Firewall Work

Time: 5 Hours

Today started out with a few necessary errands that I had been putting off for a few days as I was too busy with the arrival of the fuselage. Once those were done I got right to work in the Hangar. I spent about an hour finishing up the edge deburring in the stainless steel firewall this stuff is pretty tough and requires more elbow grease to get the job done. After that I reassembled the firewall, stiffeners, spacers and engine mount brackets to match drill all the #30 holes as well as the 6 nutplate’s #40 holes that pass through the firewall.



IMG_3557.JPGI then disassembled all the parts and final drilled the nutplates in the stiffeners that don’t pass through the firewall. The plans then call for a 8° forward bend in the top of the firewall.

IMG_3565-0.JPGI took a measurement from the plans and marked a reference line on the flange side of the firewall. With a couple of 1×6″ boards cut to fit I clamped one to the lower side of the reference line and to the workbench. The other I just clamped to the firewall. This have me a leverage point to make a nice clean bend.



IMG_3560.JPGI then zeroed out my digital level to be able to tell when I hit 8°.


IMG_3562.JPGAfter a little pressure and tweaking I was able to get it spot on 8°.

IMG_3563.JPGNext up was to deburr all the holes in the firewall. Since the stainless steal is so hard you can wear out drill/deburr bits pretty fast. To help out you can use a lubricant like BoeLube, a Boeing made lubricant, to keep the bits cool and sharp.

IMG_3564.JPGI then marked off all holes in the firewall that I don’t want to dimple and dimpled the rest with the DRDT dimple machine.

IMG_3566.JPGThat’s where I called it a day, next up will be to countersink all edges of the angles, supports and spacers for the firewall to accept the dimples. Then my first test at priming/painting to the final interior color.

Fuselage Start

Time: 4 Hours

I spent the morning finishing up the inventory process. All I had left was the large bag of hardware with all it’s small bags inside. Everything made it! I ordered another 64 drawer cabinet like the other one I have for all the other hardware, unfortunately it didn’t show up today so I had leave some of the hardware in their bags. After I got the inventorying done and cleaned up the Hangar I started reading the manual and got to work. First task in the fuselage is to work on the firewall and it’s associated stiffeners, spacers and engine mount brackets. It took a while to find all the parts since I don’t have any organization of all the parts yet. I started by cleckoing all the stiffeners and spacers to the firewall to make sure I had everything laid out correctly.




IMG_3552.JPGI then removed everything and started the deburring process on all the stiffeners, spacers and brackets. After those were all done I moved on to the edge of the stainless steel firewall. This firewall is very sharp and very strong. I started at one end and made it about half way around the edge before calling it a night. I ended up using some 180 grit sandpaper and it worked pretty well but slow. I have to think ahead as I start this fuselage as some of these parts will be visible in the cockpit and I will need to prime and paint before riveting. Pretty excited to get this fuselage under way!

Fuselage Arrived!

Time: 4 Hours

Today I had an appointment with Old Dominion Freight Lines to deliver my fuselage crate between 8am and noon. The truck arrived right at 10am and had the friendliest driver. He told me that he would drop the crate right in my garage with no problems.





IMG_3529.JPGI had to take care of a couple tasks at the hangar until 3pm but made it back to the Hangar before 4pm and started to unload and inventory the contents of the crate. I’m always amazed at the skilled packing job that Van’s does as well as the huge amount of paper they use.







IMG_3539.JPGThe packing list is very detailed and makes this job fairly easy. I just located each part number and highlighted it on the sheet to keep track.

IMG_3540.JPGI left the firewall out as I know that is one if the first tasks of the fuselage build.

IMG_3541.JPGAll I have left to inventory is this huge bag of hardware and all the little bags inside it.

IMG_3542.JPGWell I now have all my shelves full of beautiful aluminum and parts! I moved the roll bar and gear legs indoors to get them out if the way since they are big and heavy.




IMG_3546.JPGI cut up the crate and loaded it up in the truck to take to the dumpster. So it took me 4 hours to get all this done and I was only missing 2 parts, one of which is back ordered and will ship when they get it. I would call that a good day! I am so excited to get started and do some building.

Fuselage Ship Date

I received the letter from Van’s Aircraft giving me the date the will ship my fuselage out, or the week of possible shipping! The week of July 28th 2014 is my week! That should put it here the week after OshKosh, where my motivation to build will be at an all time high! 🙂


Fuselage Ordered!

I ordered the the RV-8 fuselage yesterday morning. I kept the order completely stock except I added one item and deleted two others. The item I added was the rear passenger rudder pedals. The two items I deleted were the inflight adjustable forward rudder pedals and went for the ground only adjustable ones. I also deleted the fuel selector valve since I’m gonna go with the Andair brand. I was told to expect a 8 week build time for the kit and I’m guessing a week delivery time. That should put it for a delivery sometime right after I get back from OshKosh. That will be some serious motivation for building and I’m hoping my son Chandler will be here to help me get that kit started.