will hands down eliminate a world of "frustration factors" during the build.