Jaws!!! A bit of add-vice….

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A good vice has a clamping jaw that can hold ANYTHING while you wail away on it. The problem with that is the damage that can be done to the object clamped in the vice.

Here are my vice jaws:

Jaws of Death

Jaws of Death

To prevent damage to small items, I cut a couple of pieces of 3/4 x 3/4 aluminum angle (the square kind, not the structural kind ) to clamp without damage

Jaw protectors

Jaw protectors

The problem was that these babies were ALWAYS hitting the floor while I was trying to insert the work. So, a quick trip to the local stationary store got me a rubberized magnet (used to make business cards into refrigerator magnets) that I cut into a couple of strips and glued to the top of the jaw protectors. Voila!

Magnets glued to underside of jaw protectors

Magnets glued to underside of jaw protectors



She’s on the ramp! (sort of…)

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The new fuselage stand has wheels so we were able to roll it out and FINALLY sweep the floor. The plane has officially been on the taxi way, but it will still be a bit before first engine start. Engine mount is drilled, and the cowl mounting plates are installed. These will be Skybolts on the cowl to firewall, hinges for the cowl halves.

RV-9A fuselage

Fuselage of N18TD

The engine went to the shop for a review and some cleaning. The A&P want a new fuel pump (or a rebuild) and remove the accessory case.  OK, have a look.  I believe the mags will be overhauled, but I need to see what kit I need. The standard kit or the deluxe kit. The only difference is the deluxe kit includes new coils and gear.


Major Milestone!

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This has been a BIG week-end for us. We have finally built a stand to allow us to attach the motor mount, wings and landing gear. The fuselage stand was a re-purposed stand we had used before the rotisserie, and part of the wing stand. Here is a BIG hint: never throw out old lumber. You will be needing it again.  Here is what the new stand looks like:


Also, for the first time, we were able to sit in the fuse and make airplane noises! Wow. I still have chills!

sitting in RV9A fuselage

Have a seat.

For folks building an experimental, sitting in it for the first time is a big deal.  I finally know how I will fit while flying.  I fit pretty well.  I need to lease a few pounds tho. *sigh*

Where do we stand?  Wings and done, Tail is done, flight surfaces are done, Instrument panel frame is done. Radios are mounted but not wired. Ready for motor mount, tail and wing install.

We are staring to wind down on the riveting, and I think I’ll miss that. To see the process, check out:

Riveting Wings on You Tube

We have the motor to install, lots of wire, and now all we need is the time.

More Later.



Clamps, clamps, clamps! I feel like Jed Clampett!

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My shop has clamps everywhere, but I can never find them when I need them! So here is a tip:

Screw or nail a length of 1×2 to the wall, and Volia!  Clamp holder!


Oh ya, I guess you can use a shelf too.  BUT that would have been a lame tool tip!


Jaws of Life, Death and other things…

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Yikes! I have a butt-kicking vise in my shop that will grab a hunk of metal, and hold on like a Gila monster!

Jaws of vise

But sometimes, you want to hold something a bit easier, and not make marks in the item clamped in the vise.  A simple solution is to cut a 3/4 by 3/4 angle into a 4 to 6″ length. Place that in the vise, and voila!  An easy holder for small parts.

Aluminum insert for vise clamping.

Aluminum inserts

But wait. These baby’s are always falling out and on to the floor every time I try to put something into them.   So, HERE IS THE TRICK:

Buy some self-stick magnets from your local stationary store, and cut to size, and glue them on to the angle.  They stay in place, and make it easy to move the insert around.

Vise Inserts with magnets

Aluminum vise jaw inserts with magnets.

Remember to put the magnets on top of the vise so you do not try to squeeze them.


New pictures

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I’ve added pictures of stuff you build besides the plane.  Stands, work benches and even sanding booths out of PVC pipe.

See the Pictures button in the menu bar at the top.