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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Howdy! I building an RV-9A! I'm an aviation nut and am excited about building my RV-9A from Van's Aircraft. Have a look around!
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RV Construction Log
- Horizontal Stabilizer (49:40)
- Vertical Stabilizer (21:15)
- Rudder (32:15)
- Right Elevator (35:45)
- Left Elevator (30:50)
- Inventory & Setup (9:30)
- Left Wing Prep (54:30)
- Left Fuel Tank (45:20)
- Left Wing Skins (46:10)
- Right Wing Prep (34:15)
- Right Fuel Tank (47:50)
- Right Wing Skins (40:15)
- Ailerons (54:30)
- Flaps (40:30)
- Rods and ends (18:45)
- Fuselage Parts List
- Inventory and Setup (7:15)
- FireWall (14:30)
- F-704 Bulkhead (13:25)
- F-705 Bulkhead (14:20)
- Other Bulkheads
   and Longerons

- Tailcone (29:30)
- Center Section (35:15)
- Forward Section (52:40)
- Forward Assembly (24:30)
- Skins/Baggage Area (46:30)
- Seats & Seat Floors (30:15)
- Flaps & Gear Mounts (18:15)
- Fuselage Plumbing (14:0)
- Tail Feathers (16:35)
- Front Deck/Firewall (58:50)
Finish Kit
- Electrical (57:30)
- Electrical Part 2 (24:0)
- Canopy (22:30)
- Landing Gear (18:35)
How I Did Stuff
Pop-Rivet Dimpler 101
My Wing Jig
My Wing Cradle
Wing Cradle Mod
Tilting Tank Jig
Delrin Aileron Stops
Nutplate Preparation
Fiberglass 101
Save Your Skin!
Events and News
Aviation Events
Aviation Events Around Texas
Fun Places To Fly in Texas
Aviation News
RV Groups & Support
Rivet Bangers
Van's Air Force
RV Information
How to Land an RV
Van's Aircraft
RV Resources
RV Photo Album
RV-7/9A Drawings
Nut & Bolt Torque Values
Misc Goodies
Fuselage Parts List
How to Land an RV
My Tools
Fix a Heavy Wing
Paint Possibilities
Pop-Rivet Dimpler 101
I jes' LUV these Pop Rivet Dimplers I got from Averys. Here's a little tutorial on how they work. No, I'm not saying that you should use these guys. That's your decision. For me, they work great on the thin sheet metal, but not on the thicker stuff. You'll need the traditional C-Frame whack-a-rama or the DRDT, sold by ExperimentalAero. If I had the money, I would buy the DRDT and would prefer to use it over any other dimpler. Maybe I will be able to, later on down the line. Some guys have been asking how the Pop Rivet Dimplers work, so here goes. All you need it is a standard Pop-Rivet gun from your friendly neighborhood hardware store. Some have swivel heads, some don't. It don't matter which one you get. Then you'll need some "6d" 1 7/8 inch coated sinker nails or you can use some "6d" finish nails (with the small head). Ether one is fine. Last, but certainly not least, the Avery Pop-Rivet Dimplers. Oh yeah, one more thing, a little hand strength helps as well. NOTE: Sometimes the point of the nails won't go through the holes in the pop-rivet dimplers. The trick with these nails is to scotchbrite the edges of the point of the nail off by rotating the nail with your fingers over the wheel. It's a pain but it works. Once the edges of the point of the nail are rounded off, the nail goes into the pop-rivet dimples easily.
Every Pop-Rivet Gun comes with several heads on them. Just pick out the one that has a hole that best fits your nail and screw it into the hole.
Put the nail through the hole of the female dimple to where the female inset is facing the point of the nail.
Put the nail through the hole of your sheet with the female dimple, so that the female dimple is behind the sheet. Then put the male dimple onto the nail, with the male set facing down onto the sheet metal.
Put the Pop-Rivet fun down onto the nail with the handle of the Gun wide open. Then start squeezing the handles together until the top dimple lays flat against the sheet metal. This will pull the nail up forcing the female dimple up onto the male dimple. If you don't squeeze hard enough, the sheet metal will have dip in it around the hole. If you squeeze too hard, the nail will break. It's easy to get a "handle" on the right amount of pressure by playing with a scrap piece until you get the hang of it.
Here's the final product, A nicely dimpled rivet hole. The best test to see if you've done it correctly is to hold it up to the light. You'll know real quick as whether you did it right or not.
The proof is in the pudding, or the rivet. Have a goodun!

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This website was built to document the construction of an RV-9A in compliance with the FAA requirements needed to certify the aircraft. Any experiences and/or comments are by no means to be considered as instructions on how to build an RV-9A or any other aircraft. Please read our Disclosure for details.
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