The Good, Bad and the Ugly

The following images have been downloaded from the Hummel Yahoo! group.  Images which I posted about two years ago.

Most images cannot be enlarged.  Those with a thin blue border link to a larger image.

Note:  Dennis Brooks #585  was a frequent commenter on the Yahoo! forum ... I've included his comments.

Tools I don't have ... but I have a friends
4-foot and 8-foot bending brake ... access through airport and friends
4-foot shear ... sure would be nice ... did have access at an aviation magnet school

Expensive! A must! Enlarge and inspect the stubby drills ... also a must. Also note the two small 3M polisher/grinder wheels for use with your drill.

Comments taken from Yahoo! Hummel Group

samuelstephenadkins 23 Dec, 2012
Source: Aircraft Tool Supply Company Sale Price: $229.95 (I paid $199.95 aaagh) My airport manager and mechanic bought a used one from NWA when Delta took over.

brooks.dennis24 24 Dec, 2012
I have a gun like that one that I modified and put a Dremel chuck on it so I could use cut down bits......worked great for the tight spots on a UC.............Dennis #585

Other versions are too stiff ... this is the one to buy. Available from: 

Gaffers Tape:
Duck or duct tape available on the market stinks.  I now use three tapes.  The most important is gaffers tape.  Watch the movie credits for the word "Gaffer".  A gaffer is the chief electrician who sets up the lighting.  They use the best tape ... gaffers tape.

  1. High strength
  2. hand tearable
  3. highly conformable
  4. thin
  5. and most important ... no residue left on surface
  6. Available in many colors
Available at ProGaffers Tape

NOT weatherproof ... but who builds aircraft outdoors.  For that, use Gorilla tape:

Bowus gap seal tape.  The 200 mph tape used by champion glider pilots.  Usefull in the shop too.

Uae this tape to seal the gap on your wing instead of sheet metal (to help you reach the 254 pound weight liimit :-)

  1. Highly conformable
  2. Stretchable
  3. Weatherproof
  4. Stays on at high speeds
  5. Roll wont telescope while sitting on your shelf
  6. Avaiable in many colors amd widths

Source ... Paul Remde: 

Paul is a contest and record holding sailplane pilot.  I crewed for him when he flew from the Twin Cities to Chicago non-stop in a gldier.  He beat me there by two hours!
When working with tight tolerances, you need good light.

These three are perfect additions ... two are corded one is battery powered (LEDs Batteries last a long time)
samuelstephenadkins 23 Apr, 2012
Safety: eye protection, ear protectors and clip-on magnifiers for critical work.

brooks.dennis24 24 Dec, 2012
NOW there is something that I ended up using a lot when laying on the ground...........Dennis #585
An electric drill is better than an air drill in my book.

No weighted hose to pull your drill off perpendicular or to snag on a Cleco and bend metal.

Best drill but expensive. Watch for sales. A 12v that acts like 18v. No battery in handle, so handle is slim and fits your hand.

Lithium battery below the handle lasts and quickly recharges. Light weight.

1500 rpm vs 1700 for air drill ... chuck-less drill.

Sufficient for .016 aluminum

Bought an air drill on sale ... need one to look professional.

Almost never use.

This unit is very heavy and the chuck is hard to use.

Extremely satisfied with DeWalt electric drill.
Stiff and tangled hoses can tug on the air drill causing a variety of problems or mistakes that may result in replacing the part.

The new Flexzilla hose is the solution.

Battery powered drills are an even better solution.

OLFA is the best way to cut aluminum skins.  Almost other tools cause some distortion in the aluminum adjacent to the cut.

Tungsten blades last for ever. Cheap to buy. Score the metal once for each .001 of thickness. No distortion caused by tin snips. No heat caused by Dremel tool; thus, loss of temper. Curves can be cut.
Easy way to renew blade. Grind off a small amount and you are moved to a portion of the blade that has been unused. Or toss the blade and use a new one. Cheap.

This NOT obvious way to sharpen but seemed to be a way to extend the life.

Doesn't work for some strange reason ... buy a bunch, cheap, two ends on each blade and long lasting ... made from tungsten.

3M polisher/grinder wheel. Specified for use on RV homebuilt aircraft. Softer wheel available. Shot bag smooths out vibrations.

Modified mounting ... removed shot bag.

Since taking this photo, I have purchased a second #M wheel strictly for polishing.
Longer shaft of a bench polisher allows better access than the standard bench grinder when smoothing edges on ribs and other aircraft parts. OK, safety shields are removed. Don't blame me if you poke your eye out.

This is my third grinder.

One grinder bought from Harbor Freight would slow down under any grinding pressure more than the absolute lightest touch.

Gave the grinder to a friend of mine who tore it down.  There was a small motor inside which he identified at a motor used for windshield wipers!

Polishing wheel has been added on the left side.

Totally useless and bulky. The chuck is way too large.

A friend was using one of these on his aircraft and called me to drive to his shop for extra hands to hold the drill in place. It wants to flop around.

There are better versions of this type.
This heavy duty vice swivels and rotates. Very handy. Bought from Northern Tool.

Note: the fixture in the vise is used with the rivet squeezer.  Slide the fixed handle into one of the tubes, place item in jaws and press the moveable handle with one-hand to squeeze the rivet.
Squeeze riveter. Enlarge to see how I ground down the dies to allow access in tight areas. Pipe for more leverage on larger rivets.
Two pipes were used when squeezing larger rivets in the spar. Brace longer pipe (heavy wall electrical conduit) on the floor ... slide on and tape shorter bar to the handle for good leverage.

I'm perfectly happy with this arrangement ... but you may prefer this cam action device:

Click on for larger image ...

Credits: EAA Sport Aviation, April 1994, page 84
... John Kerr, EAA 30227
Rivet gun ... not needed a lot ... but a must have.

Maybe borrow one from your friend?

Pull riveters.

Best is the air riveter ... a must. The Sears Craftsman hand unit is excellent (black handles).

The other hand unit (red handles) has a swivel nose ... a must. While this one looks great ... the Sear unit is much easier to use.

brooks.dennis24 24 Dec, 2012
You can also get the air rivet gun from Harbor Fright!! Mine worked the whole time and is STILL working!!!...........Dennis #585

By the way, I've read about builders building their entire aircraft with the hand-powered unit!  Usually, they report having to replace the rivet puller several times due to wear.

The crimping tool in the foreground is from Avery Tools. BEST! A lot of builders make their own.

One of my EAA tech advisors recommend the lower crimping tool.  He called it an "Ivory" crimper.  Eventually, I figured out that the Australian was saying, "Avery".

I've seen several articles or tips on how to build one of these using an old pliers along with a welder.  I'd recommend purchase.

Buy the lower crimper.
End view for comparison.

Buy the one to the right.
Reverse end view.
Duck bill pliers, parallel pliers and hand seamers.

Note: I have ground off some sharp corners and edges off the hand seamer..
My two faithful metal shaping hammers. Ball peen hammer and dead-blow hammer. These work.

Polish the face of the hammer; otherwise, it will leave small marks on your aluminum.

Dead blow hammer bought at Northern Tool #15289 1-1/2 LB Dead Blow Hammer for $8.89 ... beats all other hammers and mallets ... see image following.

With the exception of the woodcarvers mallet ... these hammers do not work.

Note: homemade wooden hammer using a croquet mallet handle. Leaves marks on metal ... ball peen hammer, above, does not.
Accurate measurement tools.

Double check your steel rules. I found one rule which was faulty!
Alway check your drill bit with a drill gauge before using.  Wrong size hole may result in a rejected part!  (Don't ask me why I know this.)

I have three gauges, two shown: numbered and fractional drills

Don't assume you correctly remember the size of the bit in your drill.
... It's like an unloaded gun.

 #30 and #40 are marked.

Alway check your drill bit with a drill gauge.

Alway check your drill bit with a drill gauge.

Alway check your drill bit with a drill gauge.

Alway check your drill bit with a drill gauge.

Alway check your drill bit with a drill gauge.

Alway check your drill bit with a drill gauge.
Tap guide on drill gauge.  Hard to see.  Click on image for closer view.
Everyone knows about the Sharpie. A friend had to saw and re-glue the foam for a wing on his 4-place composite. He didn't allow for the width of his pencil lines.

With the Sharpie, you make a fat line and use one edge of the line for your mark. That edge has zero width!

brooks.dennis24 29 Apr, 2012
WHERE IS THE RED ONE????? dennis b

brooks.dennis24 30 Apr, 2012
Red will show up better

Looking for a black line through a small hole, say you are attempting to align the rib to the hole in the wing skin, is difficult when the rib flanged is marked with a black pen. 

Dennis ... I think blue shows up better than red ... but i do have red Sharpie pens.  Steve

Drift pins, punches, dental tools, knitting needle
Debur all holes. I stopped using the swivel handle ... too easy to slip out of the hole and scratch the aluminum.

Long rod accessory is easily twirled between your fingers.These ancient clamps often do a job that can't be done any other way.

HELP ... if you know of any better deburring tool ... let me know.

These ancient clamps often do a job that can't be done any other way.

One can never have too many clamps.

Get these superior quick release locking pliers at Harbor Freight. Very easy to release after very tight locking.
Hole finders, edge finders and punch marker for hidden hole where aluminum sheets overlap.

Note: two lower tools made by me ... a hole finder and edge finder.

The purchased tools are large and clumsy.  Home made tools work better, but I sill find situations where the purchased tools work better.
Close view of hole and edge finders.
Side Grip Clamps which are set with Cleco pliers. A must.

brooks.dennis24 24 Dec, 2012
Harbor Fright has Cleco pliers BUT no Clecos..........Dennis #585

DANGER: great care must be used with this seemingly innocuous tool.
Different style Clecos
longer reach

Not shown are Clecos with larger diameters.
Case 720-8 scissors. Very old scissors which are excellent.  NOT aluminum snips.  Used to cut the parts out of the Mylars purchased from Hummel Aviation.

brooks.dennis24 24 Dec, 2012
Harbor Fright has some aluminum handled hand shears that worked great for me and are STILL working.............Dennis #585

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