Building, testing and operating an experimental aircraft

Operation: Airplane Factory

27 Aug 2009

Yesterday marked another step closer to full “Go” hour, with an assortment of goodies from Cleaveland and Brown Tool arriving via UPS.

Sioux 3X Rivet Gun Sioux 3X Rivet Gun

I’d first like to mention the outstanding customer service I received from Michael Brown at Brown Tool, following the shipping mix-up with my Sioux rivet gun. Michael happened to see my thread on the VAF forums, and without any action from me, he had rectified the situation by sending me the correct 3X gun and a paid UPS shipping label to return the 2X gun. I got a great deal on these Sioux tools, and great service on top of it all. Thanks, Michael; you’ll be hearing from me again soon.

Cleaveland C-Frame Cleaveland C-Frame

The Cleaveland order was another great surprise. Many of you have heard that Cleaveland Aircraft Tool in Boone, Iowa, manufactures and distributes high-quality tools for the RV-builder community. This is not strictly true. Cleaveland makes ART. The attention to detail on their Main Squeeze hand rivet squeezer and C-Frame dimpler make these tools just as nice to admire as they are to use. I’m definitely pleased with my purchase.

Cleaveland Main Squeeze #22 Cleaveland Main Squeeze #22

Odds and Ends Odds and Ends

Finally, I’d just like to highlight a couple of cool features from the recent airplane factory acquisition:

The Cleavland C-Frame has a unique collar that will accept any .401 diameter rivet set, as opposed to the smaller 3/16” hole and dimple die that you’d find on a standard C-Frame. This allows more flexibility in how you can use the C-Frame, including the use of the backriveting technique demonstrated by EAA Tech Counselor Wally Anderson.

Backriveting Attachment Backriveting Attachment

The Cleaveland Lightweight Air Hose Kit comes with three miniature connector fittings, which are much lighter and quicker to use than the standard 1/4” fittings. Unfortunately they’re not interchangeable, but the action is so smooth, I think it’s worth it.

Cleaveland Lightweight Air Hose Fitting Cleaveland Lightweight Air Hose Fitting

Overall, I’m happy about the new gear and excited to get going. Most of the high-dollar tool purchases are out of the way now (…yeah, riiiight…), so it’s just drill bits and clecos to go. It won’t be long now!

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