Finalized Shop Setup, Built a Toolbox

Finished shop setup... for now:

My hope was to have completed Van's toolbox project last week, but getting all the bench tools assembled, mounted, and tested took longer than expected.  Much like the week before, the only productive day this weekend was Sunday.  After picking up a bench grinder, and assorted mounting hardware, I made my way to the hangar.  I started by assembling and positioning the tools where I thought they would be best placed, and then traced out and drilled mounting holes for each.  I then tested each by powering them on and waiting for the explosion.

I must have spent an hour figuring out how to set up that band saw.


This time around, I thought I would experiment with a time-lapse setup with my old GoPro.  I was able to record the entire session with a new 128GB card, and I'll edit and upload it to YouTube when I get the chance.

Built the Van's Toolbox Kit:

Confident that I wasn't going to lose a finger to the band saw unless it was my fault, I started on the toolbox kit from Van's.  Van's produces the Toolbox Kit Practice Project to get builders ready to begin their airframe.  Theoretically, the toolbox kit requires the same operations as the real kit.  These include the tedious steps, such as drilling, deburring and dimpling, as well as the more cerebral, such as interpreting orientations and judging dimensions from textual descriptions.  Reading through other build logs, and referring to Jason Ellis' awesome YouTube channel, it becomes apparent that although the instructions are well written, sometimes engineers write in elvish just to keep people on their toes.  

Luckily, I made it through the build without having to call into Van's help line.  This was especially fortunate, as it turns out the Van's crew suspended the line for Sun 'n Fun this week.
It looks like all this organization is starting to pay off.
After gaining an appreciation for the pneumatic squeezer (or just looking for a reason to justify the buy) I tried my hand at bucking some AN470's.  This went mostly without a hitch, with the exception of a few smilies on the face of the box when the rivet gun bounced off.  Oops.  Good thing it's just a practice kit.  From a few threads I've seen on VAF about riveting, as well as an excellent primer on riveting practices, smilies are an unavoidable part of the process.  I plan on practicing on some of the trimmings provided with the kit, and I've picked up a bunch of rivets from aircraft spruce.

Ten hours later, and I've built a little toolbox!

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