Sonex* 2nd Build 2

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A couple of larger items you can put off while in the "little" part of the project: the air compressor, air drill, and air riveter. I'm doing all of the drilling on the drill press, and have no rivets.

Air riveter, air drill.

Compressor. Try for more than 7cfm at 90psi.

Many hundreds of smaller items you can put off, having no rivets: hundreds of clecoes. (I have used the cleco-clamps and the cleco pliers needed to use the cleco-clamps.)

Cleco pliers and cleco clamps.

So buy your plans now, get the major power tools from your local tool store, a couple of shears, and a few files. About the only thing needed in your first order to Avery is the ScotchBrite wheel, some #40 drill bits, and the debur buddies. (also fine to use 3/32 split-points from the local hardware store - split points, not wood bits).

An aside on drill bits: You will become an expert in drill bits in the course of a metal airplane project. Split points, cobalt, piloted, and some really neat ones - the threaded-end ones for the right angle drill kit.

That old set of drill bits you have in the plastic box? If they're not split points, put them away. You'll burn through so many drill bits in this project that you may as well buy them specifically for the project - don't get a flat-point wood bit into the mix. And those "pilot tipped" "bullet" drill bits? Also useless.

Other drill-related tools: a right angle/extension kit for threaded bits, a fly cutter (for circular holes), and the right kind of spade (wood) bits for in-between size holes (3/4"-1 1/2").

A few more tools are added for the wing ribs - fluting pliers, a hard rubber hammer, and I use a hand seamer. Plus the form blocks and flange dies from Sonex. You can make your own form blocks, but eventually will need access to the flange dies from Sonex.

Hammer, fluting pliers, hand seamer. (Extra $$$ for the angled hand seamer, but the straight one is not as easy to use.)

Flange dies from Sonex.

General process for a plate/angle stock part: using a cardboard template of the part, layout part on metal. Use bandsaw to cut. Use belt/disk sander to remove saw marks. (If this doesn't do it, use a toothed grinder or sanding drum in an electric dremel-type tool.) Use bench grinder (ScotchBrite wheel) to smooth all edges. Layout holes as required. Use drill press for holes.

To lay out the wing ribs - if you are just starting a Sonex project, rather than carve up virgin sheets into little rectangular rib-blanks, cut out other parts first, and take what is left over for wing ribs. In particular, cut out ALL 6 wing skins and set them ASIDE. (I emphasize this as a note to self because I missed setting aside 2 of the 6 last time, and inevitably turned them into other things before they were needed...)

Other Sonex builders have related tales of generating sources for wing rib stock from other mis-cut, mis-drilled, or otherwise rather large scraps of sheet. So in the big picture, do wing ribs "just in time" for wing construction. 9/9/00

This large-size picture shows the finished edge of parts obtained with the ScotchBrite wheel.