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IBob

Savannah S Build Notes - Some Tools

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Pre-amble (Walk Slowly First?):

 

I am early in my Savannah build. Like many of us, I have done my share of DIY, but have no formal workshop training.

 

This site is a goldmine to me, both in my build and in it's discussion of aviation topics. I am a novice in both those things: so this is for others, like me, who are right at the start of this thing.

 

My kit was manufactured December 2014. Tools seems like a good place to start. These are the ones I find myself using. I'm very sure the list is going to grow.

 

Comments and suggestions welcomed. Always.

 

Bob

 

 

 

The air rivet gun. You get this with the kit. It comes with a whole set of spare parts, but all you need to do is put the right tip in it and get started.

 

Or, at least, so you'd think: initially I had a lot of trouble with marked rivet heads, little raised sharp edges at the centre, regardless of how careful I was. The problem was wrong tip size, correct according to the riveter instructions, but actually too loose around the rivet mandrel. I went down a size (to D for the A4 3.2mm rivets) and it works fine.

 

 

 

I run the air at approx 3bar (45psi) for A4 rivets, 4bar for A3. Initially I had the pressure too high, you get more recoil and bounce that way. I find I prefer the lazy kerchunk of the lower pressures.

 

 

 

That plastic thing on the back of the head is supposed to catch the spent mandrels, but doesn't work for me, so I took it off.

 

I also took off the hanging lug: that's the silver ring lying on the bench. It's there for users who want to hang the gun from a spring or lanyard. I found it got in the way when getting into tight places.

 

 

 

And there are tight places you can't get the gun to. The first time I struck this, I dug out my old hand riveter there, and filed the head away. After that, one of the builders here told me I should do the same with the air riveter, so I ground that back as advised (until the innards were just exposed). I then took a couple of minutes to smooth the cut so as not to mark the aluminium when riveting. I'm wondering if I can take it down further.

 

 

 

And the third pic shows another option for tight spots: cut and drill a small spacer, so the riveter doesn't have to reach so far in. This was a quick and dirty one I did for the fin.

 

DSCF0504.JPG.0bce4f85bfb94e20e77c42fea48e8ed1.JPG

 

DSCF0507.JPG.e486f8f4c31a8dfcbcc689af82043ef9.JPG

 

DSCF0508.JPG.31f985225abef9d3beeec7d00a5ef6ea.JPG

 

 

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Clekos.

 

You get a very small number of each with the kit. And a set of cleko pliers. But we won't talk about those.

 

You need a lot more, the more the better. I asked a few questions on the site here, and averaged the answers.

 

I bought:

 

150 x 5/32" Black

 

400 x 1/8" Copper

 

25 x 3/32" Silver

 

and 2 pairs of cleko pliers that.....actually plier clekos.

 

They are available from various outlets, cheaper from the US. I bought mine from Cleaveland Aircraft.

 

DSCF0505.JPG.cb9f1a77e2aefb88844a25c1278d8db4.JPG

 

 

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Something to help line the holes up during assembly....what is the correct name for this? (In a previous life, we had big wrenches on the rigs, with a pointy handle to do the same thing for the 5/8" bolts.)

 

I think they need to be shiny steel so as to minimise marking of the rivet hole.

 

I started with the little guy on the left, but the diameter is too small.

 

I got the 2 on the right on TradeMe (NZ EBay). There are lots of them under "Awls" and I got the vendors to tell me what the max diameter was. Most of them are small, but those are 4mm. Cost about $3.25 each and work well.

 

The big guy was my father's: old style upholstery needle, I'm sure there will be holes somewhere needing this...

 

DSCF0509.JPG.72d070c0a8eb2e2789560fd66c4f001c.JPG

 

 

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Deburring Tools.

 

The drill things do a terrific job on the holes in a very controlled way. I prefer to run them in the battery drill, you can also put them in a drill press and take the job to the tool.

 

And the red cutter just gets better all the time as I learn to use it: straight lines and all the many lightening holes. I really like that it leaves a smooth edge.

 

DSCF0510.JPG.046e410f488747f1752881f9020fd75b.JPG

 

 

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Files.

 

I went to all our small town outlets, and they pretty much all had the same tiny selection. I guess folk don't file much nowadays...

 

Most of what you get now is too coarse for this work.

 

The (simple) grades are Fine, Second Cut, and Bastard (yes, really), though it's more complicated than that is a small Bastard less coarse than a big Bastard.

 

File, that is.

 

Anyway, moving right along Second Cut is about right for taking the bigger burrs off, though go easy on the corners.

 

And Needle Files, good for the curly bits and the ends. They come in sets, but I find I'm using just the round (or Rat-tail) and the flat. They're the first set I've had with handles, and much nicer to use that way.

 

Of the big files, the 2 on the left are my old Fine, unfortunately worn out. I find I'm doing all the initial cleaning up with the Second Cut half-rounds.

 

DSCF0515.JPG.b16ca832c5d75cb9bbf4d1e0fa883dc6.JPG

 

 

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I am not sure what kind of pneumatic rivet puller you have but I found that mine worked a lot better after I followed the instructions regarding adjustment. You remove the front silver cone and adjust the position of the grips to align with a mark on a spanner. It wasn't correctly aligned from new but worked ok. After adjustment a lot better.

 

 

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Rivnut tool.

 

I figure I need all the help I can get, and that includes the right tool for the job. So, cheap rivnut tool from TradeMe/Ebay, but does the job fine. Though next time I use them I shall put a couple of bits of pipe on the handles, not for more leverage, but to give better feel.

 

And they say it's a good idea to put some Loctite in with the Rivnut.

 

Loctite comes in a bewildering range, the 600 series seems to be about keeping things locked on shafts, so I got that.

 

I will be getting a couple of other Loctites once I get to the mechanics. It's great stuff, just be aware that some of it is intended to be removable, and some of it requires heat and serious force to undo.

 

DSCF0522.JPG.719a0f19ffeacce472dace764daa19df.JPG

 

 

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Clamps.

 

No direct call for these in the build (so far) but I've used them a couple of times: for forming the rudder bottom skin, and for getting the gnurled nut (with the big spring behind it) back into the riveter after I took it off...

 

The great thing about this type is that you work them one-handed.

 

Also they are well padded allowing a soft grip that doesn't mark the metal.

 

DSCF0512.JPG.3bf3dd135b50482a4a386559d4470da2.JPG

 

 

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Rivet shortening.

 

Some places (towards trailing edges) you get 2 rivets back to back and the rivets supplied are all double pull (long).

 

After some talk on here, I shortened some rivets, first hammering the mandrel out. I do this in a small block of (Australian!) hardwood: the underside of the rivet head is dished, and if you hammer then into metal, the risk is you flatten the underside. With the wood block the first few rivets (discarded) shape the wood so this doesn't happen.

 

The slot and hole on the end is to hold the empty rivet while I put it across the bench saw. This gives me rivets all the same length. I took about 3mm off.

 

DSCF0513.JPG.0c096a54638bd95dcb3b8570e01c4696.JPG

 

 

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Bits & pieces:

 

Vernier calipers without the Vernier: helps make you look like you know what you're doing.

 

On the right, taper reamer: almost never use it, but does a great job of opening a small hole out to exactly the size you want, and round too!

 

Steel rule with very clear mm markings. Much easier reading and less mistakes.

 

Bit the real star here is the little fella: a panel drill.

 

These things are sharp, and being short they are easy to control and very difficult to snap. Not cheap, but you get 2 ends for the price of one.

 

I've had these for years, and they're great for drilling out rivets (yep, already).

 

DSCF0520.JPG.190f48a5dd92a5d8adbd9aa38465ef45.JPG

 

 

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And the red cutter just gets better all the time as I learn to use it: straight lines and all the many lightening holes.

You and I must be the only two silly enough to debur all the lightening holes. For myself it was a therapeutic procrastination to extend the preparation before I had to get organised enough to actually build something.

 

 

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You and I must be the only two silly enough to debur all the lightening holes. For myself it was a therapeutic procrastination to extend the preparation before I had to get organised enough to actually build something.

Hi Steve. I'm prepping each bit before I build it, still in the tail, so I didn't strike too many lightening holes just yet. I may change my tune, although, the little gizmo does a real easy job of it.

 

 

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You will find that a 6" half round file is a much more convenient size to handle around your parts if you can find one.

 

 

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You will find that a 6" half round file is a much more convenient size to handle around your parts if you can find one.

Thanks for that: I'll look when I get to a bigger centre, the range is very limited here.

 

 

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Hi Steve. I'm prepping each bit before I build it, still in the tail, so I didn't strike too many lightening holes just yet. I may change my tune, although, the little gizmo does a real easy job of it.

I was particularly fussy with the holes in the door frames, but treated all the lightening holes in the whole kit. Half the parts have the holes cut in but the other side is bent with the same punched holes pressed out, you will get a better finish if you take the time. If you don't there will be little shards poking out through the paint that will help corrosion to get going under your paint.

 

 

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I was particularly fussy with the holes in the door frames, but treated all the lightening holes in the whole kit. Half the parts have the holes cut in but the other side is bent with the same punched holes pressed out, you will get a better finish if you take the time. If you don't there will be little shards poking out through the paint that will help corrosion to get going under your paint.

It's early days yet, but the single biggest benefit of spending time with another builder for me right now would be seeing how they do this prep, and how much is enough. Clearly, between that and the painting, one could spend anything from weeks to years at it...

 

 

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Ibob,

 

If the savannah kit is similar to the RV series i suggest that you get a deburring wheel in a bench grinder. They come in different densities and you want the soft one. The smaller wheels in a die grinder or drill press are also useful in getting into the lightening holes. A light go with a file, a quick sand then then a once over with the deburing wheel and all the punch marks are gone and the surface is smooth ready to rivet.

 

 

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Something to help line the holes up during assembly....what is the correct name for this? (In a previous life, we had big wrenches on the rigs, with a pointy handle to do the same thing for the 5/8" bolts.)

I think they need to be shiny steel so as to minimise marking of the rivet hole.

 

I started with the little guy on the left, but the diameter is too small.

 

I got the 2 on the right on TradeMe (NZ EBay). There are lots of them under "Awls" and I got the vendors to tell me what the max diameter was. Most of them are small, but those are 4mm. Cost about $3.25 each and work well.

 

The big guy was my father's: old style upholstery needle, I'm sure there will be holes somewhere needing this...

Often called a "podger"

 

I used a scriber and also got pin punches for 1/8 and 5/32 and ground the flat tips into points. These were really good podgers

 

 

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Ibob,

If the savannah kit is similar to the RV series i suggest that you get a deburring wheel in a bench grinder. They come in different densities and you want the soft one. The smaller wheels in a die grinder or drill press are also useful in getting into the lightening holes. A light go with a file, a quick sand then then a once over with the deburing wheel and all the punch marks are gone and the surface is smooth ready to rivet.

Okay, Nobody, that's useful to know about. Thank you!

 

And to clarify (nobody said I was quick!) your last sentence: so, you are removing the bulk of the burrs with a file. Then you are sanding where you have filed? Presumably with some sort of coarse emery paper? The then a final polish with the wheel?

 

 

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Often called a "podger"

I used a scriber and also got pin punches for 1/8 and 5/32 and ground the flat tips into points. These were really good podgers

Arrrr...podger. Yep, that sounds like a good old imperial measure word!

 

Thank you for that...and also for the podger suggestions. My awls are good, but I can also see where a uniform pin of the right diameter would help.

 

 

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Okay, Nobody, that's useful to know about. Thank you!

And to clarify (nobody said I was quick!) your last sentence: so, you are removing the bulk of the burrs with a file. Then you are sanding where you have filed? Presumably with some sort of coarse emery paper? The then a final polish with the wheel?

Yes, a light file say about 5-10 strokes with medium pressure, then about the same number of strokes with a coarse emery paper, then run the part over the wheel in the bench grinder or for small areas the die grinder with the 1 inch wheel. After a while it actually doesn't take very long at all. Here are the links to the wheels on the cleveland tools website but I got a box of the little ones locally for a lot better price. You will go through quite a few of them

 

3M EXL Unitized Wheel - 1" 3MW2S1 - Cleaveland Aircraft Tool

 

3M Light Deburring Wheel - 6" 3MW77S6 - Cleaveland Aircraft Tool

 

 

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Yes, a light file say about 5-10 strokes with medium pressure, then about the same number of strokes with a coarse emery paper, then run the part over the wheel in the bench grinder or for small areas the die grinder with the 1 inch wheel. After a while it actually doesn't take very long at all. Here are the links to the wheels on the cleveland tools website but I got a box of the little ones locally for a lot better price. You will go through quite a few of them

3M EXL Unitized Wheel - 1" 3MW2S1 - Cleaveland Aircraft Tool

 

3M Light Deburring Wheel - 6" 3MW77S6 - Cleaveland Aircraft Tool

Thanks again. I didn't see the little wheels in the original link. It surely looks like a good system

 

I have a sneaking suspicion there are all sorts of people using all sorts of different systems to 'do it right', as they see it.

 

I sure don't want to start any arguments, but I am very interested to know the available options, and what works well.

 

 

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Fallowdeer dropped by and showed me these, and some work he'd done with them: stepped drills. They drill (and debur) a perfect round hole in sheet metal, to a set size depending on how many steps you go. Something else for my must have list.

 

DSCF0538.JPG.74e8d45a0b6d2df55d4af91ba2325c38.JPG

 

 

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Fallowdeer dropped by and showed me these, and some work he'd done with them: stepped drills. They drill (and debur) a perfect round hole in sheet metal, to a set size depending on how many steps you go. Something else for my must have list.

I use the ones with the hex drive and quick change chuck. If you are doing grommets put a black permanent pen line around the step above the one you want to drill to so you don't get carried away.

 

 

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I use the ones with the hex drive and quick change chuck. If you are doing grommets put a black permanent pen line around the step above the one you want to drill to so you don't get carried away.

I am preferring not to speak of grommets right now: I bought, online, a box labelled 'Wildcat Rubber Grommet Assortment'.

 

It appears to contain a rubber grommet assortment.

 

What it actually contains is an assortment of black plastic objects shaped just like grommets.......

 

 

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