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Bob Hassel & Jan Martinez


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Arrives - Feb 21, 2002
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Tools - Which ones did I buy?

Which tools should I buy?

And you thought the choice of which engine and what do you want on your instrument panel were going to be difficult? The news groups are full of questions like 'Which tools should I buy for my project?'. In George's class at GBI he said, 'You don't need a pneumatic squeezer.' Sorry George I used one (in your class) and loved it. We live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area so buying tools from Avery's seemed like a natural choice. But which tools do I really need to buy?

We have projected doing the construction in $5K chunks so even though the Empennage is only a little over $1,600 shipped with the electric trim we still planned on the $5,000 chunk. Of course much of the decision process on which tools I should buy, hinges on which tools do I own? In the old days, back in the dawn of time, there was the TV show (in black and white - I read about it in a book once) called 'The Andy Griffith Show'. Andy was the town policeman and his sidekick/slapstick of a deputy was Barney Fife. Barney carried a gun but was not allowed to keep the one bullet he carried in the gun. He had to carry it in his buttoned up shirt pocket. Well I had a circular saw but I didn't keep the blade in it...as a matter of fact I didn't really have a blade for it at all. Plus all I really had to start with was a beat up set of screwed drivers. It always seemed like I could never find a phillips when I needed one and then when I needed a straight screwed driver all I could find were the phillips! Besides the Avery Tools tools, I didn't have much else either.

The order from Avery's Tools topped out at over $3,000 (so much for the $5K chunk). However before you hyper-ventilate they do have a starter kit for closer to $1600. We added in the pneumatic squeezer which was on sale at $325 (body only), and obviously a bunch of other tools which were not included in the tool kit. Most of the tools we purchased were recommended by George at GBI. Due to his experience with building so many RV's I listened (well ok - except for the pneumatic squeezer). I'll provide a full list of the 'Avery' tools and then try and keep track of what I use where. Perhaps it'll help someone else out with the same questions I had. Just as a note I still have a few odds and ends tools to get a Avery's, like the Plexiglas tools and tubing bender.

Ok, I have gone from a circular saw with no blade to a 'shop' in one month. I have a table saw, bench grinder, bench belt/disc sander, drill press, band saw, two work benches, 2 compressors (one I'll take back to Sears), 2 8 ft long high output fluorescents for the ceiling, pegboard for the walls...am I leaving anything out? I hope not my Visa is starting to creak and groan! I left the $5k barrier behind last week...

As I promised the Avery Tool list is below. [NOTE: The 'Used' column will indicate which of the major assemblies the tool was used on - ie empennage, wings, etc.] When things get slower I'll put this into a database which will allow for ASP/ADO-'ing live queries, live sorting, etc. for now this will have to do.

Comments : What do I like about the tools I have? 

The Sioux drill and rivet gun are worth the extra cost. True, if you're looking to save money the regular gun and drill will work and in all probability, last the entire project. The Sioux equipment however has a 'better' feel. The triggers give more control on both the speed of the drill and the frequency of the rivet blows. There is no comparison. You can easily build a RV without getting the Sioux's but as one web site put it...'you're going to be pounding thousands of rivets so why try and save $100 on something that you are going to become very intimate with ?

The pneumatic squeezer is great ! You get consistent results with every rivet and dimple. I haven't even tried the Avery's hand rivet squeezer. I may never try the hand rivet squeezer. I have used the C-frame. If I have a choice on which tool to use my first choice is the pneumatic squeezer. Again, you don't have to have one to build an RV - it just makes the job much more enjoyable.

 Tool Description  Qty  Avery Item #  Used
 3/32" Spring Back Dimple Die  2  3/32 DDS  
 1/8" Spring Back Dimple Dies  1  1/8 DDS  
 #6 Spring Back Dimple Die Set  1  #6 DDS  
 #8 Spring Back Dimple Die Set  1  #8 DDS  
 #30 x 1/2" Dia. Counter Sink Cutter  1  42145  
 Pneumatic Squeezer (Body Only)  1  7500   All
 Air Line Swivel  1  954   All
 Sioux 1/4" 3600 RPM Air Drill  1  2702   GREAT - ALL
 3/32" Drive Pin Punch  1  757  
 1/8" Drive Pin Punch  1  758  
 Sioux 2x Rivet Gun  1  2702   GREAT - ALL
 Adjustable Setholder for the Pneumatic squeezer  1  274   ALL
 Fractional Drill Gauge  1  1414  
 1/8" Flush Set  1  1621  
 #40 Stuby Threaded Shank Drill  2  2140  
 #30 Stuby Threaded Shank Drill  2  2130  
 #12 Short Threaded Shank Drill  2  3112  
 1/4" Short Threaded Shank Drill  2  3114  
 1/4" Flush Set  2  1623  
 3/32" Cupped Set  1  1601  
 1/8" Cupped set  1  1602  
 3/8" Flush Set - 3/8" Diameter  1  1725  
 S/B Cutting & Polishing Wheel  1  3753  
 240 Grit Emery Cloth Roll  2  2400   All
 6" Safety Wire Twister (imported)  1  2W  
 .032" Saftey Wire - #1  1  19WA  
 .041" Safety Wire #1  1  20WA  
 Edge Marker Block  1  6352  
 Air Tool Oil  3  808   All
 1/8" Double Offset Rivet Set  1  4720  
 Flush Swivel Rivet Set  1  1047  
 1" Flush Rivet Set  1  302  
 Curved Tooth File (Vixen?)  1  710   All
 Rivet Cutter  1  1300  
 1/8" Rivet Set  1  4704  
 1/8" Long Rivet Set  1  4724  
 Back Riveting Set  1  1048  
 Extra Long Back Rivet Set  1  4580  
 Jig Fixture Brackets with Bushings  1  10741  
 Boelube Dry Lubricant  1  1003  
 Steel Mandrel For C&P Wheel  1  934  
 Pocket Bolt Gauge  1  1345  
 1/16"-1/2x64" Cobalt Drill Set  1  16402  
 Unibit Step Drill #3  1  UBX3  
 #40 x 3/8" Diameter Counter Sink Cutter  1  1051  
 #30 x 3/8" Diameter Countersink Cutter  1  1052  
 #27 x 1/2" Diameter Counter Sink Cutter  1  1053  
 #20 x 1/2" Diameter Countersink Cutter  1  1054  
 Rapid Tap Cutting Fluid - 4 oz.  1  7016  
 Edge Rolling Tool  1  1042  
 Lap Joint Joggle Tool  1  465  
 Angle Meter/Slant #100  1  90100  
 Rivter's Tape (Scotch 811)  3  811  
 Speed Deburr & Countersink Tool  1  1046   All
 Hex Adapter with #01050 Cutter (Deburring adapter for electric screwdriver)  1  59010   All
 Royal Multi-Burr Tool with 5 blades  1  22022   All
 Shop Head Rivet Gauges / 4 piece  2  1007  
 Cleco Pliers  2  200   All
 Double Edge Deburr Tool  2  1044  
 Mini-Right Angle Drill Attachment  1  915  
 12 inch Easy Look rule (black background/white letters)  1  11562  
 WISS Offset Metal Snip - Red  1  58337  
 WISS Offset Metal Snip - Green  1  58338  
 1/4 inch Drive Torque Wrench  1  2432  
 5/32" (#20) Clecos  10  2018  
 1 - 1/2" Yoke / Pneumatic  1  7730  
 3" Yoke / Pneumatic  1  7730  
 Polyethylene Dimpling Mallet  1  10765  
 Hand Seamer 3-1/2" Jaws  1  575  
 3/32" Vise Grip Dimpler  1  550  
 #40 Drill Stop  2  1101   All
 #30 Drill Stop  2  1102   All
 #8 Plate Nut Drill Jig  1  1180  
 Avery Hand Squeezer / Handle  1  9400  
 Fluting Pliers / Vise Grip Style  1  500   Emp
 Baby Hand Seamer with 1-1/2" jaws  1  590  
 3/32" (#40) Clecos  400  1016   Emp
 2-1/2" Yoke - with no hole /P  1  7745  
 360 degree Swivel Pop Rivet Tool  1  25500  
 1/8" (#30) Clecos  225  1017   Emp
 1/2" Gap x 1" Reach Clamp  24  1014  
 Hand Rivet and Dimpling Tool  1  1001  
 Back Riveting Plate  1  1065  
 1 # Bucking Bar  1  610  
 2 # Bucking Bar  1  615  
 2.5 # Bucking Bar  1  620  
 12" x #40 Cobalt Drill Bit  1  12X40  
 12" x #30 Cobalkt Drill Bit  1  12X30  
 12" x #12 Cobalt Drill Bits  1  12X12  
 12" x 1/4" Cobalt Drill Bits  1  12X1/4  
 6" x #40 Cobalt Drill Bits  1  6X40  
 6" x #30 Cobalt Drill Bits  1  6X30  
 6" x #12 Cobalt Drill Bits  1  6X12  
 #40 Cobalt Drill Bits (4 Ea)  2  40   Emp
 #30 Cobalt Drill Bits (3 Ea)  2  30   Emp
 #12 Cobalt Drill Bits (2 Ea)  1  12  
 3/32" Cobalt Drill Bits (3 Ea)  1  3/32  
 1/8" Cobalt Drill Bits (3 Ea)  1  1/8  
 11/64" Cobalt Drill Bits (2 Ea)  1  11/64  
 3/16" Cobalt Drill Bits (2 Ea)  1  3/16  
 1/4" Cobalt Drill Bits (1 Ea)  1  1/4  
In progress - If I add more tools to my collection you'll see it here.