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Joe Graham's Online RV-7 Builder's Log

Sheet Metal Class

February 5, 2006

Today, Lisa and I finished the Sheetmetal course we were taking at George Orndorf's place. When we walked in to his hangar I got a good look at a Quick-Build 7 Fuselage.

Hmmm, as I look at this photo, I see that it is serial number 1583, dated 6-28-05. I wonder if that's the order date or the factory completion date. In either case, My serial number is 2601 and It was ordered in late December. So that means over a thousand -7 kits have been ordered since this one.... I guess Vans is doing very well!

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Photo by Joe Graham

During class, George explained and demonstrated all the basic procedures necessary for fastening aluminum parts together. The kit from Vans provide the hands-on application of these new skills. Here's a picture of the kit surface after drilling and clecoing...

Photo by Joe Graham

George is explaining to me how the trailing edge will be assembled. There is a small aluminum wedge that gets riveted in between the trailing skins. This is the same method that is used on the RV-7 rudder, so it's important information for me.

Photo by Lisa Graham

Here I am, figuring out the next step...

Photo by Lisa Graham

Put it together, take it apart. Lisa is removing the clecos after the match drilling step. The clecos all come out and the parts get deburred, dimpled and/or countersunk, and then riveted back together again. You can't tell it here, but Lisa had a really good time at the class... really...

Photo by Joe Graham

And Finally, the finished kit. It demonstrated all the basic skills I'll need for the assembly of the empennage components. Now I just need to finish the shop, buy some more tools, and get under way!

Photo by Joe Graham

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