I returned home today to find my Brown Aviation Tool Supply order waiting at my door. Christmas has come early – woohoo! I could barely wait to rip the box open and start playing with my new
toys -ahem- tools.
Late last week, while stranded in the maintenance hangar at work, I was talking shop with the mechanics about my upcoming RV project, and several of them recommended Brown Tool as an excellent supplier with good prices on quality tools. They even gave me an old coffee-stained catalog to take home. I perused the VAF forums for the builder community’s take on Brown, and as luck would have it, they were offering a half-off sale on refurbished Sioux Mini Palm Drills and Rivet Guns.
Since I was already considering starting with used tools anyway, I jumped on the opportunity, figuring that these suckers would go fast, and ordered a refurbished Sioux 1412 drill and a Sioux 3X 270A rivet gun. They arrived via FedEx in five days (including a weekend), and were protected nicely, as you can see from the photos.
Other than a few nicks and scratches, the tools look great, and they are SOLID. If the red material in the photos looks like a plastic housing, let me assure you that it isn’t. The rivet gun weighs a ton, and is obviously ready to take some abuse. Overall, I’d say Sioux builds a quality product.
So here’s the problem: As you might have noticed, I mentioned that I ordered a 3X Rivet Gun (Model 270A), but as you can see from the photos, I actually received a 2X Rivet Gun (Model 270A-2). The enclosed invoice even lists the 3X gun, so it was clearly just a simple packing error on Brown’s part. I can, of course, send the 2X gun back, but the refurbished 3X guns are now sold out.
Can I build this thing with a 2X gun alone, or do I need a 3X as well? Van’s recommends getting both a 2X and a 3X gun, but says a 3X gun alone will suffice. I was only planning on getting the 3X gun, but now I’m waffling. Should I keep the Sioux 2X and pick up a cheap 3X for the big rivets later on down the road? Hmmm… I’ll ask the VAF guys and see what they think.