Smitty's RV-9A - Experimental Aircraft from Van's Aircraft The RV-9A from Van's Aircraft Howdeeeeee! I'm building an RV-9A from Van's Aircraft. Take your shoes off and sit a spell.
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- Horizontal Stabilizer (49:40)
- Vertical Stabilizer (21:15)
- Rudder (32:15)
- Right Elevator (35:45)
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   and Longerons

- Tailcone (29:30)
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Vertical Stabilizer - 10/19/2005
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Started drilling the Lightning Holes in the VS-808PP spar doublerStarted drilling the Lightning Holes in the VS-808PP spar doubler
I have drilled large holes in metal before, out at my hangar, running conduit throughout the infrastructure. So my first inclination was to use the traditional metal hole saws that have always worked well on regular metal. Instead I bought the Craftsman Circle Cutter (fly cutter) as shown on the Orndorff RV Construction Videos. I started on the first hole and the fly cutter was so loud (and slow) that I had to close the garage door and put on my ear protection. There was something about one blade swirling around that was scaring the hell out of me. If it snagged, it would not be pretty. Well, the first hole turned out OK, but not great. When I started the second hole, the single twirling blade dulled and wouldn't cut anymore. That's when I went to Lowes and bought a Lenox Standard Wood/Metal Hole Saw and starting kicking some real drilling booty. UPDATE 10/28/2005: I got an email from another builder who had the same problem with his Sears Fly Cutter dulling out after one cut. He went to Lowes and bought another one and it lasted for the whole drilling session on the spar doubler. I will probably swing by there and get one. I can see the benefit of having a hole cutter that is adjustable in the width of the cut.
Now that's more like it!Now that's more like it!
This hole saw has a drill bit in the middle that lines up on the mark to be drilled. Then the outside edges come down and do their thing. This bit cut through the aluminum like butter and quickly. Then final product was a perfect sized hole with smooth edges.
Setting the Drill Press for slow drillingSetting the Drill Press for slow drilling
Before drilling, I popped the top on the Drill Press and moved the belt down to the slowest setting for this type of drilling.
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